The W Trek is undoubtedly Torres del Paine’s most famous. This non-technical hike connects a best-of-the-best selection of the Park’s highlights: the Towers Base lookout, French Valley and Grey Glacier. Hike through pristine landscapes, past rivers, lakes and rocky peaks – plus grab the chance to do an ice hike or kayak in Grey Lake. This program differs from the Independent W Trek in two important ways: you have an expert guide to lead you each day, and you’ll travel by boat up close to Grey Glacier’s massive ice wall.
2 hours by private transfer / 8-10 hours round-trip (13.6 miles) / night at refugio torre central (BL-D).
We leave Puerto Natales at 7:00am and drive to Torres del Paine National Park, passing estancias (ranches) and flat pampas taken straight from Patagonian folklore. Have your camera at the ready en route: ñandu (Patagonian ostrich), Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans are likely to be out in the pampas and lagoons. After arriving at the Refugio you’ll have time to leave your backpack before we begin the W Trek’s first highlight: the hike to the three Towers lookout. The trek begins with an ascent, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. After about an hour, we’ll stop to observe how the valley’s beauty unfolds with rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Past this lookout point, we continue uphill for another ninety minutes before ascending a gigantic terminal moraine (the ridge formed at a glacier’s end point) where we’ll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the three Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 m above sea level, we’ll rest, take photos and have lunch. Our descent is along the same path, taking us back to the Refugio where we’ll have dinner, stretch and rest.
4-5 hours hiking (8 miles) / night at refugio los cuernos or domo frances, depending on availability (B-BL-D).
If the weather allows, our morning will be lit by the rich oranges and pinks of a Patagonian dawn. Today you’ll hike to Los Cuernos lookout, where monumental horn-shaped black twin granite peaks shoot skyward. We’ll make our way via Inge Lagoon and may see condors and other birds of prey circling the skies while we trek below. The well-marked trail ascends 200m from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750m) and crosses the Bader River to Refugio Los Cuernos, today’s destination. *You can update to private cabins with two beds and sharing bathrooms in between the cabins for USD $ 230 per single occupancy or USD$ 140 per double occupancy or USD$ 90 per triple occupancy.
8-9 hours hiking (11 miles) / night at refugio paine grande (B-BL-D).
Today’s hike is a challenging trek to heart of the Paine massif. The French Valley is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers. After breakfast, a winding path will take us to the French River (1-2 hour hike depending on whether our accommodation was at Los Cuernos or Domos Frances). At the entrance to the French Valley - a glacial moraine - you’ll scramble over huge boulders and catch the first sight of the hanging glacier atop the valley. From this point, you’ll ascend for an hour through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the French Valley viewpoint (the “Plateau”). Your reward is a heart-stirring bird’s eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers. To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m); while to the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north “horns” of Los Cuernos arch upwards. In the upper section of the Valley, Cerro Catedral and Cerro Fortaleza loom like turrets above the landscape. Take your time to have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies. You’ll descend via the same path until you reach the valley’s entrance, at which point you’ll continue around the south-west side of Paine Grande, Torres del Paine’s highest peak. This final leg passes through native firebush and evergreen beech forests to the shores of Pehoe Lake. Dinner will be served at Refugio Paine Grande.
4 hours hiking (6.8 miles) / night at refugio grey (B-BL-D).
We’ll set out early, ascending 200m through the winding path that takes us to Laguna Negra. Here, we’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that still guards many unexplored peaks. You’ll continue on to Grey Glacier’s lookout point, passing forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flying steamer ducks that call them home. We’ll have lunch at the lookout with the mammoth Grey Glacier at our feet, and might be lucky enough to catch sight of ice calving from its huge walls into the freezing waters. Today, there is the option to go on an ice hike or kayaking trip (advance booking required, please contact our Travel Specialists).
2 hours by boat on grey lake / 2 hours by transfer (B-BL).
Today starts easy with a free morning to stretch, relax and breathe in the landscape. You also have the option to go kayaking - great if you chose to do the ice hike on Day 4 (advance booking required). After lunch we’ll set off by boat across Grey Lake, to the massive facade of Grey Glacier. We’ll stay here for a while to observe the wall’s textures, lines and colors - and of course, watch for ice calvings. On your return journey you’ll see the wind-sculpted “ice mushrooms” atop the massive peaks of Paine Grande, as we sail past blue-hued icebergs. On dry land once again, we’ll take our transfer back to Puerto Natales.More...
- Difficulty : Demanding
- Equipment : Recommend equipment for low tempetures
- Important : Recommend travel insurance
- Prices : All prices depend on the number of travelers
- Guide (English-Spanish)
- All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, D: dinner)
- Boat on Grey Lake
- Sleeping bags and liners (when is possible we include a bed with sheets, blankets and a pillow)
- Four nights lodging in mountain lodges (Comfortable rooms with 6 beds and shared bathroom) (No singles available)
- Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
- All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
We will pick you up with our private transport al 7:00 am at your Puerto Natales hotel and take you to Torres del Paine National Park.
Read our Terms and Conditions where our cancellation policies and changes are defined. Always remember to plan your trips in advance.