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We had a pretty amazing trip. Everything was very well organized and on time and the places to see were incredible! We did not speak any Spanish but that was not a problem at all.
The Park itself is inspiring - snow and ice glacier capped peaks soaring 10,000 feet high. Two large lakes with a deep blue color from the minerals in the peaks that seep in water in picture shown above is a much lighter color than what we saw. A few waterfalls with an impressive flow of water and mist, though they are not huge. Delightful Guide informed us of no fish in the lakes because of the minerals, Strangely I thought, there are pink flamingos in one of the lakes - apparently a different breed than what you encounter in the Caribbean. Lots of local wildlife around, especially the guanicos, the living ancestor but wool less of the llamas. The Guide took us through a hike in the park which lasted a little more than an hour. Not too difficult, but bring shoes that are suitable for walking on a trial with lots of little rocks.
The catch? A long, mostly boring ride from El Calafate, with at 1 1/2 hour or more stop each way because you must go through two sets of customs Argentina and Chile. Some people got off in the park and were either camping for the night or had reservations at one of the bungalows or hotel I would likely do this if I returned. Next day bus seems to drive people back, but check with the tour company.
This tour is an absolute MUST-DO for anyone who cannot spend more than a day in Torres del Paine. Our guide and driver were great and the Park is beyond words - it truly is a WONDER of the world. Plenty of photo stops were included as well as a nice lunch stop at the water falls. The provided lunch was good as well. Our guide did the entire day in both English and Spanish and provided plenty of commentary - a highlight was the geological demonstration on the beach to explain how the mountains were formed. It was very, very windy and I was very glad for the good shoes and hat and gloves I wore.
Be warned, however, that it is a long day: our pick up was before 7 and we got back to the hotel at 10 pm. Access to restrooms are few and far between all day. Even though we had an early pick up from our hotel, I regretted drinking coffee at breakfast. The bus was comfortable but did not have a toilet and toilets are available until you clear into Chile..... HOURS later.
Our daughter took the tour with us but did not ride back to El Calafate, this gave us the day with her before she started her trekking in the Park. Two others also didn't make the ride back to be able trek and our guide was especially accommodating to those three, even suggesting and arranging for their luggage to be left at the ranger station and letting them off at a trail that led back to the ranger station and their back-packs.
All and all it was a great day. The tour was run by very hard working professionals. I am very glad we didn't rent a car and attempt make to the drive ourselves, the roads are too rugged we would have missed a lot.
Excellent tour. Well worth the money.
My daughter and I took the 13-day best of Patagonia tour with additional activities like the kayak tour in La Leona River and Walking with the Penguins at Martillo Island. Patagonia is an amazing place and the way Viator set up the trip was excellent. On our arrival, representative from Huellas Del Sur, met us at the airport and oriented us to the town and explained what to expect. Having all the hotels and the major visiting sites arranged by Viator, gave us more time to discover the towns and hike the trails we wanted to and tried numerous good restaurants and excellent Malbec wine all along. Highly recommend to anybody who loves nature and wants to see some of the most beautiful landscape of the world!
Not a good experience, and it is not because of the Park itself...It is just too far from El Calafate and despite starting the tour at 7am we only got past the park entrance around 3pm!!! It is a long drive, and that was expected, but what was a shock is the amount if time we spend on the borders. It took at least 2 hours to get out of Argentinian border processing post, the border control has just 1 person processing busloads of travellers! There was not even a toilet there and we were on the road for 3 hours at least to get there so it was a nightmare, and half of the waiting time was spent queuing outside of the building in fhe blistering cold wind. Then another long wait to be processed on the Chilean side. We only spent 2.5 hours inside the park, all viewing was very rushed and the guides were clearly focused in getting in and out as qu ckly as possible. On the way back had to go through the repeat of both waiting for Chilean border control and then Argentinian... The lunch provided invluded the snacks and sandwich but didn't had a chance to get a cup of coffee or tea until 6.30pm. We finally got back to El Calafate about 11.30pm, very very tired, hungry no food since lunch abd completely dissatisfied with the few hours we spend in the park. Also my booking stated the park fee will be about US 25 but the guides took us to the exchange counter and told we need to pay 700 argentine pesos to get the equivalent of 21000 chilean pesos for park fees. Everyone who only had argentine money had to exchange 700 arg. pesos, but I checked now and we would only need to exchange 500 arg. pesos at the current exchange rate. The guides obviously knew it and the difference of 200 pesos is quite big to be considered just the fluctuation of exchange rate, so I feel very cheated by this tour company. Not sure who gets the extra cash we paid but clearly not the national park. Dont bother with this tour, there are much better options to spend your time and money in El Calafate.
