"Hike to Refúgio Zapata - in Torres del Paine PN" Región Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Off The Beaten Path Tip by Trekki
Región Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Off The Beaten Path: 1 reviews and 1 photos
For me, within Torres del Paine, the famous Circuito is just too crowded in the usual travel time (december-february), so I prefer the other possible treks.
The 2 days trip (one way) to Refúgio Zapata, close to Glaciar Pingo is one of my favourites.
It starts off at the Administración in the parks' south. First, you would need to hitchhike to Lago Grey. There is no tour bus available, as a bridge has to be crossed which is too narrow for busses. However, the people are very friendly and hitchhiking should get you off administración within less that half an hour.
Then start at the Guarderia Grey (which is at the end of the road) and follow the signs to Refúgio Pingo. To this hut it's just 30 min walk, you can stay there for the night.
Then just follow the path through the valley of Rio Pingo, the trek moves away from the river and continues uphill.
After 4-5 hours (from Refúgio Pingo) you should be at Refúgio Zapata - however this is without any stop in between.
But there is so much to see along the trek, from stunning views of Los Cuernos massif to little wild orchids, and also a little waterfall.
The Refúgio Zapata itself has a nice oven, a kitchen and a separated "sleeping room". But hang your belongings on the hooks, as some mice families are living there, who are in constant search for food :-)