Winter for the Win: Your Top 6 FAQs Answered about Winter in Torres del Paine

So when IS the best time to visit Torres del Paine?

The best time to visit Patagonia may not be when you think…While most will say Spring (September to November) Summer (December to February) or Fall (March to April), we’re stating the not-so-obvious in this case which is Patagonia’s Winter, May to August (which by the way is totally underrated!).

We’ve picked your top 6 most frequently asked questions about Patagonia’s off-season to get you thinking about why its the best time to explore the wonders that winter has to offer.

As winter sweeps through the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures drop and the mountains and valleys sleep. The shoulder season naturally offers faaaaar fewer crowds which allows travelers to immerse themselves more in nature. The opportunity to experience the wonders and life that winter brings to Patagonia is greater than anything else. Visitors can observe Southern Patagonia’s native fauna brought out of hiding only by this time of year. Time slows during winter as daylight hours are reduced allowing for slow mornings and warm, sheltered nights. The air is clean and crisp, the landscapes are still yet alive, and the options for adventure are endless…

How cold is Patagonia in the winter? What type of weather can I expect in Torres del paine?

Winter months are actually the most stable months when considering Patagonia’s famously sporadic weather conditions featuring strong winds and rainy downpours. Winter brings cold, short days with very chilly nights and snowcapped mountains and valleys. On average there is only 8-10 hours of daylight with sunrise around 10AM and sunset around 6PM. June and July are typically the coldest and driest months with temperatures between -10º C and 5º C (14º F to 40º F). 

Can you hike Torres del Paine in the winter?

Absolutely! Winter is a perfect time to experience the real wild Patagonia and the unique stillness at the feet of snow-covered mountains. You can still hike the most famous trails in Torres del Paine during winter such as the Base of the Towers Lookout, French Valley and a less-visited trail, Las Carretas, which takes hikers to the base of the Paine Grande mountain along the shores of Pehoe Lake. But wait there’s more! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that hiking is the only option to explore. You can kayak, horseback ride, and even e-bike through pristine landscapes of Torres del Paine and its surrounding areas. The 5 Day Winter Multi-Sport is by far travelers’ most popular pick! Short on time? Opt for the 3 Day Winter Multi-Sport instead…

And we can’t forget to mention the Winter W Trek which connects Grey Glacier, the French Valley and the Base of the Towers Lookout over five days of superb hiking fueled by crisp air and still landscapes (minus the jostling crowds and cramped refugios). Due to some restrictions and closures during the off-season, the only refugio which remains open to guests during their W traverse is Paine Grande. This makes for a central base location when hiking to Grey Glacier and the French Valley. This also means that winter travelers have the opportunity to hike Las Carretas which borders the Grey River and the shores of Pehoe Lake. This trail is notoriously known as a great spot to see pumas especially in winter. 

How difficult is the Winter W trek in Patagonia?

The Winter W Trek, like any program in Torres del Paine, requires a certain physical ability in order to complete the trek successfully. Keep in mind that each member of a guided group will hike at a different rhythm and pace but group members must follow the pace indicated by the guide according to the distance and daylight hours available. Each day’s trek will have a minimum number of kilometers or miles which must be covered and hiking times are estimated and could be more or less given trail and weather conditions and the groups’ overall rhythm. We encourage our guests to remember that traveling in a guided group allows for a unique experience – bonding with fellow travelers and interacting with the guide and the destination in which they are visiting. 

Over 5 memorable days, winter trekkers will experience the W Trek from a new perspective while still hitting the most talked about spots. Hike to the base of the Paine Grande mountain while staying in the comforts of the Paine Grande Refugio. During the trek’s second and third days, you’ll hike into the heart of the snow-covered French Valley and to the Grey Glacier lookout. On the last day, ascend through beechwood forests and the Ascencio River up to the iconic three towers standing before a snow-covered horizon.

Can I see pumas in Torres del Paine during the winter?

Pumas rule the landscapes of Torres del Paine. These magnificent and majestic felines can be spotted all year-round. But to spot pumas it’s all about two things – timing and luck! Since there are far fewer visitors during winter, pumas tend be more active in their natural environment. Like most cats, pumas are more active during early morning dawn and dusk. Plus, shortened daylight hours in the winter are much more appealing to visitors – waking up at 8am to set out for an adventure is far more appealing than waking up around 4am wouldn’t you say?

