off the grid south america

How to Book Campsites in Torres del Paine: A Step-by-Step Guide | Chile

Campsites in Torres del Paine - Dickson

While you expect the O Circuit to be tough, perhaps more arduous is actually booking campsites in Torres del Paine. You will need to make reservations across three websites, factoring in sporadic availability and a whole lot of outdated information. It’s a real pain in the ass, so I figured I’d spare you a few steps.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about 2017 regulations for Torres del Paine National Park, suggested trekking routes, and information on how to book campsites in Torres del Paine.

What changed in 2016? 

As of October 15, 2016, Torres del Paine is making it very hard to show up and improvise. So what’s changed? You can read the full PDF in Spanish here, or I’ve summarized it below:

  • It’s mandatory to have advance reservations for all the campsites along the W Trek and the O Circuit. Printed vouchers may be required at designated checkpoints on the trail.
  • The O Circuit can only be traveled counterclockwise.
  • The Las Carretas – Paine Grande Trail is closed in high season.
  • It is now prohibited to camp at Las Carretas camp.
  • The Laguna Amarga – Serón trail is closed.

Campsites in Torres del PaineMap + Campsites in Torres del Paine

There are three different agencies (CONAF, Vertice, Fantástico Sur) that offer campsites and shelters in Torres del Paine National Park. The campsites you need to reserve will depend on your route and budget.

You can either wait and book your campsites in person in Puerto Natales (very limited availability) or book online, alternating between corresponding websites.

Campsites in Torres del Paine

How to Book Campsites for Torres del Paine

Booking for 2017-2018? Scroll to the end of this post for updates from Erratic Rock **

Still struggling to make reservations? Here’s more information about how to approach it:

Step 1: Choose your Trek

There are three main trekking routes in Torres del Paine: The W Trek, The O Circuit, and the Q Circuit. Each of the routes will take you in on a path the shape of the indicated letter. The W Trek is the shortest at 3-5 days, the O Circuit is meant to be trekked in 6-10, and the Q Circuit can be accomplished in 7-11 days. Most treks will begin at Paine Grande or Las Torres and travel counterclockwise. I have a post on Torres del Paine trekking routes coming soon!

Step 2: Plan your Route

Once you’ve decided between the routes, you’ll need to pick the campsites you wish to stay in along the way. The sites you choose will be impacted by your budget, preferred trekking times, and campsite availability. Check out our post on which campsites to book depending on your route.

Step 3: Check Availability

Before making your bookings, you’ll need to check that almost every campsite on your route is available for your dates. Once you have a start date in mind, make an Excel sheet with the dates you’d stay in each campsite. You’ll need to visit the fantasticosur, Vertice Patagonia, and CONAF websites separately to check availability. If one date is unavailable, consider checking availability for nearby campsites. If you’re running into problems, try the whole itinerary with a different start date. Tip: The best way to see sunrise at the Torres del Paine is to camp at the free CONAF site – “Torres” – one hour from the viewpoint. This is the most popular campsite in the park, so I’d recommend checking availability for this site first and planning your trip backwards. (UPDATE JULY 2017: Campamiento Torres isn’t accepting reservations for 2017-2018. Instead, you can either splurge on a night at Chileno or wake up extra early to see sunrise from Central)

Step 4: Make your Reservations

It is most economical to start your reservations with the free campsites in Torres del Paine on CONAF (you can cancel if needed). Next, book your campsites along the W Trek as these are the most likely to fill up first. Finally, head over to fantasticosur and Vertice Patagonia to finalize your reservations. To ensure you don’t get stuck with an incomplete itinerary, it is important to make all of your reservations on the same day. Note: If one or two of your preferred campsites are booked, you may consider leaving holes in your itinerary, and trying daily for new spots to open up. Once you arrive in Puerto Natales, you can enquire in person. If you’re traveling in low season, there is constantly new availability.

Step 5: Check ’em!

After making reservations across three different websites, you’ll want to double check that you didn’t make any mistakes on dates or campsites. You can easily cancel and rebook on the CONAF site, and you will need to message fantasticosur and Vertice Patagonia directly to make changes to your reservation.

Step 6: Print and Get Ready

Print a paper copy of all your reservations to carry with you on your trek. You’ll need to show proof of reservation to get past some of the checkpoints in the park. Now that you’ve got your dates locked in, you can start planning the trek itself!

