How to visit Torres Del Paine in a Campervan
If tight itineraries, late buses and overbooked campsites aren’t on your Torres Del Paine bucket list then fear not, visiting Torres Del Paine in a Campervan provides you with the total freedom to explore and enjoy Southern Chile’s most impressive national park without restraints.
Planning a visit to Torres Del Paine in a Campervan may seem overwhelming, thankfully, our team at Condor Campers have put together this comprehensive guide to visiting Torres Del Paine in a Campervan including our best Day hikes in Torres Del Paine and Where to Sleep in a campervan in Torres Del Paine.
Torres Del Paine National Park
Famous for its imposing granite horns, Iceberg charged lakes, golden pampas and sweeping panoramas of the Southern icefield, you’ll soon discover that all those photos you’ve encountered on social media don’t even come close to the majesty of this pristine landscape situated in Chile’s Southern Patagonian region.
Some call it the eighth wonder of the world, we call it a reason to pack all your gear and go and explore Torres Del Paine in a Campervan.
Arriving at Torres Del Paine in a Campervan
After refilling your Campervan with fuel, and your wallets with cash in Puerto Natales (last chance), we recommend taking Route 9 and following the signs (Y-290) from Puerto Natales to the Southern Serrano entrance of the park (1hr 45 mins, 80km). There are many viewpoints and photo opportunities along this magnificent route so make sure you’ve formatted your memory cards!
Ensure you bring all food and supplies (including toilet roll) for your entire park stay with you (there are no places to buy within the park or surrounding area).
Aim to arrive at Torres Del Paine in a Campervan at least one hour before the park entrance closes. From the Southern Serrano entrance it takes over an hours drive through the park, to reach the northern entrance/Mirador Base de Las Torres Trek starting point, however, the drive is fantastic!
If you are a little late, we recommend staying in one of the Campervan Campsites in Torres Del Paine nearer to the Serrano entrance, enabling you to enjoy the spectacular views in daylight hours.
Whatever time you arrive in the park, check out our best Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine below. Maybe, you can squeeze a trek in before Sleeping in Torres Del Paine in a Campervan.
Where to sleep in a Campervan in Torres Del Paine
At the time of writing (and visiting) Torres Del Paine in a Campervan, there were five designated Campervan Campsites in Torres Del Paine. All Campervan Campsites in Torres del Paine have 24 hour toilets with running water, however, they are not official campsites and the use of these areas has been permitted by CONAF to facilitate the visitation of the park by Campervans. (Don’t expect a real campsite!). Drinking water is available along all treks (from streams and rivers), however, for cooking and cleaning you will need to bring or refill water from the toilets.
Most toilets have a few electrical points to charge photo equipment (you may have to leave them unattended). On the plus side, it is entirely FREE to Sleep in a Campervan in Torres Del Paine!
If you arrive at the Campervan Campsites in Torres del Paine and they are a little crowded, don’t worry, all day trippers leave around 7pm so you’ll have the place to yourselves.
Below is an overview of the Campervan Campsites in Torres Del Paine. Upon arrival at the park entrance, please confirm it is still permitted to sleep in a Campervan at these places and be aware, it is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO CAMP IN ANY OTHER AREAS OF THE PARK.
Campervan Campsites in Torres Del Paine (South to North)
Visitor Centre and Administrative Headquarters
A large flat open area situated at the Torres del Paine visitor centre. Good Information is available here in addition to a small museum (daylight hours). If you arrive late at the park, it’s a good place to Sleep in a Campervan in Torres del Paine. Surrounded by mountain and lake views, you will wake to a beautiful sunrise. There are some tables by the visitor centre to rest, kick back and look forward to your Day hikes in Torres del Paine. Parking closer to the surrounding buildings will provide some wind shelter.
Lago Grey Ranger Station
An level open area at the Glaciar Grey Ranger station and Pingo river. As this serves as a popular parking area for the short Mirador Lago Grey trek, there is a Cafeteria available in summer with a small shop. The Mirador Ferrier Trek which is one of the best Day Hikes in Torres del Paine, also starts from here. You will find some wind shelter close to the buildings and next to the trees. For all you bird lovers, there are lots of friendly Austral blackbirds happy to share your picnic whilst you enjoy Torres del Paine in a Campervan.
A large area split into two by a narrow gravel road. There is a Cafeteria available in summer and a small friendly ranger station on the other side. It’s a great place for starting/ending the Mirador Cuernos Trek (one of the Day Hikes in Torres del Paine), with beautiful views across the lake.
Please note: Due to the open valley, this is a NOTORIOUS HIGH WIND AREA. Ask the rangers if wind is forecast and do not camp in this Campervan Campsite in Torres del Paine or, leave your campervan here if so.
