Biking Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park Patagonia

The W and O treks are undoubtedly fashionable methods to expertise Torres del Paine Nationwide Park, however they aren’t the one choices. Because the variety of vacationers on these trails continues to rise, I’m thrilled to introduce you to a brand new strategy to discover the park. With the appearance of e-bikes, now you can traverse the park and its environment with ease. On this article, I’ll share why e-biking Torres del Paine Nationwide Park is a improbable various to climbing, primarily based alone expertise.

I hiked the W circuit over a decade in the past, and even then, it was so fashionable that each one the lodging and tenting spots have been reserved far prematurely. Suppose you’re on the lookout for a strategy to escape the crowds and the way folks usually expertise Torres Del Paine. In that case, I’ve an answer for you. Ebiking from estancia to estancia in Torres Del Paine.

When my good friend and Chile Nativo proprietor Gonzalo approached me about his progressive e-bike tour round Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park, I used to be instantly intrigued. In all my years within the journey trade, I had by no means come throughout the concept of biking across the park—solely climbing. This culturally immersive e-bike journey tour presents a singular perspective on the park, and I used to be desirous to delve deeper into this thrilling new strategy to expertise Patagonia.

Biking patagonia
Getting nearer!

Get off the crushed observe in Torres Del Paine Patagonia

I wouldn’t say Patagonia is overtouristed. Nonetheless, it’s a very fashionable journey vacation spot, and for a very good motive – it’s completely jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Nonetheless, if you begin researching Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park, you’ll discover that the principle exercise is climbing the well-known W or O trek across the park. Nonetheless, increasingly, you hear of the crowded campgrounds and refugios, the over-hiked trails, and the variety of folks at viewpoints.  

There isn’t any allow system in place but for these hikes, however in line with locals within the tourism trade, it’s not far off. Presently, campsite/lodging availability regulates the numbers on these hikes, however they might want to do greater than that sooner or later in the event that they need to protect the paths and the expertise.

This is the reason I’ve been on the lookout for alternate options to the W or O Trek to expertise the park.

I do know – it’s straightforward for me to say skip the crowds and do one thing else since I fortunately already did the hike myself years in the past. However my objective with this web site has at all times been to get folks off the crushed observe and introduce them to new, lesser-known locations the place they will have a fair higher, extra transformational expertise than the standard bucket checklist locations.

Torres del Paine mountain rangeTorres del Paine mountain range
views from Estancia San Luis

The hikes are a good way to get near the well-known torres (towers) – the three granite peaks of the Paine mountain that attain 8200 ft. Nonetheless, the torres are simply as spectacular from a distance (IMO they’re MORE spectacular from a distance). If you see them stand up like needles from the flat expanse of pampas (grasslands) that encompass the park together with your entire Paine mountain vary – it’s epic. The W trek doesn’t provide you with these views.

Nonetheless, an ebiking tour would just do that!

A Completely different Strategy to Expertise Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park

A small group of us set off on one in every of my favourite sorts of journeys—a journey. I’ve at all times thought-about journeys to be a particular form of journey. 

One during which you cross from place to put with an final vacation spot objective on the finish. It’s greater than a trip – it’s a passage of grand proportions the place every day will get you nearer to your objective. You be taught from the locations you see and the folks you meet. Generally, you don’t know should you’ll make it to the objective – which makes it even sweeter if you arrive on the finish of the journey.

I like one of these journey – it’s why I did the Camino de Santiago, the Mongol Rally, and why I do my Capitol to Capitol bike rides – for the journey.

On this journey, we launched into a singular journey from Estancia to Estancia by e-bike, every day getting nearer and nearer to the park whereas immersing ourselves within the wealthy tradition of gauchos and household companies. Every day, we biked previous herds of untamed animals, and we’d be stopped by them crossing over our path as if it have been the African migration! Considered one of my favourite issues about this journey is that we might at all times see our objective, the torres within the park. Within the evenings, we loved the distinctive estancias, met the house owners, and savored probably the most lovely and complicated meals cooked over an open flame.  

Patagonia Estancia Historical past and Tradition

An estancia is a big ranch usually situated within the pampas (grasslands) surrounding the park. One of many issues that makes the park so awe-inspiring is the truth that the mountain vary rises 8,000 ft out of the flat pampas, making it look much more majestic.

estancia sheep torres del paineestancia sheep torres del paine

Within the 1800s, immigrants from European international locations moved to Patagonia to make the most of the grassy pampas as fields to lift giant herds of sheep and cattle and money in on the worldwide demand for wool – white gold. The rugged land was good for elevating livestock – it was about the one factor the tough panorama was appropriate for.

