Why choose day hikes?
Spend your evenings mulling over maps with expert guides, deciding the next day's excursion with a glass of wine in hand. Choosing day hiking gives you the flexibility to choose exactly what you want to see in the park. Spend one day hiking a section of the famous W Trek, and the next, heading off-the-beaten-track into the pampa to search for fossils, or deep into the remote forests of the Pingo Valley.
- Pick each day's excursion the night before, depending on the weather forecast for the following day and how your legs are feeling!
- Mix and match: try the most popular treks one day, challenge yourself with a tougher trail in a remote corner of the national park the next
- Refuel each night with an exquisite dinner and a luxurious night's sleep in some of Torres del Paine's most sought after accommodation
- Some hotels also offer more adventurous daytime activities alongside your hiking such as horse riding, kayaking, fishing and mountain biking
Some programmes are more flexible than others, some have smaller groups of 4-6 people and others groups of 10+. Our specialists can help ensure you find the one that's right for you.
Where to hike
Day hiking the W Trek
The W Trek is Torres del Paine's most famous multi-day trek, but it's a well-kept secret that you can do almost the entire trek as three separate day hikes instead.
The full trek is the shape of a W, and you can do each vertical strand as a day hike. First in the east is the Base of the Towers hike, a steep ascent past twisted metamorphic rock formations until you reach the grand granite towers that give the park it's name. Second is French Valley, notorious for it's hanging glaciers and winding river. And finally, hike to the Grey Peninsula for views of the magnificent Grey Glacier, where adventurous souls can kayak amongst icebergs.
Pingo Valley and Mirador Ferrier
These western trails are so remote and quiet that you may only meet a handful of fellow adventurers during your trek. Instead, you can keep your eyes peeled for a rare and endangered Huemul deer, a species which thrives in the more secluded areas of the park.
The Pingo Valley trek winds through open valley and forests, eventually opening up to stunning views of the impressive Southern Ice Cap. If your legs are up for a challenge, nearby is the climb up to Mirador Ferrier, a two-hour steep trail up to a lookout over the Glacier Grey and the Paine Massif.
The main bonus here is that you can enjoy the views in peace; have a leisurely lunch undisturbed at the base of a waterfall, or stop to grab that perfect shot without the risk of anyone stepping into your photo.
The Sierra Baguales mountain range is a window back to when Torres del Paine was covered in water. There are thousands of fossils here dating back 40 million years, including leaves, molluscs and shark teeth.
The whole area is completely individual from anywhere else in the park; red and orange rocky mountains stretch into the distance, and although there are trails, this is an area where you can be completely free to roam and explore into the wild.
For those seeking a bit of altitude, the lakes region in the east is packed with trails leading up to lookouts over the great lakes of the east. It is the colours of the lakes which make them special, each one has a unique tint, from milky blue to deep turquoise. The panoramic views from these lookouts stretch all the way to the Paine Massif, so you can get a whole new perspective on the huge granite monoliths that made the park famous.
These hikes vary in difficulty from the easy ramble of the fauna walk, where the solitude gives you a good chance of spotting an elusive puma, to the challenging Cerro Paine hike, a Swoop favourite for getting a priceless view of the towers without the crowds.
Day hiking trips
A gentle-paced W-Trek for peace- and nature-lovers: based in a secluded, all-inclusive camp of luxury yurts, you'll wake up each morning in a forest over-looking Lago Toro before journeying through breath-taking scenery to complete the world famous W-Trek. Looked after…
Location is key. Accommodation is dotted around the park and some hotels are more than 15 miles apart, so choose carefully depending on whether you want to be close to the popular trails or have quick access to remote routes.
Where to base yourself
Torres del Paine is vast, so choosing a base that's within easy travel distance to the trails should be an important factor when deciding your accommodation. Some hotels are right by the most popular trails of the W Trek, others will give you quick access to the more remote, off-the-beaten-track hikes.
A little travel time is unavoidable, especially if you want to see all the park has to offer, but our specialists can help ensure the accommodation you choose will give you the maximum time trekking, rather than travelling.
For the ultimate fully inclusive experience. Luxury lodges offer the most diverse range of hiking excursions and exceptional guides, so you really can experience the park to its fullest. Return each night to an on-site spa, delicious locally-sourced food and attentive service.
There are only a handful of hotels in Torres del Paine, but each is well-located for some of the park's most popular day hikes. They also offer quite different experiences; some are perfect for relaxing in a simple, traditional space, while others have a grander, busier feel.
The best option for those who want to be close to nature, without sacrificing a comfortable bed. There are two eco-friendly camps in Torres del Paine; one offers stunning geodesic domes and the other beautifully-finished yurts, but both include day hikes led by expert guides.
In Torres Del Paine, I wished I just had a Nalgene or similar water bottle - there was no need to carry lots of water, and it would have been easier to fill in streams.
Invest in good layer clothing and test it out beforehand. The wind was quite strong, so it was cold, but when I walked I was too hot with my layers. Whereas the other lady hiking with me had a really good layering system that was lightweight but equally kept her warm without overheating.
Other ways to hike in Torres del Paine
Off the Beaten Track in Torres del Paine
There is more to trekking in Torres del Paine than the W trek or the Circuit. Going off-the-beaten-track can take you scrambling up peaks for views of the icecap, or searching for …
Hiking in Torres del Paine
World famous trekking awaits in Torres del Paine National Park. Each valley, peak and pass hides its own treasures, be it hanging glaciers, vast pampas, twisted metamorphic rock or…
The W Trek in Torres Del Paine
The W Trek is Torres del Paine's most famous hiking route, with views of the granite towers that give the park its name. In full, it's a four or five day hike that can be walked …
The O Circuit
This 7-9 day route adds a northern section on to the park's famous W Trek. It's undoubtedly a tougher trail, marked by the extra distance and absence of refugios on the northern …