Lago Sarmiento entrance and Ranger Station
If you are driving to the park from the north or, from Argentina, your other option visiting Torres del Paine in a Campervan is to take the road (Y-150) from Cerro Castillo to the northern Lago Sarmiento park entrance (by-passing the drive through the park). This large flat open area is a good place to wake up and enter the park early. Surrounded by nice views, it is also a good place to spot Pumas! Continue your drive south and exit the park from the Serrano southern entrance, then you won’t miss any views.
Laguna Amarga entrance and Ranger Station
This is Condor Campers favourite Campervan Campsite in Torres del Paine! This smaller area has great views of the famous granite peaks. Tuck yourself in next to the river for some wind shelter. It’s a 10 minute drive from the welcome centre (good wifi $) and the start of the Mirador Base de La Torres Trek which, is one of the best Day Hikes in Torres del Paine. Keep your eyes and ears open……this is Puma territory.
Rest assured, whichever Campervan Campsite in Torres Del Paine you choose, you’ll be sure to fully rest those overworked legs in your comfortable cosy bed, sheltered away from the notorious Patagonian wind and rain.
Condor Camper Tips
- There is no cell reception in the park.
- Free park maps are available at the entrance.
- The park guards will be happy to indicate the Campervan Campsites in Torres Del Paine on your map.
- Take a tasty pre-packed picnic with you on all hikes. You are not allowed to use any type of camping/cooking stove along the hiking paths.
- You will be cleaning your dishes in very cold glacial water. Rubber gloves help a lot!
- Bring a large trash bag. All trash must be removed from the park and can be recycled in Puerto Natales. See our Eco-wise page for more tips on how to be a responsible camper.
- Always carry winter clothes with you and ensure you have warm bedding despite the season.
- We highly recommend using trekking poles.
- Please familiarize yourself with the strict Torres Del Paine Park rules when you enter the park.
- For a detailed map of the Torres Del Paine park click here.
- Include Torres del Paine as part of your Patagonian adventure. See our Patagonia Road Tripfor more ideas
- Entrance fees and more park information can be found on the official website here.
Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine
Hiking in Torres del Paine doesn’t have to be limited to the famous ‘W’ or ‘O’ trek. There’s some great Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine which will still present the same amazing views, aching feet, and desire to keep exploring this amazing National Park. Below are some of our favourite Day Hikes In Torres Del Paine Park, perfect for when you’re visiting Torres Del Paine in a Campervan.
Mirador Base de Las Torres
Arguably the most famous view in Chile, the hike to Mirador Base de las Torres is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to Torres Del Paine. After spending the night at Laguna Amarga guard station, make the short drive to Hotel Las Torres, park up your Condor Camper, strap on your hiking boots, and get ready for the longest of all our Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine. This hike follows the Valle Ascencio, past Camping El Chileno all the way to the glacial lake which sits below the three famous Torres. Pack a hearty picnic and set off early, the 9.5km hike to the base is steep towards the end, however, the view at the top is absolutely priceless!
Starting Point: Hotel Las Torres/Visitor Centre
Time Taken: 8 hrs Return
Trail Distance: 9.4km each direction, 18.8km in total
Views: Torres del Paine (The Famous Towers) Rivers, Creeks, Valley Escencio
Mirador Cuernos (Via Salto Grande Waterfall)
Low on time and still want amazing views? Or, simply looking for an easy hike to break you in whilst visiting Torres Del Paine in a Campervan? This short 6km hike is perfect for you! Starting just before the Salto Grande waterfall, (an impressive turquoise waterfall from Lago Nordenskjöld), it continues along a flat trail passing a small bay before reaching the magnificent Mirador Cuernos. At the Mirador itself, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the imposing Cuernos del Paine making it a lovely introduction to your Day Hikes in Torres del Paine. The starts close proximity to Cafeteria Pudeto means it isn’t far from one of the designated Campervan Campsites in Torres del Paine, however, be careful, it can get very windy!
Starting Point: Parking Salto Grande
Time Taken: 1.5 hrs Return
Trail Distance: 5km in total
Views: Los Cuernos, Salto Grande Waterfall, Lago Nordenskjöld
One of our other short Day Hikes in Torres del Paine. What the Mirador Condor hike lacks in distance it makes up for in its panoramic views of Lago Pehoé and the surrounding Torres del Paine mountains. Look for the small parking area opposite Camping Pehoé, and head up the short, steep trail to reach the Mirador. If the weather is clear, you’ll have amazing views of the Cuernos, and, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even spot the infamous Andes Condor that gives the Mirador its name. A great hike to attempt late afternoon, the sun setting over the entire park is unforgettable.
