I am heading to Patagonia this February and already have permits for the O Trek, but planning to stay down in that area for a few weeks. Does anyone have any hike or trekking suggestions in the Chile side of Patagonia?
We will be backpacking so looking for anything from scenic day hikes to multi night trips. We are doing this on a budget and are very experienced, so not planning to do any guided trips.
Just came to say super jealous and enjoy your trip! O Trek is on my bucket list, can't wait to see your pictures and hear about your trip when you get back!1
Is the O-Trek in Torres Del Paine? Do you know where you're flying in and out of? I would be happy to provide some insight from the time I spent down there, but a little more information in terms of geography would be helpful. Patagonia is a big place!1
@bugglife yup, O Trek is Torres del Paine! So anything in that area would be great or within a few hour drive. We will be traveling all over and there for a few months so location doesn’t really matter. Anything in the Chile part of Patagonia is fair game, just not planning to head into Argentina this trip.0
OK, that's helpful. I did a NOLS trip to Patagonia in 2003, and then stayed afterwards for an additional 3-4 months in 2004, so it's been a while. I spent most of my time in Chile, and I'm pretty sure the trip I did in Torres del Paine was the W trek. Torres del Paine was super beautiful, and Patagonia on the whole was probably the wildest place I've ever visited, but it was also the wettest I've ever been. In the first month (Sept-Oct), we had 4 sunny days. It wasn't raining super hard the entire rest of the time, but we weren't getting any drier.
If I were going to go back, I'd want to go Tierra del Fuego, which has a lot of good trekking opportunities. If you want to go farther north in Chile, you have a lot of options, but if you are driving, you will almost certainly need to drive through Argentina, so it might be worth looking at some options on the west side of Argentina, on the eastern side of the Andes. Just remember, the roads you'll be on will be rough, and going will be slow, so plan accordingly. If staying in Chile is super important, and you don't want to fly, you could have some fun adventures through the fjords on a boat.
I know that's not a ton, but I hope it's helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any additional or specific questions and I'll see what else I can come up with.1
@bugglife thank you! Not opposed to flying at all if it’s worth it. We’re just trying to keep costs down. Will look into Tierra del Fuego though, thanks!0
Super exciting! So jealous you're doing the O trek! Would love to go back down and do one of those longer routes.
We just got back from Patagonia in early November, and it was our first time visiting - and we didn't have a ton of time in Chile, so I don't have a whole lot to offer other than - Puerto Natales is a fabulous little town about an hour away from Torres del Paine park. Lots of great food and lodging in the area. The Mirador las Torres hike is an easy day hike to see the infamous towers - I think there is option to hit that on the O trek though - and you'd likely be able to get a sunrise viewing if you're camping close by in the Chileno campsite. There's a lot of hiking within the park though! I've heard the views from Mirador Condor are supposed to be spectacular. We didn't get to do much due to our limited time frame, but that area was one of my favorites.
Sorry this isn't terribly helpful! Happy to chat more if any specific questions come up!3
Thank you @TightLoopsFly! We're flying to Puerto Natales but haven't booked lodging yet. Any recommendations on where to stay in town?0
I can confirm @bugglife comments that Tierra Del Fuego is incredible and 100% worth the trip. @TightLoopsFly is also correct that Puerto Natales is beautiful and close by. If you decide to go there I can't recommend Cafe Kaiken enough! The owner is also the cook and server and the food is amazing! There's also a fun Gin Distillery called Last Hope that makes a fun night out. We stayed at the YaganHouse Hostel before and after our trek and loved it.
If you decide at the last minute to go to the Argentina side of Patagonia then I highly highly recommend doing the Huemul Circuit! It's the most adventurous backing trip I've ever experienced! And you can spend time in the town of El Chalten which is also amazing. We actually wrote a lot of Patagonia travel information on our website if you're interested. Here's the link: https://operation-adventure.com/patagonia/
Have a great time! Patagonia is truly a gem!2
Hi @skyestoury, Your trip sounds like a great adventure. Great luck. I few years back I soloed the O. It was wonderful. The views were out of the world. I did it in seven days and the comfort level can be adjusted at each campsite/hotel by reserving space or renting gear and carrying less gear. I carried my gear and camped. The weather started sunny and warm and then it snowed the night before crossing the John Gardener Pass and rained at lower elevation the last few days. This section was stunning but as I climbed the snow turned into a life threatening blizzard. The white-out conditions were no joke, especially alone. The steep backside was slippery/muddy due to the snow/rain. Take a hiking pole for sure. The views of Gray Glacier are incredible. I got close enough to appreciate the rugged nature of the ice. As with mountains, the weather can change suddenly. In Patagonia, it can change and be extreme. Expect a lot of wind too. Have fun. That was one of the most scenic hikes I've experienced. Seemed like every photo was publication worthy.1
Thank you both @operationadventure and @jbd1111
We're actually staying at the YaganHouse Hostel for our first couple of nights so glad to hear you liked it! Definitely planning to get to El Chalten too and a friend just recommended the Huemul Circuit too so will check out your blog on it.0