About the challenge
Patagonia, Chile’s final frontier, provides some of the most diverse and inspiring scenery on the planet! We trek via glaciers and turquoise-blue lakes to the renowned granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park, the jewel of Patagonia. The countryside is wild and rugged, and our route takes us past wind-carved cliffs and mountains, moorland, forests and rich grasslands, home to wildlife
including wild alpacas and the rare puma.
We cross pure, ice-cold mountain streams and camp in beautiful locations, watching or the graceful condors that wheel in the skies far above us. This is a superb, rewarding challenge for anyone with a sense of adventure and a love for the great outdoors.
Part payment option available on this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|26 Jan 2017||11||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4500||Or||£2000||Book now|
|09 Nov 2017||11||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4500||£2000||Book now|
|01 Feb 2018||11||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4500||£2000||Book now|
|08 Nov 2018||11||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4500||£2000||Book now|
Trek to famed granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park
Awe-inspiring scenery of glaciers, lakes and mountains
Some of the best trekking in South America – all at low altitudes
Day 1-2: Fly to Punta Arenas via Santiago
Day 3-5: Drive to National Park; challenging trekking through valleys and forest, passing lakes and glaciers
Day 6-7: Watch out for condors as we pass distinctive peaks of Cuernos del Paine and uphill to Torres viewpoint
Day 8-11: Depart Park for Puerto Natales; return via Punta Arenas and Santiago to UK
What makes it tough?
Steep hills and very little flat walking
Some exposed terrain with narrow,
rocky paths Stream crossings and
suspension bridges Trek 7-11 hours
each day Camping while trekking
The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transport; internal air tax; camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat); all meals except as specified in the itinerary; and entry to all sites visited as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of porters, guides, cooks and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes if charged by the airline, (capped at £250 by Discover Adventure), three meals as specified, tip for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions, such as the hot springs. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Iberia and LAN airlines, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
When trekking we camp in two-man tents. Campsites vary; some are quiet, remote and quite basic; others are busier with better facilities. At more remote camps the water may be invigoratingly cold! Hotels are 2-3* and comfortable; rooms are twin-share.
All food is included except for meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is excellent and very varied, and will give you plenty of energy. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are.
Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized group in Peru would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, porters, drivers and cooks. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers, cooks and porters do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! See ‘Costs in Peru’ above for a guideline amount; your leader will let you know if there is any change to this guideline. All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.
Vehicles take the group to the start of the trek and pick us up at the end. All luggage, food, water and camping equipment is carried by porters. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. We will provide you with sturdy bags to carry your luggage on trail (the weight limit is 6kg). You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Terrain is very varied, ranging from wide dirt tracks to narrow rock-strewn paths, with some scree-like sections. We walk through forest and moorland, open grassland and over bare rock. Some areas are very exposed, and there are many steep hills. We cross several small streams – many have boulders or planks to help you cross. Larger watercourses have suspension bridges. The level of water depends on recent rainfall! Some sections may be muddy and boggy.
At times our route crosses large rocks and boulders and there is some scrambling. If you are unsteady on your feet you will find trekking poles useful. Much of the time we are trekking up or downhill – there is not much flat! This trek requires a very good level of fitness.
This trek is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance on different types of terrain. We supply you with a thorough training guide on registration.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote mountains where we could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for quickly changing conditions and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Patagonian weather is unpredictable so you must be prepared for all conditions. Rainfall is fairly low, averaging 30-40mm throughout the year. It is often windy in exposed areas, and can be cold at night. Daytime temperatures in the main trekking months range from 10-24°C.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
UK citizens do not require a visa, but must have a ten-year passport valid for the entire duration of your stay. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (including Tetanus); check with your GP for additional travel health advice. There is no malaria risk in Patagonia.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. We actively support several community projects in the areas local to our trips which you can visit on your free day. In Cuzco itself, we have links with a regional hospital and a ‘Children’s House’ project. The latter provides a safe place for young children from poor families, who spend most of their time on the roadside while their mothers eke out a living selling wares on the streets. It also offers support to older children, who spend much of their time when not at school caring for younger siblings. The programme gives these children access to toys, books and crafts, and also teaches them how to cook nutritious meals.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.