Here’s what you need
- 1 soft duffel bag (no hard frame or wheeled suitcases or bags). These will hold extra clothing that you will bring for kayaking and will be transferred to camp directly from Puerto Natales.
- 1 backpack which you will trek in every day, 45-60 L is ideal.
- 1 sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees fahrenheit
- Pair of trekking poles
- Head lamp with extra batteries and extra light bulb
- 3 one–liter water bottles, or equivalent hydration bladder for your pack
- Sunscreen. Highest possible SPF rating
- Personal first aid kit with blister bandaids, kleenex, etc
- Small, quick dry towel
- Sunscreen and lip ointment
- Camera with plenty of memory and extra batteries
- Current converter and outlet adapter
- Flora/fauna field guide
- Leisure reading
- 2 Merino wool or polypro mid–weight long sleeve shirts (long enough to tuck in; snug fit and zip neck is best).
- 2 Merino wool or polypro T shirts
- 2 Cotton T shirts for nights at the refuges
- 2 pair Hiking shorts
- 2 pair Hiking pants
- 2 pair quick drying long underwear (merino wool or polypro mid–weight)
- Waterproof shell pants made with Goretex or similar, to repel water but let the body breathe
- 1 pair polar fleece pants for relaxing around camp
- 1 pair leg gaiters
- 1 pair socks for each day; 9 pair mid–weight. Wool or wool/synthetic are best.
- 1 pair underwear per day
- 1 warm fleece or softshell jacket
- 1 waterproof Gore-tex rain shell jacket
- 2 pair windproof, lightweight gloves
- 1 warm hat
- 1 sun hat
- 1 pair trekking boots (medium weight, waterproof)
- 1 pair comfortable tennis shoes or tevas for around camp
- 1 pair wrap–around, UV–blocking sunglasses
- Transport between airport and hotel
- All park and camp fees
- Tents and sleeping pads
- All ground transportation, beginning and ending with airport arrival and departure
- Services of licensed, experienced, English-speaking trail and kayaking guides
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Does not Include
- International Airfare
- Travel Insurance
- Some meals before and after trek
- Tips for your guides
- Personal gear or clothing
Three meals a day are provided, including delicious vegetarian options. We provide a plethora of foods to permit tasty and varied meals. Breakfasts include foods such as eggs, sausage, toast or pancakes, hot cereal, fruit and juice, tea and coffee. Lunch will include sandwiches, juice and various snacks to keep your energy up while on the trail. Dinners will include meat dishes of beef, chicken or fish, fresh vegetable dishes, pasta, rice, potatoes, homemade soups, fresh fruits, desserts, juice, tea, coffee.
Landing at Punta Arenas
Upon your landing at Punta Arenas, you will need to pay for your Chilean visa. Please have US $140 on hand for this. From customs, claim any bags you have checked and proceed toward the airport exit. Look for a sign with your name on it: your Discover Outdoors guide will meet you here and transport to your hostal in Puerto Natales.
We recommend that you plan your itinerary so that you land no later than 5:00 PM on the first day. If you plan to arrive prior to the first day, we can help you arrange public transport to Puerto Natales (there are additional transport fees). Your departing flight should leave on the evening of the final day. Please forward your flight itinerary to [email protected].
A valid passport, along with evidence of return or onward flight, is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Chile. A tourist card will be given at the airport.
Patagonia is generally a safe and pleasant place but as with any destination, it’s important to be aware of possible hazards. Violent crime is almost unheard of in the regions we visit. In the rare instances crime does occur, it is usually petty theft; to limit your susceptibility, we suggest you always travel with at least one other person when going out, and that you avoid flaunting jewelry, cameras, expensive watches and other items that may be tempting to a thief.
The standard unit of currency in Chilean-Patagonia is the Chilean-Peso. This is different from the Argentine-Peso and the Mexican-Peso. As of September, 2015, $1 US is the equivalent to 692 Chilean-Peso’s. The Chilean-Peso can fluctuate, however, so we suggest you check the online Universal Currency Converter or with your bank for the most up-to-date information close to the time of your departure. Credit cards are accepted throughout Chile including the town of Puerto Natales. ATM’s are also available. We recommend bringing at least $500 for spending and $200 for tips (this includes Torres del Paine trek, kayaking and horseback riding tips).
Puerto Natales is in the Chilean Standard Time Zone.
To call Puerto Natales from the United States, dial 011 (America’s international access code) +56 (Chile’s country code) + the city code (61 in Puerto Natales) + the local number. To place an international call from Puerto Natales, first dial 00 (the international access code) and the appropriate country code. To call the United States, dial 00 + 1 (the U.S. country code) + area code + local number.
The electricity in Puerto Natales is 220 volts and the plugs have two round pins, like those in Europe. An international adaptor is needed for all other types of plug.
Weather in Patagonia is a very important factor to consider. Remember that strong winds, rains and snow characterize this region. While it is summertime when we visit, the temperatures could be 80 degrees one day, and then quickly drop into the 50’s the following day with a storm. Winds blow from the northeast and the Pacific, crossing the southern Patagonian ice fields to rapidly form clouds that can result in nasty storms. We often travel under clear skies with great sunny weather, however you need to be prepared for quick changes in temperature as well as flash rain and wind storms.
In Puerto Natales, we will stay at Hotel Natalino, a clean, comfortable and environmentally conscious lodge. While trekking, we will stay warm and dry at night with refugio (lodge) accommodations and camping on January 1 (tents provided - double-occupancy). The refugios have showers with bunks that accommodate 4-8 people per room.
On the Trail
In your packs, you will carry your sleeping bag, clothing, camera, lunch, water and sunscreen. The weather in Patagonia is extremely variable and impossible to predict, therefore, you should always be prepared for wet and windy days.
We will be hiking and doing activities for nine days straight, which means that your endurance should be high and your recovery time should be minimal. Engaging in as many long, hard hikes as possible is a great way to prepare for your trek.
You will need your routine vaccinations to be current, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. If you have motion or seasickness, we would suggest talking with your doctor about prescribing medication for this as well.
For more specific information on health precautions consult a travel medicine doctor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This trip is ideal for adventurers who want to explore new trails, new cultures and who enjoy the hiking in the mountains. We recommend this trip for participants who have a moderate level of fitness. Those new to hiking are welcome to inquire. Our DO staff will give you tips for training so you can maximize your enjoyment on the trail.