The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Torres del Paine

Updated March 2018

A visit to Torres del Paine is unlike anything else in the world. Needless to say, Torres del Paine National Park is home to some of the world’s most rugged and beautiful landscapes. Arguably the best way to see the park in its entirety is by doing a multi-day trek, either the W trek or the O circuit, through its hundreds of kilometers of trails. In between days of hiking, most people pitch a tent in one of the park’s campsites to immerse themselves in the powerful and captivating nature around them. Camping in Torres del Paine National Park requires some advance planning, but is totally worth it for the spectacular views and the opportunity to sleep amongst some of the world’s most beautiful rock formations.

Table of Contents

Camping in Torres del Paine National Park: The Basics

Why Go Camping in Torres del Paine?

Patagonia’s allure comes from the sheer, majestic beauty of its mountains. One of the best ways to experience this beauty is by staying in the middle of it. Camping in Torres del Paine enables you to do just that – pitch a tent, listen to the sounds of the earth, and sleep in the center of this wild and beautiful place. It also enables you to explore even more of the park than you would be able to in a day trip from Puerto Natales.

How Are the Campsites Set Up?

There are three organizations that run all of the camping in Torres del Paine: Fantastico Sur, Vertice, and Conaf. The campsites managed by Fantastico Sur and Vertice, such as the popular Camping Francés and Camping Seron, are privatized, and therefore cost money. I know what you’re thinking…I don’t want to spend a bunch of money to sleep outside. However, you do get what you pay for – these campsites have functional bathrooms, showers, dining options, and kitchen areas to cook and wash your mess kit. Some campsites, like Camping Francés and  Camping Chileno, have private camping domes that you can rent out if you didn’t bring a tent. These rentals usually includes breakfast, lunch, and housekeeping services.

The private campsites include:

  • Camping Francés
  • Camping Seron
  • Camping Paine Grande
  • Camping Grey
  • Camping Los Cuernos
  • Camping Chileno
  • Camping Torres Central
  • Camping Dickson
  • Camping Los Perros

Conaf campsites are free, as they are run by the government, but the amenities are very basic.  Most have picnic tables, rustic toilets, and no running water. These fill up more quickly than the private ones, so aim to reserve your campsite at least a few weeks in advance.

The two Conaf campsites are:

  • Camping Italiano on the W trek
  • Camping Paso on the O circuit

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST book all campsites well in advance. There’s no hard and fast rule for how far in advance you should book, but they do fill up a few weeks ahead of time. Be sure you make all of your reservations as early as possible in order to ensure your spot.

The W Trek Campsites

If you’re planning on trekking the W trail, you can complete it in anywhere from 3-5 days, depending on how quickly you hike. There are two options for starting the trek: the west side (Lago Grey) or the east side (Torres Central). In this guide, we’ve provided details on each so you can plan your route.

Torres del Paine National Park in 15 Stunning Photographs

*All prices quoted here are per person for the basic single tent platform. Of course, prices may vary based on what amenities and camping site size you choose.

Western W Trek

Camping Paine Grande

Management/Booking: Vertice
Price: 6,000 CLP ($10 USD)

Located right next to the Catamaran stop, this is a typical stop for people who want to take a day hike to Grey Glacier (about 6 hours round trip from Paine Grande). Surrounded by mountains and grassy fields, it is a beautiful introduction to the park for those just arriving on the catamaran. It’s not uncommon to see a fox wandering around here and there (they’re friendly, don’t worry!). This campsite has all of the necessary amenities, from hot showers to an indoor kitchen and dining area. It’s also located next to the lake, which makes for some really spectacular sunrises.

Camping Grey

Management/Booking: Vertice
Price: 5,000 CLP ($8 USD)

Situated next to Grey Glacier, this campsite is the perfect resting spot for those wanting to explore the area for a few hours. Right next to some snow-capped mountains, this campsite has showers (the water is lukewarm but not hot) and a small indoor cooking/seating area. It also boasts some super picturesque campsites (if you can get there early enough!).

