Patagonia – Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy

Currently roughing out a potential trip down to South America starting in Patagonia with plans to do both Fitz Roy and either the full Torres del Paine or at least the W or O Circuit.
Dates are incredibly flexible, just sussing out if anyone is interested around that time as I’d prefer to do the circuit with some nice, friendly, nature-loving people. Totally fine with people only interested in one of the two. Budget is very rough based on figures from other people’s trips. I do have a 2-person 3-season tent albeit it’s very cozy. If refugios are preferred and there’s availability I definitely don’t mind upgrading

I’m a laid-back 29 year old guy from Toronto, Canada who majored in computer science (if that holds any relevance) but have an affinity for nature, trekking, and photography. Been traveling since New Years Day of this year with a couple of months at home in between my Oceania and Europe trips to recharge. Currently back in Canada planning the next chapter of my life. After traveling to so many amazing places though work just seems so uninteresting :P.
I’m fluent in just English and know a bit of Quebecois French. If you need any more info feel free to check my profile or ask :).

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10 replies
  1. Hi

    I am Maarten, i plan a month travelling in Chile from the 21 of January until the 18 of February. I will come from Belgium where i live and land in Santiago.

    Anyway it would be nice to meet you but it has to be ok with the dates and so. I don’t know so much how i want to do it. What i know is that i met a chili guy in Europe where i fell in love with around september 2017. Recently so very cool. I want to visit Chile because he’s from there and also because its nice. I like mountains, pinguins, whales, nice parks, vulcanoes. Everything what i like.

    But yeah, i can stay in Santiago where he lives and sleep there. He won’t have time for me whole my trip and im looking for a travel companion for hiking in the mountains. A hike with a guy or girl who i can observe and also hear interesting stories. I like to talk with people and see their experience of. It seems for me that you are also a cool guy. I am 34 years old.

    greetings Maarten

  2. Hi Maarten,

    thanks for the interest, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I only got the privilege of passing through Belgium on my way to Rotterdam from Paris but have heard amazing things. Bruges and Antwerp look incredible. Brussels as well but it might have been a bit crowded for my taste. You also have incredible chocolate and beer though.

    Those dates could definitely work for me, just determining if I want to find a job for the holiday season or if I want to say to heck with it and plan a trip to South America. My friend from Zwolle, Netherlands may be in Costa Rica in February so my plan had been to hike in Chile/Argentina and work my way north to meet him for a few weeks. We’ll see though since he’s in a “reserved” spot on a tour.

    I will post more as soon as I know a bit more about my plans. Congratulations! That’s like a modern day Disney movie plot right there. I’m a little foreign to the cultural customs of Chile but know they’re amazingly nice people, are collectively as a country great at football, and that they have one of the most rugged and pristine regions to hike in in the world, Patagonia. Penguins, whales, volcanoes, and mountains certainly make it a pretty attractive place to visit hehe.

    Given that Chile is such a long country, Santiago is actually quite a long distance from Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas (the closest airport running flights daily from Santiago). However, they’re pretty modestly priced and from there it’s a bus ride to Puerto Natales where I’d be basing myself. Lastly, it’s a bus ride from there into the park.

    I’m very much the same, just looking for some like-minded hiking companions with a similar thirst for adventure who like to chat around the campfire about their experiences and world perspectives. Haha thanks bud, you sound very cool as well.

    Anyways I’ll post back as soon as I have a clearer picture of my Spring. If there’s a lot of interest on the site to do this hike though I definitely will just say nuts to work and go travel more. You’re only young once.

    Cheers,
    Nick

  3. yes you are only young once. Thanks for the information about going to Puerto Natales. If figured out already that you better take a plane to go there. Thanks for such a good response. I know you’re cool person by just reading your writings. Good luck for what has to come and we we’ll see what happens in the future.

    greetings Maarten

  4. Thanks Maarten! You also seem like a very chill dude. You’re most welcome. Figured if I’m going to respond then it might as well be somewhat comprehensive and give you an idea of how I was going to approach getting down to Torres del Paine Naitonal Park.

    In respects to Fitz Roy in Argentina, from Puerto Natales there’s a bus to El Chalten where the Fitz Roy trailheads pretty much all start. As far as Belgium citizens go there’s no Visa requirements nor any tourism fee (lucky you, Canadians have to pay a minimum of $75 beforehand :P).

    I shall let you know once I hear (or not hear) from these potential employers. If I don’t get anywhere before December I’ll probably say nuts to the job hunt and start ironing out a travel plan. Just did Europe and I was so bloody regimented that it left no time for spontaneity so for South America aside from starting location and hikes/tours I’ll probably take the “wing it” approach.

