Trek back in time to Torres del Paine’s hidden valleys and canyons, where paleontology is very much alive and evidence of Patagonia’s prehistoric life lies in wait. Pour over Ichthyosaurus fossils, hike the Zapata Valley and explore steppe dotted with the fossils of ancient leaves. This trek through ancient history weaves through secluded valleys, steppe and canyons far from the Park’s more crowded trails.
• Visit Torres del Paine’s Most Remote Locations
• Wild, Untouched Trekking & Camping Experience
• Hike the Zapata Valley
• Get Close to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field
• Trek to the Summit of Cerro Zapata
• See Impressive Ichthyosaurus Fossils
• Visit Tyndall Glacier
Transfer to Torres del Paine - Full Day Trek through the Zapata Valley
2 hours by private transfer
6 hours hike, 14 KM
Night at Zapata Campsite (BL-D)
An early morning transfer will pick you up from your Puerto Natales hotel and take you to Torres del Paine National Park. After entering the National Park, we’ll drive to the post at Grey Lake and begin our 6-hour hike to the Zapata Valley, the most ancient one in Torres del Paine. This is an extremely unfrequented valley and your group will experience the peace of trekking alone, accompanied only by stirring scenery, and (if we’re lucky) the watchful gaze of the foxes, woodpeckers and huemuls (Andean deer) that live here. Hikers will share the weight of common equipment, carrying food and tents between them. A group porter and cook will carry the portable toilet and cook meals during your time at the Zapata campsite. This is a remote camping experience, staying at a basic campsite without access to hot water - but with the transcendent backdrop of Torres del Paine’s (truly) untamed landscapes on all sides. Upon arrival, we’ll set up camp, settle in and recharge with a nourishing evening meal.
Explore the Ichthyosaurus Graveyard
12 hour round-trip/hike, 8 km
Night at Zapata Campsite (B-BL-D)
Today you’ll hike to rocky slopes near Tyndall Glacier to the site of a precious paleontological discovery. Here, 46 examples of Ichthyosaurus fossils, a dolphin-like “fish lizard” that lived 245 million to 90 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era, are seen as if etched into the rock itself. Adult and embryo specimens are present, showing us the remains of a what is likely a pack that was entombed by catastrophic mudflow that rushed into the underwater canyons they hunted. We’ll make our way back to our campsite via the same route and settle in to share a good meal. Tonight take time to stretch and rest: tomorrow’s hike is our most challenging.
Full-day Hike to the Summit of Cerro Zapata
12-14 hour round-trip/hike, 26 km
Night at Zapata Campsite (B-BL-D)
This morning we’ll begin at around 4:00 am. Our destination is the Cerro Zapata (1590 m). This is a non-technical hike, but one that is long and requires hikers to interact closely with the landscape: weaving through forests of native trees, crossing snow and bouldering across huge rocks carved out by the glaciers’ ancient movements. The summit of Cerro Zapata has 360° views of fantastic Patagonian scenery, being surrounded by lakes, glaciers, mountain ranges and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Its peak is a particularly wonderful lookout for glaciers and the lakes they give birth to: from the summit, Glaciers Grey, Tyndall, Geikie, Pingo, Olguín (and others still unexplored) will be laid out below you. Our return hike to camp will be along the same route.
Return hike, Transfer back to Puerto Natales
6 hour hike, 14 km
2 hours by private transfer
This morning we’ll break camp and begin our return hike across the grassy steppe and undulating slopes of the valley, with energy-boosting views of the Paine Massif along the way. At the end of our trek we’ll meet our driver, who will transfer us back to Puerto Natales.
- All Private Transportation Indicated in the Schedule
- Entrance Fee to Torres del Paine National Park
- Three Nights at Zapata Campsite
- 4 Seasons Tent (Double Occupancy)
- 1 Porter to Carry Portable Toilet
- Cooking Utensils, Plate, Retractable Bowl, Sea to Summit Folding Chair
- All Meals Indicated in Schedule (B: Breakfast, BL: Box Lunch, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
- Professional Hiking Guides (English-Spanish)
- Any Additional Nights
- Medical Expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Expenses
- Breakfast on Day 1, Lunch on Day 4
- Sleeping Bag and/ or Sleeping Mat
- Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Drinks
- Gratuities for Guide & Driver
$1.195 Per Person
Start / End
MIN 2 MAX 8 PEOPLE
Chile Nativo Wild Camping
When we go off the beaten path, we must camp in places without modern facilities. We provide all the camping gear necessary for the most comfortable remote experience. Camping gear is provided to guests including tents (double occupancy), compact cooking utensils, & portable camp chair. The camping gear, food and cooking utensils must be shared among the group and each person will carry in total between 17 – 20 kgs (34 – 44 Lbs). Each group will have a porter who will carry the portable camping toilet throughout the excursion.
Dates & Prices
Program prices are determined on the final number of confirmed guests in a group. The per person price lowers as more guests join the group. Chile Nativo operates with a maximum of 8 guests per departure which allows for a high level of individualized service and an unforgettable personalized experience.
