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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 You will need to make reservations across three websites, factoring in sporadic availability and a whole lot of outdated information.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 it is the least I could do to 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: Flights to Chile | Hotels in Puerto Natales | Lonely Planet Patagonia | Torres del Paine Tours

 

Traveling to Patagonia? You might also like:

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 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.”

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105 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
        Troy
        September 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm

        I have received an email acknowledging that I requested campsites through Vertice but after two days have not heard from the “sales” team to confirm we have sites and to make a payment. What is normal to expect in this process to aid in trip planning. I have sent two emails back asking for an update and to get final confirmation. Any advice is appreciated.

        Also, I am going in Dec 10th and could use advice of what to do upon arrival from Puerto Natales. Is it wise to start the first leg and get to Seron or is there a good place that might be available to camp that night for an early departure the next morning.

        Advice on these two items is greatly appreciated.

        • Reply
          Taylor Record
          September 10, 2017 at 6:59 am

          Hey Troy! Most people have had the same problem You can either send over your card details via email (which I wouldn’t love to do) or follow up a few times (Spanish can help!) and wait on them to get back in touch. It’s kind of a painful waiting game, but at least you know they’re not replying to anyone and giving up your spaces!

          As for your arrival to Puerto Natales: Buses from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (2 hours) depart daily at 7:00am and 2:30pm. You’ll likely need to wait to arrive unless you get into Puerto Natales early. If you do wind up on the afternoon bus, the trek to Seron is easy but 4-5 hours and you’d be pushing it to finish before dark. I’d recommend grabbing a campsite or hostel in Puerto Natales (there are plenty) and heading off early the next morning. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

          • Chris
            September 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm

            Same situation here! Been waiting for Vertice to get back to us for two weeks now, and that’s holding us from booking for Fantasticosur sites. Not great!

          • Ryan
            September 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm

            Hey Chris,

            I was also waiting for Vertice for a couple of weeks then I finally just called them at +56 61 241 5693. They had someone that could speak in English on the phone to me and I had everything confirmed via email within a couple hours of that phone call.

          • Christian
            September 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

            Hey Ryan!

            Thanks for the extra advice. I ended up calling vertice (two hours one day without success then got the line right away next morning ) and they were really nice and my reservations were completed and paid for by the evening.
            Fantasticosur went through immediately online so that wasn’t a problem.
            We are now all set to do the W 🙂

            Thanks again!

          • Eryn
            September 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm

            I have tried calling so many times too! I didn’t book our Fantastic Sur spots because we were waiting to book it all at once and now there aren’t any left but the really expensive ones! I will call first thing in the morning tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

    • 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
          Stephen
          August 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm

          Hi Taylor! Do you know if Torres opens back up in 2018 or is it closed for all of 2017/2018?

          • Taylor Record
            August 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

            Hi Stephen. I just checked the TdP website, and I’m afraid Torres is closed for the whole season. Hard to say exactly why! Your option is either to stay at Chileno (a bit pricey) or the Torres camp owned by Fantastico Sur (requires an early wakeup). Bummer that it’s closed –
            I hope it opens back up again next season! > http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl/es/sistema-de-reserva-de-campamentos-1

    • Reply
      Khaleel
      September 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      How long after you reserve spots with Vertice Patagonia are you excpected to get a response it’s been about three weeks

  • 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
        Cara Walker
        September 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm

        Hi there! I am not sure what other information I hope to gain because you all have already provided so much, but I am struggling with Vertice reservations. My flights are booked and I hope to complete the O Trek December 24-January 1. FantasticoSur responded promptly and was easy to book. Sadly, I still haven’t received a response from Vertice – even after my initial online booking request and 3 follow up emails. I emailed Erratic Rock also on the off-chance they have insight. Nothing. Any suggestions or tips? Also, as my timeframe is somewhat crunched, are you familiar with a direct transfer from Punta Arenas airport to Erratic Rock? Thank you so much for your blog and insight!

        • Reply
          Taylor Record
          September 5, 2017 at 11:00 am

          Hi Cara. It sounds like everyone is struggling with Vertice. Someone above mentioned they got a faster reply by emailing in Spanish — perhaps you can give that a try? As for the transportation, you can easily take transport from the airport in Punta Arenas straight to Puerto Natales. As the town is tiny, you’ll get dropped maybe a 15 minute walk from the Erratic Rock office? From Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine, busses depart daily at 7:00am and 2:30pm so you’ll want to plan ahead for this. Good luck!