Estancias are giant operations run by households and supported by ranch-hands – also called gauchos. The gauchos are the center of the estancias and land. They foster a connection to and respect for the panorama, shut friendships, and be taught to understand a slower, extra remoted life. Being a gaucho is a real calling.

These estancias are sometimes situated nice distances from one another, so the bonds between those that reside and work at every ranch are sturdy and lasting. From the canine to the sheep to the horses to the cows, the animals on the estancias kind a symbiotic relationship—all exist collectively peacefully, every in its personal tribe. 

As elevating livestock has develop into much less profitable, these historic estancias have just lately began to show to tourism to assist assist their existence. New lodge services have been constructed to accommodate horse-riding vacationers, or outdated worker lodging has been revamped into lodging for vacationers. A lot of the ranches are nonetheless run by the households that began them, making it much more fascinating for guests like me to be taught concerning the modifications via historical past.

This was the one factor that I at all times thought was missing once I beforehand hiked the W in Torres del Paine – the publicity to tradition. By journeying from estancia to estancia by bike – I used to be in a position to actually be taught concerning the tradition extra comprehensively.

What to Count on biking round Torres Del Paine Patagonia

We biked almost 130 miles from Puerto Natales via the pampas, into the Sierra Baguales mountain vary, after which into Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park. 

Sometimes recognized for its highly effective winds, this a part of Patagonia has been inaccessible to biking for most individuals. Nonetheless, with the rise of e-bikes, you possibly can have the facility if you want it. Whether or not you utilize the facility to chop via the wind effortlessly or up among the bigger hills, it takes away the ‘struggling’ and means that you can actually take pleasure in exploring the area.

Biking Sierra BagualesBiking Sierra Baguales
Biking via Sierra Baguales

E-bikes in Patagonia

We used new Big Talon Ebikes. These full-suspension electrical mountain bikes assist increase your efficiency on difficult terrain. Plus, that they had huge, burly tires to deal with the gravel roads and pampas. 

I used to be thrilled with the standard of the bike and the battery life. Not as soon as did I run out of battery or really feel like I needed to preserve it. Plus, the guides took care of all the charging and upkeep, so you possibly can simply benefit from the journey.

If you’re new to e-biking, the very first thing to know is you continue to must pedal! You pedal and shift gears like regular, and when the bike feels you struggling, it would help you with extra energy. The bike does this by detecting your pedaling cadence and power. The extent of help is set by which assist mode you set it in; Energy, Sport, Lively, Primary, Eco. This manner, you possibly can determine how a lot train you get with an E-bike.

One of many hardest issues for learners driving an e-bike is to pay attention to how heavy an e-bike could be. 

Nonetheless, I discovered these bikes to be surprisingly gentle and maneuverable. The know-how and design of e-bikes enhance yearly—and these have been top-of-the-line!

Estancia Lodging

We stayed in some lovely estancias alongside the route. They various from small operations with simply horses to bigger ranches with sheep, horses, and cattle. A few of the bigger ones had their very own quinchos – a lined space with a built-in grill for cooking asado (BBQ) and a big desk for serving your asado to your family and friends. For others, we had our non-public chef cook dinner for us. Keep in mind – these aren’t typical lodges – they’re working farms – they didn’t have eating places.

As a result of we have been staying in genuine, working estancias, the lodging generally included bunk beds and shared loos. This didn’t hassle me since our group had such glorious comradery. It simply made the entire expertise higher, in my view.

Estancia San Luis

The household, Cárdenas-Oyarzún, has been devoted to livestock farming for greater than 45 years. It was a deal with to fulfill the daddy and his grownup youngsters, who’re all concerned within the enterprise. The estancia’s fence line on the west signifies the border between Argentina and Chile!

Using throughout their property was one in every of my highlights. Herds of horses ran wild together with us, and large rhea birds ran throughout our path, bringing us to a halt as we watched in awe. The solar was setting as we street alongside the tire tracked paths via the pampas. 

It was lovely and wild and was one of the memorable days I’ve ever traveled.

