Torres del Paine, Patagonia Volunteer Trip

Protect this fragile environment while you help repair the trails you love to hike!

Volunteer in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is Chile’s premier national park, has one of the most stunning mountain landscapes on earth. Visitors from around the world travel there to see this UNESCO Reserve of the Biosphere and to experience some of the best hiking in Patagonia.

National Geographic award for Torres del Paine volunteer tripJoin our volunteer group, hiking the Park’s most popular trail while you help to repair it. Our project focus is the trail to the Towers, the granite spires which give the Park its name. Since 2005, ConservationVIP® has been bringing volunteers to Torres del Paine to improve hiking trails and protect this international treasure. There’s a reason National Geographic Traveler Magazine named this destination and our work there one of the top tours of a lifetime!


Torres del Paine Volunteer Trip Details

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project activities | itinerary | price | trip reviews | trip reports | safety


One of the world’s greatest landscapes, Torres del Paine National Park in the Patagonia region of Chile attracts hikers from all over the world. The most heavily visited trail in the park is the one leading to the base of the Towers, the iconic granite spires which give the Torres del Paine its name. With limited resources, it has been a struggle for the land managers to maintain the trail to protect the fragile landscape and wildlife from encroachment on sensitive habitats. Trail maintenance has also been complicated because the trail begins on Las Torres Reserve, private land within the National Park borders whose ownership was unchanged when the land around it became a National Park.

Torres del Paine needs help to meet these challenges. ConservationVIP is working with the national park management, the reserve managers, and two local nonprofit organizations to build a new, sustainable trail to the Towers. Our volunteers help with this very important trail building and trail maintenance, making a significant contribution to the protection of this marvelous landscape.

No prior trail maintenance experience is required. We train you in all aspects of the work, which will include a variety of tasks. You may use a pick or shovel to contour trail tread or shed water, clip vegetation with hand tools to widen trails, remove rocks with rock bars, or move crushed rock to improve trail surfaces or create a dry walking surface.

Past volunteers included a wide range of ages and abilities. To participate, you should be able to hike four miles a day on mountainous terrain with some steep ascents and uneven trails, move soil or rock with a shovel, pull unwanted vegetation, and carry stones. Project sites range in altitude from 500 to 2,000 feet, so while the surrounding mountains are beautiful, elevation is generally not a problem. As always, your safety is our priority.



IMPORTANT NOTICE: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

Day 1 Meet the group in Puerto Natales, Chile.

Welcome to Patagonia! Our trip begins at 4:00 p.m. with an orientation where you’ll get acquainted with your ConservationVIP trip Leaders and fellow volunteers and get an overview of the exciting trip ahead. Our group meets in Puerto Natales, the town in Chilean Patagonia which is the primary transit point for travelers to Torres del Paine National Park. After the orientation briefing, the group will share its first dinner together. (dinner and hotel lodging included).

Day 2 Travel to Torres del Paine National Park.

After breakfast, we will load up our gear, board our private transport and travel for approximately 2 hours to Torres del Paine. Along the way we will watch for guanaco, rheas, condors, and more, stopping for photos as the peaks of the Park come into view. Once in the Park, we will check into the Refugio lodging. After settling in, we will have an introduction to tool handling and the volunteer project, before the evening dinner. (All meals and lodging included).

Days 3 – 12 Volunteer Projects on the Trail, Hike to the Towers, Tour Grey Glacier.

After breakfast in the Refugio each morning, we will pack our gear and box lunch and head out on the trail. We generally depart our lodging around 8:30am and return around 5:00pm. During the day, there will be a variety of tasks, with the specific tasks depending on the trail section and the volunteers’ interests. Small groups of volunteers are teamed with an experienced leader who will work with each volunteer to find the tasks which best suit the person’s interests and abilities.

During this period, there will be time to rest from the trail work and hike to the Towers and to tour Grey Glacier. (All meals and lodging included).

Day 13 Journey to Puerto Natales and Trip Completion

After an early breakfast, we depart by bus for Puerto Natales where the trip ends. You may catch a homeward-bound flight, or you may opt to extend your stay in Patagonia. (Breakfast included.)

