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  • Writer's pictureDave Jackson

Torres del Paine campsite reservations | W Trek & O Circuit itineraries

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Taking on the O Circuit or the W Trek in the Torres del Paine some would say is a challenge of a lifetime; partly because hiking that length with a heavy pack is tough but also because you need the patience of a saint to get through the online gauntlet of booking of the Torres del Paine campsites!


Some would say the new booking website that CONAF recommends, Booking Patagonia, has solved the old problem;

"completing the online booking for the Torres del Paine campsite reservations is a nightmare"

I will admit it is a bit easier than taking on the stress of Vertice's but any real budget backpacker wouldn't do that as they charge 15%!!


Paine Grande camp site and view of mountains behind
Paine Grande camp site
 

Table of Contents

 

Sample Torres del Paine Itineraries


First things first, before there is any point tackling the Torres del Paine campsite reservations booking websites you need to decide which campsites would be best to stay at.


Due to the fact that all of the free CONAF sites are currently closed in the Torres del Paine National Park, & with dates to re-open, all of the below itineraries are based on solely staying in the private campsites ran by Los Torres & Vertice. One popular alternative route you may come across online on some of the older blogs includes Paso (one of the free CONAF sites) instead of Los Perros. Vertice now insist you book at least 3 sites with them (all on consecutive nights) if you are doing the O Circuit, within the 3 sites Los Perros is manditory. This pretty much makes Paso redundant, even if it was open.


First & foremost my recommended itinerary for doing the O Circuit would be the "Classic 8 day from Central" & for hiking the W Trek itinerary would be the "Classic 5 day W Trek, West to East". Both itineraries spread the distances best & also save the highlight of seeing the Las Torres until the end.


The itineraries give you a few options to consider but if you are going to make changes you should take into account:

  • The O Circuit must be walked anti-clockwise

  • There is a minimum 3 camp booking with Vertice when doing the O Circuit

  • It is mandatory to book into Los Perros when walking the O Circuit

  • Quick swaps without messing too much with the itinerary are; if Frances is full try Cuernos, & if Chileno is full try Central.


W Trek, Torres del Paine Itineraries


Classic 5 day W Trek, West to East - RECOMMENDED

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Pudeto, then Catamaran to Paine Grande before walking to Camping Grey.

Hiking distance: 10.79km

Day 2: Camping Grey to Paine Grande (via Grey Glacier lookout & swing bridges).

Hiking distance: 17.22km

Day 3: Paine Grande to Camping Frances (via Mirador Britanico).

Hiking distance: 22.2km

Day 4: Camping Frances to Chileno.

Hiking distance: 16.4km

Day 5: Chileno, hike to Base Las Torres then to the Central to get the buses back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 15.4km

See W Trek west to east, AllTrails maps for details on altitudes & difficulties


4 day W Trek, West to East

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Pudeto, then Catamaran to Paine Grande before walking to Camping Grey. (via Grey Glacier lookout & swing bridges).

Hiking distance: 17.22km

Day 2: Camping Grey to Camping Frances (via Mirador Britanico).

Hiking distance: 33.3km

Day 3: Camping Frances to Chileno.

Hiking distance: 16.4km

Day 4: Chileno, hike to Base Las Torres then to the Central to get the buses back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 15.4km


Classic 5 day W Trek, East to West

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amagara, then shuttle to Las Torres Hotel (Welcome Centre). Hike to Chileno, then hike hike to Base Las Torres.

Hiking distance: 15.4km

Day 2: Chileno to Frances.

Hiking distance: 16.4km

Day 3: Frances to Paine Grande (via Mirador Britanico)

Hiking distance: 22.2km

Day 4: Paine Grande to Grey (then up to Grey lookout & swing bridges)

Hiking distance: 17.22km

Day 5: Grey to Paine Grande, take the catamaran to Pudeto before the bus back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 11.1km

See W Trek east to west, AllTrails maps for details on altitudes & difficulties


4 day W Trek, East to West

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amagara, then shuttle to Las Torres Hotel (Welcome Centre). Hike to Chileno, then hike to Base Las Torres.

Hiking distance: 15.4

Day 2: Chileno to Frances.

Hiking distance: 16.4km

Day 3: Frances to Paine Grande (via Mirador Britanico).

Hiking distance: 22.2km

Day 4: Paine Grande to up to Grey lookout & swing bridges, then back to Paine Grande to take the catamaran to Pudeto before the bus back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 28.01km


O Circuit, Torres del Paine Itineraries


Classic 8 day O Circuit from Central - RECOMMENDED

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amagara, then shuttle to Las Torres Hotel (Welcome Centre). Hike to Camping Seron.

Hiking distance 14.3km

Day 2: Camping Seron to Camping Dickson

Hiking distance: 18.7km Day 3: Camping Dickson to Los Perros

Hiking distance: 13.4km

Day 4: Los Perros to Camping Grey

Hiking distance: 16.6km

Day 5: Camping Grey to Paine Grande

Hiking distance: 11.1km

Day 6: Paine Grande to Camping Frances (via Mirador Britanico).