Central W Trek

Camping Los Cuernos

Management/Booking: Fantastico Sur
Price: 54,000 CLP ($113 USD) – includes full board (dinner and breakfast)

Right next to one of the park’s most iconic rock formations, Los Cuernos campsite is one of the most central places to go camping in Torres del Paine National Park. However, because of certain regulations against cooking in the area, all guests are required to purchase full board. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend choosing a different campsite nearby – either Francés or Italiano. (Updated November 2017)

Camping Francés

Management/Booking: Fantastico Sur
Price: 10,000 CLP ($21 USD)

Camping Francés is located in between Los Cuernos campsites and Italiano. This is a fantastic place to rest if you’re looking for upgraded amenities, like an indoor dining area or showers. It’s the perfect stop if you are planning to visit the Valle de Francés or the Mirador Britânico.

Camping Italiano

Management/Booking: Conaf
Price: Free

Although basic, Camping Italiano is located in one of the best spots in the entire park. Situated right next to Paine Grande’s massive glaciers and a running stream, this campsite is a fantastic place to rest for the night, or simply leave your bags while hiking to Mirador Britânico.

Eastern W Trek

Camping Chileno

Management/Booking: Fantastico Sur
Price: 48,000 CLP ($97 USD)

Located on the eastern side of the W trek, Camping Chileno is the closest campsite to the Torres del Paine Mirador. It is fully stocked with an indoor dining area, platform campsites, and hot showers.

Camping Torres Central

Management/Booking: Fantastico Sur
Price: 10,000 CLP ($21 USD)

This campsite is located right next to the Torres del Paine Lodge, and has all of the necessary amenities, including hot showers, cooking areas, and WiFi (for an extra fee). If you don’t feel like cooking, the restaurant and bar at the lodge are really nice and reasonably-priced, considering you’re out in the middle of nowhere. This is the perfect option for those looking to spend just one night in the park, and take a day hike up to the Torres del Paine Mirador.

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The O Circuit Campsites

If you’re undertaking the 8 or 9-day O Circuit, you have to go counter clockwise. Because fewer people perform this trek, there are significantly fewer places to camp here. Read on for some information on the four available campsites on the O Circuit trails.

Camping Serón

Management/Booking: Fantastico Sur
Price: 10,000 CLP ($21 USD)

If you’re hiking the O Circuit, this will be your first stop, located about 6-7 hours from the Torres Central campground. This campsite includes an eating area and bathrooms, and has camping equipment available for rent.

Camping Dickson

Management/Booking: Vertice
Price: 5,000 CLP

The second stop on the O Circuit is Camping Dickson, located about 6 hours from Serón. This campsite features upgraded amenities like hot showers, a small store, and indoor dining area and restaurant, and gear rental.

Camping Los Perros

Management/Booking: Vertice
Price: 5,000 CLP

Situated about 4.5 from Camping Dickson, Los Perros is the third campsite on the O Circuit. Here you can find a cooking area, a small store, and communal bathrooms and showers with cold water only.

Camping Paso

Management/Booking: Conaf
Price: Free

The final stop on the O circuit is Paso, which is about a 6-hour hike from Los Perros. This is a Conaf free campsite, which mean amenities are fairly basic.

What to Pack

When backpacking in Torres del Paine, you need to carry everything for your multi-day trek with you. This includes food, clothing, and sleeping items. For a full list of things to pack, check out our comprehensive guide. But, for the basics…

  • A hiking backpack and small day pack
  • Layers of clothes for variable weather (some days it’s warm and sunny, others it is cold, windy, and rainy)
  • Hiking boots and socks
  • Personal toiletries
  • All food supplies, plates and utensils, and cooking supplies, including a gas cannister and stove
  • Water purifier and reusable bottle
  • Camping supplies: a tent, sleeping mat, and sleeping bag (you can rent these at most campsites)
  • Plastic bag (to store your trash)

Before You Go

Whether we’re deep in the ocean or high up in the mountains, we always recommend buying travel insurance to give you a safety net while traveling and adventuring around the world. We recommend WorldNomads – without it, Jetfarer probably wouldn’t exist. Do yourself (and everyone who loves you) a favor and buy travel insurance before your trip. You’ll be able to travel more confidently knowing someone’s got your back!

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Have you been camping in Torres del Paine? Share your experiences and stories with us in the comments!

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Kay is a full-time media professional located in Washington DC who takes every spare day of time to travel the world. In the last year alone, she's visited over 10 different countries and taken a dozen short trips in between. You can typically find her wandering the streets of a city, taking ridiculous self portraits, or hiking a mountain somewhere. Connect with Kay: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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