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Torres Del Paine Hiking - No Refugios

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I need help with Torres Del Paine, Days 8, 9, and 10, in mid-November. We will have 2-1/2 days in TDP with a car. We are NOT camping or staying in refugios, but are staying in a hotel just outside the park in the Rio Serrano area - the website says 7km (about 4.5 miles). Google maps doesn’t seem to have a very good handle on the area.

We want to hike the Base of the Towers and the French Valley. We are skipping the Grey Glacier since we only have two days and will have just been to Perito Moreno.

I need advice on the following, especially DAY 10:

1. DAY 8 - Suggestions for what to do on that first half day we are there. We’ll be leaving El Chatlen early and will probably be ready to start the day in TDP by 1:00pm.

2. DAY 9 - We will hike the towers by driving to Las Torres Hotel and parking the car there. It is my understanding that this hotel is located at the start of the trail head, so I guess we just get out and start walking. Is this correct? How long will it take to get from our hotel to this parking lot?

3. DAY 10 - I can find little information on in and out hikes to the French Valley. I see that tour companies offer them, so I assume it is possible. Neither can I find current schedules for the catamaran which I think, from my research, is a must for this hike as a day trip. It seems as though I enter through another park entrance, but it’s not clear where. I’ve also read that if you do FV as a day hike only, you will not have time to go to Mirador Britanico, but only to the first two. Is this correct? I’m very confused, but I’m sure it will all make sense once I’m there and see what others are talking about. Please give me any advice you can about FV as a day hike, specifically – where to enter the park; how long is the drive from our hotel to the catamaran; where to find a current catamaran schedule; how much of the hike will be able to realistically do in a day in order to be back in time for the catamaran?

4. MORE DAY 10 - On the FV hike, will we pass the Salto Grande Waterfall or does this require a detour? How do we incorporate the waterfall into the hike?


Day 1: Fly out of Houston
Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aries; Afternoon flight to El Calafate; RENT A CAR
Day 3: El Calafate for Perito Moreno Glacier Hike and Boat Tour
Day 4: Drive to El Chatlen
Days 5, 6, 7: El Chatlen

Day 8: Drive to Torres Del Paine where we have reservations JUST outside the park at HOTEL DEL PAINE FOR TWO NIGHTS ONLY

Day 9: Hike French Valley as an in and out hike

Day 10: Hike the Towers, Drive to El Calafate to spend the night

Day 11: Turn in rental car at airport and fly to Bariloche
Day 12: Bariloche
Day 13: Bariloche, Take late bus to Osorno
Thur. 11/23: Early flight to Santiago, arrive mid-morning
Fri. 11/24: Santiago
Sat 11/25: Santiago, 11:30 pm flight home
Sun. 11/26: Arrive Houston in am

Thank you for your help!

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