hotel salto chicoLocated in the heart of Patagonia, 400 kms (249 miles) north of Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine National Parkencompasses 242,242 hectares (598,000 acres). At 51º07’ south latitude and 73º10’ west longitude, the park is surrounded by the impressive Paine mountain range(Cordillera del Paine). With unusually-shaped granite peaks, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls, plus unique flora and fauna, Torres del Paine Park is considered one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. Strategically set on the shore of Lake Pehoé, explora’s Hotel Salto Chico was conceived as an exploration base site. It features refined comfort for total relaxation and the best gear ideally suited for exploring Patagonia. The nearby Casa de Baños del Ona features an indoor heated pool, exercise machines, sauna, massage room and open-air Jacuzzis.





Every evening our guides meet with you in the bar/living room area of the hotel. There, they will explain all of the planned explorations available for the next day and help you choose the best exploration for you according to your interests and abilities. The maximum group size is 8 travelers, along with a bilingual explora guide. Our treks and horseback rides will help you to discover the landscapes and wildlife of this singular place, as well as the unique way of life of its human inhabitants: the gauchos. The following menu includes descriptions of our main explorations; the itineraries can experience modifications at any time and without prior notice. Please make sure to speak to an explora guide daily to know the exact explorations being offered.

trekking 
half day
Walk to Lake Grey Peninsula Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours, 2 to 2.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 5 km (3.1 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the Grey Ranger Station (45 minutes). We cross the Pingo River hanging bridge by foot and continue for 15 minutes through a forest of lenga trees (nothofagus pumilio), until we reach Lake Grey beach from where we can see icebergs. We ascend a moderately steep slope to reach a point where we get impressive views of the Grey Glacier. Finally, we return down a moderately steep slope to the lake shore and back to the Grey Ranger Station where the van will be waiting. Level: Easy.

Walk to the Toro vista point Duration: 2 hours, walking 1.5 hours. Distance on foot: 3.5 km (2.2 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 min.) toward the Weber Bridge. Climb 100 m (300 ft) until reaching the Toro vista point. Observe birds, regional fauna, and characteristics of the local aquatic flora. Views of Lake Toro and the Serrano River flanked by grand Andean peaks such as the Ferrier and Donoso mountains, among others. Return by van to hotel (15 min.). Level: Easy.

Walk to Pingo River Duration: 4 to 5 hours, walking 2.5 to 3 hours. Distance on foot: 8 km (5 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (40 min.) toward the Grey Ranger Station. Follow a relatively flat trail that follows the turbulent, glacier-fed Pingo River through open prairie in order to arrive at the Salmon River Cascade; great variety of birds and exuberant vegetation. Return to the Grey Ranger Station and back to hotel by van (40 min.). Level: Easy.

Walk along the Aonikenk trail Duration: 3 to 4 hours, walking 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Distance on foot: 7.5 km (4.6 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (30 min.) toward the Lake Sarmiento Ranger Station. Walk along a moderate trail north of the park limit, with moderate ascent (150 m/ 500 ft). The exploration provides an open landscape with panoramic views. On several rock walls it is possible to see Aonikenk Indian paintings, primitive inhabitants of the region. There is an abundance of guanacos here. Gradual descent to the Laguna Amarga Ranger Station. Return by van (35 min.). Level: Easy

Photo Safari to observe flora, fauna and birds 
Duration: 3 to 4 hours, by van. Itinerary: This exploration has an emphasis on photography and learning the flora and fauna of the park. During the journey it is very likely that we will observe guanacos, rheas, condors, foxes, skunks, ducks, geese, and other varieties of birds, especially during the spring. Views of the Horns and the Towers, the Almirante Peak and the Paine River Cascade. Level: Easy.

Walk to Rivera Serrano Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, 1.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 3 km (1.8 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the Serrano River (20 minutes). We trek along the river bank until we reach the Serrano park entrance. From here there are splendid views of the Paine Massif, the Toro Heights and the Serrano Prairie. This riverside trail follows the river basin of the Torres del Paine National Park. We return to the lodge by van (20 minutes). Level: Easy.

