A trip to Patagonia is life-changing. In December of 2016, Naseem and I organized a trip to Patagonia in Chile. The trip was fantastic: a 5-day hiking trip inside Torres del Paine without Internet, meeting like-minded and awesome people, and hiking with awesome views. The hiking was so challenging that I almost gave up 3 times in the trip, but thankfully, Naseem pushed me a little bit, and I was able to complete it without any problem. Here are details on how we planned our trip:
- How to get to Torres del Paine: we flew Lima-Santiago-Punta Arenas via LATAM. The flight was long, but the service was good. Punta Arenas is one of the most south airports in South America. From Punta Arenas, we took a bus from the airport to Puerto Natales, and from Puerto Natales, we took another bus to Torres del Paine. Total travel time in bus = 5 hours. My recommendation here is to book the buses before traveling because it makes things easier. Buses depart at the exact hour, so don’t procrastinate on getting to the bus stop on time #TrueStory
- Where to stay inside Torres del Paine: Naseem and I did the W trail inside the park, which meant that Fantastico Sur was our only option to reserve across the circuit. We were able to stay in a refugio, a camping tent, and a dome. What are the differences?: the refugio is like a hostel. It had heating, shared bathrooms, and an awesome eating facility. Naseem and I got lucky, and we didn’t have any roommates during our 2 days in that refugio, so that meant having a 6-bed room for only us #LotsSpaceForReOrganizingBaggage! The camping experince was interesting given that it poured rain all night, and we were at 0 degrees Celsius. Finally, the dome was quite good. It didn’t have heating, but the structure was warm enough, and had a shared bathroom inside.
- Where to eat inside Torres del Paine: we were lucky enough to get full board with Fantastico Sur everyday we were there. That meant having a good breakfast, a packed lunch, and a very nice dinner every day. The full board service is not cheap, meaning $25 per meal per person, but I think it’s worth it. We also had power bars, incredible dried food that we really enjoyed (there was hot water available in every refugio across the park), and all kind of snacks.
- What to pack for the trip: we prepared for this trip as if we would be Dora the Explorer going to Antartica. REI was our friend, and I continued my love with that company. I got this travel bag, and everything I packed, I used and didn’t regret to bring. My top ten items: hiking poles (you will need them), fleece jacket, a rain jacket, a fleece hat, hiking socks, this REI pants, Keen hiking shoes, skin blister kit, Kind bars, and of course, my Patagonia hat.
- The bonus part: I was able to do all the reservations online with Fantastico Sur, which meant a more affordable trip than if we would book with a tour company. Do all your reservations ahead of time so you can get the accommodations you want. The park is well marked, and there’s no need to hire a tour company or a guide.
- Why you should go here: the views, the experience, the people you meet there, the chance to challenge yourself, and the chance that it would be one of the best experiences you have ever had.
Here are some pictures of the trip!