Nicholas returned in January from a Full Circuit in Torres del Paine. Here he tells us about his experiences on the trip and in booking with Swoop and our partners…
‘In a nut shell… IT WAS SPECTACULAR!! What a great way to start my 10 week journey in South America.’
How did Swoop do in helping you to plan arrange your trip?
I could not have planned and arranged this 9 day Full Circuit without your valuable help. Your site popped up first and explained the Full Circuit in detail, which got me REALLY excited to conquering the Torres del Paine!
You guys did an amazing job by in helping me put the final touches into booking my trek. I would definitely recommend you to all of my friends or anyone looking to go to Patagonia.
How were Swoop’s Partners in Torres del Paine?
They were brilliant with the organising of transportation and minding the extra bags at the national park. Catering had its ups and downs, but the guides are absolute legends! I liked every single minute with them…. whether we communicating in Spanish or in English I had a great time. The other group members were really nice too – great people to spend time with during the trek. We had a big group of 12 people with 2 guides and a few porters.
What did you think of the eco friendly camp in which you stayed?
The camp was good. I was in a tent for the full circuit, but from what I saw of the camp, it was clean and well organised, and home to many nice people.
How was your Full Circuit itinerary?
When I read about the itinerary, I thought ‘well this does not sound hard at all’. Months later I set foot in the National Park… OH MY GOD! It was challenging, but I like to push myself to the limit and it was worth it- every minute you are taking a photo that is spectacular.
It there was one negative, it was that the group often split up, with people going off at their own pace, and openers going off with another group! This is only a minor thing, but I would recommend the guides keeping the group together, and communicating better with people who are falling behind.
What was the highlight of your trip?
There were so many highlights, but the main ones were…
Day 2: Leaving Camp Dickson to Los Perros
Day 3: Climbing a mountain (for me it was the first time climbing a mountain and also setting foot on snow!)
Day 5: Camp Pehoe to Los Cuernos. WOW the French Valley is B-E-A-UTIFUL!
The final day was VERY special because we left the campsite Los Torres at 1:30am (yes a.m. not pm!), and walked along the track looking up at the moon, high and bright. We used nothing but torches to guide us to the spectacle of Torres del Paine, which we reached at 4:30am, just in time to see the sunrise. Ohhh man that was BEAUTIFUL!! A LOT of photos were taken there but when I put the camera down, all I did was just look at the mountains and say to myself…
‘I cannot believe that I am here, I must be dreaming. It is just too beautiful to be true. I now have officially completed… actually no CONQUERED the Torres del Paine Circuit.’
Do you have any tips for other people planning a trip?
Be prepared and fit, if you think that you are developing a blister on your ankle, STOP and fix it before it is too late and make the most of your time there memorable!
Did you visit anywhere else in South America before/ after your Full Circuit?
After Torres del Paine, a friend from my group invited me to go to Tierra del Fuego and see King Penguins, that was awesome. Then I was in Argentina with my relatives from Buenos Aires and from Rafaela (near Santa Fe). I spent time in Buenos Aires before Christmas in Rafaela with the rest of the family and made small trips to Rosario and Santa Fe, they were memorable and fun.
‘Overall I have had a spectacular trip. Torres del Paine, and Argentina with the relatives, memories that will NEVER be lost.’