  • 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.

  • Reply
    Ryan
    July 25, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Hey everybody,

    I emailed both vertice and fantastico sur last week to book campsites in January. No word back from fantastico sur yet, but I did receive the following email from Vertice:

    Good afternoon,

    Dear, I respect your request.

    I inform you that the website will be operational in a couple of days, so you can make your reservations online.
    Please be attentive

    Have a nice day
    Best regards

    Ventas y Reservas

    Sounds like their system will be back up and running soon.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      July 27, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Fingers crossed that “a couple of days” is a genuine timeline. Let me know how it goes, Ryan!

  • Reply
    Mel
    July 27, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Hi,

    Just wondering if anything is experiencing the same issues at the moment? I’m trying to book camping reservations for the O circuit in February 2018. I am having trouble booking with Fantastico Sur and getting any response from them. It seems they have opened up there reservations on the website, but I can’t seem to work it out. Has anyone had any difficulties booking Camp Chileno as Camp Torres is closed? When I try to book it is not even an option on the reservations page. Also, they seem to only have the option of booking Camping at Seron, and if you want to book at Frances there is no camping option and it says you must book ‘Platformus Premium’ which is 160 US per night for 2 people.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply
      Andy Fine
      July 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Mel,

      After several emails to Fantastico Sur, they emailed me back a word doc form to fill out for reservations. I filled it out and actually got a reservation confirmation from them. I would try to get that form because their website definitely isn’t fully fixed. For whatever reason ($$$) they force you to buy the Platformus Premium for Frances and El Chileno. Definitely more money than what I was hoping to spend but with Camp Torres closed there isn’t a good alternative…

      I also got the same response from Vertice as Ryan did. Hopefully their website becomes available for reservations soon, not sure how much longer I can handle the uncertainty lol. Best of luck everyone.

      • Reply
        Mel
        July 27, 2017 at 10:26 pm

        Hey Andy,
        Thanks for getting back to me. I just got the same emails from both Vertice and Fantastico Sur as you and Ryan did. Very frustrating about the cost but looks that there is no other option!
        Just wondering how did you pay for the reservation? Or are you paying later. I can’t see any area on the form to put down credit card details etc.
        Thanks again,
        Mel

        • Reply
          Mel
          July 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

          My mistake Andy I was looking at the wrong form!

      • Reply
        Liz
        August 1, 2017 at 1:52 pm

        Hi Andy, Did you have the get the premium platformas when you booked with them through e-mail? The Premium Platformus for the Chileno site show that they’re already sold out for when I was looking to go in November. I was hoping to just reserve a campsite space.

        • Reply
          Andy
          August 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm

          Liz, I did reserve the Premium Platformus for El Chileno when I booked with them over email. Sorry to hear they are already sold out… From what I can tell they don’t allow you to reserve just a campsite.

    • Reply
      G
      July 29, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I’ve been having the same issues, within the last week fantasticosur updated the site but still no just regular campsite reservations. Previously no dates for after november 2017 were selectable and I think only had some refugios options

      for vertice pantagonia reservations (e.g. perros, paine grande, not available in their website) they also had just responded to my email they are updating their site too, and their site still displays they are to be updating

      “Dear, regarding your request.

      I inform you that the website will be operational in a few days, so you can make your reservations online

      Have a nice day”

  • Reply
    Mel
    August 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Liz it seems they only offer Chileno Platform Premium sites when you receive the booking form from Fantastico Sur, or look on the website, and you cannot just book camping sites. You can only book full board as well and the prices are sky high. Interestingly on the emailed booking form, you can book a campsite at Seron, but on the website it only allows you to pay for the expensive Platform Premium option. The website also only allows you to pay in USD rather than CLP which is an option on the booking form. You’re a lot worse off if you pay in USD it seems. I have not been successful in Fantastico getting back to me about my booking form despite me mailing it to them last week. I’m still having no luck with Vertice either. Bit of a nightmare really!

    • Reply
      Ryan
      August 2, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Hey Mel, I just finally heard back from fantastico sur about my order this morning about a week after I submitted it. I sent them a couple of follow up emails to check in on it. Not sure if that helped move things along or not.