Hiking distance: 22.2km

Day 7: Camping Frances to Chileno

Hiking distance: 16.4km

Day 8: Chileno, hike to Base Las Torres then to the Central to get the buses back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 15.4km

For more information about this route, read our experience hiking the O Circuit.

Also, follow here to a list of all of the O Circuit maps on AllTrails day by day so you can see the altitude & difficulty.


Alternative 8 day

The route would follow the same order as the above 8 day itinerary but instead of starting at Central and walking towards Seron, you could get the bus from Puerto Natales to Pudeto, then the Catamaran to Paine Grande and start walking towards Mirador Britanico and stay at Frances on night one. This means you walk the W side first and then the back-side of the park, fininshing back at Paine Grande & get the catamaran & the bus back to Puerto Natales from there.


I would not generally advise this as your day 1 from Paine Grande to Frances will be a long hiking day and you won't be able to start that early, as its a 3 hour bus from Puerto Natales, then a 30 minute catamaran, arriving into Paine Grande at around 11am.


O Circuit in 7 days

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amagara, then shuttle to Las Torres Hotel (Welcome Centre). Hike to Camping Seron.

Hiking distance: 14.3km

Day 2: Camping Seron to Camping Dickson

Hiking distance: 18.7km Day 3: Camping Dickson to Los Perros

Hiking distance: 13.4km

Day 4: Los Perros to Camping Grey

Hiking distance: 16.6km

Day 5: Camping Grey to Camping Frances

Hiking distance: 18.5km

Day 6: Camping Frances to Chileno. (via Mirador Britanico)

Hiking distance 29.4km

Day 7: Chileno, hike to Base Las Torres then to the Central to get the buses back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 15.4km


9 day O Circuit from Central

Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amagara, then shuttle to Las Torres Hotel (Welcome Centre). Hike to Camping Seron.

Hiking distance 14.3km

Day 2: Camping Seron to Camping Dickson.

Hiking distance: 18.7km Day 3: Camping Dickson to Los Perros.

Hiking distance: 13.4km

Day 4: Los Perros to Camping Grey.

Hiking distance: 16.6km

Day 5: Camping Grey to Paine Grande

Hiking distance: 11.1km

Day 6: Paine Grande to Camping Frances

Hiking distance: 8.6km

Day 7: Hike to Mirador Britanico then back down to stay at Los Cuernos.

Hiking distance: 17km

Day 8: Los Cuernos to Chileno

Hiking distance: 12.8km

Day 9: Chileno, hike to Base Las Torres then to the Central to get the buses back to Puerto Natales.

Hiking distance: 15.4km


Alternative 9 day

As with the 8 day alternative, you can opt to start this route at Paine Grande by getting the bus from Puerto Natales to Pudeto, then the Catamaran to Paine Grande. Although you wouldn't arrive in the park until around 11am, it shouldn't be too much of a problem as your day 1 hike to Frances is only 8.6km as you will tackle Mirador Britanico the following day.


Further alternatives

Of course you can play around with these itineraries signing yourself up for even longer hikes if you feel you are capable and short of time or taking even more time in the park to either incorporate rest days or other activities available, such as horse riding and kayaking.


Which campsite is owned by which company in the Torres del Paine


Now you have decided your route, before you can go onto booking you need to know which campsite is owned by which company.


As mentioned above, the free CONAF camp sites have been left off due to them being currently closed, with no sign of when they will reopen.

Number

Camp name

Company

Cost per pitch DBL

Cost per pitch SGL

1

Serón

Las Torres

$50

$37

2

Dickson

Vertice

$20

$10

3

Los Perros

Vertice

$20

$10

4

Grey

Vertice

$20

$10

5

Paine Grande

Vertice

$24

$12

6

Francés

Las Torres

$50

$37

7

Cuernos

Las Torres

$50

$37

8

Chileno

Las Torres

$50

$37

9

Central

Las Torres

$50

$37

Torres del Paine campsite reservations


Now you know your itinerary & which company owns which site, the fun starts. Of course you could always cheat if budget isn't a problem & use the Booking Patagonia and pay their 15% premium. As not all readers will be as thrifty as me, I will start with the easier more expensive way. If you are going for booking the budget way you will have to play with both the Las Torres & Vertice websites at the same time to make sure there is availability.


How to use Booking Patagonia to reserve campsites in Torres del Paine


  1. Get yourself on to the Booking Patagonia website.

  2. About half way down the page under the heading 'explore' select either W Trek or O Circuit. Then, if you are doing my recommended W Trek click "West to east 5 days days W Trek" and if you are doing my recommended O trek click "From Seron 8 days classic O Trek". Then scroll down & click "Go Booking".

  3. You will notice at the side under 'Include Services' that it auto includes the return bus from Pto Natales to the Park & back & the stay before & after the trek in Puerto Natales. By all means you can leave these checked, but there are definitely cheaper places to stay in Puerto Natales & also by booking the bus this way you are adding the 15% premium to that as well.

