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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Biking Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park Patagonia

The W and O treks are undoubtedly common 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 method 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 at Torres del Paine Nationwide Park is a improbable various to mountaineering, based mostly by myself expertise.

I hiked the W circuit over a decade in the past, and even then, it was so common that each one the lodging and tenting spots had been reserved far upfront. Suppose you’re in search of a method to escape the crowds and uncover how individuals sometimes expertise Torres Del Paine. In that case, I’ve an answer for you. Ebiking from estancia to estancia in Torres Del Paine.

When my pal and Chile Nativo proprietor Gonzalo approached me about his modern e-bike tour round Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park, I used to be instantly intrigued. In all my years within the journey business, I had by no means come throughout the thought of biking across the park—solely mountaineering. This culturally immersive e-bike journey tour affords a novel perspective on the park, and I used to be wanting to delve deeper into this thrilling new method to expertise Patagonia.

Biking patagoniaBiking patagonia
Getting nearer!

Get off the overwhelmed observe in Torres Del Paine Patagonia

I wouldn’t say Patagonia is overtouristed. Nonetheless, it’s a very talked-about journey vacation spot, and for an excellent motive – it’s completely jaw-droppingly beautiful. Nonetheless, whenever you begin researching Torres Del Paine Nationwide Park, you’ll discover that the primary exercise is mountaineering 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 individuals at viewpoints.  

There isn’t a allow system in place but for these hikes, however in accordance with locals within the tourism business, 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.

Because of this I’ve been in search of 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 purpose with this web site has all the time been to get individuals off the overwhelmed observe and introduce them to new, lesser-known locations the place they’ll have a fair higher, extra transformational expertise than the everyday 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 the complete 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 Approach 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 all the time thought-about journeys to be a particular type of journey. 

One during which you go from place to position with an final vacation spot purpose 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 purpose. You study from the locations you see and the individuals you meet. Typically, you don’t know when you’ll make it to the purpose – which makes it even sweeter whenever you arrive on the finish of the journey.

I like such a 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 novel 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 had been the African migration! One in every of my favourite issues about this journey is that we may all the time see our purpose, the torres within the park. Within the evenings, we loved the distinctive estancias, met the homeowners, 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 toes 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 benefit from the grassy pampas as fields to lift massive herds of sheep and cattle and money in on the worldwide demand for wool – white gold. The rugged land was excellent for elevating livestock – it was about the one factor the cruel panorama was appropriate for.

Estancias are massive operations run by households and supported by ranch-hands – also called gauchos. The gauchos are the guts of the estancias and land. They foster a connection to and respect for the panorama, shut friendships, and study 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 stay and work at every ranch are sturdy and lasting. From the canines to the sheep to the horses to the cows, the animals on the estancias type a symbiotic relationship—all exist collectively peacefully, every in its personal tribe. 

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

This was the one factor that I all the time thought was missing after 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 capable of actually study concerning the tradition extra comprehensively.

What to Anticipate biking round Torres Del Paine Patagonia

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

Usually identified 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 may have the ability whenever you want it. Whether or not you employ the ability to chop via the wind effortlessly or up a number of 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 Large Talon Ebikes. These full-suspension electrical mountain bikes assist enhance 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 may simply benefit from the journey.

In case you are 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’ll help you with extra energy. The bike does this by detecting your pedaling cadence and drive. The extent of help is set by which assist mode you set it in: Energy, Sport, Energetic, Primary, Eco. This manner, you may determine how a lot train you get with an E-bike.

One of many hardest issues for novices using an e-bike is to pay attention to how heavy an e-bike may be. 

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

Estancia Lodging

We stayed in some lovely estancias alongside the route. They diverse from small operations with simply horses to bigger ranches with sheep, horses, and cattle. Among 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 personal chef cook dinner for us. Bear in mind – these aren’t typical resorts – they’re working farms – they didn’t have eating places.

As a result of we had been staying in genuine, working estancias, the lodging generally included bunk beds and shared loos. This didn’t trouble me since our group had such wonderful 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 rode alongside the tire-tracked paths via the pampas. 

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

One of the vital 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 fantastic quincho, and so they had a particular asado for us. We feasted on lamb whereas the solar went down behind the torres within the distance – a magical method to finish the day.