      Still no luck with Vertice here either despite my follow up emails.

    • Reply
      G
      August 10, 2017 at 1:21 am

      I also have had no luck with vertice, but yea the email they sent today fantasticosur says chileno and cuernos are only full board (I confirmed my reservations with fantasticosur)

      I wasn’t trying to stay at those sites; their rate pdf they email with their word form for campsite reservations for torre central but they only accept reservations for plataforma premium (or the other options). Be ready to spend some $$$, as even just a campsite at seron is $20 USD

      Also if anyone needs to google, Bus Sur goes from the punta arenas airport (PUQ) to puerto natales and you can book that online, some sites seem to suggest the bus fernandez or bus sur aren’t at the airport.

      • Reply
        André Baumgarten
        September 21, 2017 at 11:31 pm

        Hey, Torres Central has Sitios right now. Whatever goes on with their website, yesterday I couldn’t find Torres Central at all, today it appeared and showed camp sites. Cheers

  • Reply
    Zach B
    August 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Taylor,

    Thanks once again for such an insightful post! According to my own research, it appears that booking on refugio campsite grounds allows you access to their showers, kitchen, and bathrooms. My questions for you are:
    1) How on earth did you do laundry while touring? Did you have time to do laundry at all?
    2) I am planning to bring a GoPro and Phone for pictures and video… how often were you able to charge your equipment on the O and/or W circuit?
    3) Can you rent daily tent equipment from some of the more desolate campsites on the O Trek or do you have to bring your own equipment?

    Thank you!!
    Zach

  • Reply
    Danijel
    August 10, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Hi everyone. We are in the same shoes with my girlfriend, banging my head against crappy websites, emails without responses, random rules and terrible official communication … I am loosing my nerves to the point I want to skip Torres altogether. Is it worth to play the game of a bunch of exploiting local companies and incompetent governance that obviously care more about the money than their guests. This truly saddens me.

    We want to do the O circle starting 30th of September. This is what we know so far:
    – Serron is closed until 1st Octobre, Fantastico Sur stating that it is then impossible to camp there. Not sure, but I think that people are doing O circuit even in low-season, so they must camp somewhere. Does anyone have any info on this?
    – Vertice opens their camps on 15th of September, the website says that reservations should be done online.
    – After two emails with reservations within two weeks, still no response from Vertice. Will call them in the next days.
    – There are supposedly 2 checkpoints on the O circuit where they check your bookings; there are 3 checkpoints “guarderias” on the O circuit.
    – Fantastico Sur only sells Full Board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) on “platforms” in Chileno and Cuernos for 120.000 CLP. This is beyond ridiculous.
    – This year CONAF has closed the Torres camp, so for the sunrise view of Torres it is only possible to sleep over in Chileno (with inclusive full-board) or in Central. But this is very far away, making it nearly impossible to see the sunrise — or even sunset at Torres except for those who can spend 120.000 CLP.

    It seems to me that all this got so complicated and misinformed also due to local guides offering the same tours we are looking into for a couple of thousands USD, which they wouldn’t get if people would be doing this themselves. Very sad.

    This all got me so very angry I am thinking either to skip this broken paradise or just not reserve a single camp anymore, go there and hassle.

  • Reply
    Jodi
    August 12, 2017 at 4:14 am

    I booked Fantastico through their website without any issue, and got a confirmation through Vertice. But Vertice said I need to pay withing 48hrs, but didn’t tell me how (of course I emailed them asking, but they’re slow to respond and I don’t want to lose my tent sites). Anyone know how to pay? They mentioned WebPay, but I’m not sure what that is.
    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Andy
      August 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Jodi, I’m having the same issue. I got a reservation confirmation from Vertice but they don’t explain how to pay. And of course they don’t respond to email, even though they expect payment within 48 hours. I just passed 48 hours and don’t know what to do. Did you figure anything out from them? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Cara Walker
      September 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Jodi! I am curious approximately how long it took Vertice to respond to your inquiry. I heard back from Fantastico right away. I am on week 4 of no response from Vertice. I submitted the only request for reservation and received the confirmation in my email. Yet, I ‘ve heard nothing since, even after multiple follow up emails from me. My flights are booked and I plan to be there December 24-January 1, so the lack of confirmation is making me nervous! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jess
    August 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Hi there, thanks for this great guide! I was wondering, is it necessary to book the double platforms when booking for two people (sharing one tent), or can you just book the single platform? These websites are terribly confusing.

