Torres del Paine Cascades

Patagonia / Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 5
One of the more impressive waterfalls on the Sendero de Las Torres

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Torres del Paine Cascades are mountain cascades in which I've dedicated this page to acknowledge their quality and quantity seen during the difficult but rewarding hike to see the namesake Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine). Truthfully, they were my excuse to talk about the memorable hike we did to see those towers in a waterfalling context.

During our hike, we've counted at least four noteworthy waterfalls (including the impressive one shown in the photo at the top of this page). We didn't even include some of the cascades on the Río Ascensio, which the trail followed for a large part of the trek.

Three of the cascades were actually seen across the Río Ascensio authoritatively tumbling down the opposite mountain. We've also included the streaking cascades feeding the glacial lagoon right at the base of the towers of Paine or Torres del Paine.

While the waterfalls were not motivating factors to do this hike, they were certainly worthwhile distractions for a very rewarding hike. However, the 8- to 10-hour hike to Mirador de Las Torres from Hostería Las Torres was not easy as it was roughly 13 miles long round trip while undulating relentlessly in long hills. The trail contained exposed sections dropping towards Río Ascensio as well as a knee-jarring boulder scramble at the end.

But with all the physical and mental demands of this hike, we were able to persevere and be rewarded with memories that definitely stayed with us long after the hike was over. In addition to gorgeous panoramas and waterfalls, we also had stories to tell our friends and family. In other words, we highly recommend this hike despite all the things that might conspire to keep you from doing it.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

The trail followed the Rio Ascensio for most of the challenging hike to Mirador de Las TorresThe trail followed the Rio Ascensio for most of the challenging hike to Mirador de Las Torres
Las Torres del Paine seen from the Mirador de Las Torres at the end of the grueling hikeLas Torres del Paine seen from the Mirador de Las Torres at the end of the grueling hike
Broad sweeping panorama of the Paine Massif backing the valley containing many estancias and hosterias near Hosteria TyndallBroad sweeping panorama of the Paine Massif backing the valley containing many estancias and hosterias near Hosteria Tyndall, where we drove from to access Hosteria Las Torres
A very narrow bridge we had to cross with our rental truck to get to Hosteria Las TorresA very narrow bridge we had to cross with our rental truck to get to Hosteria Las Torres

Hosteria Las TorresHosteria Las Torres at the trailhead for the epic hike to Mirador de Las Torres

Julie on the trail just beyond Hosteria Las TorresJulie on the trail just beyond Hosteria Las Torres

Julie on a fairly exposed part of the trail not far from the startJulie on a fairly exposed part of the trail not far from the start

Skirting the gorge to get to Las TorresSkirting the gorge to get to Las Torres

Julie entered a more forested part of the trailJulie entered a more forested part of the trail

Impressive long cascade seen near the difficult boulder scrambleImpressive long cascade seen near the difficult boulder scramble

Julie starting to enter an extensive boulder fieldJulie starting to enter an extensive boulder field

The brutal boulder scramble at the endThe brutal boulder scramble at the end

Some markings on the rocks helped us along on this challenging and steep part of the trailSome markings on the rocks helped us along this challenging and steep part of the trail

Full context of the glacier-fed streaks beneath Las Torres del PaineFull context of the glacier-fed streaks beneath Las Torres del Paine

Streaking cascades beneath the Torres del PaineStreaking cascades beneath the Torres del Paine

The context of the Mirador de Las Torres and the people who have managed to make it all the way hereThe context of the Mirador de Las Torres and the people who have managed to make it all the way here

Julie starting to head back down with some volcanic-looking mountains and streaking cascades seen across the valleyJulie starting to head back down with some volcanic-looking mountains and streaking cascades seen across the valley

Context of the long boulder scramble descent ahead of usContext of the long boulder scramble descent ahead of us

Two cascades seen side by sideWith the better lighting as it was later in the day, we took the opportunity to photograph the waterfalls we passed by on the way in.

A streaking cascade seen across the valleyA streaking cascade seen across the valley. This was one of the two waterfalls in the above photo.

Julie on the trail approaching a thin cascade nearbyJulie on the trail approaching a thin cascade nearby

Julie on the last bit of climbing before it was all downhill the rest of the way.  Indeed, this was not an easy trailJulie on the last bit of climbing before it was all downhill the rest of the way. Indeed, this was not an easy trail

Looking ahead at the open expanse as we were finally on the last descent to the trailheadLooking ahead at the open expanse as we were finally on the last descent to the trailhead

Julie approaching Hosteria Las Torres and the end of our hikeJulie approaching Hosteria Las Torres and the end of our hike


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We started this hike from the bustling Hostería Las Torres. Since we don't have a road atlas, I can't give exact directions, but it's well signposted and has a large car park.

I did recall having to cross a very narrow bridge where we had to fold the side mirrors while driving the spur road to the hotel.

For context, Hostería Las Torres in the general Torres del Paine area was about 274km (under 4 hours drive not counting possible border crossing delays) south and west of El Calafate, Argentina.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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