Starting Point: Opposite Camping Pehoé
Time Taken: 1.25 hrs Return
Trail Distance: 2.5km in total
Views: Los Cuernos, Lago Pehoé, Lago Nordenskjöld, Hotel Pehoé and its famous bridge, Andean Condor (Wildlife in Torres del Paine)
‘The greater the effort, the sweeter the reward.’ Although not the longest of the Day Hikes in Torres del Paine, in our opinion, it is one of the hardest. Situated in the western area of the national park, it begins at Lago Grey ranger station, one of the designated Campervan Campsites in Torres del Paine. The path climbs steeply (600m), weaving through ancient Lenga forests, believed to be the home of the almost endangered South American deer, the Huemul. The Mirador itself provides a spectacular 360 degree panorama of the entire park, along with astonishing views of Lago Grey, Glaciar Grey, and the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.
Starting Point: Lago Grey Ranger Station
Time Taken: 3.5 hrs Return
Trail Distance: 6.5km in total
Views: Glaciar Grey, Southern Patagonia ice field, 360 degree view of the whole park, Lakes, Huemul (Wildlife in Torres del Paine)
Mirador Lago Grey
No energy left for Mirador Ferrier? No problem, Mirador Lago Grey is one of our easiest and shortest Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine which, you can easily do whilst visiting Torres del Paine in a Campervan. The hike still allows magnificent views over Lago Grey, and, places you within touching distance of floating icebergs which have broken away from the glaciar itself. This 5.5km trail starts at Lago Grey ranger station, crosses a suspension bridge over Rio Pingo, and eventually winds up on a pebble beach nestled along Lago Grey. Bring some extra clothing, it can get pretty windy here!
Starting Point: Lago Grey Ranger Station
Time Taken: 1.5 – 2 hours Return
Trail Distance: 5.5km in total
Views: Glaciar Grey, Southern Patagonia ice field, Icebergs, Rio Pingo, Suspension bridge, Lago Grey
Wildlife in Torres del Paine
As the sun sets and hikers retreat from various trails, the real residents of Torres del Paine Park recapture their stronghold and continue living the way they always have. Being a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve since the late 70’s, Wildlife in Torres del Paine has been protected and preserved so that the likes of us can observe, learn and savour these rare and wondrous creatures.
At Condor Campers we’ve put together our favourite examples of Wildlife in Torres del Paine which, hopefully, you’ll be lucky to encounter during your visit to Torres del Paine in a Campervan, or, on during one of our Day Hikes in Torres del Paine.
Powerful, solitary and elusive, Pumas are the top predators of all Wildlife in Torres del Paine. The puma population is thriving, mainly due to a 1972 hunting ban and the abundance of its favourite food (the Guanaco). Although camera shy, in recent years the park has become the best place in the world to film wildlife documentaries about its most famous residents. Peaceful when not provoked and very well camouflaged, the chances of a sighting are relatively low, however, staying overnight at Torres del Paine in a Campervan could provide a much higher success rate!
If spotting a Puma is on your wish list, stay quiet, stay calm and head to the Laguna Amarga/Lago Sarmiento Campervan Campsites in Torres del Paine. Please, keep your distance and never chase or disturb these amazing animals.
Native to South America, and closely related to the llama, these elegant camelids can be found extensively throughout the Park. They are one of the largest examples of Wildlife in Torres del Paine, standing at around one metre tall at the shoulder. You’ll see large herds grazing care free on the Patagonian pampas, especially around the Serrano and Lago Sarmiento entrances. Look out for the leader of the herd, he’ll be standing on higher ground, keeping an eye out for any dangers.
One of the largest species of bird on earth, the Andean Condors wingspan can reach over three metres. Clever scavengers, the ampleness of tasty Wildlife In Torres del Paine is helping to slowly replenish its numbers. You’ll most likely spot them soaring majestically between the highest peaks of the park. Head up to one of the Miradors listed in our Day Hikes in Torres del Paine and you could be rewarded with a close up encounter when they come home to rest.
Critically endangered and easily startled, the sensitive Huemul, also known as the South Andean Deer is an exceptionally rare type of Wildlife In Torres del Paine. With a stocky build and unusually large ears, they’re well suited to life in Patagonia. Most sightings have been in areas off-the-beaten-track, where the trails are quietest and you can take your time to look for them. Being the national animal of Chile, fierce animal protection programs are now in place to try to increase numbers, tackle hunting, and decrease their loss of habitat.
We hope you found our comprehensive ‘how to visit Torres del Paine in a Campervan‘ blog useful. If you still have any questions about how to visit Torres del Paine in a Campervan then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Rent your Condor Camper from $57,000 per day, with pick-ups available at various locations throughout Chile.
‘’There’s more to Torres Del Paine than the ‘W’ trek’’ – Book your Condor Camper today!