… no campsites available? 

The reservation process was a bit of a disaster for the 2016-2017 season. Reservations were mandatory, but I met plenty of people traveling without them. There are two main checkpoints along the O Circuit: Guardaria Coirón where they require proof of booking for Dickson or Los Perros and Guardaria Los Perros where you must show reservation for Paso or Gray.

Listen. The restrictions were put in place to protect the park, so we recommend making an honest effort. We met people sneaking onto the campsites in Torres del Paine without problems, but we think the best course of action is this: If your preferred sites are booked, try back every day until your trek starts. If you’ve still got gaps in your itinerary, try to make reservations along the way by asking campsites or checkpoints to call ahead. Last resort is arriving to your campsite around dark and being apologetic about it. The rangers may roll their eyes, but they won’t usually send you on your way to become puma fare after sunset.

Did you find this post helpful? Click below and plan your trip to Torres del Paine. It will help support our blog at no cost to you!

Plan your Trip: Momondo | Booking.com | Lonely Planet | Viator

Traveling to Patagonia? You might also like:

Like it? Pin it!

 Are you planning a trek in Torres del Paine? Everything you need to know about campsites in the park and how to book them.

Do you have any other questions for your trip to Torres del Paine? Want more information on the campgrounds? Comment with your questions and we’d be happy to help!

** Booking for 2017-2018?

Rustyn of Erratic Rock says:  “The CONAF office here is telling us that there will be no reservations taken until October for any of the free campsites. Things always change with them, but I’m personally not expecting to make reservations until then. This counts for all the free CONAF sites. Both the Fantastico Sur and Vertices sites are pretty bad, but if you write the companies directly they will make reservations for people now. The websites are really not the best plan of attack this time of year.”

You Might Also Like

37 Comments

  • Reply
    Paul
    June 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Camp Torres isn’t coming up on the CONAF site, but two other campsites are. Does that mean Torres is sold out, or am I looking in the wrong place?

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Hey Paul! Torres is often the first to sell out, but I believe it’s also closed through winter months. Are you looking for dates in November? If I were in your position, I’d consider making a backup reservation at Central Torres with fantasticosur, checking the CONAF site daily, and worst case, simply waiting until you get to Puerto Natales for an in-person booking. Please let me know how it goes!

    • Reply
      Marissa
      July 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Hey not sure if you’ve figured this out yet but it looks like Camp Torres is closed this year. I was just on the CONAF site and it had an update on there.

      • Reply
        Taylor Record
        July 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

        Thanks for the update, Marissa! I really appreciate it. I’ll make an amendment to the post now!

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 5, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Is there a step by step to actually booking? I’ve gone through the Fantastico Sur website and I cannot find where to book. I click on the campsites and nothing happens.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 6, 2017 at 4:46 am

      Hey Kate. I checked on FantasticoSur today and it looks like their booking engine is undergoing a revamp. Unfortunately, your only choice for now is to email them at ventas3@fantasticosur.com. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Claire
    June 6, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Hey! I love this post, I’ve been struggling to find decent information and this is the best resource! One thing I wondered, is that you mention equipment rental at sites is not possible for the O trek, yet when I checked out the Suggested Route: Serón > Dickson > Los Perros > Gray > Paine Grande > Frances > Torres, they all mention rental. I’d love to know why you mentioned you couldn’t rent equipment on the O trek as I wouldn’t want to get there and it be an issue if I didn’t take my own.

    Thank you so much for all your help with these posts.

  • Reply
    Andy Fine
    June 8, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I haven’t had any luck booking anything with Vertice. No matter what date I choose, it shows the sites as “vendido”. I can’t believe they are all actually sold out. I have emailed them with no response. Any suggestions on what I should do? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 8, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Andy! I emailed Vertice and FantasticoSur a couple of weeks back. I never heard back from Vertice, but FantasticoSur said that 2017-2018 availability would come available the end of May. My guess is that Vertice hasn’t made the switch between seasons yet, but that it should be coming soon. When are you planning your trip?