Walk to Laguna Azul Duration: 2.5 hours, 1 hour trekking. Distance on foot: 1.5 km (0.6 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (1 hour) toward the Laguna Azul campground. We begin with a 30 minute trek along the border of Laguna Azul, which provides excellent views of the Torres del Paine, forests and prairies. We return by the same path (30 minutes) as far as the Laguna Azul Ranger Station to observe varied bird species that live in the wetlands next to the lake. This trek can also start from the barbecue area. Level: Easy.

Walk to New Nordenskjöld Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, 1.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 3.5 km (2.2 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (25 minutes) toward the viewpoint of Lake Nordenskjöld. This trail crosses gently sloping grass-covered hills and enjoys spectacular views of the Paine Massif and the hanging glaciers of Mount Almirante Nieto. We continue along the shores of Lake Larga (Long Lake) with its curious, but beautiful calcium formations. We may sight guanacos and diverse birds. We return to the lodge by van (25 minutes). Level: Easy.

Walk to La Vega Roja Duration: 4 hours, 2 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 7 km (4.3 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the Laguna Azul Ranch (1 hour). We trek from the La Estrella Ranch through prairies and forests. There is a steep descent following a river until we reach the trail back to the barbecue area, where the van will be waiting for us to return to the lodge (1 hour). Level: Easy.

Walk to Laguna Negra Duration: 3 hours, 2.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 3.6 km (1.8 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 minutes) toward explora’s stables. The trail follows a gentle ascent through green hills and wetlands. There is beautiful vegetation along the trail, and views of the Paine Massif. We will also gain panoramic views of the Serrano prairie and Laguna Negra with its varied bird colonies. At the end of the trek, you can drink maté tea with the gauchos in the area of the stables. We return to the lodge by van (15 minutes) Level: Easy.

Walk along the Cornices Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours, walking 3 to 3.5 hours. Distance on foot: 6.5 km (4 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico on foot. Ascend 250 m (820 ft) to the cornice of the ridge behind the hotel, offering views of the Paine Massif, the Condor vista point, and lakes Pehoé and Nordenskjöld. The road continues along the cornice, passing tiny lakes and forest, with views of the Paine River, Prat Mountain, Serrano Prairie, and Lake Toro in the distance. Descend through the La Feria Ravine. Level: Moderate. Note: Frequent strong winds.

Walk to the Condor vista point Duration: 2 hours walking. Distance on foot: 4 km (2.5 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico on foot. This walk offers sweeping views of the park and observation of diverse flora and species of birds. Includes a 250 m (820 ft) ascent to the Condor vista point. Return down by a different trail to reach the van. Return to hotel (5 min.). Level: Moderate. Note: Frequent strong winds.

Walk along La Loma Duration: 3 to 4 hours, 2 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 5 km (3.1 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward explora’s Quincho (barbecue area) (1 hour). From the barbecue area, the van takes us to our start point (20 minutes), then we start our trek by ascending a gentle hill for 45 minutes. From the summit, there are excellent views of the Torres del Paine. The descent, which takes about 30 minutes, takes us through fields of “coirón” grass, where we may see guanacos. Level: Moderate

Walk to Linda Lake Duration: 3 to 3.15 hours, 2.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 6 km (3.7 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (20 minutes) toward explora’s stables. From here the trail crosses gently sloping, grass-covered hills before starting a moderate ascent (1 hour), with spectacular views of the mountains in the southern sector of the park such as the Balmaceda and the Ferrier Mountains. On the way to the Linda Lake viewpoint, there is a view of the Geike Glacier. We can enjoy a spectacular view of the Paine Massif and also many species of birds, shrubs and forests of Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica). We descend past Laguna Negra, where we may see birds. Level: Moderate.

