Tag Archives: Torres del Paine


Lauren’s Winter W Trek in August

Lauren returned in August from a Winter Trek in Torres del Paine. Here she tells us about her experiences on the trip and in booking with Swoop and our partners in Chile…


How did Swoop do in helping you plan and arrange your trip? 

From the beginning, Swoop was easy to work with and always quick to respond to any questions that we had about planning our Patagonia trip. It was especially helpful to get their insight into the pros and cons of setting up a trek during Chilean winter, and we didn’t feel pressured one way or another. In the end, doing the 5 Day Winter W Trek was amazing and worth a little bit of cold weather!

[Here's a little more about Weather in Patagonia throughout the season]

Is there anythign we could have done differently?

Nothing! You guys had just the right amount of communication with us as we went through the trip-planning process.


How did you enjoy the itinerary provided by our partners in Chile?

Although we were initially in a bit of sticker-shock from general Patagonia organised trek costs, we were very happy with the value that our trek ended up having. Everything from the itinerary to the food to the transportation was well organised and comfortable, and we were able to have a nice balance of a rugged trekking experience with certain little luxuries that made the trip more relaxing and enjoyable.

One of the nice things about the itinerary during our trek was its flexibility- obviously a lot of what we did depended on the weather and other external factors, but our guide made sure to check in with us about what we wanted to do and what we were feeling up to as the trek continued.

How were your guides on the trek?

Our guide, Mauricio, was amazing. Not only was he very knowledgable, experienced and attentive as a guide, but he was also just lots of fun to hang out with and easy to spend 5 days with. Because our trek was only 3 people including the guide, we were curious how that dynamic would go…but it was always comfortable, fun and easy-going. Mauricio also did a great job of showing us the sights, critters, and unseen spots in the winter, and he always challenged us to go a bit further. It was always worth it!

Is there anything you would have changed about your trip?

Nothing that I can think of.


What was the highlight of your trip?

Our very first day of full trekking was a clear, cold, and sunny day, and we decided to head up the French Valley. Thanks to Mauricio’s knowledge and experience, we were able to put in a full day of hiking and make it all the way up to the Britanico viewpoint. The snow seemed pretty untouched and it seemed like we were the only ones who had made it up there this winter, and without any other people around, it was very surreal and beautiful. An exhausting but amazing day that was very, very worth the hard work!

Do you have any tips for other people planning a trip?

Go in the winter if you are okay with some cold temperatures and being a little bit flexible…Not only is it beautiful to see the snow, ice and winter landscape, but it was amazing to feel like we were the only ones there. A great way to do the W-trek.

Did you manage to visit anywhere else in Chile or Argentina?

We spent time in Santiago, Valparaiso, and Mendoza…but that was just warm up for the beautiful sights and great experience of being in Chilean Patagonia!


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Patagonia on the Web – 8th August

Swoop’s roundup of all things Patagonian across the web this week.

Swoop’s Favourite Photographs:

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 16.25.10Mt FitzRoy – Greg Boratyn
‏@GregBoratyn takes wonderfully colourful shots of Patagonia that look at how the changing light effects the landscape. You can take a look at the rest of his work at his website.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 16.34.28@dbustosp posted this fantastic photo of Lago grey on his instagram account along with some awesome shots of Torres del Paine. 
Find out more about Largo Grey .

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Glacier lake by night ~Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
The light on this  shot by  PanTwentySix on Flicker is amazing. Follow on twitter @Aquafloater

Swoop’s blog of the week:

Climber Alex Honnold on the Fitz Traverse; Photograph by Tommy Caldwell
National Geographic Beyond the Edge blog.
Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell talk about their  “Extreme Backpacking” on Patagonia’s Fitz Traverse.

Follow in their footsteps and plan your own Fitz Traverse adventure. 


Leo’s Winter Adventure in Torres del Paine

Leo returned in May from a Winter Trek in Torres del Paine. Here he tells us a little about his experiences on the trek, shares some wonderful photos, and provides some helpful tips for other people travelling to Patagonia in Winter…


I completed the 3-day Winter Highlights trek with Swoop’s local host – Victor. It was a really memorable trek. Torres del Paine has both peaceful environment and stunning views in the winter.


We tried to arrange trips to Calafate afterwards but we didn’t have enough time sadly. We travelled to Easter Island afterwards.


The temperature is already below zero on the mountain but you are still warm if you keep walking. A walking stick is very helpful when walking on frozen land with slippery ice surface.

Thank you for helping me to plan this awesome trip!


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Patagonia on the web 27th June

Swoop’s roundup of all things Patagonian across the web this week.

Swoop’s Favourite Photographs:

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Some great photographs that celebrate Torres del Paine in winter.
Ice Monsters by loris van Breugel
Gigantic icebergs drift on Lago Grey on a calm morning in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, with a view of Paine Grande in the distance.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 17.28.05Great black and white mood shot from @AdamBarkerPhoto on Twitter taken while fly fishing in Torres del Paine .

