Since the 4th of January 2012, the National Park Torres del Paine is open for tourists. Although it’s opening has been partial, (only the north part) all security measures have been taken to ensure the safety to every tourist.
This is a map of the open sector that has not been affected by the fire and also the trails that can be used with out restrictions.
As can be seen, the major part of the national park is not in danger and has not been affected by fire.
IMPORTANT: The opening of the park is to be in two stages: the first one is immediate, which started on January 4th at 8 am. The second one is a gradual opening of other sectors of the park.
Is it not known yet when the other areas will be in condition to be opened, but we expect this to happen in the next days. We will update this information daily so everyone knows when the other areas of the National Park are safe to visit.
In the meantime the internal roads of the Park are cut for safety reasons.
In order to deliver important information regarding the National Park, the fire, and the services provided, a FAQ list has been made. All the questions were answered with precise and reliable information.
- Is it safe to be in the National Park?
- From Hotel Las Torres / Fantástico Sur areas, is it possible to see an affected area?
- What excursions are available?
- Will smoke and ashes affect us during our stay?
- Is it possible to see an affected area?
- What other sector of the park can be visited?
- Is the fire extinguished? Is it dangerous for tourists to visit the park?
- The French Valley area appears as unaffected by the fire. Can it be visited?
- Is Catamaran Pehoe functioning?
- What are the problems one might encounter there? Is the hotel fully working?
- Full Paine with Grey Glacier Navigation. Salto Grande
- Sendero de los Lagos
- French Valley
- Is Serrano area open for visits?
- Is Glacier Grey navigation available?
- What percentage of the park has been affected by the fire?.
- From Puerto Natales, what road do I have to take to arrive to the National Park?
The fire has not affected the open area; it is in fact several kilometers from where the fire passed. Everything its been closely watched and controlled by the government and by Conaf brigade. The only two entrances to the Park are “Laguna Amarga”, and Laguna Azul.
There are still a variety of excursions available. During the first stage of opening, the excursions are as follows:
Important information: until January 8th all horseback riding here mentioned are limited due to the support given to the brigade in the French area. Horses are important logistic help to everyone working on fire.
Full day excursions:
Las Torres, Ascencio trail (horseback riding Trekking)
Cerro Paine, with a view of Las Torres del Paine (Full Day and Half day) horseback riding and trekking
Sierra Baguales (car) Available from the 10th of January.
Enchanted Valey (horseback riding)
Los Cuernos (horseback riding and Trekking)
For more information about these excursions please visit
Laguna Azul (car)
Lenga Forests (horseback riding)
Nordenskjold Lake (horseback riding and Trekking)
Laguna Inge (trekking and horseback riding)
Horse back riding per hour.
For more information about these excursions please visit
There are neither ashes nor smoke affecting the opened areas.
Nevertheless, important information will be daily updated, and any change will be posted on internet.
The Serrano sector is fully open. Zodiacs can reach this area from Puerto Natales. It is an important entrance to the park where several hotels can be found. For the mean time there is no internal access from Serrano to the National Park, or the open areas (Laguna Amarga- Azul). Hopefully this situation will change in a few days.
Presently there is no information to indicate that the fire is a hazard to tourists that visit the park. However there is a constant vigilance by the government of the areas near by the sector available for tourism.
The fire is being fought with all the governmental resources available, and is it expected that it will be fully extinguished any time soon.
Now it is not possible to visit the French Valley. Therefore tourists will only be able to reach Refugio Cuernos. It is expected that within the next few days all that Area will be open.
Spite the fact that the Catamaran was not damaged for fire, the area will remain closed. There is no certain information as to when the navigation Pehoe – Pudeto will be opened again. The access to them remains closed.
There are some excursions that will not be available during this fits opening, such as:
We will inform when this situation changes.
The navigation from and to Puerto Natales are fully operating as well as the hotels located in this area.
For now the area has no access to the open sectors of the park, because the internal roads are closed.