Walk to Ferrier vista point Duration: 4 hours, walking 3 hours. Distance on foot: 7 km (4.4 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (40 min.) toward the Grey Ranger Station. Steep climb (550 m/ 1,800 ft) to Ferrier vista point. Lovely vegetation along the trail and the possibility of viewing huemules, a local deer. Ancient forest of deciduous beech and a spectacular panorama of the Paine Massif from the eastern flank of the Pingo Valley. View of lakes Grey, Pehoé, Nordenskjöld, and Sarmiento. Return by van (40 min.). Level: Difficult. Note: Frequent strong winds at the summit.

Bird watching Duration: 3 to 4 hours by van. There are over 100 species of birds that make up the avian population in Torres del Paine National park, many of them endemic to the area. Based on the time of year and the interest of the group, we organize an exploration to look for and view some of these inhabitants in the park. *We require a minimum of 4 people to join this exploration between November and April.

full day 
Walk to Laguna Stokes Duration: 8.5 hours, 6 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 18.5 km (11.4 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the Laguna Azul Ranch (1.15 hours). The trail leads through a valley of vegetation and forests of Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) with magnificent views of the Baguales peaks and the surrounding area. We arrive at the beautiful deep blue Laguna Stokes, which has panoramic views of the Punta La Proa, Punzón and Cerro Ohnet hills to the north of the Paine Massif, close to Lake Dickson. We return along a trail through forests of lenga (nothofagus pumilio) and calafate (Berberis buxifolia bush), skirting the northern foothills of the Masle Peaks until we reach the barbecue area, where the van will be waiting to take us back to the lodge (1.15 hours). Level: Moderate.

Walk to Pingo – Grey Duration: 8 hours, 6.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 13 km (8 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (40 minutes) toward the Grey Ranger Station. We trek along a relatively flat trail that follows the turbulent, glacier-fed Pingo River, through open prairies to the Salmon River Cascade. We return along the same trail to Lake Grey. Next we cross the hanging bridge over the Pingo River and trek through forests of lenga (nothofagus pumilio) to the beach before starting the ascent to the Lake Grey Peninsula, where we can enjoy views of the Grey Glacier and icebergs. We return by the same trail to the Ranger Station and head back to the lodge by van (40 minutes). Level: Moderate.

Walk t otheToro Heights Duration: 5.30 hours, 5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 15 km (9.3 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 minutes) toward the Weber Bridge. The trek starts with a climb up a sandy ravine with an excellent view of Lake Toro and continues through the hills of the Toro Heights along a relatively flat trail that winds through woods and valleys. A gentle ascent into the hills leads to interesting panoramic views of the Paine Massif. The trail leads through lush forests of lenga (nothofagus pumilio) and Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica), which are ideal for bird spotting. Finally we reach the imposing Toro Heights, where we will have magnificent views of the Torres del Paine National Park. We descend the slopes of the Toro Heights and return by van. Level: Moderate.

Walk to the base of the Paine Towers Duration: 10 to 11 hours, walking 8 to 9 hours. Distance on foot: 17 km (10.6 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (1 hr) toward the Cerro Paine Ranch. Ascend 350 m (1,100 ft) through the Ascencio River Valley to the Chileno Shelter. Walk through century-old forests of beech and past gorges until reaching the Torres Shelter. Climb a glacial moraine until reaching the Towers vista point at the lake (a 350 m/ 1,100 ft climb). Picnic lunch and return to the Cerro Paine Ranch on foot, with a view of multicolored lakes. Return by van to hotel (1 hr). Level: Difficult. Note: This exploration requires that participants be in good physical shape.

Walk to the Pingo River Valley Duration: 10 to 11 hours, walking 8 to 9 hours. Distance on foot: 21 km (13 mi). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (40 min.) toward the Grey Ranger Station. Walk along a relatively flat trail that follows the turbulent, glacier-fed Pingo River, which winds through open prairies and diverse vegetation. Pass the Salmon River and climb a gentle 200 m (650 ft) ascent. Native beech forest, views of the Paine Mountain, Pingo River Cascade, and good opportunities for bird watching. Picnic lunch and return on foot until reaching the Grey Ranger Station. Level: Difficult.