      • Reply
        Andy Fine
        June 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        I’m planning on being at Torres del Paine starting November 17. Hiking the O route. I also had the same issue as Paul, can’t seem to reserve Camp Torres. The Conaf website only allows you to book sites so far in advance. Once you get past early December it says the dates are too far in advance. So I’m not convinced that the Torres campsite is sold out, because it doesn’t show up on any possible date. Thanks for your blog, I appreciate the information trying to figure this out.

  • Reply
    Next Stop – South America! | Traveling Honeybird
    June 8, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    […] If you do need some advice then see our friends at Travel Outlandish and their amazing guide on How To Book Campsites In Torres Del Paine.  […]

  • Reply
    Haas
    June 8, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Hi there, I just left a comment on another post actually, because I ran into the same problem as Andy F. I looked for campsites on Vertice today for October and Novemeber, and everything came up as sold out. I really want to do the W this fall, and just about fell out of my chair thinking perhaps everything was already booked up this far in advance. I’m supposing that isn’t the case quite yet, but in your experience, how soon should we be booking for those months?

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Hey, Jaz! I just reached out to Vertice again via email. My guess is that Vertice hasn’t updated their availability for the next season yet, as FantasticoSur just released dates at the end of May. I’ll update the information here if I hear back from them. Good luck and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    Julia
    June 16, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Hi there, has anyone had luck with booking through Vertice or FantasticSur yet? I’m pretty flexible with dates over November/December but having the same issues with everything appearing as sold out for Vertice. Has anyone had any luck booking with FantasticoSur via email, given their online booking system is still not up and running?

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Hey Julia! I just got an update from one of the gear rental shops in town. I’ve added a note to the end of the post if you’d like to check out the most current information. I emailed both FantasticoSur and Vertice this month and got a reply (albeit slow). Good luck!

  • Reply
    Jean
    June 19, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for the update. Was wondering what the go was this year!

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 19, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Sure thing! It’s certainly not the most straightforward process 😉

  • Reply
    Tom
    June 21, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve received the following information:
    We will start taking individual bookings or W or O circuit program reservations for next season during the first weeks of July.

    As we’ve kept your email address, we are going to send you all the information then.

    Best Regards,

    Alejandra Vargas Alvarez
    Ejecutiva de Ventas y Reservas

    Fantástico Sur
    Treks and Lodging
    W Trek – Torres del Paine
    Patagonia – Chile
    T: (56)(61) 2 614 184

    ventas3@fantasticosur.com
    http://www.fantasticosur.com

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      June 22, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks for sharing the update, Tom! Fingers crossed they keep the commitment to email you. Hope your trip planning goes smoothly!

    • Reply
      Hannah
      July 3, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Tom,
      Now that is is July, I am trying to book camping spots on the W circuit. I am unable to access the reservation pages for the reasons everyone has stated above. Have you had any luck with the start of July?

      Thanks

  • Reply
    Mirla Klijn
    June 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Same problem here, both with the website of Vertice and FantasticoSur.. Hoping an email will help!

  • Reply
    Claire Lawrence
    July 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Just an update! I’m all booked through Vertice, but haven’t heard anything at all from FantasticoSur yet, has anyone heard anything from them?

    • Reply
      Julia
      July 5, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Im still getting an error through vertice online booking system “the requested page could not be found”. Did you book via email? No word from fantastico

      • Reply
        Claire Lawrence
        July 5, 2017 at 9:34 am

        Yeah I couldn’t get that to work, I just forwarded my previous email to bug them a bit and got a reply the day after. The prices have gone up so I guess they’re changing the site to fit!

        • Reply
          Daniel Johnson
          July 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

          What dates did you get with Vertice Claire? We have sent them multiple emails over the last couple of months trying to get space in their refugios in mid Nov and we finally got a response this morning saying that they are fully booked on the dates we wanted. If this is the case for November I can’t imagine what Dec/Jan/Feb would be like!

          • Taylor Record
            July 14, 2017 at 11:28 am

            Wow, really, Daniel? I’m surprised to hear November is already sold out. Have you looked into doing the trek in reverse? Another pretty trusty strategy is to check back. There’s enough time between now and November that I’d expect cancellations. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    July 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Hi all, just seeing this thread which is helpful as I’m getting a “sold out” or grayed out dates for Vertice and FantasticoSur, respectively. I spoke to someone over the phone at Vertice today and it sounds like they haven’t yet released dates for late December (when we’ll be there), however, I haven’t been able to contact anyone at FantasticoSur. Is anyone traveling around the same time? If so, have we missed the boat for reservations?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      July 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Hi Maggie. I’m certain there are still sites available during that time, but the website isn’t updated. I’ve sent 4-5 emails just to get 1 back, so perhaps contact them a few more times and see what you can get? Good luck!