    • Reply
      Michaela
      September 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Jess! I’m trying to figure out if a small tent (with two people) will work with a single platform. Did you ever find the answer to this? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Elise
    August 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Is it true that the O circuit is not open until November? Vertice told me they did not take bookings until then but I’m not clear on what that means – if it’s actually closed, or if I just don’t need to make a reservation.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      August 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Elise. I’ve done some research and found that it’s only possible to book the O Circuit during the winter months with a certified guide. Are you planning to go on your own or were you expecting to do a tour?

  • Reply
    Andy
    August 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Well this nightmare appears to be over for me. Just wanted to pass along the results I had.

    Vertice: After completing the online reservation form, they sent me a confirmation email that showed the details of reservation, and instructions indicating you need to pay with webpay within 48 hours. Three days later, I received another email with a link that connected me to webpay where I was able to pay for the sites online. That gave me the final confirmation.

    Fantastico Sur: I reserved this through email, but it looks like their website is now working. I got screwed into paying full board for El Chileno, but I want to see the Torres at sunrise and with Camp Torres closed it was really the only option.

    CONAF: I still only have the “temporary” reservations from them, they said they will be getting back to us with actual confirmations. I don’t have any expectation of when this will actually happen.

    Best of luck everyone, I still can’t believe it took me 4 months of emailing to deal with all this BS. But confident it will be worth it.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      August 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Hopefully the worst is over for you, pal! I think you’ll find that once you’re actually in the park, the bureaucracy dies down a bit and you can just enjoy some hiking 🙂 Have a good trip.

  • Reply
    Bill
    August 21, 2017 at 9:08 am

    We are just sorting out camping now and it is great to read everyone’s comments.
    I just wanted to check that there is no alternative to staying at Chileno. The price seems so ridiculous!!
    Thanks

  • Reply
    David
    August 22, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for the great post, Taylor. I’ve found more useful information in this post than I have from emailing and visiting the website for Fantistico Sur and Vertice Patagonia over the past 3 months. Trying to get any useful information from them has been so frustrating, so much so that I’ve been considering abondoning my plans to visit Torres del Paine all together!

    I have a couple of follow up questions I hoped you might be able to answer. I’m planning to do the W trek over 4 nights/5 days in mid February but I’m unsure how far in advance I’ll need to book. Do you have any idea how long I should give it? I appreciate this will depend on which campsites I’m looking to stay at. In short, my plan is to be at Vertice Grey on the first night and Paine Grande on the second – it looks like I can book these through Vertice Patagonia at the moment.

    I originally wanted to stay at Los Cuernos on the 3rd night. However, after contacting Fantistico Sur, they informed me they only offer full board options ( no cooking facilities) and prices are started from $113. As an alternative, I’m looking at staying at camp Italiano, am I right in thinking they aren’t taking bookings at the moment?

    As for the last night, my original plan was to stay at campamento torres, but as i can see through your post and comments, this isn’t available. The only feasible alternative i seem to be able to find is staying at Refugio Torre Norte (fantistico Sur) at the cost of $90 a night. Far from ideal but I want to be able to see the sunrise. Would this work as an alternative?

    Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    Thanks

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Hi David. That’s pretty high praise – I’m really glad you’ve found it useful! Stick it out, and I swear the trek will be worth it. To answer your questions:
      * The W Trek doesn’t have the same restrictions in place as the O Circuit. While you’ll need to book well in advance for the refugios, there are hundreds of campsites and I don’t think they’ve limited the daily visitors yet. I’d say go ahead and make your reservations whenever you’re certain on your dates!
      * I just took a look, and CONAF will allow you to book for Italiano in February now.
      * I’m so disappointed that Torres is closed this season! Torres Central is the most popular backup camping option, and a site will only cost you $16. You’ll be able to see sunrise with a 4 hour head start.
      Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck with your trip.

