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A Torres del Paine 2 Days Itinerary

Updated November 2020Torres del Paine 2 Day Itinerary was originally written in September 2018

Patagonia is a bucketlist destination for many travelers. But what if you don’t have much time to spare, or you didn’t plan ahead?

Not to worry, it’s possible to visit Torres del Paine in 2 days and make the most of your visit.

I know, because I stepped foot off an Antarctic expedition in Ushuaia without a single plan (or a return ticket home). Once I finally came up with a plan to get home and subsequently booked a mileage ticket from Santiago to Anchorage it dawned on me that I should probably visit Torres del Paine on my way to Santiago since I was down this far south.

Two big problems- I would have loved to trek the O or W circuit in TdP, A) All the refugios were booked (it was fall in Patagonia) B) I didn’t have much time to spare, but I made my way first to Punta Arenas and then onto Puerto Natales anyways.

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Salto Grande

How To See Torres del Paine In 2 Days

Obviously, you’re not going to see every bit of the park. This is for people on a fast track without much time (not everyone can travel endlessly, you know).

One day you will spend on the Mirador Las Torres trek to the famous three spires. The other day you’ll take a one-day bus tour of the park. This way you can pack in as much as possible in your short visit.

2 Day Torres del Paine Itinerary

Torres del Paine National Park Map, Torres del Paine, TdP, Chile, Patagonia
Click the map above to view in Google Maps

I recommend one day taking a generic Torres del Paine bus tour that hits all the easy to access highlights along the park road. Sure it’s basic, but hey, it’s better than seeing nothing right? I know some may turn their noses up at this, but the tours aren’t all that bad. 

On your other day in Torres del Paine, I recommend doing the Mirador Las Torres Hike. I enjoyed this far more than the bus tour (only because I love being outside). If you aren’t sure what this is, it’s the hike to the spot you’ve seen a zillion photos of when searching TdP on google- the three towering spires with a turquoise lake in front. Yes, it’s just as pretty in person as in the photos.

Check the weather forecasts as well, I’d recommend that if the weather looks better one day than the other to do the Mirador Las Torres Hike on the better of the two days.

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You will need to pay the Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee that is not included on your bus tour (or hiking tour if you do so by guided trip). Entrance into Torres del Paine will set you back $21,000 CP ($38 USD for foreigners and $6,000 ($17 USD)and $4,000 CP ($6 USD) in the low season, respectively. The good news is that the entrance ticket is good for 3 days.

Day 1: The Torres del Paine Bus Tour

Get rested the night before because this is a full day. Your bus will usually pick you up at your hostal between 7 and 8 am.


Check out this Torres del Paine bus tour


Typically a Torres del Paine day tour will visit the following:

  • Cueva del Milodón
  • Laguna Amarga
  • Lago Nordenskjold
  • Salto Grande
  • Lago Pehoe
  • Lago Grey
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Cueva del Milodón

Cueva del Milodón is a cave located about 24km northwest of Puerto Natales on the way to Torres del Paine. An animal skin was found here by Hermann Eberhard that was later to be discovered as that of the milodon. Milodons are a giant sloth that went extinct around 12,000 years ago.

Admission is $5,000 CP for foreigners ($8 USD) and $3,000 CP for Chileans ($4.50 USD), and usually, an additional cost not included in the price of your bus tour.

Laguna Amarga is a large turquoise lake where if on a good clear day you’ll have views of the jagged peaks and reflections of them in Laguna Amarga. Not the case when I visited since it was a dreary day, can’t always win the weather lottery.

Lago Nordenskjold is a lake named after the Swedish researcher Otto Nordenskjold, who came across it in the early 1900s. On the western shores, you’ll typically see wild Guanaco, a relative of the llama and camel.

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Guanaco

Salto Grande is a large waterfall on the Paine River as it flows out of Lago Nordenskjold to Lago Pehoe.

Lago Pehoe is a large lake that is fed by the Paine River down from Salto Grande and Lago Nordenskjold. It’s a famous location as it’s where the shots of the jagged Cuernos del Paine are usually taken from. Unfortunately, because it was a rainy and dreary day I never got to see them.

Lago Grey is a glacially-fed lake on which you can see icebergs floating around in sometimes.

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Iceberg in Lago Grey

The usual cost of a Torres del Paine bus tour if booked at your hostal in Puerto Natales is around $40,000 CP ($61 USD), not including park entrance fee and optional entrance fee for Cueva del Milodón. If you like to book in advance it will cost you a bit more (about $20-30 USD more), to book your Torres del Paine bus tours.