    Cheers,
    Nick

  5. Hé Nick,

    I probably not gonna do the Fitz Roy in Argentina. But the full circuit at Torres del Paine National Park is something i want to do.

    For the rest:
    1) you are always welcome when you visit Belgium. I live in a
    small village, so that gonna suit you very good.
    2) if you are interested in doing GR20 in corsica: the full trip 15
    days, i want to go very bad! greetings Maarten

  6. Hey Maarten,

    hope you’re doing well. No worries, I’m still debating doing it as well when I go to South America (still no solid plan yet). El Calafate and El Chaltén both look very much worthwhile if you do happen to find your way across the border into Argentina. Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciers National Park about 75 km from El Calafate is word renowned.

    1) Amazing! I’m in a “small” town in Southern Ontario called Ancaster about 1 hour away from Toronto so if you ever visit that part of Canada please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love that! Belgium looks so beautiful and I definitely need to visit my European friends ASAP.

    2) I am very interested. It’s on my bucket list of treks to do in Europe along with Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites, The Great Glenn or West Highland Way in Scotland, Caminito Del Rey in Spain, and the Tour du Mont Blanc or Walkers Haute Route both starting in Chamonix, France.

    When were you thinking about doing the GR20? I’d probably want to plan to do that, The Walkers, Caminito Del Rey, and maybe one of the Scottish treks (or at least a few Munros) in one trip. GR20 together would be awesome though.

    Right now it’s mostly about figuring out what I’m going to do for money haha. I’m a computer science grad with 15 years of service experience but am kind of sick of it. It’s all well and good daydreaming about amazing trips abroad but it’s no good if you can’t afford it hehe.

    Cheers,
    Nick

    • He Nick

      i liked your message. You have amazing plans for the future. Cool.

      I understand that you want to find a good job that is stable for the future. No problem with that.

      I have some news about the trip to Chile. The hiking that has been said before is not gonna happen. The Torres Del Paine trek. It is all overbooked its not easy to find a place for the campings. Its better to do this next year with better information.
      It can also be better for doing it next year in march. When there is no high season

      You are going to make a trip to Chile this year? Or you think its better not?

      For Corsica: i want to do it in the summer of next year or 2019. What do you think?

      greetings and hugs Maarten

  7. Hi Maarten,

    hehe well as with most plans they’re only really hypothetical until you begin taking the steps to cultivate them into your reality.

    Honestly, I don’t need to and may not by the new year. If that’s the case then I’ll probably just find something entry level and part time to work at for a few months until spring and then set out on another adventure. The plans are pretty rough at the moment which is rather concerning but for now things have been put on the back-burner until we get through the Christmas season.

    Unfortunately this trip date isn’t really realistic or relevant anymore given the timeline and availability. As you said, there isn’t much available in the ways of camping until March 2018 in the low season.

    I think it’s better that I plan it a bit better before going through with it. Many backpackers love to do things loosely and I’d like to as well but need to have a bit more framework than just “fly to Santiago and go from there.” My Europe trip while planned in 3 weeks was planned after about 1-2 months of extensive research and coordination with friends and family living overseas … and that was western Europe where I know people. Given that South America is totally foreign to me, I don’t speak Spanish or Portugese, and I’m currently only certain of a few treks and places that are absolute must-see destinations, I need to research a bit more ;).

    Corsica sounds great to me. Depending on what the employment situation is like in summer 2018, I would love to go to Europe again to see family/friends and do a couple of treks. 2018 would be the plan but if it’s not manageable then 2019 would be awesome. Sorry, things in my future are a bit hazy right now but that’s mostly due to not working for over a year now. Money is not a problem, just trying to find a myself and my enthusiasm for things other than travel because eventually it will have to end :(.

    Much respect and admiration. A big embrace from Canada. If I do not message you before then, have a very merry Christmas :).

    Cheers,
    Nick

  8. Thanks for your message. I will respond on you proparly but there is an quick question that want to present you. Do you know some people who live or going to chile around that period? So i can travel with them or sleep over -!

    greetings Maarten

    • Hey bud,

      unfortunately I haven’t had the privilege of meeting anyone from Chile so that’s a no for me. Most of my contacts are in Europe, Australasia, or North America. With that said I’ve seen numerous sites that connect you with locals like couchsurfing.com. Then there’s always sites like booking.com that offer pretty decent deals on hostels, hotels, BnBs, and of course AIrBnB. That’s how I’ve gotten by on my travels :).

      Cheers,
      Nick