Probably the most time-honored (and scrumptious) traditions on the estancia is that of the genuine Patagonian asado or barbecue. A lamb is butterflied over a low-burned hearth for a number of hours, cooking the meat to tender, juicy perfection, earlier than being chopped up and served with sides and loads of Chilean wine. The household had a gorgeous quincho the place that they had a particular asado for us. We feasted on lamb whereas the solar went down behind the torres within the distance – a magical strategy to finish the day.

Estancia 3R

Tucked away among the many gorgeous Sierra Baguales mountains lies Estancia 3R. The route there was hilly – however wasn’t an issue with the ebikes. 

The estancia was situated actually on the finish of the street, the place the panorama turned much more wild and untamed – similar to the horses she stored on the property. The proprietor sat and ate dinner with us, and she or he advised us concerning the household historical past of the ranch being handed down via generations. She had determined way back that she wouldn’t promote out to huge firms, she needed to maintain the land free and wild. 

It was touching how a lot she beloved and needed to fiercely shield the area.

She constructed the additional ‘cabin’ we stayed in for vacationers/guests as a result of she needs to welcome horse riders from all around the world to this distinctive place. “Right here you have got 1000’s of hectors and you’re free to do what you’d like,” she proudly defined. They’ve 160 horses – most of them wild (bagual) – they ‘reside’ on the property. Some are tame. About 24 could be ridden, however you should be an professional rider.

The ‘cabin’ was full of home windows and a gorgeous shared space the place we ate and relaxed across the hearth. 

As well as, star gazing was unimaginable on this distant location with zero gentle air pollution. It was arduous to depart 3R the next day!

Wildlife Viewing

Probably the most shocking issues about this journey was the quantity of wildlife we have been handled to. 

Herds of untamed horses ran throughout our path, and curious guanacos stopped grazing to have a look at us inquisitively. This alone was unimaginable to soak up as we biked alongside the gravel roads, however the mountain backdrop made it much more spectacular.

We noticed herds of horses, guanacos, rheas (birds that appear like ostriches), sheep, foxes, flamingos, and plenty of condors. Whereas used to seeing folks on horseback or in automobiles, most of those animals had by no means seen bikes earlier than. They might cease and stare inquisitively, some would run alongside us, and the condors would circle above us, having fun with gliding on the winds.

My favourite expertise was the herds of horses. They might run alongside us for some time, cease as a gaggle, stare at us, after which take off operating once more! It felt like a Patagonian safari! There’s nothing fairly as lovely as seeing wild horses race round.

A Completely different Perspective of Torres Del Paine Via Patagonia Bagual

Along with the horses alongside our route, we stayed at Patagonia Bagual as a part of our tour. Right here, we took a break from biking and bought a mixture of science and tourism by climbing in a privileged park sector behind Sierra Masle in the hunt for the herd of untamed horses that ‘reside’ in Torres del Paine Nationwide Park.  

Victor Moraga has been monitoring and learning the wild horses and different hard-to-find wildlife on this northeastern a part of the park for years. He gained particular approval to run hikes right here a couple of years in the past, permitting guests to see the baguales and displaying the federal government and native farmers that they’re price defending as they bring about helpful vacationer {dollars} to the area.

We hiked for 10 miles in the hunt for a herd of 120 wild horses. Sadly, we didn’t see them as they have been in one other area of the park that day, however Victor taught us a lot concerning the horses, different wildlife, gauchos, and the park! Plus, we hiked to some uncommon views of the torres that solely a handful of individuals can see.

Considered one of my favourite components of the expertise was how we entered the park.  

torres del paine park entrancetorres del paine park entrance
This may very well be one of the best park entrance ever!

Would you imagine this little stile (stairs that allow people however not animals to cross a fence) is likely one of the entrances to Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park? Only some folks ever enter the park this fashion with the steerage of Patagonia Bagual. 

Tradition Via Meals

One of many different highlights of the journey was the unimaginable meals that awaited every day as we completed our journey at an estancia. The sensation of biking all day after which pulling as much as a heat bathe and a feast of appetizers and beer was pure decadence in a country setting. We earned this!

Our non-public chef, Rodrigo, was so centered on offering us with probably the most superb meals after our energetic days that it was thrilling for me (a little bit of a foodie) to observe him. Every evening, he would cook dinner up a feast over an open-flame hearth, and I’d sit there in awe watching him at his craft. Seeing somebody cook dinner on this conventional Chilean approach was higher than any cooking present!

