How much we spent in 5 days at the Torres del Paine park in Chile.
One of the things that come up every time I have a conversation about Torres del Paine is the cost. It is known to be expensive and I have to admit, it is easy to spend a lot there. But I also learned that there are so many options for every budget.
Can you do this trip on a budget?
There are so many ways of doing this trip affordably. I met many students that were doing the W-circuit on a budget (i.e. camping, bringing their own food, hiking by themselves). I chose a mid-range, we splurge in some bits and did our usual budget thing for the rest.
Here is the breakdown of our expenses, I hope this is helpful if you are planning a trip.
Note: I did not include how much we spent on food in detail, but I’ll give an estimate at the end.
Getting to the National Park
We started the journey by flying from Orlando to Santiago. Then we flew down to Punta Arenas.
Copa Air flight to Chile: US$1100 or $780,000 CLP each
LATAM flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas: US$140 or $100,000 CLP each
We took a bus straight from the Punta Arenas airport to Puerto Natales. Puerto Natales is the closest town to the National Park, so you will want to start your journey there.
Bus from airport to Puerto Natales: US$7 or $5000 CLP each
Then we made it to Puerto Natales (the closest city to the national Park) and into our airbnb. Finally, a bed.
Starting our journey in Puerto Natales
To start, we stayed a few nights in Puerto Natales. It’s the closest town to the park and there are restaurants, supermarkets and tour companies around. We stayed at an Airbnb and I liked that it was close to most things and we had a private room and bathroom.
We spent two nights before the hike and one after.
Puerto Natales Airbnb: $50 US per night ($150 total)
Exploring the park: Full Day Tour of Torres del Paine
To recuperate from the 2 days of traveling, we chose to do a ‘full-day tour’ of the park. This is a pretty famous tour offered by many companies in the area and it takes you to the best viewing spots with minimal walking. It stops at lake Pehoe, lake Grey, the Melodon cave, and many other gorgeous spots. I highly recommend this.
Torres del Paine Full Day Tour US$50 or $35000 CLP each
Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park: $6.000 CLP for chileans / $21.000 CLP for foreigners
Hiking Torres del Paine – a shortened W Circuit
We did not hike the entire W circuit. We live in Florida and so we have like zero experience hiking so we hiked for 3 days total.
We took the bus from Puerto Natales to the National Park. We stopped right by the Lake Pehoe (the stop is called Pudeto) which leaves you right where you can take the ferry. The ferry took us to the lodge Paine Grande, where we started our hike.
Bus from Puerto Natales to National Park (round trip): US$24 or $17,000 CLP each
Ferry from Pudeto to refugio Paine (w/ return):US$35 or $30.000 CLP each
The first hiking stretch
From Refugio Paine Grande we hiked all the way to Refugio Grey, where we spent the night.
We spent one night at the Refugio Grey, they have the option to camp (bring your own tent or rent there) or stay in one of their rooms. We chose to stay indoors. Refugio Grey is amazing, it felt like an upscale cabin.
Refugio Grey (1 night for 2 people): US$180 or $130,000 CLP
*Note on the food: We had brought food with us because we weren’t sure how many vegan options we were going to find. But every Refugio we stopped at had vegan options for every meal! You just have to let them know in advance. Next time, I would definitely get all my meals pre-paid and bring some snacks along with me.
Hiking a Glacier
After spending the night at Refugio Grey, we headed our way to one of the best adventures of our lives. We hiked the glacier! It was a dream, read more about that here.
Ice Hike with Big Foot Patagonia: US$150 or $106.000 CLP each
That same afternoon, we hiked back to Paine Grande, we took the ferry back and we hopped on one of the buses to take us back to Laguna Amarga, which is a short drive away. We paid a small fee to the driver.
An unforgettable experience at EcoCamp
The following night, we stayed at EcoCamp Patagonia. I wrote a whole post about this place, but this was one of the coolest and most unique places I have ever been at. The people were incredibly nice and the whole experience left us never wanting to leave. It’s pricier than other options BUT we thought it was amazing and worth every dollar.
Ecocamp Patagonia (1 night): US$380 or $270,000 CLP each
We reserved this through Booking.com – use this link to get $25 off your next trip!
The hardest hike of our lives
The morning after staying at Ecocamp, we had the most amazing breakfast and packed our lunch (food was included in our stay). Then we made our way to the base of the towers.
After the hardest hike ever, we hopped on the bus back to Puerto Natales, where we spent the night at the same Airbnb. The next morning we took a bus to Punta Arenas, and that was the end of our Patagonia trip.
Bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas: US$7 or $5000 CLP each
Patagonia in every budget
So as you can see, we did not hold back too much on the spending, but we saved up by doing all the hikes on our own and bringing snacks.
There are ways of doing this trip with less or more money, and that’s the cool thing about Torres del Paine. You can camp, or you can stay in the best hotels in the country. You can hike by yourself or have an experienced guide by you. It’s up to you.
Let’s calculate how much I spent:
The total is…. US$3769 for both of us OR US$1888 each.
I would say that we spent an additional $200 each in food for 5 days. That includes drinks, snacks, and meals.
What do you think? Would you ever consider going to Torres del Paine? I know I will be back one day because it is one of the most stunning places on earth. I love it there.
Hope this was helpful for you.