Booking Campsites in Torres del Paine

How to Book Campsites in Torres del Paine National Park

Julia Chile Leave a Comment

Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful places on the planet – no exaggeration! While you can certainly plan a day trip to check it out, I encourage you to spend a few days hiking and camping through the park. It’s even worth considering the fabulous W Trek or O Circuit hikes to see all of the incredible scenery. Of course, this comes with one challenge – booking campsites in Torres del Paine National Park.

This small barrier can easily be overcome with a bit of finesse. Let’s take a look at the campsites that are available in the park and how you can make camping reservations for Torres del Paine.

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

About Camping in Torres del Paine

If you’ve done any research about Torres del Paine camping reservations, you know you need to book your campsites early. If you take nothing away from this post besides that…. I’ll be happy. They often fill up 6 months or more ahead of time, so if you’re a last minute planner, or minimal planner, like me, this trip is one you need to book in advance. Got it? Good.

Since Torres del Paine National Park sits a distance from any nearby city, it’s common for visitors to camp overnight or partake in one of the world famous treks – the W Trek or the O Circuit. The W Trek in Torres del Paine is a 5 day adventure through some of the most beautiful parts of the park. Meanwhile the O Circuit takes you along the W and into the backcountry of the park, usually taking 8-9 days to complete.

However you plan to visit Torres del Paine, you’ll likely want to stay at least one night. This is where knowing all about the campsites in Torres del Paine and how to book them is really important!

Lake View

Types of Camping in Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine camping offers a lot of options from the most rustic to barely what I’d consider camping. Choose from a fully equipped campsite, individual campsite – which means you provide everything, hostels or refugios, and more! Each one comes with shared bathroom facilities, most of which include hot water! (Ooo – luxury!)

Fully Equipped Campsites

Opt to use the campsite’s tents and sleeping bags by selecting fully equipped campsites in Torres del Paine. This saves you the hassle of buying, carrying, and setting up and tearing down your tent and sleeping bag each day. This of course also is the most expensive option.

Individual Campsites

Have a tent and sleeping bag? Cut your costs by bringing them with you. You do still need a camping reservation for Torres del Paine, but you’ll save yourself a pretty penny by bringing your own gear!

Hostels or Refugios

Spend the night in a room with a few bunk beds and indoor showers. You will have to rent sheets or a sleeping bag separately or you can bring your own. It might not seem like luxury, but when hiking through Torres del Paine National Park, this is about as good as it gets!

Rental Items

Want to bring some of your own gear but rent other pieces? That’s an option too. Bring your tent and rent a sleeping bag or vice versa. You can also rent sleeping bag liners and insulating mats for additional comfort.

Meal Options

If you’re doing a multi-day trek, you’ll need to consider how you’re fueling your body! You can certainly bring your own food and cook along the way. It’s worth noting that stoves are prohibited due to forest fire risks. Or, you can trust your meals to the campsites.

Book ahead for a meal plan either including full board (breakfast, box lunch, and dinner) or half board (breakfast and dinner). Alternatively, you can purchase individual meals ahead of time or go a la carte at the onsite cafes at each campsite.

Meals are typically served at specific times at large tables making them a great way to meet other people while you’re traveling. If you don’t order meals but instead opt to eat a la carte, you may have limited times you’re allowed to order food and eat in the dining facilities.

Grey Campsite

Torres del Paine Campsites

Booking campsites in Torres del Paine sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s actually quite the challenge. Besides selling out early, there are a few other difficulties.

One of these challenges is that there are 2 companies that operate campsites within the park, Fantastico Sur and Vertice Patagonia. There are also a couple more campsites operated by the National Park Service. This makes booking consecutive days at different campsites hard.

You’ll have to go back and forth between their websites to find the days that they each have open to string together your itinerary. It’s a constant battle of trial and error to find dates with availability and then get them booked before they sell out. Not to mention just finding them on a map can be challenging!

Booking your campsites for the W Trek or O Trek is by far the most time consuming part of your trip planning. This is because the campsites can be hours apart on foot so you’ll need to balance the hiking distances you plan each day.

So let’s take a look at all of the campsites, along with recommended options if you are planning to hike the W Trek from east to west. These recommendations are based on location and distances in between as the accommodations themselves are fairly comparable.

Central Campsite

Map of Torres del Paine

Before we dive into the various camping providers and sites, it’s probably helpful for you to take a look at a map of Torres del Paine National Park. It will help you visualize what we are talking about as we go.

Fantastico Sur Campsites

Fantastico Sur offers accommodations on the eastern side of the park. They range from camping all the way up to a nice hotel. I have grouped them together based on their locations starting with the furthest east to the furthest west.

  1. Serón Camping: O Trek only
  2. Central Camping, Central Mountain Hostel/Refugio, Norte Mountain Hostel/Refugio, or Hotel Las Torres: Recommended for night 1
  3. Chileno Camping or Chileno Mountain Hostel/Refugio: Backup for night 1
  4. Cuernos Camping, Cuernos Cabins, or Cuernos Mountain Hostel/Refugio: Backup for night 2
  5. Frances Camping or Frances Mountain Hostel/Domo: Recommended for night 2

Search availability and book them on the Fantastico Sur website. You can now book multiple campsites and meals all at once from Fantastico Sur, although it is only moderately friendly. You will likely hit some errors or even unavailable options, but just keep going. It will be worth the frustrations.