Note: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for reasons beyond our control, including changes in the local project needs, weather, and terrain conditions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING AIR TRAVEL: Before purchasing your airline tickets, please check with us to ensure the trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

$3,895 for 13 days; plus $125 for single room accommodation, if requested and available. (Note re lodging: All lodging in the park is shared lodging. The only single accommodation is in the hotel in Puerto Natales on the first night)

Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax advisor for details.)

Price includes:

  • leadership and support staff for the trip and volunteer activities
  • lodging in refugios in the park
  • hotel accommodation in Puerto Natales
  • all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day
  • all bus transportation to/from Puerto Natales and within the park
  • group tools
  • orientation and training
  • park entrance fees

Price does not include:

Deposit and Cancellation
A deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of signup; final payment is due at 90 days prior to departure. The payment and refund policy can be found here.

Group Size: 8 – 15 plus trip leaders

In addition to reading the reviews below, you may want to watch this video to hear what some volunteers said about their experiences on our recent volunteer trip to Torres del Paine in Patagonia:

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Average rating:  
 43 reviews
 by William O
Torres del Paine Patagonia Feb 25 - March 3, 2023

The destination was amazing - incredible mountain scenery. The trip leaders were extremely knowledgeable & committed to the success of the project. It feels very gratifying to be a part of a multi-year project to upgrade & improve the trail to the Towers. The leaders were also very mindful of our safety & well being, particularly with the challenging weather & steep rocky eroded & muddy trails. The hotel & refugio staff were all very professional and helpful - always willing to go above & beyond.

 by Ralph I.
Torres del Paine Patagonia February 2023

Really fun trip. A small group of dedicated people extended a beautiful, sustainable new trail, revegged social trails and laid out and built a substantial bypass of a badly eroded major trail. The trip was organized well by its leader Garry Oye. It is complicated because at least three different organizations (CONAF, AMA and the Legacy Fund ) are involved directing our efforts. We had a local guide Anita who was indispensable getting us around various hassles with the Refugios, rangers, etc. and was continually working to getting us new volunteers as well as doing a major portion of the work with us.

 by Wowed
Awesome work in an awesome location!

Service trips weed out the divas! We had a great, hardworking, fun loving group that put in 500+ feet of boardwalk and experienced sunrises, night skies and Patagonia's raggy peaks and famous winds. Excellent adventure!

Why did you choose this trip?

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Break your boots in. We put in a lot of miles.

What was the highlight of your trip?
Best blustery day ever.

About Me
Casual Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by Shaw
Adventures await you!

I went on this trip to contribute my time and energy so that others an enjoy being outside in a natural environment.

Why did you choose this trip?
Wanted to see Chile

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Be in somewhat good physical shape.

What was the highlight of your trip?
Completion of the boardwalk project.

About Me
Casual Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by Jeannie
Great guides, fabulous natural beauty!

I just got home from this Patagonia Volunteer Vacation and feel very happy and satisfied about going. We accomplished a tremendous project - 560 feet of boardwalk on a new trail in the Torres del Paine National Park. We worked hard with a group of young Chileans and had so much fun working hard and playing hard. It was very rewarding.

Why did you choose this trip?
Because it was a volunteer trip.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Do lots of up and down hiking with a pack before the trip!

What was the highlight of your trip?
(Almost) completing the boardwalk.

About Me
Casual Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by Collin
Amazing trip!

I had an incredible time on this trip and would strongly recommend it. Our trip leaders Gene and Jon were knowledgeable, supportive, and helpful with everything. We had 2.5 free days for hiking and the trail work had views as good as anywhere on the main trail.

The work itself was very strenuous (moving rocks and using a pick most days) but we were told this was the toughest possible trail work and most groups don’t do that. In addition, we had built so much trail by the end that we were walking 3.5 miles each way to the work site. While challenging, the work was extremely rewarding and enjoyable.

Our group got along well and socialized every night with beers from the modest bar. While the refugios has WiFi for a fee, almost no one actually used it, so we were able to hang out and talk phone-free, which was quite refreshing.

The trip reviews I read before always listed the food as a con. The dinners and breakfasts were a bit repetitive but large and tasty, so no one went hungry. The lunches were not as good but we found ways to spice them up with ham and cheese from breakfast.