PRICES FOR SEASON 2020/2021: (valid until April 2021)
2 Guests Total in Group: USD$ 1.595
3 Guests Total in Group: USD$ 1.395 per person
4-8 Guests Total in Group: USD$ 1.195 per person
BOOK NOW! Travel Later
Book now, Travel Later gives our guests the flexibility to reserve with a reduced deposit now for their program of choice during our 2020/21 season with our updated booking and cancelation terms. Choose any departure date prior to the end of the season on April 30th, 2021 (subject to availability).
Review our full terms and conditions here!
Q: How do I arrive to Puerto Natales?
A: The Santiago International Airport (Arturo Merino Benítez Airport) is the main international hub where travelers arrive to begin their travels in Chile. Guests may take a direct flights to Punta Arenas Airport (Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport) which is a 3.5 hour flight into the capital city of the region. Frequent flights to Punta Arenas are available as it is the main airport in the region and where many travelers stop to explore prior to or after their adventures in Torres del Paine National Park. From Punta Arenas, guests may travel 3 hours via bus or a private transfer to Puerto Natales. Now, guests may also fly directly to Puerto Natales (Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport) from Santiago which is also a 3.5 hour flight. Available flights are less frequent than those to Punta Arenas but still available several days a week during peak season (October – April). Most itineraries require that guests book flights arriving at least the day prior to starting their program and departing the day after finishing.
Q: Where do I keep my luggage that I won´t need during my trek while I am hiking in the park?
A: The majority of the hotels and hostels will store luggage for their guests who are staying with them prior to and after their travels in the park. If not, we will happily store your luggage securely in our office until you arrive back from your trek and will deliver this to your hotel where you will be staying in Puerto Natales.
Q: Do I need to travel with my own sleeping bag and tent?
A: You will need to bring our own sleeping bag and sleeping mat along on this trek and you will be required to carry these items with you. Your tent will be provided by Chile Nativo but hikers will be required to share the weight of the equipment among them.
Q: Will we have porters on this trek who carry some of our weight and personal items?
A: The Zapata Valley is one of the least hiked areas of the national park and this particular excursion is for active hikers who wish to have a unique and remote experience. Hikers will share the weight of common equipment, carrying food and tents between them. A group porter and cook will carry the portable toilet and cook meals during your time at the Zapata campsite.
Q: What type of travel insurance is recommended for this excursion?
A: This particular excursion takes place in extreme and remote areas. Medical emergencies which require field rescue or evacuation can be difficult if not impossible during certain portions of the trails and therefore we strongly recommend that our guests invest in a plan with our partners at Global Rescue. Now more than ever, travelers want the confidence knowing that their decision to invest in a travel insurance is the right one in the event of a security emergency, trip cancellation, or any other unforeseen event – especially now during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Global Rescue will issue guests a refund in the event of any unforeseen circumstance that may restrict or prohibit their ability to travel or in the case they must reschedule their trip including events related to COVID-19. Read more about travel plans on our Travel Insurance Page!
Q: What are the campsites like during this trek?
A: This trek offers a remote camping experience, staying at a basic campsite without access to hot water – but with the transcendent backdrop of Torres del Paine’s truly untamed landscapes on all sides. A portable camping toilet will be setup for the comfort and privacy of restroom facilities for guests during this excursion.
Q: Should I tip my guide? If so – how much is appropriate?
A: Tipping can be a delicate subject and many different nationalities have different tipping cultures. Tips or ´propinas´ in Chile, are viewed as a reward for good, quality service. When tipping your guide/s, they should be in Chilean pesos. If you do leave tips in US dollars – make sure the bills are unmarked and undamaged. A good guide who does the job well, has good English and provides a great service, can expect CLP 10,000 to 15,000 a day in total per day from the group. For a good assistant guide, each should get about half that of the guide per day, CLP 5,000 to 8,000 per day. It is usual to leave your driver or chauffeur a tip too. Normally around CLP 2,000 to CLP 3,000 per person. These amounts are merely a source to help you or give you a general idea of what is normal or typical. Of course, tipping is always at the discretion of the group members as to what they deem appropriate for the service they received.
Add-Ons & Upgrades
PRIVATE DEPARTURES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST – CONTACT A TRIP SPECIALIST TO PLAN YOUR TREK!
OPTIONAL SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)
– Private Transfer to/from Punta Arenas Airport/Puerto Natales: *Price depends on total number of guests
– Public Bus Punta Arenas to/from Puerto Natales: USD$ 15 per guest, per way
EQUIPMENT RENTAL: (must be booked in advance)
– Sleeping Bag / Sleeping Mat Rental: USD$ 6 per item, per night
– Trekking Poles: USD$ 6 per pair, per day
RECOMMENDED TRAVEL INSURANCE: This particular excursion takes place in extreme and remote areas. Medical emergencies which require field rescue or evacuation can be difficult if not impossible during certain portions of the trails, and therefore we strongly recommend that our guests invest in a travel insurance with our partners at Global Rescue. Read more on our Travel Insurance Page!