The Top 8 Torres Del Paine Day Hikes You Must Attempt!

Thinking of hiking in Chilean Patagonia? Try Torres del Paine and you're in for an adventure!
At Skyhook, we take you on popular multi-day hikes, like the O circuit and W trek. But, as hikers at heart, we also know that multi-day hikes require preparation and financial investment.
So, for when you crave an impromptu outing, we want to tell you about the best options for day hikes in Torres del Paine.
Read on and find out!
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How to Get to Torres del Paine

Gearing up for Torres del Paine trekking? To get there, touch down in Santiago first, then hop onto another flight to Puerto Natales (usually around 3.5 hours, then catch a bus to Torres del Paine.
If you're there in the peak season (October to April), you can choose one of five buses that offer daily trips.
The journey takes about 2 hours to Laguna Amargh, where you must pay your park entry fee. This fee is CH$25,000 for foreigners, or CH$35,000 if you plan to stay more than three days. You can also pay this fee at the bus station in Puerto Natales.
From Laguna Amargh, the bus continues for about 3 hours to Pudeto, where you'll disembark for the catamaran to Paine Grande.
The buses depart Puerto Natales at 7:00 am, 7:30 am, and 2:30 pm. They arrive at Laguna Amarga at 9:00 am, 9:30 am, and 4.45 pm, respectively, and reach Pudeto at 10:00 am, 10.30 am, and 5:30 pm.
For the return trip, buses depart from Pudeto at 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, and 7:00 pm and from Laguna Amarga at 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 7:45 pm daily.

Best Time for Torres Del Paine Day Treks

The best time to trek Torres del Paine varies depending on what you seek from your experience.
The peak trekking season, offering warm temperatures and long daylight hours, falls between December and February, summertime in the southern hemisphere. However, this period also attracts the most visitors, which can make the trails quite crowded​.
You can also hike in September to November or March to May. These months offer milder weather with fewer tourists - a more serene experience and potentially better wildlife sightings​.
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Best Day Hikes in Torres del Paine

Here are our top 8 hikes in Chile's Torres del Paine:

1. Mirador Condor Trail

Distance: 18 km
Difficulty: Moderate difficulty
Duration: 7-8 hours round trip
Starting from Hotel Las Torres, this Patagonia trek spans 18 km across open grasslands, glacial streams, and forested valleys. The final stretch involves some bit of scrambling and climbing over rocks to reach the summit, where the stunning vista of the lake and Torres awaits.
Consider staying at Hotel Las Torres or Refugio Chileno to catch the bus back to Puerto Natales easily.
This trail offers stunning views of the Torres del Paine Massif, including the iconic Cuernos del Paine and the sparkling blue waters of Lake Pehoé. Watch for condors soaring overhead as you traverse this scenic route.

2. Glacier Grey

Distance: 24km
Difficulty: Medium
Duration: Around 9 hours
The Glacier Grey trek approaches from the west side of the Torres del Paine park, starting and ending at Paine Grande. It covers a distance of 24 km over approximately 9 hours.
From the Paine Grande pier, you'll go through scrubland before entering the windy gorge of Quebrada de Los Viento for glimpses of Lago Grey and the glacier beyond.
The highlight of this hike is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring Glacier Grey, whose icy ramparts reach heights of up to 100m, spanning the entire breadth of the lagoon. The glacier, named for its grey hue, contrasts with the shimmering turquoise waters and floating icebergs.
While you can complete the hike in a day, consider overnighting at Refugio Paine Grande for an early start and the chance to extend your journey to the breathtaking suspension bridges overlooking the glacier.
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3. Mirador Ferrier

Distance: 3km
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: About 4 hours
The Mirador Ferrier hike covers 3 km and takes around 4 hours, starting and ending at Guardería Grey.
You can access the trek from Guardería Grey near Hotel Lago Grey; it is initially well-tended and used by Glacier Grey boat passengers. It begins in the forest, emerging at an exposed viewpoint with stunning vistas of the park's lakes, the southern Patagonian icefield, and the Paine massif.
As you progress, you'll likely have the trail to yourself, making for a serene and challenging hike with rewarding views. However, it's rated as difficult due to its steep ascent of 700m over rough terrain.