  4. Add your start date, number of trekkers & nationality, then click search. It will give you a difficulty rating which is an indication of how booked up the camps already are and therefore, how tricky it will be to book your route based on the start date you have selected. If it says 'high' difficulty you can probably still book the route but may be forced to book a refugio rather than a camp pitch for example. You may be best playing around with dates a little if you can to find an 'easier' booking date.

  5. When ready to continue, click 'explore'.

  6. Next you will go through one by one the campsites, adding the number of people in the chosen pitch & beds in the hostels or cabins. You can also add on meals at this point too. *

  7. Once you have chosen all your places to stay click 'continue' at the bottom. Some days you have a choice of camps that are nearby to each other, make sure you try to choose the one that is in your selected itinerary.

  8. Fill in your personal details & hit 'continue' again.

  9. The summary page will show all of your camps, park entrance fee (if you have booked the buses, catamaran & hotels they will show too) & the total including the 15% service charge

  10. Click you are happy with all the T&Cs, then make the payments.

*Note on Vertice campsites you need to add 2 to the drop down if there are 2 of you, whereas on the Las Torres camps there is the option to add a double pitch.


One frustration with the Booking Patagonia website is that you can get down to your 4th or 5th site before you find out there is no availability. It's a little frustrating but unfortunately there is no way to fix this, you just need to be patient & play around a little. I must say booking through the Booking Patagonia website is much easier than doing it separately, as it even shows the alternative camps if one is full, but you do pay extra for that ease.



Vertice Patagonia campsite reservations


Now for the fun part, as the Vertice site is harder to use & there are less options for alternatives I would suggest checking the availability for the Vertice campsites first. Go to the Vertice Patagonia website.

  1. Go to the booking section, select the number of passengers & change the drop down to 'other' on all the passengers, unless you are from Chile. As with the Las Torres site, foreigners pay slightly more & needs to pay in USD.

  2. Next pick your route, the W Trek lets you book camps individually as you can do day hikes & just stay at one camp, or go in either direction on that side of the national park. The O Circuit is a bit more regimented due to only being able to hike anti-clockwise (due to this I will run through the O Circuit). *

  3. Select your chosen camps/combo of camps. If you are doing the classic 8 day O Circuit suggested above, you would click "Dickson, Los Perros, Grey & Paine Grande".

  4. Select your desired date on the first camp (in this example Dickson) & check-out the next day.

  5. If there is availability the dropdown named "Tipo Alojamiento" (Accommodation type) will allow you to select a pitch or bed.

  6. If you are wanting to add meals they will be under the next drop down named "Servicio Adicional". Once all are done, click "continuar" at the bottom.

Screenshot of Vertice website camping pitches dropdown

The next page is the summary, click continue then run through your details. MAKE SURE TO STOP BEFORE FINALISING TO MAKE SURE THE LOS TORRES CAMPS HAVE AVAILABILITY!


* If you use Google translate to change the Vertice site to English you will notice the camps names may change, "Los Perros" to "The Dogs" & "Paine Grande" to "Big Paine". Don't worry, they are the same places. One other thing to note with Google translate, is it messes up the calendars on the booking page, so it may be worth jumping back to Spanish for this part, or it may show no availability (it will say NaN-NaN-NaN!) when there is actually some.


Las Torres campsite reservations


Out of the 2 website, Las Torres is much easier than Vertice. So as mentioned earlier I would check the Vertice availability first. Now, get yourself over to the Las Torres website.

  1. Click on camping, then scroll down & select the first campsite you want to stay at, then click 'read more'.

  2. Select the date you wish to stay there & the number of people, then click 'book'.

  3. If you are outside of Chile it will come up with a disclaimer about foreigners paying more so click next.

  4. Select the check-in date on your first site. For instance if you are going for the classic 8 days, Seron would be night 1, Frances night 6 & Chileno night 7. Go through one by one to make sure there is availability in all of them. Then hit 'book'.

  5. Next fill in all of your details, then go through to complete the booking. MAKE SURE TO STOP BEFORE FINALISING TO MAKE SURE THE VERTICE CAMPS HAVE AVAILABILITY!


Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee


Not officially campsite booking, but important you know that it is required is to pay for the Torres del Paine National Park entry fee. You need to buy your tickets to enter the national park at least 24 hours before entry. The fee if you are entering the park for 3 days + (you will need this for both the O Circuit & W Trek) is $49 USD. If you are just doing day hikes or staying 1 or 2 nights, the cost of the ticket will be $35 USD. Tickets for the Torres del Paine National Park can be purchased from the CONAF website.


Congratulations! You have completed the Torres del Paine campsite reservations, what's next?


Booking the campsites for the Torres del Paine is notoriously hard, even using the new Booking Patagonia website, as it isn't just getting to grips with the website it is trying to picture the national park so you know where to book. Good news is, you have done all that now so it's time to get excited! You are about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.


Whilst you may be feeling excited, you may also feel a little anxious as lots more questions may come to mind, but hopefully we have pre-empted them. Follow the links below to alleviate any fears you have;




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