WalktotheHorns Duration: 8.30 hours, 6 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 20 km (12.4 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the northeast (1.15 hours). Then, after a 15 minute trek across flat terrain, we begin a slow ascent over the densely vegetated foothills of the Mount Almirante Nieto. The trail continues through forests of Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) to the edge of Lake Nordenskjöld, where we follow a hilly trail around the lake, crossing small streams along the way. We stop at a rocky viewpoint to observe the impressive color of this glacial water lake, before starting a steep ascent of 320 meters (1050 feet) to the entrance of the Bader valley. We continue climbing for 30 minutes up into the valley where we can appreciate a breathtaking view of the Horns, the Sarmiento, Pehoé and Nordenskjöld Lakes and the Ice Fields to the west. We return to Hotel Salto Chico by van (1.15 hours). Level: Difficult.

Walk to the Masle Peaks Duration: 7.5 hours, 5.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 18.5 km (11.4 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the Laguna Azul Ranch (approximately 1 hour). We set off from the La Estrella Ranch through prairies and forests, across a stream, followed by a steep ascent of 520 meters (1,700 feet) to reach the ridge of the Masle Peaks. From this point, there are panoramic views of Laguna Azul, the Towers and the Baguales Peaks. Heading west along the ridge and gradually ascending for an hour, we reach an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). From here you can see part of the Nordenskjöld and Sarmiento Lakes, the Toro Heights and Mount Almirante Nieto. Continuing west, there is a second viewpoint with impressive views of Lake Paine and the start of the Southern Ice Fields. We return eastwards along the ridge, gradually descending as far as the barbecue area and return to the lodge by van (1 hour approximately). Level: Difficult.

horseback rides at the site “el quincho”
Horseback rides in the Laguna Azul (Blue Lake) area begin at the b
arbecue site “el quincho” (about 1 hour from Hotel Salto Chico by van) and pass through a few of the estancias (ranches) in the area. Rides are designed for those travelers who feel comfortable handling horses in open spaces; the moderate to advanced options for those with advanced experience trotting and galloping. The following rides are only available during the Patagonian springs and summer months.

half day 
Horseback ride at the barbecue site “el quincho” Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours of horseback riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the quincho barbecue site (1 hr). Leave from the quincho on horse, passing through forests of deciduous and Antarctic beech, with views of the Baguales peaks, the Las Chinas River, Mount Almirante Nieto, the Towers, and the Condor Nest peak. Pass by the Laguna Azul ranch and return to the quincho bordering the Las Chinas River. Level: Easy.

Horseback ride to the Santa Gemita Ranch Duration: 2 hours of horseback riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van to the quincho barbecue site (1 hr). Cross the Zamora River on horseback. Ascend and descend the hills surrounding the quincho, arriving at the Santa Gemita ranch. Return via steep slopes. Possibility of seeing condors and eagles. Spectacular view of the Towers and Laguna Azul. Level: Moderate.

Horseback ride to the 2 de Enero Ranch Duration: 3 hours of horseback riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van to the quincho barbecue site (1 hr). Cross the Zamora River on horseback, passing through sections of prairie, Lake Jara and finally arriving at the 2 de Enero estancia at the base of the Obelisco peak. Possibility of seeing condors and eagles. Views of the Sierra Baguales peaks and the Paine Towers. Level: Difficult.

horseback rides at the stables
The following horseback rides begin at the explora stable, located 15 minutes from Hotel Salto Chico. From the explora stable we offer a variety of riding options year-round. Some of the riding explorations described in the following pages have been designed for travelers with at least minimal riding experience who should feel comfortable controlling a horse in open spaces (level: easy). Some require more experience, such as the ability to walk, trot, and gallop along a trail for at least 3 hours (level: moderate). Experienced rides are for those who are comfortable in the saddle for more than 3 hours and able to control a horse in all gaits and situations (level: difficult). explora has the finest Chilean and English saddles, gaiters, and helmets.

half day
Horseback ride to Lake Linda 
Duration: 3 hours, 2 hours riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 min.) to the stable. The trails heads north, passing through hills dotted with a variety of trees in different stages of development. Views of the Lagunas Negra and Linda, the Pampa Serrano, and the surrounding mountain ranges. Return by van (15 min.). Level: Easy.