4. Mirador Condor

Distance: 3km
Difficulty: Relatively easy
Duration: Less than 2 hours
If you're coming from the south side of the park, you can start at Explora Patagonia or Lago Pehoé campsite for an easy jaunt to Mirador Condor.
It's a straightforward hike, taking about 45 minutes each way. While it can get windy at the top, the Paine massif and Lago Pehoé views are stunning.
If you're staying at Explora Patagonia, this hike is a breeze. Otherwise, you'll need a car to reach Lago Pehoe campsite and the trailhead.
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5. Valle Frances

Distance: 21km
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: Approximately 10 hours
This is another Torres del Paine day hike that starts from the west. It's a challenging hike, around 21 kilometres, that you'll cover in about 10 hours.
This trail forms the heart of the W Trek and presents one of Torres Del Paine's longest day hikes. Beginning at Refugio Los Cuernos, the steep ascent up Valle Frances can vary from a brisk climb to a demanding slog, depending on weather conditions.
The initial hour to Mirador Frances offers spectacular views of Glacier Frances and Glacier Los Perros, ideal for a quick lunch beside Rio del Frances. Beyond lies Mirador Britanico, an additional 3.5km/1.5 hours each way, with close-up views of Los Cuernos.
Be prepared with hiking poles for the steep descent and ensure a timely return before nightfall.

6. Salto Grande Waterfall

Distance: 3km
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
The Salto Grande Waterfall walk approaches the park from the south, starting and ending at the Pudeto Catamaran Terminal.
It's an easy walk where you go uphill from the terminal for roughly 20 minutes until you reach the thundering, glacier-fed Salto Grande waterfall.
Take this short walk if you're early for your boat ride to Paine Grande. Alternatively, if you have more time, continue for another hour to the southern shore of Lago Nordenskjold for a spectacular view of Cuernos del Paine!
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7. The Fauna Trail

Distance: 8km
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Around 3 hours
The Fauna Trail spans 8 km and takes 2-3 hours to complete, going from Lago Sarmiento to Laguna Amarga.
Rated easy, it's perfect for spotting wildlife like guanacos, rheas, foxes, deer, and condors. You might spot the elusive pumas if lucky, but they tend to avoid hiking trails. This trail also offers prime guanaco sightings.
You will enjoy the serene, off-the-beaten-track ambience, and although not widely mapped, it ensures solitude, even in peak season.

8. Mirador Cuernos

Distance: 5km
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
You will start your journey at Salto Grande, where the trail to Mirador Cuernos starts and ends. This 5km hike takes about 2 hours and is rated as easy.
Beginning along the shores of picturesque Lake Pehoe, you'll be treated to views of the impressive Salto Grande waterfall before continuing towards Nordenskjold Lake.
The trail is easily accessible by car, but be prepared for crowds, as it offers one of the best mountain vistas in the park.
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Packing For Your Torres del Paine Day Hike

For a successful day hike in Torres del Paine, here's what you should pack:
  • Clothing: Wear layers to adapt to changing weather. Include a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulated mid-layer, and a waterproof jacket.

  • Footwear: Choose sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots and moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet comfortable.

  • Navigation: Carry a map and compass. Having a GPS device is wise, but don’t rely solely on technology.

  • Sun protection: Pack sunglasses, sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Backpack: Bring a lightweight backpack with snacks, at least 2 litres of water, and a basic first aid kit.

  • Extras: Don't forget a camera for the breathtaking views and binoculars for wildlife spotting.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Torres del Paine offers day hikes catering to different preferences and skill levels. Whether you want panoramic views, serene lakesides, or cascading waterfalls, there's a trail for you.
So, pack your sense of adventure and explore the diverse landscapes of one of Patagonia's most spectacular national parks.

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