Winter Torres del paine
Torres del Paine in winter is a rare opportunity to experience this beautiful national park when there are very few people around. The days are obviously shorter and the temperatures colder, but surprisingly the wind really drops down over the winter months and you are more likely to see clear skies and fantastic autumn colours.
Services in and around the park are reduced in winter, which means each season local guides and operators revise their winter programmes, taking into account the likelyhood of snow and ice on the ground and the cold (temperatures can drop to minus 2 during the day). These programmes allow you to hike with confidence knowing that you won't get caught out in bad weather.
Winter Highlights of Torres del Paine
Escape the crowds and enjoy Torres del Paine in winter, staying in comfortable accommodation and seeing some of the top viewpoints; Pingo Valley, Glacier ...More details
5-Day Winter Adventure in Torres del Paine
A fantastic way to see Torres del Paine's top 3 valleys during Patagonia's winter, when you'll almost have the park to yourself. You'll be ...More details
Customer reviews: winter in Paine
Thomas visited Torres del Paine in July 2013: I loved my time in the park! The itinerary was great, Swoop was great, thanks again for helping me have such an amazing experience in Patagonia. Read Thomas' review.
(Photos at the top of this page are courtesy of Thomas!)
Helen and Hamish vistited in July 2013: The highlight of our South American trip was definitely Patagonia! We were both very happy with the personnel and running of the trek and if anything, wished it had been longer. Many thanks to Swoop for timely and supportive help with organising everything! Read Helen's review.
Mitch and his family visited in June 2013: Each day brought a different hike and ever changing views to be in awe of. Thanks again for all of your help, Our family had an absolutely outstanding trip! Read Mitch's review.
Suhel visited in June 2013: Swoop were quite simply fantastic! Everyone went the extra mile to support me in planning and making this trip happen. Torres del Paine looked absolutely beautiful in the snow. Read Suhel's review.
Alex visited Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy in May 2013: Provided you are OK to spend the night in somewhat crisp temperatures (frankly, it’s actually fine), the winter has a number of advantages. There was a great mix of outdoors, physical activity and superb views. Read Alex's review.
'Trek the main valleys of the W Circuit including Ascencio Valley up to the stunning granite 'Torres', hike into beautiful French Valley and see Glacier Grey in all its glory. The trip tries to stay as close to the original W Circuit as possible, using Refugio Paine Grande as a base and a local Chilean guide to take care of your safety and give you a remote and adventurous experience of the park.'
Provisional departure date set for 29th May - looking for others to join the group. Please enquire for more details.
Planned departure date 15th June, but date still flexible. Please enquire for more details.
Planned departure date 10th July, but date still flexible. Please enquire for more details.
Planned departure date 2nd July. Please enquire for more details.
Departure date: TBC.
Please enquire with your preferred dates.
1) Bus transport services are reduced as fewer people are going to the park.
2) Most refugios in the park are closed which generally leaves 2 options: camping or staying in the more expensive accommodation. However, this winter Refugio Paine Grande is the only refugio that willl be open offering basic lodging: beds but probably no heating and no hot water.
3) Tours are generally more expensive. It's very difficult for operators to organise small group tours in winter with fewer visitors to the park and most people want to stay somewhere warm rather than camp or stay at Refugio Paine Grande. This means trips for 1 or 2 people are less economical for the operator to run.
4) Most luxury lodges are closed. Luxury lodges usually close in late April due to the decrease in demand. Explora Salto Chico, one of the few which remains open throughout the winter, will be closed for refurbishment during June and July 2013 but open in May and August. if you'd like to consider some alternative luxury options, please get in touch.
To see hiking trips available in Patagonian summer (Nov-Mar), vist our Trekking Torres del Paine page.
Winter Customer Review
'Overall a great mix of outdoors, physical activity & superb views'
Read Alex's review of hiking in Torres del Paine the operators and the logistics in the height of winter.
When are you
thinking of going?
See Patagonia at the height of the season, when you'll have 18 hours of daylight and feel Patagonia's infamous wind at its strongest. There are just so many options open to you in addition to hiking, why not try glacier trekking, mountain biking and white water rafting on the rapids of the Futaleufu River?
If you want to visit last minute, the key is moving quickly and booking your flights. Availability in Chalten shouldn't be too difficult but in Torres del Paine it's likely that refugios will be fully booked. Don't worry though, it's warm enough to camp under the stars. If you're still in the planning stages of your trip but hope to go this season, it's a good idea to get flights booked as early as possible and make the most of Patagonia's summer before autumn sets in April.
February is a great time to trek Patagonia's national parks, in particular Torres del Paine quietens down as Chilean visitors head back to their cities. In Feb you can expect temperatures of between 5 and 19 degrees in Torres del Paine, and this could be a good time to trek the W Circuit independently if you want to save some money to go kayaking for example.
