(Trek in the Torres del Paine National Park - Chilean Patagonia - January 2001)

Practical Informations


A simplified map, just to give a idea of main locations...

A few books:

The basics :

- Lonely Planet: "Trekking in the Patagonians Andes" - 2nd edition - Feb 1998

- Guide du Routard "Argentine - Chili - 2000/2001" (in French)

The picture books :

- "Les Orgues de Patagonie", by Gino Buscaini and Silvia Metzeltin (Glénat 1989). (I believe there is an english version). The alpinist's bible - Excellent pictures

- "Patagonia - Images of a Wild Land", David Nelson (Snowgun Press 1999): Superb pictures. (in English)

- "Patagonie", by Hubert Stadler et Susanne Asal (VILO - Terres Extrêmes 1993): Excellent pictures and some practical information. (in French)

The budget:

From France, we found the best price from Nouvelles Frontières :

- Paris - Madrid - Buenos Aires (Iberia) return : FRF 3795 + 390 airport taxes = FRF 4185 (approx. $ 580)

- Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Rio Gallegos - Buenos Aires (Pass 3 flights, from Aerolineas Argentinas) : FRF 2585 + taxes FRF 110 = FRF 2695 (yes, it's quite expensive !). Actually, we had thought of going back from Ushuaia to Rio Gallegos by plane, but the flight was cancelled : we took the bus to Punta Arenas - which gave us an opportunity to see a little of the Terra del Fuego, and cross the Magellan Straights !

Hotel in Buenos Aires : we stayed at the La Argentina (ref. Routard) : $ 30 a night, double room. No AC, but the room was fairly cool (even though the outside temperature was close to 37°C - 100 °F - in Buenos Aires, early January). Shower. Quite simple, but very friendly.

In Buenos Aires, provide a fair amount for restaurants, coffee-shops (a must, with "media lunas" = croissants), taxis, etc... And of course do not miss the steaks... In order to show us if the meat was cooked to our liking, a waiter cut a piece out... using the spoon... Rather tender, it was....

During the trip to the South : bus fares and nights. See in the report. Very few expenses.

To take along :

- A very good quality tent, to resist wind and rain... and not too heavy... (we have a North Face Mountain 25 - which is of course perfect)

- Sleeping bag + matress for temperatures between 0 and 10°C (not really cold).

- Gore-Tex vest, with head protection : indispensable (no raincape : too much wind)

- Good watertight trekking shoes (Gore-Tex)

- Gaz stove. Watch out : it is not permitted to take a gaz canister on a plane, but Camping Gaz canisters can be found in Ushuaia and we found some also in the Hosteria Las Torres. Gaz can also probably be found in Puerto Natales, but we did not look.

- Freeze-dried food (soups et ready meals)

- One (or more !) cameras + films !

It is probably a good idea to wrap things in the rucksack in Ziploc plastic bags, but we never had to sustain heavy rain, and everything dries quite rapidly, with the wind...


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