There is no information as to when these will be opened, but it is expected to be within a matter of days. Information, of course, will be updated daily regarding the conditions of the affected areas and the opening of roads inside the park
The navigation is not operating at this time because the access to it remains closed. It is expected to starts operating very soon.
Today, the only access to the National Park is from the entrances Laguna Amarga. To access this area from Puerto Natales its necessary to take the road to CERRO CASTILLO and then to LAGUNA AMARGA. ( About 1,5 hrs from P. Natales to Torres del Paine ).
It is important to emphasize that the limitations in the excursions and roads are temporary. Therefore it is expected that within a few days the internal paths are opened, giving access to the south part of the park.
For any further questions please, contact our sale staff:
Pamela Osorio – Sales deparment
Pamela Melian – Sales executive
Carolina Bravo – Sales executive
Jeanette Haro – All inclusive program coordinator
Marcela Rozas – Sales executive
Lorenzo Barassi – Online sales executive
Mauricio Kusanovic Olate.
Sales & Marketing Manager
HOTEL LAS TORRES PATAGONIA
Mount Almirante Nieto is located in the southeast extreme of the Paine Massif. To the north you can see the Torres del Paine and to the west, Los Cuernos.
Although Mount Almirante Nieto goes unnoticed by visitors of the Torres del Paine National Park, if you look carefully you may see his multifaceted peak. Each of its faces is different and depending on where you look, it looks like a entirely different hill.
The top of Mount Almirante Nieto is one of the most prized by mountaineers, because it has a normal route of less difficulty compared with those of the neighboring hills.
Some of our tours surround Mount Almirante Nieto, for one of its sides, so that visitors can admire its beauty anyway.
Here you can enjoy a revitalizing massage, the goodness and healing benefits of the mud, relax in a sauna or receive a soothing hidromassage, all with the care and dedication of our experts.
The Hotel Las Torres Patagonia offers services for all types of people and tastes, whether for a birthday celebration, revitalizing treatments or simply relax. If you want to have time just for you and your couple, we recommend the “Honeymoon Suite” which includes sauna, simultaneous massages and jacuzzi, all accompanied by white wine or Chilean champagne.
The Baqueano is the personage who dominates the Patagonia, the potatoes and solitary winters. Owners of cattle, always watchful and aware of potential dangers; they have weather-beaten skin, in which you can read age and experience, always accompanied only by their sheepdog and the solitude of the sky.
Free and independent, the Baqueano is characterized by the knowing the nature, their skill on horseback and their amazing sense of locality, no matter if it is dark or if they are pass through unknown territory.
The professor, journalist and former Argentine president, Domingo Fausto Sarmiento, wrote that the Baqueano “is a serious and reserved gaucho who knows by heart twenty thousand miles square of plains, forests and mountains.” He can be distinguished by his typical dress, beret, scarf, boots, leather belt and sometimes by a poncho. He also uses accessories such as a rope, bolas and is always with a belt knife.
While initially they are shy and modest by their solitude, the Baqueanos are gentle and hospitable to tourists, have no problem teaching what they know and talk about the environment and tell anecdotes.
The Baqueanos are also responsible for leading the horseback excursions of Hotel Las Torres Patagonia and even teach how to gallop on the paths of Torres del Paine National Park, so visitors should only enjoy the magnificent scenery.
One of the most unforgettable wonders of Chile, Torres del Paine, is in the first place of preference of the Chilean people, as it’s demonstrated by an online survey carried out by Domingo’s magazine. You can still participate in it.
You can vote for your favorite touristic marvel of Chile until August 21, 2011. Each voter must choose the 25 favorites from a list of one hundred touristic places.
Until now, Torres del Paine is the first in the ranking, followed by the Moai of Easter Island. The 25 most voted places will be published in a special edition of Domingo’s magazine on August 28. If you want to vote, please click here.
One of the most beautiful destinations within the National Park Torres del Paine is the Glacier Grey, the biggest in the zone, 6 kilometers wide and 30 meters high. The name came from the color of the water and icebergs, which are mixed with various tonalities of blue.