Plan your visit to TdP and the remainder of Patagonia with the Bradt Patagonia guidebook


Day 2: Day Hike To Mirador Las Torres

Mirador Las Torres is one of the most recognizable images of Torres del Paine National Park. The trek is an out-and-back, beginning from the trailhead about 7 km from Laguna Amarga.

You’ll first trek through grassy fields near Hotel Las Torres, crossing a couple of small footbridges. Eventually, you’ll begin to climb upwards, meandering through a forest and past waterfalls. 

Finally, it will be a steep uphill walk past boulders to arrive at Mirador Las Torres with views across the seafoam-green lake waters to the three towers (hopefully, if the weather allows!). The path is very clearly marked, so getting lost here would be difficult. The Mirador Las Torres hike should take about 8-9 hours for most to complete. It is 18km roundtrip and the total elevation gain is about 900m.

Read more about how to do the day hike to Mirador Las Torres.

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If going by a guided tour to hike Mirador Las Torres the usual cost will be around $35,000-40,000 CP ($53-60 USD), not including park entrance. Tours can be booked from most hostals in Puerto Natales.

It is possible to do the day hike to Mirador Las Torres unguided and on your own using public transport. You will need to take a bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amarga. From Puerto Natales there are buses that leave at 7:00 am, 11:00 am, and 2:30 pm arriving at Laguna Amarga and continue onto Pudeto.

Return buses to Puerto Natales depart Laguna Amarga at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:45 pm. Companies making these routes are Bus SurBus Maria José, and Bus Gomez.

Puerto Natales-TdP buses cost $15,000 CP ($23 USD) return. It’s 7 km between Laguna Amarga and the Mirador Las Torres Trailhead. You could walk the 7 km, but there are shuttles from Las Torres Hotel for $4,500 CP ($7 USD) each way between Laguna Amarga and Las Torres Trailhead.

Shuttles should be at Laguna Amarga around the time buses arrive from Puerto Natales to take passengers to the trailhead. Shuttles depart the trailhead to Laguna Amarga at 9:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 7:00 pm.

If you like the peace of mind of booking ahead you can book this Las Torres day hike tour here.


Make sure to hop across the border and visit Perito Moreno Glacier over in Argentina


When Is The Best Time To Visit Torres del Paine?

November through March is the best time to visit Torres del Paine as that is when weather is most clear and warm, as it corresponds with late spring, summer, and early fall in Patagonia. With that said you can expect rain at any time, I visited at the very end of March and had one clear-ish day, and one rainy day.

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Salto Grande

Where To Sleep

You can stay in Torres del Paine National Park or in Puerto Natales

In Puerto Natales

Budget
Hostal Backpacker Cortes
Booking.com | Agoda.com |

Midrange
Hostal El Sendero
Booking.com | Agoda.com |
Recommended! Owner Juan is just lovely and very helpful

Splurge
Wesker Lodge
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

In Torres del Paine National Park

Budget
Konkashken Lodge
Booking.com | Agoda.com |

Midrange
Rio Serrano Hotel & Spa
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Splurge
Hotel Las Torres
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

As you can see, accommodations in Torres del Paine are quite a bit more expensive than in Puerto Natales. You can book campsites and refugios (shelters) through CONAF (online reservations should be possible shortly), as well as private refugios and campsites, which is a much cheaper option than hotels. You will need to book these well in advance as they book out. Click here to find out more.

What To Pack

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Torres del Paine Costs

Not including accommodation

Guided Bus & Hiking Tour

  • National Park Fee: $21,000 CP/$38 USD
  • Bus tour: $40,000 CP/$61 USD
  • Milodon Cave Fee (optional): $5,000 CP/$8 USD
  • Hiking Tour: $35,000-40,000 CP/$53-60 USD

Total (including Milodon Cave): $101,000-106,000 CP/$152-160 USD

Guided Bus Tour & DIY Hiking Trip

  • National Park Fee: $21,000 CP/$38 USD
  • Bus tour: $40,000 CP/$61 USD
  • Milodon Cave Fee (optional): $5,000 CP/$8 USD
  • Bus Puerto Natales-TdP return: $15,000 CP/$23 USD
  • Shuttle Laguna Amarga-Las Torres Trailhead return: $9,000 CP/$14 USD

Total (including Milodon Cave): $90,000 CP/$144 USD

Got Any Questions On Visiting Torres del Paine?

Ask in the comments below!

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Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

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