Estancia 3R

Tucked away among the many beautiful 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 highway, the place the panorama grew to become much more wild and untamed – identical to the horses she stored on the property. The proprietor sat and ate dinner with us, and he or she instructed 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 corporations, she wished to maintain the land free and wild. 

It was touching how a lot she cherished and wished to fiercely defend 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’ve 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 ‘stay’ on the property. Some are tame. About 24 may be ridden, however it’s good to be an skilled rider.

The ‘cabin’ was stuffed with home windows and a fantastic shared space the place we ate and relaxed across the hearth. 

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

Wildlife Viewing

One of the vital stunning issues about this journey was the quantity of wildlife we had 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 unbelievable to absorb 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 to be ostriches), sheep, foxes, flamingos, and lots of condors. Whereas used to seeing individuals 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 working 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 received a mixture of science and tourism by mountaineering in a privileged park sector behind Sierra Masle seeking the herd of untamed horses that ‘stay’ in Torres del Paine Nationwide Park.  

Victor Moraga has been monitoring and finding out 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 just a few years in the past, permitting guests to see the baguales and displaying the federal government and native farmers that they’re value defending as they create beneficial vacationer {dollars} to the area.

We hiked for 10 miles seeking a herd of 120 wild horses. Sadly, we didn’t see them as they had 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.

One in every of my favourite components of the expertise was how we entered the park.  

torres del paine park entrancetorres del paine park entrance
This might be the most effective 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 individuals ever enter the park this fashion with the steering of Patagonia Bagual. 

Tradition Via Meals

One of many different highlights of the journey was the unbelievable 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 personal 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 night time, 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 night time again in Puerto Natales, Chef Rodrigo handled us to a meat extravaganza at Chile Nativo’s quincho. Wine flowed, we ate meat with our palms, and we reminisced about all of our unbelievable experiences over the past 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

The whole lot went so easily throughout our journey; we had been fortunate with the climate and water crossings. There was solely as soon as the place we needed to ferry the bikes over a robust flowing river. Nevertheless it was so good to know that we all the time had a assist automobile on this distant space.  

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

Our educated guides, who took care of us and our bikes the complete journey, had been the ultimate piece in making this the right journey.

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

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

How one can take This Distinctive Journey to Torres Del Paine

Ottsworld Excursions

I cherished this journey a lot that I’ve began providing it as an Ottsworld Tour. I’ve custom-made just a few items of it and can provide it as a small group tour for 9 individuals from March 15 – 21, 2025.  See the entire itinerary and study extra.


For those who can not make these dates and are nonetheless serious about doing this tour – Chile Nativo affords it (a barely completely different itinerary) at varied occasions within the season. Study extra right here. Use code Ottsworld for five% off ANY of their common, non-custom packages (together with mountaineering and puma monitoring).

Chile Nativo

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

patagonia jump for joypatagonia jump for joy

Often Requested Questions

Are you able to bike in Torres del Paine?

Sure, nonetheless, I extremely suggest an e-bike. The winds in Torres del Paine are infamous and would make regular biking practically not possible for the typical individual. The roads in and across the park are primarily gravel – so a motorcycle with mountain bike knobby tires can also be beneficial.

When is the most effective 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, after all, fewer individuals, too. 

Do it’s good to be an skilled bike owner to do that biking journey?

No, however you do have to be comfy on a motorcycle. Because of this try to be using a motorcycle usually to organize for this journey. It isn’t essential to be an skilled biker to take part, however you must really feel comfy for six to eight hours a day of exercise in any type 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 the complete approach and did nice navigating the gravel roads and hills.

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

Sure – you may set up each! 

Try Chile Nativo’s choices right here, which embody mountaineering and biking, and get the most effective 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 mountaineering, biking, and puma monitoring).

What are the alternate options to the W Trek?

Top-of-the-line alternate options to the W trek is biking round Torres Del Paine. However past biking, you can even do multi-day kayaking journeys, puma monitoring, wild horse monitoring (see Patagonia Baguales above), multi-day horseback using 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 to be conventional bicycles however characteristic a battery-powered motor that assists the rider’s pedaling efforts. eBikes are available in varied kinds, together with mountain bikes, highway bikes, commuter bikes, and even cargo bikes. The electrical motor may be activated via pedaling or through the use of a throttle, relying on the kind of eBike. They provide riders the flexibility to journey additional distances, deal with hills extra simply, and scale back the trouble required for biking, making them a preferred alternative for commuting, leisure using, 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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