Frequently Asked Questions
What is the entry requirements to Chile now?
Simplification of the entry of non-resident foreign tourists to Chile Effective date: September 1, 2022
*You can enter with a vaccination certificate delivered by the country where you were vaccinated plus your identity document.
*Unvaccinated people must present a negative PCR with a maximum of 48 hours prior to flight to Chile.
*The up-to-date vaccination certificate will be equivalent to the Mobility Pass for non-resident foreign tourists.
*It is not mandatory to have Health Insurance, however, it is recommended to travel with one that has coverage for SARS CoV 2 (COVID19).
*The International Health Passport (form C19) no longer exists, it will no longer be necessary for any traveler.
Best way to get to Puerto Natales?
Puerto Natales is your local transit hub in going to Torres del Paine. The good news is, Sky Airline is going to start flying from Santiago to Puerto Natales by September 202, tuesdays and Fridays only. Jetsmart also flies twice weekly, thursdays and sundays. It is a 3 hours flight. If you can't get unto a plane directly to Puerto Natales, another alternative is to fly to Punta Arenas and then an airport bus (3 hours) going straight to Puerto Natales. No stops in between. We will be arranging your local transfers.
Is ChileTour Patagonia a Local Operator?
Yes, we are a Top Rated Puerto Natales based travel company. We manage our own accomodation in Puerto Natales (Garden Domes) and in Torres del Paine (Tiny Houoses). We also have our company vans and SUVs to support our guests needs. This aside from our very dedicated team of guides, drivers, camping logistics, kitchen and reception. We take pride in our 8 years of accumulated wisdom and experience running the W Trek.
Is the West to East W trek itinerary the best way?
The popular online opinion is West to East. But it can be a complicated way of doing the W, because its success depends on connecting properly to the Lake Pehoe catamaran or ferry. The problem is, there is always a chance that you don't connect to the boat. No seats are guranteed as well, so even if you make it, you still might not be able to sail. We don’t have this problem on the East to West schedule. Furthermore, because of starting with the Base of the Towers trail, we were able to resolved numerous first day hiccups of participants which we never could have if they took the boat on the first day. Also, by doing the W Classic East to West, you get the change to do either ice-trekking or kayaking or a hike to the iconic second hanging bridge overlooking the Grey Glacier and the Southern Ice Field.
What happens if the Lake Pehoe boat does not sail?
We have timed the W trek in such a way that you will have enough time to exit using an alternative route out of the W. (We call this exit route the "Q trail." We will explain why we call it that letter when you arrive here to start the hike!)
Do you need a guide during the W Trek?
During the Winter season, we normally send a guide and a porter to accompany our W participants. Winter daylight is short, 5 hours only and the average hiker needs to do 7 to 8 hours of daily hike. A guide is a safety necessity during winter. During the summer months, especially November, December and January, the sun is up until 11 pm and starts to rise 4 am. Since the trails are properly marked, there is always enough time to reach one’s destination of the day. For this reason, we only provide the guide on the first day of the hike or upon special request.
Does the W trek gets cancelled because of the weather?
We never had an experience of the entire W trek getting cancelled because of the weather. The upper portion of the trail to the Base of the Tower or the British Lookout can be closed due to bad weather.
Are there dangerous animals in the park?
We don’t have snakes, bears or crocodiles in Patagonia. We have some pumas in the eastern portion of the park but we never had any experience of any tourist in the park attacked by the big cats.
Do we need to carry drinking water during the hike?
Having a 500 ml water bottle is enough. There are many glacier streams and rivers where you can refill your bottle. It is one of the freshest and cleanest water you can drink. We will be sending you more information about this. Including some tips on how to fetch water safely during the hike.