    • Reply
      Maryse
      July 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Maggie,
      I booked with Vertice for late December last week. I also tried to contact FantasticoSur but they haven’t reply to my email.

      • Reply
        Maggie
        July 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm

        Hi Maryse,

        Thanks for letting me know. Do you mind sharing the email that responded to you? Did you book individual nights or some king of package? They seem keen to sell me expensive tours at the moment but I can’t book individual nights on my own.

        Best,
        Maggie

        • Reply
          Maryse
          July 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm

          Hi Maggie,

          I booked two individual nights for the camping with rental of a tent and camping gear. I sent them an email with the specific nights and campsites I wanted (dec 20-21th) and what gear I needed. They back on July 12th with a detailed bill and booking conditions. Once I agreed, they sent me the paiment link.

  • Reply
    Andy Fine
    July 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Update…It looks like Camp Torres is not available next season!!! http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl/es/sistema-de-reserva-de-campamentos-1 See the important notice at the bottom.

  • Reply
    Christophe
    July 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Hi everybody, We also planed to do the W treck in october. I have contacted directly CONAF for explanations regarding the Camp Torres. Here is the answer… Not Good ^^

    Dear Christophe,

    Along with greeting, we thank you for contacting us to express your inquiry.

    In this regard we can inform you the following:

    The reservation system for high season (October-April) is already operational (http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl/es/system-of-reserve-of-campamentos-1) but reservations can only be made 6 months in advance (more than 180 days in advance, will not allow you to book) so that at this moment it is possible that you reserve for the months of October, November and December, as the days elapse you will be able to access the following months. For the next season the Torres Camp will be closed, only the Paso and Italiano Camps, which are the free CONAF sites, will be enabled.

    Services in concessioned and private areas must be reserved directly by users in the respective companies, as depending on your itinerary on the trails, you may have to book more than one camp.

    FANTASTICO SUR Contact http://www.fantasticosur.com / ventas1@fantasticosur.comventas@fantasticosur.com / telephone 56 61 2614184 (Campsites Seron, Frances, Los Cuernos, Las Torres, Chileno).

    VERTICE PATAGONIA Contact http://www.verticepatagonia.com / ventas@verticepatagonia.cl / telephone 56 61 2412742 (Campsites Dickson, Perros, Grey, Paine Grande).

    The suggestion is to be attentive to what is reported on the official website of the park http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl / Daily Report, in relation to the operation of tourism services, states of roads and trails and requirements for mountain circuits. On the same page you will find the information necessary to plan your trip in a better way: rates, access, what to do, downloadable map with distances and times of travel of trails, etc.

    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us again. Hoping to cooperate with your concern, greet you.

    OIRS Magallanes

    Phone 56 61 2238554

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      July 14, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Hi Christophe. Thanks for sharing this update! I’m disappointed to hear that Torres is closed – definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. In this case, you’ll either need to shell out the cash for Chileno, or camp at Central and wake up 3-4 hours early to get to TdP in time for sunrise. Hope your booking goes smoothly, and I’m looking forward to hearing about your trek!

  • Reply
    Paul
    July 24, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Fantastico Sur is open for reservations. E-mail ventas3@fantasticosur.com & they’ll send you a PDF and word doc to fill out. Pretty janky process. They said they’re backed up with 500 unread emails so might take a bit to hear back.

    They don’t provide prices without room and board. I guess you could ask for a separate list of prices but I didn’t want to risk it selling out…

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      July 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks for the update, Paul! 500 unread emails makes me feel pretty good about my own inbox.

  • Reply
    Claire Lawrence
    July 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Another update! I got final confirmations with both Fantasticosur and Vertice last week, Fantasticosur tend to get back if you send multiple emails… I got an email last week basically saying that they needed confirmation that anyone who had emailed before still needed to book, so it’s worth another message.

    Also, for anyone who doesn’t want to carry equipment, you absolutely can rent camping equipment the whole way around.

  • Leave a Reply