Day 1 Friday December 19: Departure to Santiago
Day 2 Saturday December 20: Santiago/Punta Arenas
Early morning arrival in Santiago and connect on your flight to Punta Arenas, located on the northern shore of the Strait of Magellan (S 53° 9.6', W 70° 54.5). Overnight in Punta Arenas.
Overnight: Diego de Almagro Hotel
Day 3 Sunday December 21: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
After a nice overnight rest, we drive north through the Patagonian rolling plains. Weather permitting, we plan a detour to visit a colony of Magellanic penguins in Otway Sound. We stop at the quaint town of Puerto Natales for lunch and continue our drive to Torres del Paine National Park. We will see large herds of sheep and baqueanos (cowboys). As we approach the park along Laguna Amarga, we will have our first views of the spectacular Granite Towers of Paine. We will also enjoy likely sightings of herds of guanacos, flocks of pink flamingos, a variety of foxes, geese, ñandus (wild ostriches) and other wildlife. After entering the park, we get settled at refugio Torres.
Overnight: Refugio Torres
Driving distance: About 240 miles plus additional 40 miles to the rookery.
Day 4 Monday December 22: Torres del Paine - Run to the Towers
This morning we run up the Ascencio Valley. We cross the river and continue uphill along a lenga and cypress trail. As we pass by campamento Chileno and the foot of Mt. Almirante Nieto, the trail follows a southern beech forest, finally reaching a moraine that takes us to the cirque below the famous Towers of Paine; Torre Sur (9,350’), Torre Central (9,186’) and Torre Norte (8,530’). Downhill run back to the refugio. Additional sightseeing and optional running will be scheduled for the afternoon. Overnight at refugio Torres.
Overnight: Refugio Torres.
Day 5 Tuesday December 23: Torres del Paine - Run to Dickson
We begin our counterclockwise circuit along the eastern side of the park. We will run along the Paine River valley through easy rolling meadows, fields of daisies, lupines and beech forests. We should have sightings of foxes and with some luck we may see the Magellanic woodpecker and other wildlife. Overnight at refugio Dickson near the southern shore of Lago Dickson.
Overnight: Refugio Dickson.
Note: You can follow the hiking itinerary, skipping the long distances from Torres to Dickson (18.5 miles) and from Dickson to Grey (19 miles). Please see the note below.
Day 6 Wednesday December 24: Torres del Paine - Run to Grey
The trail climbs out of camp through a lenga forest. We will have excellent views of the surrounding glaciated mountains. We run by Glacier Los Perros, where we will see chunks of blue ice floating on the lake. As we pass the campground, we climb up a short very muddy section and continue the climb to the Gardner pass.
From the top we will have close view of an immense sea of ice “Grey Glacier”; this 4 mile wide glacier is part of the Continental Ice Cap. We will follow a trail down through a forest parallel and above the glacier to the refugio. Overnight at refugio Grey.
Overnight: Refugio Grey.
Day 7 Thursday December 25: Torres del Paine - Run to Cuernos
As we run down along Lago Grey we will see the turquoise icebergs blown to the opposite side of the lake by the strong winds. We arrive at Pehoé, where we can see the Cuernos del Paine and continue on the west side of Lago Scottsberg. We follow a trail along rolling foothills, passing by campamento Italiano, before heading up the French valley. You will have views of the Cuernos (7,217’, 7,874’ and 8,530’) on the east side and the glaciated Cerro Paine Grande (10,006’) on the west. A run downhill followed by a run along Lago Nordenskjold takes us to our nice shelter at Los Cuernos.
Overnight: Refugio Cuernos.
Day 8 Friday December 26: Torres del Paine/Puerto Natales
This morning we complete the circuit around the park finishing in Las Torres. Lunch and drive to Puerto Natales on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). Overnight in Puerto Natales.
Overnight in Puerto Natales
Day 9 Saturday December 27: Flight to Santiago & Connections Home
Morning transportation to Punta Arenas airport for your flight to Santiago and connection with the international flight back to the USA.
Day 10 Sunday December 28: Arrival Home
This adventure offers options of shorter distances on most days. The only distances that you will “have” to run, if you want to follow the runners circuit, are from Torres to Dickson (18.5 miles) and from Dickson to Grey (19 miles). You will have all day to do it. Daylight in the park is until 10:00 p.m. Ask us about options with less running. A 15 day trip option is also available.
The December Torres del Paine Running Adventure is held at the same time as the December Torres del Paine Hiking Adventure. It is possible for one person to participate in the Hiking Adventure and another in the Running Adventure. If you choose this option, you can sleep all nights at the same lodges, except for 3 nights on the Torres del Paine portion of the trip. There is no additional charge, as long as you let us know in advance.
We can accommodate your choice! Check with us for details!
Notes about Patagonia:
Weather in this region is wildly unpredictable and changeable and itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.
• On some days we will be driving on dirt roads.
• Due to the very short season in Patagonia, it is very difficult to get flight reservations on short notice. You must make your trip reservation in advance in order to assure space on the trip.