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The French sector has a small hut on a narrow slope next to the Nordenskjöld lake. In this post we tell you what the Refugio Frances or French refuge is like, more specifically the camping area, what you will find there and our opinion about it.
Location of the Refugio Frances
The French refuge is located very close to the refugio Cuernos, just over 3 kilometers away. For this reason, whether you do the O Circuit or the W Trek, you will stay in one of these two lodges, but not both.
If your route is the O Circuit, it will be your fifth lodging, after Paine Grande. If instead, your trek is the 5-day W Circuit in the usual direction (from the Central Sector to Paine Grande), you will spend your third night at the Refugio Frances.
How is the Refugio Frances
In this lodge you will find a dining room where breakfast and dinner are served. The refuge does not have a kitchen, but if you do not reserved a food service, you can cook in the camping area. The rooms are mixed, and have space for 6 people distributed in 3 bunk beds.
In this sector you will find 4 different lodging options.
On the one hand, as in the other campsites in Torres del Paine Park, there is an area with tents already set up with tatami mats and sleeping bags.
On the other hand, there is an area for you to set up your own tent in case you are carrying it. In this area there are wooden platforms on which you can set up your tent for greater comfort on flat ground.
Thirdly, some domes with capacity for up to 8 people that give a different touch to this lodging.
Finally, this year 2023, they have installed some amazing glamping tents. These tents are mounted on a metal structure more than one meter high. They are like those installed on the roofs of 4×4 vehicles during safaris.
Refugio Frances has wooden tables with their respective benches scattered throughout the area. In addition, as we said before, there is a kitchen-dining area in the camping area so that you can cook. There are also hot water bathrooms. Depending on where you sleep, the bathrooms may be a bit far away.
Of course, you will be surrounded by nature at all times. The refuge is located in the middle of a lush forest where you can sometimes hear the crunching of the French Glacier. It is truly incredible.
Our opinion about the French hut
In our opinion, the refugio Frances has a very good location, spread along the mountain and integrated into the forest. Some travelers consider its common camping area a bit basic. Being a sector that shares a stop with Cuernos, it is quite small and therefore quieter. It depends on what you like; if you are a nature lover like us, this campsite will suit your adventurous soul. Besides, the views from the refuge are beautiful.