This mass of continental ice is one of the 49 which breaks down the Campos de Hielo Sur, the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world, just after the south Antarctica and Greenland in the northern hemisphere.
The area is not only famous for the natural spectacle, such as detachment of huge icebergs, but also offers many different panoramas for all kind of visitors, either experienced adventurers, extreme sports fans or people with little experience, but good physical condition.
For the adventurous, the Lago Grey is ideal for kayaking, because of its quiet and beautiful landscapes. You can also participate in hiking tours on the glacier, always keeping precautions with the ground cracks and caves. It is necessary the presence of an expert guide in this kind of expedition.
For those who are looking for activities that require less effort, 4 kilometers to the south of Camp Guards is a viewpoint in front of “La Isla”, an easy to reach nunatak that divides the glacier in two.
The Full Day Program in Hotel Las Torres Patagonia offers catamaran tours from the pier on Lake Pehoe (Pudeto) to the viewpoint of Lake Grey. The tour runs only from November to March (there are needed suitable climatic conditions).
Other tour operators offer trips on zodiac, which can be hired in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. Prices vary between $ 70 and $ 100 per person (about 40,000 Chilean pesos (CLP) average ).
The climate in the lake has no dry season, with more than 2,000 mm of snow and rain annually, and the temperature rarely exceeds 10 º C during the spring and summer season (recommended time for visits), while on the glacier thermometer shows always temperature below 0 ° C.
For all types of activity are required trekking shoes, sunglasses with UV protection, sunscreen and protective clothing, especially if you want to practice extreme sports.
Ascencio Valley is known for being the most difficult point of circuit “W”, a narrow path that can take up to four hours of trekking, located on a hill, surrounded by forests of large ñirres and blizzards in the spring season and summer.
Although the required effort in this trip is intense, you will forget this immediately, seeing directly the iconic peaks of Las Torres: north, central and south with a vast lagoon of turquoise waters.
For security reasons it is recommended to travel in large groups or take part in organized tour, moreover use trekking poles and clothing against the cold and wind.
You don’t need to carry many things; this route is only two hours north from Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.
Along the route through the Ascencio Valley you will see in their natural habitat huemul, an emblematic animal of Chile and Magellan Region and also exotic orchid, both endangered species.
One of the possibilities recommended for expert travelers who like extreme sports, is the Valle del Silencio, a plain surrounded by hills Oggioni, Trident and Condor’s Nest. It is an hour’s walk to the north, near Camp Japanese, and it is an ideal place for mountaineering enthusiasts.
Importantly, the Japanese Camp and Camp Chileno are open between September and March only, for climatic reasons.
If you prefer a natural goodness of the area, Punta Arenas offers a variety of scenarios, for both the family and for adventure tourism.
- Ideal for athletes with a certain level of experience and adrenalin seekers is the Centro de Ski Cerro Mirador, located in the Magallanes National Reserve, 600 meters above the height of the sea and 30 minutes from Punta Arenas, more specifically by Peninsula Brunswick.
The place has 12 trails, rental of equipment, instructors, and a medical center. Its strategic location makes it ideal to have views of Punta Arenas, Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan. You can also do trekking and learn more about the flora and fauna along the clearly marked trails.
It’s important to highlight that it doesn’t have a paved road, making it necessary to mobilize in cars with chains. We recommend visiting the area in summer (December-March) or spring (September-December) to avoid the rainy season and low temperatures.
- You can also take zodiacs expeditions through the Cape Horn, Glacier Balmaceda and Serrano, the fjord of Good Hope (Buena Esperanza), Cape Froward (at the end of the mainland, famous for The Cross of the Seas) and the Magdalen and Santa Maria Islands, home to a large colony of sea lions, cormorants, Antarctic gulls and Magellanic penguins, which come to nest in pairs. If you take a tour with trekking included, find out if the roads are suitable for children or if the difficulty is high, medium or basic.
