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Refugio Chileno Review







Our tent pitched on a nice flat spot along the banks of Rio Ascensio, with a spectacular view behind.

Intro: With a beautiful view across the Rio Ascensio valley to the mountain peaks behind and a warm meal waiting for us, Refugio Chileno was one of the more comfortable and picturesque campsites we stayed at during our 9-day “O” circuit trek in Torres del Paine National Park.

Located next to the Rio Ascensio and with stunning views towards the mountains, Refugio Chileno was one of the more picturesque campsites we stayed at on our 9-day “O” circuit trek. When we arrived just after 5PM, having trekked from Campamento Italiano, it wasn’t too busy, and we managed to find a flat bit of ground to pitch our tent down on the river bank.

Looking back from the river towards the multi-tiered campsite at Refugio Chileno.

We had started to expect the free campgrounds (such as Campamento Los Perros and Campamento Paso) to be cramped and busy, while those that we had paid and reserved a place for (such as Refugio Dickson) to be a little quieter and more spacious. Knowing this made it easier for us to judge whether we needed to try and arrive a bit earlier to secure a space, or if we could take our time on the trail, knowing we had a secure spot.

The meat, potatoes, and vegetables we had for dinner at Refugio Chileno was such a delicious alternative to the dried and canned food we had been eating for most of the trek.

At Refugio Chileno we had pre-ordered their meal package online. While this wasn’t cheap (at around $50USD per person for dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch), after eating canned, dried food for multiple days, it was more than worth it. Charlene in particular was all over the opportunity to have a hot, sit-down meal, and considering all the produce and cooking fuel had to be brought in from far away, we could understand the premium price we were paying.

We splurged on three cans of coke at Refugio Chileno, having only drank water for most of the trek.

After setting up our tent beside the river, we went inside the dining cabin at Refugio Chileno for hot soup and a delicious dish of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. We also splurged on three cans of coke, having limited ourselves to water for most of the “O” circuit trek.

Horses tied up at Refugio Chileno, which could be hired to transport trekkers back to Refugio Las Torres.

In addition to its campground and main lodge building, there was also a small communal hut at Refugio Chileno for campers to prepare their meals and socialize, as well as an area where the horses were tethered, ready to transport weary trekkers back to the park entrance.

If you don’t want to carry your own tent, you can rent them at Refugio Chileno and they are already pitched on an elevated wooden board.

The only strange thing about our experience at Refugio Chileno is that when we registered, we were directed towards a hire tent that I had (accidentally) somehow booked along with our meal package online. By this stage we had already set up our own tent and definitely didn’t need another, but it’s worth double checking exactly what you are reserving online to ensure you aren’t paying for something you don’t need!

A slow-shutter shot of Rio Ascensio, as viewed from our campsite at Refugio Chileno.

All in all, Refugio Chileno was a really lovely, picturesque campground, and knowing it was the last refugio before the ascent to the famous Las Torres peak, we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too busy.


  • 1: Try to arrive early to claim the best campsites, especially during the peak seasons when it’ll be quite full.
  • 2: Hot (and lukewarm) showers are available here, but arriving early will be key to avoiding a long wait.
  • 3: You can have a hot dinner here although it is quite pricey. There are two sit down times and your best bet is an earlier meal when the food is most fresh.
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