Vertice Patagonia Campsites

Vertice offers accommodations on the western side of the park. They offer camping and a few hostel options. These again are listed from furthest east to furthest west to help you understand the order of them all.

  1. Paine Grande Camping or Paine Grande Hostel/Refugio: Recommended for night 3
  2. Grey Camping or Hostel/Refugio: Recommended for night 4
  3. Los Perros Camping: O Trek only
  4. Dickson Camping or Hostel/Refugio: O Trek only

Search availability and book now on the Vertice website. It looks like they have upgraded their booking system so now you can search multiple campsites at once – very exciting!

CONAF (National Park Service)

CONAF offers a couple of free campsites in Torres del Paine National Park. They are very basic and require you to have all of your essentials with you – tent, food, etc. And, you still need to have a reservation, even though they are free.

  1. Camping Italiano: Backup for the backup of night 2
  2. Camping Paso: O Trek only

Search availability and book on the CONAF website. The exact link does change each season, so it will take a bit of finagling to find it.

Hiking View into the mountains and lakes of Chile

Tips for Reserving Campsites in Torres del Paine

Booking campsites in Torres del Paine is one of the most challenging parts of planning the W Trek. Determining how far apart they are, what the ins and outs of the booking processes are, getting the sites when the reservations first open, and of course finding 4 dates in a row.

Here are some additional tips for booking your campsites along the W Trek:

  • To find all of your needed Torres del Paine campsites, you may have to reverse the order of your hike or shift out your days. This will help you find availability at 4 campsites in a row.
  • If for some reason you cannot get the website to work or the accommodation you need is booked on their website, try emailing them. I’ve also heard that before they even open the reservations online some people have luck reserving spots through email. It’s worth a try.
  • Payment may need to be sent via Paypal or a bank transfer. This might seem a little sketchy, but that is how they do it. Keep your receipts.
  • Print your reservations or have them accessible on your cell phone before you enter the park. You may need to prove you have reservations to enter certain parts of Torres del Paine.
  • You can typically add additional food, camping gear, etc. after the reservation is made, but these too sell out. If you know what you want ahead of time, reserve it all at once.
  • Reservations can typically be canceled for no fee as late as 31 days ahead of time. Verify this before booking if your trip is still tentative. These details are located in the Terms and Conditions for Fantastico Sur.
  • Pro Tip: If you need a fully equipped campsite and they’re sold out, try an individual campsite and rent a tent and sleeping bag! It may cost a bit more, but it may open up a campsite for the day you need it!
Lake View

What If You Can’t Get Camping Reservations

All is not lost if you can’t get camping reservations in Torres del Paine. There are still options to make hiking this beautiful park a possibility. Here are five ways to navigate the campsites being full.

1. Be Flexible and Creative on Your Booking

Getting that dreaded “Unavailable” message on the campsite you need on the date you need it can be extremely frustrating. However, there are a few ways to try and piece together your camping needs.

One choice is to try reversing the order of your hike. If you were going east to west try searching the campsites from west to east. This will change the dates you need them and potentially they will be free!

Alternatively, you can also try shifting out the dates of your trip by just a few days. Just a one day shift could open up camping spots.

2. Book a Tour for the W Trek

If planning is not your strong suit, and you’ve completely missed the reservation windows, you can still camp in Torres del Paine National Park. You will just have to book a tour! They’ll take care of the planning and details, and you’ll get to enjoy the hiking stress free.

Choose from independent options, where you can go at your own pace but they’ll handle the logistics, or select a guided trek. Here are some of your best options.

3. Take Day Trips into Torres del Paine National Park

Maybe you didn’t book reservations in advance or you’re not a long distance hiker or camper. Whatever the reason is, there are other ways to explore Torres del Paine National Park, like day trips.

Day trips offer you the opportunity to explore Torres del Paine and see some of the highlights while taking out the stress of long distance hiking.

You can either stay in the park – you are most likely to find space at the campsites near the beginning and end of the W Trek (try Central Campsite or Paine Grande Campsite), or if you can’t find space there, you can make the commute from Puerto Natales daily. It is a bit far with a 2 hour commute on each end, but I did encounter a few people doing this.

Of course, the other option to minimize the logistics, is to book day trip tours into the park. This will make your trip run smoothly without the extra planning on your part. Here are some great options:

4. Move Your Trip Out to a Different Month or Year

If you just got your trip together a bit too late and all camping reservations are taken, consider pushing out your trip. This could just be a month or two or maybe you want to plan for the following year.

This will give you a chance to plan your Torres del Paine camping ahead of time and pounce on reservations as soon as they open!

5. Watch for Cancellations

While not an ideal way to plan a trip, you can just keep your eyes open for cancellations. There are generous cancellation policies in place allowing people to cancel with a 100% refund up to 31 days ahead of time.

This means if you check everyday, there is likely something will become available – although I wouldn’t depend on it. If this fails, you can always hop on the tour options!

Grey Glacier
Grey Glacier

Plan More of Patagonia

Going camping in Torres del Paine is epic. Even though booking Torres del Paine reservations is a bit of a pain, it will be well worth it once you’re sleeping under the brilliant stars and waking up each morning to the stunning scenery of the park.

Continue planning your adventure to Patagonia!

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