  • Reply
    Stephen
    August 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Hey Taylor! I emailed both Vertice and Fantasticour about reservations for the O trek January ’18 a few days ago. How long does it typically take them to respond regarding reservations? Our group wants to hold off on purchasing a flight to Chile until we’ve nailed down our dates. Your blog has been so helpful! Really appreciate it.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      August 23, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Hi Stephen, so glad you’ve found the post helpful! To be honest, it varies. I’ve written and heard back within a day, and I’ve written to never hear back. I’d recommend following up in 2 days if you haven’t heard back. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Mel
    August 24, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Just an update. I received my confirmation finally from Vertice but it took them almost a week to actually give me the details of how to Web Pay. I did send them a reminder email at about 72 hours so that may help. Fantastico Sur seems to be running smoothly through the website, however I noticed there website only allows you to pay for the Platform Premium option at Seron, where as on their list of rates they have a cheaper camping option at Seron. For this reason we paid via the website for Chileno, and then emailed them for a booking form for Seron and sent it back via email. Was a bit more tedious but I was so frustrated at there money grabbing tactics with Chileno that I stubbornly did it through email.
    Still waiting for the official email confirmations for CONAF and not sure how long that it will take but appears we have temporary reservations for Feb.
    For those trying to do O circuit in Sept/early Oct, we had initially planned our trip for early October this year but had to postpone as it appeared we were unable to do O circuit as the camps weren’t open without a guide. The W circuit was a possibility at that time but they couldn’t guarantee until around July which was to late for us.
    Best of luck everyone, sure it will be worth it!

  • Reply
    Stephen
    August 25, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Mel – Thanks for the update/letting me know. I’m planning to hike the O trek with a group of friends in January. I ended up going back to the fantasticour site and was able to make reservations at what appeared to be a cheaper Seron option (Camping Seron Sitio Suelo) which came out to roughly $21 a person. The other sites I’m trying to make reservations at Cuernos (or Frances) and Torres but it appears they only have domos or premium platform options. Curious if they’re doing a similar money grabbing technique with these sites….I’ve already made my reservations on the CONAF site and received confirmation back relatively quick.

    Mel/Taylor – I still have not heard back from VP which is making me kind of nervous. I’ve sent follow up emails to both Fantasicour and VP, wondering if I should call them directly?

    Thank you both for your help!

  • Reply
    nick jones
    August 26, 2017 at 9:51 am

    im going in november have tried to book paine grande and the grey site through verticepatagonia. they sent and email confirming it and that i must pay within 48 hours otherwise i lose the booking. but in the email they dont tell you how to pay give you no link to go to and i have trawled their website for days and cannot find out how to pay. its so frustrating!! thinking of giving up now. can’t believe how hard they make it for you too book! can anyone help on how i can pay them so i can reserve my booking??

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      August 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Hi Nick! I never got so far with Vertice, but Fantastico Sur asked me to send them my Card Number and Expiry Date via email – not ideal! Another option might be to pay via Bank Transfer – did they include any attachments in your email?

  • Reply
    kristin s
    August 28, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Hello!

    First, thank you for such a helpful blog! This has been one of the BEST sources of information about camping in TDP.

    I wanted to pass along some information. It looks like you can book the free campsite through the CONAF website ~6 months in advance. We just booked a campsite for late February and did not have to wait until October to do so.

    Also, if anyone has any tips of receiving the payment information from Vertice that would be greatly appreciated. It appears that we all are having a similar issue with only receiving the initial confirmation email.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 1, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Kristin. I’m so glad you found the post useful! I remember the campsites being kind of a nightmare to book. Thanks for the tip about the CONAF sites! As for Vertice, the comments have been pretty active on this post. Perhaps check back in a few days and see if anyone has had luck? If you hear back, feel free to note it here. Appreciate your comment and best of luck!

  • Reply
    Jason Barton
    August 29, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Hi all,

    Currently going through the same struggles that everyone else appears to be going through in regards to Vertice. Received a confirmation e-mail 10 days ago, instructing me to provide them with some general details so that they could then send a link to pay via WebPay…I am yet to receive a link still. Have sent several follow up e-mails to them to try and get some traction but it hasn’t helped. Does anyone know why it takes so long for them to process the bookings?

