At the Southern tip of the Andes in Chile lies Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most incredible sights in South America. The popular tourist destination also happens to be home to some of the world’s most classic trekking routes. The park is located in Chile’s southernmost and largest region, Magellanes and Chilean Antarctica, where the main economic activities are sheep farming, oil extraction and tourism.
The national park is a spectacular place encompassing ancient forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and wildlife such as guanacos, foxes, pumas, and a colorful array of birds. The park draws in approximately 100,000 visitors each year who visit the Paine Towers, Los Cuernos, French Valley and Grey Glacier.
Torres del Paine is also world-renowned for their hiking and trekking, with the most popular route being the W Circuit. It’s an excellent 4-5 day hiking opportunity to adventure through the park’s many highlights. While hiking along the well-traveled W Circuit, you will see some of the most jaw-dropping Patagonian scenery while feeling like a part of your surroundings.
Before blazing that trail, however, some preparation is needed. So if you’re in the midst of planning your trip and find yourself wondering what to pack for Torres del Paine, then we have you covered!
Read on to make sure you have everything you need and are ready to go! As with any destination, to properly pack for any trip, you must first research the weather and terrain. Torres del Paine is tricky because it is as unpredictable as it is stunning.
The Torres del Paine National Park opens up for trekking in late spring, summer and early fall. During these seasons, be prepared for dramatic climate changes; one day you might experience warm and beautiful sunshine, significant temperature drops, extremely strong winds, heavy rain, storms, snow, you name it. Although it is unlikely that the temps will drop below freezing, it’s very important to have clothes suitable for all seasons – so be sure to practice the art of layering!
Of course you’ll need comfortable, waterproof, good-quality trekking boots with durable soles. Pro tip: make sure your boots are not brand new and if they are, break them in before the trek as much as you possibly can! Another tip: try to pack lightly, and within your backpack, organize your clothes and gear with plastic/waterproof bags. So take a look at our checklist below to get you started and feel free to let us know if we left anything off the list!
What to Pack for Torres del Paine – The Ultimate Checklist (or watch this video!)
- Trekking Backpack (big enough to fit everything)
- Waterproof backpack cover
- Hiking pants: roll up/zip-up
- Running shorts
- Yoga pants or athletic thermal tights
- Lightweight hoodie
- Long sleeve thermal shirt
- Quick-dry button-up shirt
- Lightweight t-shirts or tanktops
- Thermal underwear
- Quick dry socks suitable for hiking.
- Quick dry travel towel
- Hats (a cold-weather beanie and a sun/rain hat)
- Wind-resistant gloves
- Wind-resistant fleece jacket
- Rain jacket/outer shell
- Broken-in hiking boots (waterproof recommended)
- Sunglasses with UV Filter
- Water bottle
- Sun block with + 30 UV Filter
- Wallet/traveling purse
- Garbage bags
- Power snacks
- First aid kit
- Camera (obviously!)
- Good tent (winds can be very strong)
- Winter sleeping bag
- Thermal insulated mat for the floor.
- LED Flashlight / Headlamp and batteries
- Personal toiletries (pack up in small bottles just for the days your trekking, Refugio Grey and Refugio Cuernos have shower facilitites)
- Extra memory cards and batteries and charger
- If you want to cook: stove, gas, food, plates, cups, spoons. It is very likely that campsites have a food shelf, and there are also shops at Refugio Grey, Refugio Paine Grande, although the rest of Refugios have a more limited stock. Plan ahead.
- *You can always rent camping gear at the park – but you can also bring your own gear