If you want to go in February but you've left it last minute, you may be able to find a late deal on our Exclusive Deals page. Your best bet is finding a Patagonia Tours which tend to have lots of departure dates to join during February.
If you're considering visiting next season, (starting in October), why not getting your flights booked good and early? If you're lucky you may be able to get flights from London to Punta Arenas for £850.
March is the tail end of the season for adventure in Patagonia so the infamous Patagonian wind will be on its way out, there'll be fewer people in the national parks so generally quieter on the trails. This is great as you may find prices come down slightly as the locals and tourists leave, but it's more difficult to get a group together, so could be harder if you're travelling alone (although we'll strive to pair you up with someone). However, most longer, multi-location trips run by our global operator partners still run in March and they tend to have bigger groups, but prepare for rain if your trip visits the lake district!
In April the season is coming to an end, so try to get there in the first half of the month for more availability and better weather conditions. If you're hoping to stay in the Eco Camp in Torres del Paine or do an adventure cruise round Cape Horn, they finish for the season in early April, so get going! Luckily it's about this time that skiing in Bariloche becomes available in the Argentinian Lake District. Remember that many mountain lodges and estancias close around this time making it hard to do the W or Full Circuit for example. Plus certain services become unavailable such as the catamaran across Lago Pehoe in Torres del Paine and glacier hiking, so it may be a good idea to go earlier in the season if these are on your list of things to do.
Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>
Winter is getting into full swing now so you may want to try out volcano skiing in the Patagonian Lake District or tailor made tours that take into account the potentially difficult weather conditions. As many operators and lodges wind down for the winter, fewer travellers visit the trails and parks so private departures on most trips are likely. The weather will be a bit like trekking in wales in Dec, are you up for that challenge?
Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>
At this time of year, the snow is starting to settle in Torres del Paine National Park and the trees are brown and orange, a very beautiful time to see the highlights. June is also when operators launch their Winter W Circuit and Fitz Roy trips, which vary from the usual itineraries as many refugios are closed and van transfers are required because the catamaran across Lago Pehoe stops. Although days are short and weather temperamental, if you can see Patagonia in winter, it will be serene and picturesque.
Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>
Mid winter, July is equivalent to our January in terms of weather. This is a great time to take advantage of the skiing Patagonia has to offer, particularly in the Chilean and Argentinian Lake Districts. Araucania offers off piste skiing, whereas Bariloche is home to the popular Cerro Catedral Resort but also caters for off piste skiing. For adrenaline junkies, you can ski down the slopes of several volcanoes on certain trips. If you're planning a trip for next season, start looking at flights as the sooner you book them, the cheaper they are.
If you hope to visit Torres del Paine this month, find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>
This is a great time for snow shoeing in Bariloche, or skiing in the Patagonian Lake District. There are also some winter trips in the Torres del Paine & Fitz Roy areas. Come prepared - cold temperatures, snow and short days means that your trip may not go 100% according to plan, Chalten is known for snow blocking the roads for a day or 2. Alternatively, August is a great time to plan and book trips for the early part of the season ahead, at this time operators will be starting to release availability and rates to help with that.
August is the last month to take advantage of specially designed winter trips in Torres del Paine. If you're keen to see the park covered in snow, find out more about hiking in Torres del Paine in winter >>
In September, it's still pretty chilly in Patagonia, with snow and temperatures of 5 degrees in El Calafate for example. If you're hoping to trek the main national parks, you may find that operators don't have any groups heading out, so you may have to go on a private trip with just your guide. The season really kicks off at the end of September/beginning of October with W Circuit and Full Circuit trips as well as estancias and lodges opening their doors to clients.
However, winter trips are still running in Torres del Paine. Find out more here >>
Get in before the crowds - you won't see many people on the W Circuit and you'll have the northern part of the park pretty much to yourself on the Full Circuit (you may even come face to face with the endangered Huemul deer). It's still a bit too early for horse riding and rafting trips, you're best off doing these from November onwards. So if you're thinking about visiting Patagonia this season, get your flights and trips booked, as availability really starts to tighten up over October/November.
November is a good time to visit: late spring/early summer. Not too busy but a full range of trips and itineraries to choose from. If you want to visit this month, you need to move fast. Refugios are getting booked up until January, but the operator will work hard to fit you in. Don't forget it takes at least a week to organise a tour, so don't leave it too late!
Mid summer, 18 hours of daylight and there will probably be days when you're hiking in shorts and t-shirt. Many Chileans and Argentinians will come down to Patagonia for their Christmas break so availability may be tight and you should expect the National Parks to be busier.
It's essential that you get your flights and tours booked asap, as flight prices are also increasing.
Info - Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine is one of the world's great trekking destinations
Read our guides to:
- Torres del Paine National Park
- Getting to Torres del Paine
- Torres del Paine Map
- Torres del Paine from Calafate
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