This great floral shot is from @UnevenSidewalks blog post Torres del Paine: 5 Days of Incredible Trekking

Swoop’s blog of the week:

This week’s blog of the week is jimmyeatsworld’s Fifteen images that will make you go to Patagonia.
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“If somebody mentions landscape photography, my immediate thoughts shoot back to October/November 2013 when I made my first visit to the Patagonia region. It was to be the pinnacle of my adventures in Latin America and it sure didn’t disappoint. From the moment we arrived to Colombia and the start of the Andes mountain range, the landscapes just got better and better the further south I went.”

If they inspire you to start planning a Patagonia trip where you can take just as stunning photographs, talk to Swoop about our photography cruises. 

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Patagonia on the Web – 20th June

Swoop’s roundup of all things Patagonian across the web this week.

Swoop’s Favourite Photographs:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.05.58Great photo from @ChileFoto at the start of a Carretera Austral adventures.
BqRH56qIYAAc0Aq@1lovemountains posted this picture up on their Twitter this week, adding that Patagonia is at it’s most dramatic in the winter months.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.20.51 Blogger John Paul Whelan, posted these beautiful images on his twitter this week showing the autumnal colours in Patagonia.
He also wrote a  blog all about his experiences  trekking in El Chalten.

Swoop’s blog of the week:

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Torres del Paine made the Huffington posts list of 35 Most Amazing National Parks on Earth.
Saying : “While the hiking and views are beautiful in their own right, seeing the immense glaciers of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field extend towards the horizon is an experience that hasn’t its equal.”
We couldn’t agree more!

If you’re interested in visiting  in one of the most amazing National Parks on Earth we can help you find the right kind of trip for you. 

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Patagonia on the Web

Patagonia on the Web – 6th June

A roundup of all things Patagonia we found on the web this week.

Patagonia in the news:
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50 entire ichthyosaur fossils have been found in southern Chile, one of the best finds of its kind to date. The fossils were found in Torres del Paine and lived between the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, which extended from 250 million to 66 million years ago.
Find out more about the discoveries here.

Swoop’s Favourite Photographs:
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@thisisChile retweeted @barbarakvh  who took this lovely shot of Cucao, Chiloé.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.12.17The lighting is so dramatic in @Gabriele_Corno  shot ”Out of Darkness” – Torres del Paine National Park, in southern Chilean Patagonia, Chile.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.18.40 Snapped with a point and shoot @ClareBevis gives a different view of Torres del Paine.

Blog of the week:

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.43.09Globetrottergirls.com have done a number of posts about their Patagonia trip, this one about Chiloe is fantastic and describes why it’s must see island. . “…we left the island feeling utterly romanced and wishing we could have seen more of its empty beaches and bays, explored more the national park and the tiny fishing villages.”

When travelling to Chiloe it can be difficult to get off the beaten track  when you go independently or using public transport.  Talk to us about a guided excursion that allows you to delve deeper into the island’s cultural history and wildlife.

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Patagonia on the Web

Patagonia on the Web – 30th May

A roundup of all things Patagonia we found on the web this week

Swoop’s Favourite Photographs:


Incredibly atmospheric shot showing a unique perspective of Torres Del Paine.
@earthshots tweeted this great picture by Dale Mitchell from five years ago today.
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@thegentsjournal posted this usual property, the Awasi Patagonia, Chile on their twitter page.
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Fantastic shot of Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires from Slightly Astray’s latest blogpost.
For more Slightly Astray blog news follow Anna on twitterScreen Shot 2014-05-30 at 12.40.49

Blog of the week:

We12travel  have done a number of brilliant blog posts all about their experiences in Patagonia and Chile.  Their Park Post 6: Torres Del Paine gives some great advice to those who are thinking about visiting the park.

If you’re interested in finding out about all the different things you can do in Torres del Paine take a look at Swoop’s Torres del Paine page.


Charles’s ‘W Trek’ experience in Torres del Paine

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 15.15.03http://instagram.com/coolerinthefog

Charles just came back from a W Trek trip in Torres del Paine with Chile Nativo.
Here he talks to us about what the trek was like and the perks of staying in a refugio.

How well did Swoop Patagonia do helping you plan your holiday, and finding the best trip or operator for you?

I had a stellar time in Patagonia with your group.  It was particularly freeing to not have to book each refugio nor worry about meal reservations, etc.

How was Chile Nativo, and how were their guides on the trip?

Going with the tour group was a great way to see the W circuit, well worth the extra expense. Carlos was an excellent guide, and it was a great adventure. I’d strongly recommend to anyone. It was especially nice not to have to haul tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, etc, but I still had a sense of being in the outdoors. 

Was there anything that you wish had happened differently/or not happened at all?

One suggestion would be to survey those planning on going on a trip and attempt to group together those of similar skill levels and risk thresholds, etc. (if at all possible, perhaps during the highest season when there are many folks going on trips). I say this because there can be a bit of disconnect between some in a group who want to push a little harder and others who prefer more relaxed style…anyway somehow that consideration should be worked into the way folks are grouped together (but I realize the main driver is WHEN folks are departing, etc.)