Two Full Days om TdP

Mar 9th, 2011, 01:26 PM
  #1  
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Two Full Days om TdP

Looking for suggestions on best day hikes in TdP. We would prefer half day hikes to entire day hikes. Is it best to get around on your own as we will have a car. We will be there over this weekend. Thanks
yestravel is offline  
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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The most rewarding hikes really need more than half a day, ie the hike to the Towers and the hike to French Valley. If you are not big hikers you can drive toward Lago Grey, there are a few overlooks, and you can walk along a gravel bar and out to a Mirador looking up Lago Grey, although cannot be done when it is windy.

You should take the catamaran from Pudeto, gives some nice views of the Cuernos, which you can also view from the road on the south side of L. Nordenskjold.

Near Lago Sarmiento and Lago Amarga is the most likely spot to see the guanacos.

From Las Torres Hotel you can walk a bit along L. Nordenskjold. They have a nice display area in the hotel of the natural habitats.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #3  
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Thanks! We're probably intermediate hikers. How difficult r the hikes to the Towers and French Valley? Mostly concerned about how steep they might be.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 07:05 AM
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I highly recommend the boat ride across Lago Grey, it was the highlight of our day in the park, we were there around the same time of year, it was extremely windy, we were happy just driving around!
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Mar 10th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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yestravel, that to some degree depends on the weather. The first part of the Towers hike is moderate, up and down, the last leg although not super long is steep and rocky, requires either poles or very good knees (I used poles), especially on the return.

The lower part of French Valley is not that steep and you can just stop when you have reached your limit.

It's just that both of these are really a full day (especially if you are not a fast hiker) In the case of FV the trail it takes time to get to the start of the hike by catamaran (or by walking along the W).

The boat ride across Lago Grey was fun. A good alternative to hiking.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 10:32 AM
  #6  
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Thanks owlwoman and mlgb. Yea, knees r the problem so I think we will skip the Towers hike altogether. The French Valley sounds like it will work. A full day hike one of the days is good, we just didn't want to do it both days.
we're in Punta Arenas today and the wind is incredible...can only imagine it inTdP.

On the Lago Grey boat ride, it goes in the wind? sounds like a good possibility for one of the 3 days. We intend to also drive around the day we get there.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Oh you're there now!

Lago Grey goes to some extent but if it's too windy I think not. They may change the departure point.

For French Valley you will need to take the catamaran to and from, check the earliest departure and latest return, and I'm guessing you will need to spend the night at Lodge Paine Grande. You should look at a map to understand. The first part of the walk from Paine Grande to Campo Italiano is about 5 hours (15 km) round trip and you really need to walk up the valley to have the payoff.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Yes, today PA and tomorrow we will be in Puerto Natales and then the next three days in TdP.

Yes, we do have a good map. Thanks for all the info, very helpful!
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Mar 11th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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We had a nice dinner in Puerto Natales, the area seems to be very big on avocados stuffed with centrolla (and other stuffings, shrimp/chicken, etc), highly recommend if you like avocados. Sorry, can't remember the name of the restaurant, but it's not that big a town and it's one of the nicer ones there. (not by the water).

When you drive to the park, there will be a little store before you turn off the main road. When we were there, it was the last stop in civilization before entering the park (and starting on the unpaved road, if memory serves me right).

Anyway, the day we went on the boat ride, I never thought it would go because of the wind, but, lo and behold, it did go (we took the 3:00 trip), really enjoyed the whiskey w/artic ice! Wish I had a picture to show you, we were quite bundled up...it was also our first experience with getting up close and personal with the glaciers!

Hope you enjoy the TDP as much as we did, it is an amazing place!
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Mar 11th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Owlwoman, thanks much! We've been in Chile close to a month and I have fallen in love with their avocados! I can imagine how bundled up one would be...it's cold here!!
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Mar 14th, 2011, 01:22 PM
  #11  
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hi --thanks again for your suggestions. they worked out great. First day we arrived in the afternoon to a beautiful sunny day so we took advantage of the weather and drove around the park, taking some great photos and a few short hikes. We ended up at Lago Grey where we watched the sun go down and had a light supper there.
The 2nd day, was a bit ovecast, but not too windy or cold,so we took the first catamaran at 9:30 to begin the hike to the French Valley. We hiked a good 3-4 hours and were not really at what is supposed to be the nicest part of the Valley, but alas we had to start back in order to make the last catamaran at 6:30 pm. It was a striking hike and i am entranced by the Cuernos del Paine, so I loved all the angles of them. Worked out very well fo us.

Today is brillant sunshine, so we took off to the glacier Great day and did that hike and some more wakling about. Its pretty windy but brillantly sunny. We didntn do the boat trip` cuz el Calafate is up next and figured we´d be getting lots of glaciers there.

I´m going to post a new thread about el Calafate so if u have any thoguhts pls add them. Again Thanks!

I love this park and could stay here forever it wouls seem.
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Mar 14th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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It sounds like you did very well, and I agree with your choice to save the glacier excursion for Perito Moreno. Everyone I encountered who did both agreed that PM was a highlight. Although having the Pisco Sour with glacier ice and looking like a red and blue striped penguin was fun on the Glacier Grey cruise.
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Mar 15th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Fantastic report, yestravel.

You and your DH have gotten me so psyched to plan a trip to TdP, and that whole region, next year in SA.

Enjoy yourselves and beware the Ides of March !

~Marnie
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Mar 15th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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I've been on both cruises, the one in El Calafate to Perito Moreno was similar (enjoyed watching from the balcony in the park more), but the boat ride to the three glaciers was well worth it, if you can, upgrade to 1st class, it's worth every peso (and you get to have whiskey w/glacier ice)!

Glad to hear you had pretty nice weather in the TDP. Enjoy the rest of your trip and thanks for the updates!
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