Horseback ride to Laguna Negra Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 min.) This gentle horseback ride includes ascending and descending, gently rolling hills and shallow water crossings. It’s the perfect place to view a variety of local birds as well as privileged vistas of the surrounding mountains, the pampa Serrano and the Laguna Negra (Black Lake). Level: Easy.

Horseback ride to Toro point Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours.Itinerary: This is relatively flat ride which includes a water crossing. One can appreciate different species of birds, the Pampa Serrano, Serrano River and Lake Toro, and on the return outstanding views of the Paine Massif. Level: Easy.

Horseback ride to Serrano River 
Duration: 3 hours, 2 hours riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 min.) to the stable. The horseback ride begins crossing the Serrano prairie and along the turquoise waters of the Serrano River, with a view of the snowy peaks of Mount Balmaceda. Return via the golden Serrano prairie, with views of the Paine Massif. Return by van (15 min.). Level: Moderate.

Horseback ride to Buena Vista Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours. Itinerary: As the name of the ride suggests, we’ll enjoy some great views as we ride along several well defined ascents and descents. This advanced ride also offers the opportunity to appreciate the geology of the area. Highlights include Paine Massif, Lake Toro, and the Chorrillo del Cañadon. There can be a particularly windy section along the trail. Level: Difficult

full day 
Horseback Ride To the Donoso vista point 
Duration: 6 hours, 5 hours riding. Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 min.) to the stable. Narrow trails through forest, along lakes, and across prairie land. View of Donoso Mountain, from one of the least-explored, virgin areas of the park. Picnic lunch next to Los Choros Lake. Prairie, streams, mountains and exuberant flora are a few of the highlights of this horseback ride. Return by van (15 min.). Level: Moderate.

Horseback ride to Toro Heights Duration: 7 hours, distance 30 km (18.6 miles). Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (15 minutes) toward explora’s stables. We cross the Weber Bridge and ascend a steep sandy trail which has some loose rocks, to an altitude of 350 meters (1,150 feet) (40 minutes). We can enjoy splendid views throughout the trail of Lake Toro, the Pampa Serrano, the Grey River and the Sarmiento River. Passing through forests of lenga (nothofagus pumilio) along a flat, rocky terrain, we continue toward the Toro Heights, gaining altitude, and enjoy panoramic views of the Paine Massif, the Grey Glacier and the Baguales Peaks. On our return, there is a very steep descent to the puesto del toro. We arrive back at the stables along the Toro Heights, crossing rivers along the way. We return to the lodge by van (20 minutes). Level: Difficult.

+Rates

Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico

Program 4 Nights 5 Nights* 6 Nights** 7 Nights* 8 Nights
Room SGL DBL SGL DBL SGL DBL SGL DBL SGL DBL
Salto Chico 3,760 2,780 4,570 3,350 5,340 3,900 5,950 4,410 6,760 4,920
Paine 4,280 3,120 5,230 3,790 6,090 4,410 6,790 4,935 7,720 5,600
Suite 6,220 4,240 7,660 5,160 8,940 6,030 10,010 6,790 11,400 7,600

* Rates valid from May up to September **Special 6 nights program for Christmas and New Year

Program 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights 6 Nights** 7 Nights 8 Nights
Family Plan
(13-18 years)
1,200 1,600 2,000 2,400 2,800 3,200
Adittional bed
(4-12 years)
825 1,100 1,375 1,650 1,925 2,200
+Map

mapa patagonia