On the final evening again in Puerto Natales, Chef Rodrigo handled us to a meat extravaganza at Chile Nativo’s quincho. Wine flowed, we ate meat with our arms, and we reminisced about all of our unimaginable experiences during the last week. In true Chilean type, we by no means even sat down—we simply all gathered round Chef Rodigo and the grill as he handed round sizzling plates of completely grilled meat and sides.

Native Assist Employees

All the pieces went so easily throughout our journey; we have been fortunate with the climate and water crossings. There was solely as soon as the place we needed to ferry the bikes over a powerful flowing river. However it was so good to know that we at all times had a assist car on this distant space.  

It was almost the one automobile we noticed on our journey till the final day once we biked into the park and have been reacquainted with the opposite vacationers!

Our educated guides, who took care of us and our bikes your entire journey, have been the ultimate piece in making this the proper journey.

The eBiking and Estancias tour is a singular strategy to expertise the Torres del Paine Patagonia area. 

Whereas on a motorbike, I watched the distant landscapes go by, like generations of gauchos earlier than me. As herds of guanacos bounded throughout the street forward of us, leaving us in awe, I couldn’t assist however be overcome with feeling part of the distant expanse of nature surrounding me. 

How one can take This Distinctive Journey to Torres Del Paine

Ottsworld Excursions

I Ioved this journey a lot that I’ve began providing it as an Ottsworld Tour. I’ve personalized a couple of items of it and can supply it as a small group tour for 9 folks from March 15 – 21, 2025.  See the whole itinerary and be taught extra.

When you can not make these dates and are nonetheless thinking about doing this tour – Chile Nativo presents it (a barely totally different itinerary) at varied instances within the season. Study extra right here. Use code Ottsworld for five% off ANY of their common, non-custom packages (together with climbing and puma monitoring).

Chile Nativo

Gonzalo began Chile Nativo as a horseback driving firm. He’s enthusiastic about creating new excursions that join with the neighborhood. To entice folks away from the W trek and to different components of the encompassing areas, he got here up with the eBike and Estancias journey. He mainly took his current horse-riding excursions and turned them into biking excursions with a couple of tweaks!

patagonia jump for joypatagonia jump for joy

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Are you able to bike in Torres del Paine?

Sure, nevertheless, I extremely advocate an e-bike. The winds in Torres del Paine are infamous and would make regular biking almost unimaginable for the typical individual. The roads in and across the park are primarily good gravel – so a motorbike with mountain bike knobby tires can be advisable.

When is one of the best time to cycle in Torres Del Paine?

Fall in Patagonia is someday between February to April. You get much less rain, much less wind, and nonetheless comparatively loads of daylight. And naturally, much less folks too. 

Do you should be an skilled bicycle owner to do that biking journey?

No, however you do have to be comfy on a motorbike. Because of this you ought to be driving a motorbike commonly to arrange for this journey. It’s not essential to be an professional biker to take part, however it is best to really feel comfy for six to eight hours a day of exercise in any form of climate. On our tour, we had an individual who was comparatively new to biking and had by no means ridden an ebike earlier than. Due to the ebike, she made it your entire approach and did nice navigating the gravel roads and hills.

Are you able to hike and bike in Torres del Paine Park?

Sure – you possibly can arrange each! 

Take a look at Chile Nativo’s choices right here that embrace climbing and biking, and get one of the best of each worlds! They actually have a fast-track W route. Use code Ottsworld for five% off ANY of their common, non-custom packages (together with climbing, biking, and puma monitoring).

What are the alternate options to the W Trek?

Probably the greatest alternate options to the W trek is biking round Torres Del Paine. However past biking, you may also do multi-day kayaking journeys, puma monitoring, wild horse monitoring (see Patagonia Baguales above), multi-day horseback driving journeys, fishing, and there are many different hikes to vistas across the park.  

What’s an Ebike?

An eBike, brief for electrical bike, is a bicycle outfitted with an electrical motor that gives propulsion. These bikes usually appear like conventional bicycles however function a battery-powered motor that assists the rider’s pedaling efforts. eBikes are available in varied types, together with mountain bikes, street bikes, commuter bikes, and even cargo bikes. The electrical motor could be activated via pedaling or by utilizing a throttle, relying on the kind of eBike. They provide riders the flexibility to journey additional distances, deal with hills extra simply, and cut back the hassle required for biking, making them a well-liked alternative for commuting, leisure driving, and transportation.


I used to be a visitor of Chile Nativo on this inagural Ebike and Estancias journey. Nonetheless all opinions expressed listed below are my very own.

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