Patagonia has incredible scenery with numerous mountains, aquamarine lakes and wildlife second to none so trekking is definitely a popular activity in both Chile and Argentina, the two countries that share the region. If you want to have a great experience trekking in Torres Del Paine, see the Andean condor or the guanaco herds and have the time of your life, here are some tips that you have to remember.
Summer Is Not Necessarily What You Expect
Most of the visitors are going to trek in the area between the months of December and February. Because of getting away from the winter present in the northern areas there are many tourists that under-pack. You should know that at Gardner Pass it is always possible to see snowfall. In Torres del Paine it is much more common than what you may think to see 4 seasons present in just one day. Be sure that you take clothes that are waterproof, hats and thermal clothes with you. Do not take cotton clothes or shorts as you would not be comfortable, especially when going through the numerous thorny bushes.
Do Not Rush!
The summer days are really long in Patagonia, with around 17 hours of full daylight. This means that you have time to do so much more than just hike. It is always a good idea to also consider the following:
- Look For Wildlife – In forests try to find the Austral woodpeckers and look up in the sky to see some condors between Mountain Lodge Paine Grande and Glacier Grey.
- Enjoy The Views – Do plan to spend some time at Glacier Gray to enjoy the views as they are incredible. In fact, regularly stop in higher areas to fully enjoy all the views and have your camera on hand.
Let The Other Groups Go First
Torres Del Paine is a huge attraction in South America so there will be many visitors, especially in the months of January or February. Being faced with an overcrowded dinner at stops or not having space to enjoy the views is much more common than you may think. This is why you do want to adapt your schedule and leave a little later. The bigger groups should go first and you want to take some off-hour breaks in spots that are less obvious. During summer you have a lot of time to do this so why not take advantage of such a possibility?
Be Prepared For Really Strong Wind
The Patagonian wind is really strong and can actually lift you from the ground. There are many trekking poles that are added to keep people glued to the ground but such additions are not available in all areas. You need to be careful with your pack covers as they can be blown away and you want to use all inside your tent and the tent secured when you hike.
Be Careful With Batteries
Most people are surprised to see how fast the camera and phone batteries are draining and the truth is this almost always happens because people lose sight of what is happening, seduced by the surroundings. You have to be ready with backup batteries and do not rely on refugios as they have a limited generator power. The best thing that you can do is to take small solar chargers with you or some power banks.