Torres del Paine look-out (via Valle Ascensio)
Trekking up Valle Ascencio to arrive at the Torres del Paine lookout is the highlight of the W Circuit or Full Circuit in Torres del Paine National park. Located at the East of the park, this viewpoint looks straight out onto the three granite 'torres' from which the park takes its name and beneath them, a still grey-blue lake.
After having made the 2-hour journey by bus or private transfer into Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales the day before, this day-trek up to the look-out (which is included in almost every operator's itinerary) starts from the base of Ascencio Valley, at Refugio Las Torres/Camping las Torres or Hotel Las Torres.
The hike up to the look-out is considered by many as one of the most difficult days on the Full Circuit, along with Paso John Garner, as you ascend some 800 metres. It takes roughly 4 hours to reach the Torres del Paine viewpoint from the start of Valle Ascencio, a pretty windy place to trek in Patagonian summer so make sure to bring a windproof jacket if you're there between October to March. It's also important to bear in mind that the last 45 minutes up to the look-out are a steep uphill climb over rocks and sandy terrain, and many hikers take trekking poles to help their knees on the way back down.
After trekking up to the look-out, hard-core climbers can continue up along Valle Silencio, past Campamento Japones and through dense rainforest for views of 'los Cuernos' mountains, Escudo (the Shield) and Fortaleza (the Fortress), as well as the back of the spectacular granite spires, Las Torres.
Photos of Torres del Paine look-out (via Valle Ascensio)
Map of Torres del Paine look-out (via Valle Ascensio)
Trips that visit Torres del Paine look-out (via Valle Ascensio)
Stay in a secluded, all-inclusive luxury yurt camp where you'll wake each morning in a forest overlooking Patagonia's stunning Toro Lake. Journey through breath-taking scenery to complete world-famous hikes and other activities in Torres del Paine while being looked after…
- 6 Days
This action-packed small group trekking tour combines the best hikes in Patagonia: Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. Discover Perito Moreno Glacier on a boat expedition, enter Paine on a unique hike and celebrate your final night at…
- 12 Days
This trip fits Torres del Paine's highlights into a short timeframe. Trek up close to the famous granite towers, the mesmerising French Valley and the shimmering blue ice of Glacier Grey. Expert guides, deluxe tent accommodation, pre-arranged transfers and meals…
- 3 Days
Tackle Patagonia's most iconic circuit trail, fully supported with porters and a local guide. Cross the John Gardner Pass, explore the park's remote northern sections, revel in the stunning French Valley and finish at the Towers viewpoint – this itinerary…
- 9 Days
This intrepid itinerary is the most varied multi-sport adventure available in winter. It takes you through wild terrain on foot, on horseback, on bike and by kayak to the great dramatic sights of the Torres del Paine National Park, which…
- 4 Days
Private cabins with hot tubs and transport between the highlights makes trekking in winter a really special experience. See Las Torres (The Towers), the enormous Glacier Grey, and make a stop at the rarely-visited Pingo Valley. You'll have the snow-covered…
- 3 Days