Tony came back from spending almost a month in Patagonia traveling through some extraordinary landscape on the way. Here he gives us his thoughts on his time in the region.
Torres del Paine – What is a Refugio?
The refugios in Torres del Paine allow you access to the mountains so that you can complete the entire W trek without the need to camp. There are 8 refugios in Torres del Paine. Torre Central and Norte, Chileno, Cuernos, Domos Frances, Paine Grande, Grey and Dickson
A map of the Torres del Paine refugios
What is a Refugio?
english translation of REFUGIO: refuge, shelter
swoop definition of REFUGIO: warm, friendly, convivial places with shared dorm-style rooms for 6 people, and hot meals and showers. The accommodation is basic but comfortable
You will find a communal dining room…
……and 6 person dorms.
And some refugios have an area to hang out.
Your bedding and meals are provided so you only need to carry your trekking clothes, a change of clothing and personal belongings. More on what to pack here.
What will you eat in a refugio?
Refugios provide you with dinner, breakfast and give you a packed lunch.
Each refugio has a small shop selling snacks and a bar with beer, wine and of course pisco sours.
Top Tips for Staying in Refugios
We highly recommend you upgrade to a cabin at Refugio Cuernos to get some privacy, bathe in the hot tubs and because Refugio Cuernos does get very crowded.
Don’t forget to take a lightweight travel towel so you can use the hot showers and a headtorch for night time toilet trips.
The food is not very inspirational so take some trail mix from the Unimarc supermarket in Puerto Natales and grab some avocados to make your sandwiches a little more tantalising.
Wifi is only available occasionally at Paine Grande Refugio and in Hotel Las Torres (a short walk from Refugio Las Torres). There is almost no phone signal in the park.
The showers sometimes run out of hot water so you may want to wait until after dinner.
If you would like some privacy then why not camp at a refugio? They will provide you with tent, sleeping bag and mat and you can shower and eat your meals inside the refugio.
Have some privacy for a night at the Cuernos Cabins
While on her recent trip to Patagonia, Swoop’s Sally Dodge went on a kayaking expedition in the Northern fjords. Here she gives her day by day account of her experiences and gives her tips for people who are interested in doing the same.
There are two main eco yurt camps in Torres del Paine: Patagonia Camp and EcoCamp. On the face of it, the two are very alike, in that they both provide yurt/ dome accommodation from where you can explore the national park on day excursions of your choice.
There are a few subtle differences however that are useful to know before making a decision, in order to make sure you to get what you want out of your trip. Hopefully the below will help you to decide which one is for you…
Often people find themselves with just a day or half day to spare in Ushuaia between treks, cruises or other activities, so Swoop has compiled this list of suggestions for things to do whilst you’re there. If you’re planning to spend longer than a day or two in the region the region (perhaps on an Antarctic or Tierra […]