Things you Must do in Torres del Paine National Park
Hike the W Circuit: Bus to Visitors Centre/Administration, hike via Campamento Las Carretas to Refugio Paine Grande (17.5 km), sleep first night there, Hike to Refugio Grey or Campamento Las Guardas (beautiful view of Grey Glacier) and back to Refugio Paine Grande (15 km), sleep at Refugio Paine Grande, hike to Campamento Italiano (7.6 km), sleep there, hike to Campamento Britanico and the Mirador of Vallé Frances (beautiful view on the snow-covered summits) and back (15 km), sleep at Campamento Italiano, hike to Hosteria Las Torres (16.5 km), sleep there, hike to Campamento Torres and Mirador Torres (beautiful view of the three torres) and back (10 km). Minibus to the Laguna Amarga park gate.
Hike the Big Circuit: with the connection of the two ends of the W via Campamento los Perros, Refugio Dickson, Campamento Seron.
Daytour: Drop off at Administration, Mirador Condor, Salto Grande, Mirador Cuernos, Mirador del Nordenskjold. Catch the bus at Laguna Amarga Gate.
Daytour: Drop off at Laguna Amarga Gate, Minibus to Hosteria Las Torres, hike to Campamento Torres and Mirador Torres and back (10 km). Minibus to the Laguna Amarga park gate.
Daytour: Drop off at Pudeto, by boat to Refugio Paine Grande, back by boat. Sightseeing tour by boat on lago Grey to the Grey glacier.
For this season there will be no more ice hiking it will be available again on 2011.
Although it is possible to follow the well-marked trails through the Torres del Paine National Park without assistance, the experience is greatly enhanced by joining a guided tour. The guide will point out and name flora and fauna along the way, as well as making side detours to points of interest that the casual traveler might miss. The biggest advantage is that all equipment, such as tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, crampons for walking on ice and luggage transfers, are all provided by the tour companies.
Chile Tours Web runs a one-day private driving tour into the park from Puerto Natales, including a picnic and an easy walk through the ancient beech forest. It also offers a two-day trek or a two-day combined boat trip to the Last Hope Sound to view the glaciers, followed by a trek through the park. Compa Turismo Web and MaraPatagonia Web also offer one-day tours for the time-pressed traveler, at a more competitive price.
Most companies run longer tours into the Torres del Paine National Park and these are generally between 5 to 7 days' duration. Go South Adventures, Adventure Life, Expediciones Chile, Antares Patagonia Adventure, Vaya Adventures, Chile Nativo and Marapatagonia all run comprehensive tours with local knowledgeable guides, many of them following the famous "W" circuit, and including a cruise up the Serrano River or along one of the fiords.
Depending on the tour, accommodations are provided in tents (either in an organized camp with all facilities, including hot showers, or in the wild with pit latrines), in the park's refugios listed above, or in lodges or remote mountain inns.
Other activities offered on guided tours include fly-fishing, kayaking through the fiords and channels, or ice hiking.