What excursions does Explora Patagonia offer?

Illustrated Guide

1. Base of the Towers trek

We'll leave the lodge by van for a 1hr drive to Estancia Cerro Paine. From here we'll trek through the Ascencio River Valley, ascending 350m (1,100ft) to the Chileno campground. We'll then walk through century-old forests of beech and past gorges until reaching the Torres campground.

From here we'll climb a glacial moraine until reaching Las Torres (The Towers) viewpoint at the lake (a 350m/1,100ft climb) – quite possibly the best view in Patagonia. After a picnic lunch we'll return via the same trail and our van will return us to Explora.

Full-day | Trek: 19.5km, 7hrs | Difficulty: Expert

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Base of the Towers, Torres del Paine, Chile

Base of the Towers, Torres del Paine

2. French Valley trek

We'll leave the hotel by catamaran for a 30min journey, then trek from Refugio Pehoé along the trail that borders Lake Pehoé and Lake Skottsberg. On this section there are numerous climbs of less than 150m (500ft) and spectacular views of the two lakes, Paine Grande, and the Cuernos. We'll cross the bridge over the French River for a view of the French Glacier, Paine Grande and the Cuernos.

After a picnic lunch we'll walk back to Refugio Pehoé and then return by catamaran to Explora.

Full-day | Trek: 16.4km, 6hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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The French Valley, Torres del Paine, Chile

The French Valley, Torres del Paine

3. Glacier Grey trek

We'll leave the lodge by Explora's catamaran, crossing Lake Pehoé and hiking along a westerly trail which follows the immense Lake Grey. Arriving at a great vantage point after a few miles of hiking, you'll be able to truly grasp the size of the glacier stretching off into the distance.

The trail descends to the Lake Grey refuge after approximately 13km. From here we'll board the Grey-Catamaran which will take us as close to the glacier face as possible.

The boat trip finishes at Grey Beach from where a short walk brings you to our van which returns you to Explora in 30mins.

Full-day | Trek: 12.4km, 5½hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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Icebergs on Lake Grey, Torres del Paine, Chile

Icebergs on Lake Grey, Torres del Paine

4. Pingo trek

We'll first travel by van to Lake Grey Lake. From there, we walk along a path along the Pingo River through a forest of native trees. During this excursion, we can enjoy bird watching and different views of the Paine massif along the route.

We return to the van by the same route and head back to Explora.

Half-day | Trek: 9km, 3½hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

Full-day | Trek: 21.6km, 8hrs | Difficulty: Advanced

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Pingo Valley Bridge

A Pingo Valley bridge

5. Ferrier trek

We'll first travel by van to Lake Grey before beginning a demanding ascent during which we get fantastic views of the lake and the huge ice expanse of the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. We'll then cross a forest and continue climbing up, accompanied by panoramic views of the Grey and Pehoé lakes.

We descend by the same route and return by van to Explora.

Half-day | Trek: 5.8km, 3hrs | Difficulty: Expert

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Man bracing the wind at the Mirador Ferrier, on Torres del Paine Hike, Chile

Bracing the wind at Mirador Ferrier

6. Donoso horse ride

We'll depart from the stables and ride through the Pampa Serrano. Along rou route we'll cross the Grey River and climb a hill crossing streams, lagoons, plains and wetlands. When we reach the Donosito lookout we'll be rewarded with views of rivers, the pampas and the Paine massif. We'll then ascend a narrow and pronounced path between trees to the Choros Lagoon. After lunch in the forest, we'll return to the stables.

Note: This excursion is for experienced and advanced riders only. It's only suitable for advanced riders who have mastered rising trot and canter over uneven terrain in open spaces and on all types of horses. Riders must be physically fit and able to canter for long stretches without getting tired.

Full-day | Horse ride: 25km, 5hrs | Difficulty: Advanced

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Excursions from Explora Patagonia
Swoop Says background image

Iain says

The Explora’s location is truly spectacular, I felt like I could reach out and touch the massif. I loved the nooks and crannies of the lounge area, with lots of places to enjoy a fire, a glass of wine and, of course, the view. If horse riding is your passion, Explora Patagonia is the hotel for you. Its range of rides are hard to beat, and no other hotel has their own stables or breeding programme.

Iain Rylance Patagonia Specialist

7. Grey horse ride

We'll start the excursion by riding from the Explora stables towards the Grey River on mostly flat and open terrains. When we arrive at the river bank we'll continue riding parallel to it for some distance. Finally, we return to the stables along the same route.

Note: This excursion is for experienced and advanced riders only. It's only suitable for advanced riders who have mastered rising trot and canter over uneven terrain in open spaces and on all types of horses. Riders must be physically fit and able to canter for long stretches without getting tired.

Half-day | Horse ride: 9.7km, 2¼hrs | Difficulty: Advanced

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Horse riding in Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Horse riding in Torres del Paine

8. Lake Linda horse ride

We'll leave Explora by van for a 15min drive to the stables. From here we'll ride a trail heading north, passing through hills dotted with a variety of trees. There will be fantastic views of Lake Negra and Lake Linda, the Pampa Serrano, and the surrounding mountain ranges.

We'll return by van to Explora.

Half-day | Horse ride: 6.1km, 2hrs | Difficulty: Easy

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Horse riding in Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Horse riding in Torres del Paine

9. Horse ride to the Serrano

We'll leave Explora by van for a 15min drive to the stables. The horseback ride begins by crossing the Serrano prairie and following the turquoise waters of the Serrano River, with a view of the snowy peaks of Mount Balmaceda. We'll return to the stables via the golden Serrano prairie, with views of the Paine Massif.

A van will take us back to Explora.

