The best treks & hikes in Torres del Paine

Grey Lake and Glacier Grey

Seen from afar or studied up close, the exquisite Glacier Grey is a true Torres del Paine highlight. Take in the ice monolith from its lookout point, then come up close and personal on a boat trip that brings you within metres of the intricate puzzle of blue, white, glass and turquoise ice.

What you’ll see

Most day excursions follow a trail that leads to a lookout point that affords stunning views of the glacier and offers a sense of its immense size.

Trips may or may not complete the entire walk, as the trail involves several ascents and descents that not everyone will be prepared for. Check with your operator.

Afterwards you’ll board a small boat on Lake Grey to sail among the icebergs right up to the glacier’s ice wall. From up close you’ll see countless hues of blue and impossibly complex ice structures. If you’re lucky you’ll see a glacial calving, where ice breaks off from the constantly moving glacier.

An icy legacy

The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is what remains of the ice sheet that covered southern Chile up until the last ice age. Of what was once 500,000 km³ (120,000 miles³) of ice, just 4% remains today. If you look carefully at the tops of the highest mountains you’ll notice the craggy geology looks very different to the smoother valleys below – this boundary marks the highpoint of the original ice sheet.


This is a moderate excursion that takes roughly 6 hours (including the hiking and sailing), and a walk of approximately 11km (7.5miles). It’s fairly easy going and accessible to most travellers. Some operators will curtail the hiking section and spend more time on the boat.

Need to know

As with the rest of Patagonia, the weather here is changeable and boat trips may sometimes be cancelled depending on conditions. Trips with fewer than the minimum 10 passengers may also be called off. Check with your operator on their contingency plans.

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