A great day out from El Calafate. Be prepared - it is a long day as you have to cross borders, go through passport control and customs. But it's worth it to catch a glimpse at the famous Torres del Paine National Park. We had quite a bit of rain and fog on the day itself, but that didn't deter us from having a good time. The drive there and back, although long, was beautiful - you soak in all the scenery Patagonia has to offer and drive by a variety of animals such as guanacos, skunks, rheas, sheep, horses and rabbits. A fun day!
This was the best tour ever. Amazing scenery and highly recommended
Although a long driving the places visited are amazing. Just hope for clear weather, we didn't have it on the day of the tour but still enjoyed it
Your entire trip depends on the border crossing at Chile. Hit or miss, expect to spend at least 1-2 hours at the crossing. Unfortunately you spend more time driving then seeing the views. You get herded from view point to view point for 10 minutes at a time. No one denies the views are spectacular however for that price there should have been more offered, and a more formal lunch instead of a boxed sandwich. I highly recommend doing this trip however it may be best done on your own
Torres del Paine is a must-see if you possibly can. The journey there and back from El Calafate is long but worth it if you can only spend a day on Torrest del Paine. We would gladly return and spend a week there! Fantastic scenery, and we only saw a small amount of it.
you spend a lot of time in the car and at the borders, but it's worth it if you only have a day to get to torres del paine. i'll definitely be going back!
amazing tour, breath taking views.special 4x4 bus like vehicle. short trekking is the best way to appreciate the wonderful nature.
This tour was definitely for an independent traveler we loved that some of it was left up to our schedule. Most of the rooms were great...beds and water pressure were great. WiFi connections were good. Would recommend it we had a great time.
We had a wonderful tour in Patagonia, visiting the glaciers and Torrs del Paine National Park. Special thanks to Nadia in Puerto Natales for sorting out all our requirements. Hotel Costaustralis was undergoing refurbishment so was a tad noisy and breakfast was inconsistent, but otherwise a well organised trip,
outstanding - what a ride
c matthews United States of ...
This hike is amazing! I highly recommend it. Make sure you bring layered clothing that you can easily remove as you will need less during certain parts.
We decided to book this tour after researching numerous different options. It seemed like it would provide a challenging days walking aimed at those with a good level of fitness and would make the most of our one day in Torres del Paine. However we found the pace slow with many breaks taken, not always in the most scenic of spots which is an accomplishment in such a beautiful natural park! Our guide walked mainly right at the back of the group, sometimes on her own and spoke to us twice. The first time was to tell us the rough route and the second time was a quick explanation of who had first climber the towers. It would have been nice to have had more information on the local history, wildlife and plants which is what I would expect from a professional guide. We ended the trek feeling disappointed and as though we had paid for a transfer and for a lady to come for a walk with us in silence.
For anyone traveling to southern Patagonia, seeing the Perito Moreno Glacier is a must!
Loved the hike even though it was slightly hard, the guide and driver were absolutely profesional and nice.
I would like to spend a little bit more time on Base Torres though.
Bring your pair of poles/sticks rented in the Puerto Natales square by 2000 chilean pesos , they have some you can borrow, but just 1 for some people. If you are an amateur hiker you will need it.
Driver and guide were excellent--very helpful and friendly. Torres del Paine was unbelievably beautiful, even though it was a long tour I definitely plan on doing it again. Wear layers and watch out for that wind!
An amazing day. Highlight of our month in Chile. But we were surprised that it appeared to be run by another company who seemed to be charging considerably less than we paid. It was great to have the opportunity of booking while still in England but we probably paid far too much.
The guide was excellent, so knowledgeable when it came to the geology of the area.
Lunch wasn't merely good but a feast!
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