Half-day | Horse ride: 12.9km, 2hrs | Difficulty: Advanced

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Excursions from Explora Patagonia

Riding with the locals in Torres del Paine

10. Cerro Tenerife trek

We'll first travel by van to the base of Cerro Tenerife. Our ascent begins on a path through a forest of ñirres, lengas and coigües and continues among humid scrub vegetation before we finally trek through a high desert area.

This hike offers fantastic panoramic views to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the Chacabuco mountain range.

Full-day | Trek: 13.8km, 9hrs | Difficulty: Expert

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Cerro Tenerife, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Cerro Tenerife

11. Cerro Castillo trek

We first travel by van to El Bote Bay, located outside of the park. Our walk starts in a cattle area and ascends the slope of Cerro Castillo. When we reach the summit we'll have stunning 360° views of the park and its surrounding hills, glaciers, pampas, lakes and mountains.

Our return route descends through a forested area to reach the van.

Full-day | Trek: 15.8km, 9hrs | Difficulty: Expert

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View from Cerro Castillo, Torres del Paine, Chile, Pataongia

View from Cerro Castillo

12. Alto del Toro trek

We'll leave Explora by van for a 10min drive to La Feria Ravine. From there we'll ascend 250m (820ft) and be treated to spectacular views of the Paine Massif and the Paine River. We'll continue through interior valleys, past lakes and beech forests before stopping for a picnic lunch. After this the trail continues to Alto del Toro from which there is a spectacular 360° view of the park.

At this point we'll descend to the Weber Bridge and then return to Explora by van in 15mins.

Full-day | Horse ride: 12.6km, 5hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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Alto del Toro viewpoint, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Alto del Toro viewpoint

Swoop Says background image

Swoop says

All excursions at Explora Patagonia are organised the night before depending on individuals' preferences, weather conditions and the guides' recommendations, with the intention of curating the best possible experience for the group.


13. Mirador Condor trek

We'll leave the hotel on foot, following a trail along the shore of Lake Pehoé. In the distance, we'll see Mirador Condor on the summit of a hill – this is the destination of our hike. Along the way we'll pass through lenga and ñirre forests. Once at the summit we'll have magnificent 360° views of the park.

We then descend a rocky slope to get back to the van.

Half-day | Trek: 3.6km, 2½hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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Excursions from Explora Patagonia

14. Lake Nordenskjold trek

We'll leave the lodge by van and head towards the area of the Pudéto station. From there we'll walk along a path with vast views of Paine Grande with its hanging glaciers. The 2hr hike over gently undulating terrain finishes at the turquoise waters of Lake Nordenskjöld with the famous Cuernos (Horns) soaring skywards right in front of you. Here we might be able to hear the sound of breaking ice or feel the wind of one of the planet's windiest locations.

Finally, we'll return via the same route, to the Explora by van.

Half-day | Trek: 6.3km, 2hrs | Difficulty: Easy

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Excursions from Explora Patagonia

After some heavy rain, we’re still smiling! Striking a pose in front of Lake Nordenskjold on the W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park

15. Sarmiento trek

We begin our trek by following a path between low-lying vegetation and colorful native flowers. We'll then descend to the beach of Sarmiento Chico Lake, crossing rock formations of calcium carbonate. Finally, we ascend on a trail to a spot where there are fantastic panoramic views of Sarmiento Lake.

We return to Explora by van.

Half-day | Trek: 4km, 2½hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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On the Sarmiento trek, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

On the Sarmiento trek

16. The Aonikenk Trail

We'll leave Explora by van for a 30min drive to the Lake Sarmiento Ranger Station. From there we'll walk along a moderate trail north of the park limit, with an ascent of 150m/500ft. This route provides an open landscape with panoramic views. On several of the rock walls you can see Aonikenk Indian paintings, primitive inhabitants of the region. There is also an abundance of guanacos.

From here we have a gradual descent to the Laguna Amarga Ranger Station from where we'll return to Explora Torres del Paine by van in 35mins.

Half-day | Trek: 7.6km, 3hrs | Difficulty: Moderate

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On the Aonikenk Trail, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

On the Aonikenk Trail

17. Laguna Azul trek

We start our trek at the quincho from where we take a van to Laguna Azul. From the lagoon we walk around an area of wetland inhabited by birds and cross the beach of the lagoon watching Torres del Paine rise above the horizon. Finally, we arrive at a viewpoint from where we'll have fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. We'll return to Explora by van.

Half-day | Trek: 1.1km, 345mins | Difficulty: Easy

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Torres del Paine guanacos las torres

18. Cañadon Macho horse ride

We ride from our quincho to an extensive forest of beech trees. After riding through the forest, we'll have stunning panoramic views of the Las Chinas River and the waterfall located in the gorge.

We'll then continue our ride along on a more open road until we arrive back at the quincho.

Half-day | Horse ride: 5.2km, 1½hrs | Difficulty: Easy

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Riding to the Cañadon Macho, Patagonia, Chile

Riding to the Cañadon Macho

19. 2 de Enero horse ride

We'll depart from the quincho along a steep slope, in the direction of Seca Lagoon. We'll then arrive at a lookout point from where we can see the 2 de Enero Estancia. The gauchos will be waiting there to welcome us and drink hot mate together. We'll return through undulating terrain and forests to the quincho.

Note: This excursion is for experienced and advanced riders only. It's only suitable for advanced riders who have mastered rising trot and canter over uneven terrain in open spaces and on all types of horses. Riders must be physically fit and able to canter for long stretches without getting tired.

Half-day | Horse ride: 13.8km, 2½hrs | Difficulty: Expert

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2 de Enero horse ride, Patagonia, Chile

2 de Enero horse ride