    I am going to try and call them tonight and will keep this post updated with progress. Good luck everyone! Good things take time 🙂

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Jason! Sorry that it’s been such a long wait! If you email them your card details I’m sure you’d get a faster booking, but that’s never ideal. The reservation requirements were just introduced in 2016, so I think that Vertice, CONAF, and Fantastico Sur haven’t scaled up quick enough to accommodate the influx of advance bookings. In general, the “why” may become apparent after you spend a bit of time in Chile —
      things will happen when they happen. I think you’re right to follow up, and they’ll get back with you soon enough! Good luck with your booking.

      • Reply
        Jason Barton
        September 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Hi Taylor!

        That makes sense. After having no luck with getting a reply from e-mails written in English, I had a Colombian friend draft up an e-mail in Spanish which I then sent off – I got a reply in the next day or so…not sure if that’s a coincidence but worth a try for other struggling out there who are worried about not being able to fully “confirm” the booking 🙂

        Thanks Taylor for this blog, very helpful for this process 🙂

  • Reply
    Alison Roberts
    September 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Taylor. Great advice. Quick question. We (2) intend to do the W trek in mid October 2017. Do you think it will be ok to book in person when we arrive in Puerto Natales as its so early in the season??
    Many thanks

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 5, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Hi Alison. Is there any reason you’d prefer to wait rather than doing it online? I also went in a shoulder season (late March) and found that most things were still sold out well in advance. The W Trek has a lot more availability than the O Circuit, but in recent years, the demand has far exceeded the availability. If you CAN, I’d say book ahead, but if you need to wait, there’s always a chance that you can grab things locally.

      • Reply
        Alison Roberts
        September 6, 2017 at 1:27 am

        Thanks Taylor. We are not exactly sure of our dates yet but will heed your advice. Alison

      • Reply
        Alison Roberts
        September 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

        Hi again Taylor
        More help needed please.
        I am trying to book W trek. CONAF web site just keeps coming up Unavailable, any other way to contact them. And I am trying to book a camping spot at Chileno but the price keeps coming up as $194 us, for 2 of us Full board. (Ridiculous) We only want a camp spot as we are carrying all our own gear. Is this possible?
        Many thanks again
        Alison

        • Reply
          Bill
          September 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

          I contacted Fantastico by email, they are not offering a camping only option only the full board.
          We also will be carrying our own gear,
          Yes we are getting ripped, not sure what else we can do.

  • Reply
    Sam
    September 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Called vertice after waiting 8 business days. The lady said she can’t help and they have to process via email. She kept saying they have 7 business days so they still have time to respond. I told her it’s been 10 days so we were clear. Anyway, I feel stuck. Can I just pitch a tent anywhere?

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Hey Sam. Wouldn’t that be nice? The park is very strict about only camping in designated spots and they’ve begun cracking down on presenting reservations throughout to prove you have bookings. Don’t give up! If you bother them enough, they’ll get back to you eventually!

      • Reply
        Sam
        September 11, 2017 at 2:11 am

        Eh, we are fully booked with tickets, campsites, etc. – except for Vertice Patagonia. What exactly does cracking down mean and what’s the penalty? At this point we’re going to the park with or without a reservation there…

  • Reply
    Stephen
    September 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Very helpful post Taylor.
    I am doing the O circuit in January 2018. Same problems as others. Patagonia Sur and CONAF were easy to book online. I switched out Torres for Chileno because of the Torres closure. Vertice Patagonia was harder to book. I made the reservation request online. Received the e-mail saying that their sales department would be in touch soon. Radio silence. I sent e-mails. Crickets. Called a jillion times. No pick up. Phone line would drop. Used the Rebtel app. Called with the app and they picked up on about the 13th try. Not sure if Rebtel made a difference or not but it was free to try so it didn’t hurt. Spoke to a very nice woman. She found my original reservation request. Said someone would be in touch with me later that day to confirm if the dates were available. Someone did e-mail me to confirm. They requested some payment details, which I responded with, and the next day I got the weblink for payment which worked smoothly. No more stress.

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 10, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Glad to hear your booking saga finally came to an end, Stephen! It sounds to me like Vertice hasn’t yet scaled up their operation to accommodate the new regulations from 2016 and are struggling to keep up. Good luck on your trek!

