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Campamento Italiano Review








A green dome tent at Campamento Italiano, perhaps for the park ranger on duty there.

Intro: We spent day 6 of our “O” circuit trek exploring the magnificent Valle del Frances, with the picturesque Campamento Italiano on the banks of the Rio del Frances serving as its gateway.

When we arrived at Campamento Italiano at 12PM on day 6 of our “O” circuit trek in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, it was the earliest we had made camp so far. The plan was to pitch our tent, have a quick bite to eat, and head off up the Valle del Frances for an afternoon hike.

Backpacks left at the registration building of Campamento Italiano by trekkers who have gone hiking up Valle del Frances.

Campamento Italiano is set along the edge of Rio del Frances and acts as a gateway to the valley that cuts to the north. It is situated within a forested area and well protected from the winds, with a basic administration hut where you can register, as well as buy snacks and water. Not that you needed to buy water, with an unlimited source of free and fresh Patagonian water at the Rio del Frances right next door!

Trekkers enjoying lunch beside Rio del Frances, which runs beside Campamento Italiano in Torres del Paine National Park.

After finding a spot for our tent and doing a little bit of laundry, we decided to make lunch and head down to the rocky banks of the Rio del Frances to eat. Lots of other trekkers had the same idea, with many using Campamento Italiano as a place to dump their bags for a few hours while they explored the valley, then continuing on to another camp for the evening.

Our tent set up at Campamento Italiano, with our laundry and wet clothes hanging out to dry.

Knowing that we had a camping spot, and that our tent was all pitched and ready to go, we could hike into the long summer daylight hours without having to worry about finding a space if we arrived late. It also meant that we could leave our big backpacks in the tent and enjoy the relative freedom of just taking a small daypack on the trek through Valle del Frances.

The toilet blocks at Campamento Italiano, situated a short distance from the campsite itself.

There was a block of toilets off to one side and some benches where you could prepare dinner, but, like many of the campsites we had stayed at, that was the extent of the facilities. However, having just spent the night at the well-equipped Refugio Paine Grande, we were ready for another night of “roughing it”.

A rocky valley beside Campamento Italiano where we spent our sixth night on the “O” circuit trek in Torres del Paine National Park.

All in all, Campamento Italiano served its purpose as a protected campsite to spend the night, and with the added bonus of being in a prime location for us to explore the magnificent Valle del Frances.


  • 1: Although there is no fee, make sure to book your reservation for Campamento Italiano when you register on the first day at Laguna Amarga.
  • 2: There are no showers here, but at the very least there is a nice river and toilets.
  • 3: Don’t be alarmed if you hear thunderous sounds late at night. It is actually vast chunks of ice breaking off from the glacier nearby.
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