I had a great time on this trip and would strongly recommended it to anyone looking for an active and beautiful trip!

Why did you choose this trip?
I wanted to visit Patagonia and this seemed like a great way to see the area and give back in the process.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Be prepared for all weather conditions and to work hard!

What was the highlight of your trip?
Spending a week outside with a great group of people and even better views!

About Me
Avid Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by cateyes
Amazing and life changing experience

I just came back from this trip two weeks ago and have still not got back down from the absolute joy I experienced on this trip. It was an amazing and indescribable experience. No amount of positive reviews or pictures will ever do justice to how wonderful this place is than actually experiencing it yourself. The group camaraderie, the trip leaders, the local staff and volunteers were all wonderful. Everyone worked hard to contribute to the sustainability of this magnificent place. The trip was well organized, all I had to do was to get myself there, everything else after that was taken care of. The work we did was very fulfilling and I left there with a sense of accomplishment and the realization that a small part of me will be a part of that amazing place. Working with the local Chilean volunteers was also great. Even the food was not bad food, it just got routine after a while. Packing some of my own stuff helped to liven things up.

Why did you choose this trip?
I have been on two other ConservationVIP trips and knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. Had always wanted to visit Torres del Paine and what better way than to do it than to go with like minded people and give back.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
Go prepared to work hard. Make sure to take good quality hiking equipment. Additionally having an open mind is very important. Mother Nature can dictate what you can or cannot do on any given day. Be flexible and most of all have fun.

What was the highlight of your trip?
The volunteer work and the amazing team of volunteers.

About Me
Casual Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

 by Sean M
Great Experience

This was the best ConservationVIP trip that I have been on so far. Yes the views and hiking were amazing, but the group of people made this trip happen. There were great people working together with a mind on conservation. This trip was so great I plan to go back and hope to see some of these folks again on other ConservationVIP trips.

Why did you choose this trip?
Patagonia is one of those places everyone should experience. This is one of the places that is very popular with everyone around the world. This trip gave you a chance to see some of the best parts of the area and stay at different locations with a variety of food, hotels, and Refugio that are blended nicely during the trip.

What would your advice be to potential travelers?
I would advise going prepared. Good equipment is going to make this trip so much better. Trekking clothes and great socks will make a huge difference on this trip. Bring a good quality sleeping bag and the right jacket.

What was the highlight of your trip?
The guides and the people that had done this trip before. I hadn't expected people that had done this trip several times before but it goes to show you how great of an experience it is one someone has done the same trip multiple times before and is back to help you.

About Me
Avid Adventurer
✔ Yes,
I recommend this trip.

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The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. The gear list has been created to help you choose your equipment for the trip. View the Gear List PDF.

Please check with your doctor to see if any immunizations are recommended for you.

ConservationVIP has always focused on our volunteers’ safety. The COVID-19 pandemic heightened that focus. Traveling with COVID safety concerns requires some extra planning and flexibility both for trip leaders and trip participants!

While on the trip, participants may have to follow procedures such as mask-wearing and social distancing as instructed by the trip leader. More specific safety instructions will be provided to those registered for the trip.

Participants will also have to comply with any restrictions imposed by Chile and your country of origin at the time of travel. While we know that the restrictions may change between now and the time of travel, we cannot predict what those changes will be.



Be sure to check out our special projects page for information on the hikers’ bridges and boardwalk we have built in Torres del Paine National Park.

About Torres del Paine

Southern Chile and Argentina share an immense, sparsely populated expanse divided by the Andes Mountains, commonly known as Patagonia. Rising from the flat Patagonian steppes with breathtaking abruptness, the craggy mountains of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park are an astonishing sight. Torres del Paine is the crown jewel of Chile’s national parks.


Because of its exceptional ecological significance, in 1978 UNESCO designated Torres del Paine National Park as an International Biosphere Reserve. The dramatic granite mountain spires, the spectacular glaciers, and the haunting winds draw visitors from around the world. The ever-present allure of wildlife exists including grazing guanaco, soaring Andean condor, and the possibility of sighting an endangered huemul or an elusive puma.

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