Pingo Valley & Zapata Peak Trek

Explore the wild and secluded Pingo and Zapata Valleys in Torres del Paine, where few others venture. This itinerary combines a base-camp experience with spectacular views of multiple glaciers from the peak of Cerro Zapata with some isolated trekking. A day is also spent exploring an Ichthyosaurus fossil graveyard as your expert guides bring the area's natural history to life. Explore the wild and secluded Pingo and Zapata Valleys in Torres del Paine, where few others venture. This itinerary combines a base-camp experience with spectacular views of multiple glaciers from the peak of Cerro Zapata with some isolated trekking. Read more...
4 Days
$1,095

Pingo Valley & Zapata Peak Trek - 4 - $1,095

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Transfer from Puerto Natales; Trek through Zapata Valley; Zapata camp 

Day 2: Explore Ichthyosaurus fossil graveyard; Zapata camp 

Day 3: Trek to Cerro Zapata summit; Zapata camp 

Day 4: Trek to Lake Grey; Transfer to Puerto Natales

Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks visited on Pingo Valley & Zapata Peak Trek

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Puerto Natales; Trek through Zapata Valley; Zapata camp

An early morning transfer will collect you from your hotel in Puerto Natales and drive you to Torres del Paine National Park. After entering the National Park, we’ll continue our drive to Lake Grey from where we begin our 6hr hike to the Zapata Valley, the most ancient valley of Torres del Paine.

This is an extremely quiet place and our group will experience the tranquility of trekking alone, accompanied only by stunning scenery, and perhaps the watchful gaze of foxes, woodpeckers and huemuls (Andean deer) that live here.

We'll share the weight of our shared equipment, carrying food and tents between us. A group porter and cook will carry the portable toilet and cook meals while we're at Zapata camp. This is a remote camping experience – a basic camp with no hot water – but the reward is the views of Torres del Paine’s wild landscapes on all sides. Upon arrival, we set up camp, settle in and relax with a hearty evening meal.

Length of transfer: 2hrs 

Length of hike: 6hrs, 14km

Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Zapata camp


Day 2: Explore Ichthyosaurus fossil graveyard; Zapata camp

Today we'll trek to rocky slopes near Glacier Tyndall, the site of a valuable paleontological discovery – 46 ichthyosaurus fossils. An ichthyosaurus was dolphin-like 'fish lizard' that lived between 245 million and 90 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era. Adult and embryo specimens are visible, and there are the likely remains of a 'pack' that was entombed by a catastrophic mudflow that rushed into the underwater areas where they hunted. A variety of fossilised remains can be uncovered in this region, which used to form the sea-bed before the upthrust of the Andes moutnains.

We'll make our way back to Zapata camp via the same route and share a meal. Tonight we'll take it easy as tomorrow’s hike will be the most challenging of the trip.

Length of hike: 12hrs, 8km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Zapata camp


Day 3: Trek to Cerro Zapata summit; Zapata camp

Our day begins at around 4am and our destination is the summit of Cerro Zapata (1,590m/5,220ft). This is not a technical hike, but it is long and it requires trekkers to interact closely with the landscape: navigating through forests of native trees, crossing snowy terrain and bouldering across giant rocks carved out by glaciers.

The summit of Cerro Zapata has superb 360° views of Patagonian scenery. It's surrounded by lakes, glaciers, mountain ranges and the Southern Patagonian Icefield. The peak is an excellent viewpoint for glaciers and the lakes they flow into. From here we can see Glaciers Grey, Tyndall, Geikie, Pingo, Olguín (and others still unexplored) laid out below us.

We'll take the same route on our return to Zapata camp.

Length of hike: 12-14hrs, 26km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Zapata camp


Day 4: Trek to Lake Grey; Transfer to Puerto Natales

This morning we'll pack up our camp and start our return hike to Lake Grey. This takes us across the grassy steppe and undulating slopes of the valley and takes in energy-boosting views of the Paine Massif. You might be lucky enough to spot some of the region's characteristic wildlife such as the Huemul deer or Magellanic woodpecker as you hike in solitude through this area. At the end of our hike we’ll meet our driver, who will transfer us back to Puerto Natales.

Length of hike: 6hrs, 14km

Length of transfer: 2hrs

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The base price of USD $1,095 per person is based on a group of 4-8 people


The trip price varies depending on group size as shown below:

4-8 people: USD $1,095 per person

3 people: USD $1,295 per person

2 people: USD $1,495 per person

Departure dates available on request. Please contact us to discuss your preferred date.

(Prices valid until April 2022)

Additional Notes

Group size – 8 maximum, 2 minimum

Group equipment – Hikers will share the weight of the group equipment, carrying the food and tents between them. A group porter and cook will carry a portable toilet and prepare all your meals.

Includes

  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches, 3 dinners
  • Accommodation: 3 nights at Zapata camp
  • All private transportation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
  • 4-season tent (double occupancy)
  • 1 porter (to carry portable toilet)
  • Cooking equipment
  • English and Spanish speaking guides

Excludes

  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Accommodation on additional nights
  • Backpack (day-pack/65ltr minimum size)
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?