An option for the whole family is Estancia Otway, best known as the Parque Ñandú (Ostrich Park). Here is a site dedicated to raising these birds similar to ostriches, where you can take photos, feed them and learn more about this species. The Park is in the direction of way to Puerto Natales (take the turning for Green River) and is open daily from 9 to 19 hrs.
¿What is the better experience than cross the Strait of Magellan and see wildlife in all its glory? During this amazing trip you can visit the Francisco Coloane Marine Park. Is the first area of water protection in the country, including important sectors such as the channel of St. Jerome and Saint Agnes Island. Named after the successful Chilean writer, winner of the National Literature Prize, elected to the Chilean Academy of Language and Chevalier des Arts et des Lyrics in France, among other awards.
In this place live multiple cetacean species, southern dolphins, Magellanic penguins; sea lions eyed Cormorants, among others. An unforgettable point of this trip is to see jumping whales.
Punta Arenas it’s almost at the end of the world, but doesn’t mean that can’t offer views for all kind of visitors. The southern zone of Chile has beautiful scenery, everything 328 km from National Park and Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.
TripAdvisor, well known website with tourist information, hotel reviews, photos and travel advice released its latest Traveler’s Choice Awards 2011: Torres del Paine National Park can be found on the list of top 25 destinations of Central and South America, on a 10th place.
Trip Advisor highlighted the spectacular nature of this region, forests, lakes and glaciers. This is also the natural monument with the best rating among other four on the list.
Moreover Torres del Paine has the greatest recognition of the three destinations of Chile, that are in the TripAdvisor ranking (the other two are: San Pedro de Atacama and Santiago).
Among the information that can be found on TripAdvisor, Hotel Las Torres Patagonia has an excellent rating, especially among business travelers.
We invite you to visit our site, where you can find description of our services, and the natural attractions offered by this beautiful place, almost at the end of the world.
In the sixteenth century, the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan contacted with the tehuelches . This famous explorer was surprised by the physical characteristics of native people of Patagonia, mainly because of the size of their feet. This story marks the name given to the area, where word Patagonia comes from large feet or pata gau in Portuguese.
All groups who coexisted here had a special bond with the sea, because of the hard Patagonian life, where it was difficult to mobilize by land, agriculture and hunting.
Although they were not a big civilization, all the small tribes with the same beliefs and characteristics got one name in order to their easier classification.
Called by the Mapuche “brave people”. They were skilled hunters and gatherers, living as nomads. One of the interesting points was the reproduction habit through the exchange of women between clans.
Their religion was based on myths, emphasizing the creation of the world by Kóoch, a god who was overwhelmed with loneliness and were crying until he created the sea. Seeing this situation, Arrok sighed and divided the sea, creating after the Sun and the Moon.
These people had great similarities with the Tehuelches: physically, their culture, language, organization of clans and their principal deity, called Kénos. Anyway, there were also differences in the faith in a god who punishes the evil (Temáukel).
Despite of living with nature and being great constructors of tools, they never worked in the land. We know about Selk’nam thanks to their descendants who survived colonization. Currently there is no pure race.
Various nomadic groups which were traveling in canoes through the channels of Tierra del Fuego and Magallanes. Their name means “human being”, while the nickname “alacalufes” was created as derogatory name by Yagan.
They are one of the Patagonian ethnic groups with the highest number of survivors in the country. The University of Chile made in 1999 the Kawésqar Language Revitalization Project, preventing them from disappearing with the time.
Their most treasured possessions were the canoes, in which they spent the majority of the life, hunting seals, otters and sea lions, which they ate and wore their skins. Kawésqar believed in good and chaos spirits.
They have great similarities with Kawésqar in their way of life. Anyway, the main difference of the Yamana with other ethnic groups in Patagonia was the domestication of the red fox, (yagan dog) that probably was their pet or helped them hunting. There are plans to clone this animal and return it to its habitat.
Yamana were monotheistic people, although they believed in spirits and creatures. According to their traditions, when a Yamana dies, they wrap the body in skin and leave on the mainland, where they can never return.
Their language is still not classified and can disappear in the future. However, there are several projects to save it.