Do you plan to hike W-Trek in Torres del Paine and have questions about accommodation while in the park?
We have compiled a list with the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Torres del Paine’s most common accommodation option, the so called “Refugios”.
1. What Are Refugios?
Refugios are rustic, but comfortable mountain huts/shelters with dorm rooms (bunk bed style*), strategically located along the trails of Torres del Paine’s most popular hikes. Besides the dorm rooms Refugios also have a common area to rest and hang out.
* If you booked your W-Trek with us, sheets and blankets or sleeping bags will be provided
2. Which Are the Main Refugios Along the W-Trek?
If hiking the W-Trek you will usually overnight in the following refugios (hiking from East to West): Refugio Torre Central / Torre Norte, Refugio Los Cuernos, Refugio Paine Grande, Refugio Grey.
3. How Many People Share a Room? Are They Divided by Gender?
The dorm rooms at the refugios are usually shared between 6-8 people. Beds are bunk bed style and rooms are mixed and not gender divided. If you are a light sleeper consider bringing ear plugs (to block noise from snoring room mates) and an eye mask (sun sets down late and rises early in summer time).
4. How Are the Bathroom Facilities?
Refugios have shared toilets and bathrooms/showers, divided by gender. All refugios along the trail of the W-Trek have hot water. Remember to bring a small quick dry travel towel, as towels are not provided by the Refugios.
5. How Are the Meals at Refugios? Are Vegetarian Options Available?
Refugios serve breakfast and dinner which are basic but filling, and provide box-lunches to take on the trail. For breakfast the refugios usually serve corn flakes, toast, fruit and yoghurt. Box-lunches typically consist of a sandwich, fruit, nuts and a chocolate bar. For dinner refugios usually serve a small soup or salad as a starter, a main course (typically pasta or mashed potatoes or rice with chicken) and a desert. Vegetarian meals can be provided, if requested in advance. (Ask us about other special dietary requirements!)
6. Are There Electric Plugs in Refugios to Charge My Devices?
You can find plugs to charge your devices in the common areas and in some dormitory rooms. Keep in mind that the quantity of plugs is limited which means that these might be occupied by other hikers. Bringing extra batteries for your camera or a powerbank (external battery charger) is a good idea.
7. Is There Cell Phone Connection or Wifi?
There is NO cell phone connection in Torres del Paine. Wi-Fi can be purchased at most of the refugios but costs are relatively high and the signal is often weak. We suggest using your time in Torres del Paine for a digital detox!
8. Do I Need to Bring Cash? Are Credit Cards Accepted at Refugios?
Even if you have pre-booked all services in Torres del Paine bringing some cash is a good idea. Most refugios have a small shop where you can buy extra snacks, and a bar where you can buy beer, wine or pisco sour. You can pay in Chilean Pesos and USD and credit cards are accepted either.
9. Do I Need to Book Refugios in Advance?
Refugios tend to book out far in advance, especially for the peak season period from mid November to end of February. Thus we recommend to make reservations once you know your travel dates, ideally at least 4-6 months before your departure date.
10. What Are the Options If Refugios Are Booked Out?
If Refugios are booked out, you can overnight in camping*. Please keep in mind that even if you plan to camp, it is mandatory to book your spot on campsites beforehand and spaces at campsites also book out early during high season.
If Refugio Los Cuernos is booked out, there also is the option to overnight in 2-3 person cabins which provide more privacy and extra comfort. (plus access to a communal hot tub!)
*If you booked one of our W-Treks and overnight in camping, we will provide high-quality camping equipment and install tents for you, you neither have to carry nor put up tents yourself.
11. Are Refugios Open All Year Round?
Most of the Refugios close during winter months (May to September). Exact opening times have varied during the past winter seasons, however during the winter 2019 only Refugio Grey and Refugio Paine Grande remained open. For those interested in visiting Torres del Paine during the Chilean winter we offer a special Winter Version of the W-Trek.