Pumas stand out against the white covered landscapes of Patagonia making it much easier to spot them in winter! Summer and spring gives these cats the perfect camouflage conditions to blend in with their surroundings. See? Just another reason winter wins…

Why is the weather so unpredictable in Patagonia? Does it snow a lot in Torres del Paine?

We didn’t want to say anything BUT – rain and snow are possible at any time of year! – not just winter. March and April are more commonly the peak months for precipitation, but snow can fall at any given time of the year (yes, even during summer!). Torres del Paine National Park lies at a latitude of 51°, placing it between two notorious zones where warm air from the equator meets cold air traveling north from Antarctica. And since Torres del Paine National Park is not only along the coast, but also at the tip of the continent where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Atlantic, these westerly gale force winds have very few land masses to slow them down. The national park contains magnificent landscapes such as glaciers, mountains, rivers, valleys, fjords, and wide open pampas. Each of these formations impact weather differently because of their unique geographical relation and the role they haven creating microclimates. 

SY Joyce Kan
SY Joyce Kan
Amazing trip! We joined the Torres Del Paine 7 day O trek tour - note that this tour is not a complete O Trek but skipping the part from Camp Frances to Las Torres, which worked in our favour as our holiday is limited and we won’t miss much. Our guide, Debbie was knowledgeable and amicable, and very passionate about hiking. Unfortunately I fell sick during the hike and wished to leave a day earlier than planned. Debbie and Chile Nativo quickly rearranged transportation for us and was very helpful. Throughout the whole process Chile Nativo was very responsive. We had a memorable journey and I would highly recommend Chile Nativo.
Jim Garvin
Jim Garvin
Fantastic experience! We were booked with Chile Nativo via Swoop and had a wonderful experience. Our guides, Tim & Lucile, were awesome. We really enjoyed their company. They were very knowledgeable about the region (the history, animals, landscape, etc). Highly recommend.
Olivia Evans
Olivia Evans
I booked the independent, self-guided Torres Del Paine trek with Chile Nativo’s help and was so glad I did. When I looked to book on my own, everything was all reserved in Torres Del Paine and Chile Nativo was the only agency that could help me find a spot still. To still be able to go on the trip when I wanted to go, to not have to spend so much time planning all the logistics, to get a local’s recommendations on the best way to do the trek…but STILL get to do the trek on my own was amazing and worth every penny. In particular Paolina at the agency was incredibly helpful. I would recommend this agency to anyone looking to hike in Torres del Paine.
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
Serious, professional, and friendly Tour Agency in Puerto Natales that will cater your needs in Patagonia and Torres del Paine.
Kevin Jobst
Kevin Jobst
Hiking in Torres with Pepa is like walking with your smartest and wisest friend. She has an incredible depth of knowledge in everything from mycology to government, from geology to history. She is fiercely passionate about conservation and our planet and has dedicated her life to making our world a better place. Our two porters Filipe and Bastian were both incredibly strong and highly professional. Always in the know on where to set up the tent, they picked the best spot in every site we were at. Also, they were an absolute blast to hang out with after the long days hiking. I cannot recommend this particular team highly enough and if you are passionate about the environment, making the world a better place, learning everything there is to know about glaciers, mushrooms, Patagonia, the history of Chile, magma intrusions and edible berries request them by name. Thank you to all three of you for making our experience so special and I hope our paths cross again.
Brad Smith
Brad Smith
Our Torres Del Paine Plus trip was fantastic! A great crew of newly-made friends, guided by Izabella “La Professora”, on a journey beyond expectations. What a great time, a balance of hiking and touring. DO NOT miss the pumas!!! I will definitely go with the Chile Nativo team again, and thanks to Nestor & Juan too!
Senga Simpson
Senga Simpson
Excellent service. Thank you Vicky
Lukas Winegarner
Lukas Winegarner
Camilo is ledged! Chile Nativo is extremely experienced and knowledgeable - I would highly recommend booking directly through them. We were a group of 8 doing the O 7 day hike and everything was great! Thanks to Camilo & Tomas and all of our porters!


Monday – Friday
9 am to 1 pm / 3 pm to 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 1 pm

+56 61 2411835


Monday to Friday
9 am to 2 pm / 3 pm to 7 pm

🇺🇸  +1 800 6498776
🇨🇱  +56 61 2691391

Adventure Unleashed:
Bi-monthly News Updates!