    • Reply
      Cara Walker
      September 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      I’m also going for December/January. I’ve had a very similar experience. Finally spoke with a woman at Vertice last Wednesday and received the same assurance that an email would be forthcoming. Sadly, no email as of yet and I’ve been trying to call again today. The good bit is that the women with whom I’ve spoken at Vertice have been super nice and helpful with my lame Spanish!

    • Reply
      Céline
      September 14, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      We are now undergoing the same stress you did 🙂 We are heading over to Patagonia the beginning of December. We were able to book the campsites on Patagonia Sur and CONAF but are still waiting on a respons of Vertice Patagonia.
      I tried calling several times but nog answer… my Spanish is okay (so I can manage) but I never heard of the Rebtel app. So I just downloaded it. Can you explain me how it works? or which phone number you called?

  • Reply
    Joshua
    September 11, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the useful blog, I found the information here more useful and up to date than that of any of the internet sites of the park managers. I am in Puerto Natales at the moment (11/09/17), I had been trying to book the w for for six months with no luck, so I gave up and decided to wait until I was here. The situation as of the moment is:
    Paine grande (vértice) is open and plenty of availability at the moment (6mil for camping) and there is a boat everyday at around 11am from pudeta (11mil)
    Camping grey (vértice) isn’t open until October and they have availability for October (not sure how much)
    Italiano (conaf) is open and fully booked for all of September
    Frances (fantástico) not open until October (lots of availability)
    Cuernos (fantástico) open on the 20th of September with availability
    Central (fantástico) open now and plenty of space, but no camping here only full board Refugio 60,000 pesos
    And las Torres (conaf) closed for the season.

    ThIs process has been a huge pain in the ass, hopefully in the future the three administrators will get their shit together, work together, with sole agencies to offer an easy booking system. But for now we have to work with what we can. Good luck people, I hope others trying to navigate this mess in the low season have better luck than I did!

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 11, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for sharing these updates, Joshua! I’m sure it will be useful to everyone who reads the comments, and I’ll pass the details along to anyone that asks 🙂

  • Reply
    Liang
    September 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I had the same experience as everyone else. Both Fantastico Sur and Vertice don’t reply to emails. The process to book online at Fantastico Sur was smooth, but don’t expect replies to emails. Vertice didn’t respond after I submitted booking request online, no response to my email reminders either. So I started calling after one week. On the 3rd call which is one week after the first call, they finally confirmed availability on the phone and sent me the payment link through email. You have to hold them to check availability while you are on the phone. If they say they’ll check and reply later in the day, it most likely won’t happen. But I have to say every lady who picked up my call was very nice. I found calling in the afternoon was easier to get through.

  • Reply
    Joscha Martin
    September 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Hey,
    I tried to make reservations on fantasticosur but its showing me ridiculous prices.. Are 113$ for a night normal? Anyone else getting the same?
    Am I doing something wrong? Any tips?
    Thanks

  • Reply
    Laura Skead
    September 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Thanks for the incredibly useful post!! I wanted to know, is it possible to get the 2;30 from TDP to Puerto Natales and then onto El Calafate in the same day?

    • Reply
      Taylor Record
      September 23, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Hi Laura. I’m so glad you found it helpful! If the schedules haven’t changed, the Puerto Natales to El Calafate bus only leaves at 7:30am and the earliest bus from Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales is at 2pm. We ended up hitchhiking the route, so if you’re not too tired after your trek, that might be an option!

  • Reply
    Cara
    September 21, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I am really at wits end with the booking process. My original Vertice request was submitted on August 14 (for which I received a confirmation email). Since then I have sent 26 follow up emails, 2 of which were in Spanish (no hyperbole), and called the two different numbers 45 times over the course of the past 2 weeks (again, no exaggeration here). Two weeks ago I was able to speak with someone who was very helpful and nice and spoke amazing English. Unfortunately, two weeks ago this woman told me that she would send me an email for the payment by the next day. Two weeks later I have still not received anything. I’m all booked with Fantastico and have all of my flights booked and paid for. I decided to go back online and start the reservation request process over (something I’ve tried to avoid so as to avoid confusion). Now though I only see Paine and Grey as options for locations. Now I am a bit panicked that sites have already booked. Does anyone have any insight? I am usually not a huge planner when traveling but this obviously requires it. Is anyone aware of companies who will accept a fee to book? Any help will be appreciated!

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