The ideal adventure for independent hikers wanting to experience the “W” trek without guides, set dates or pre-departure planning. you’ll visit Torres del Paine’s three main highlights: the grandiose towers, stirring french valley and bewitching grey glacier. we prepare everything: briefing you beforehand, booking all services and providing a secure place to store your luggage.
2 hours by public bus / 8-9 hours hiking roundtrip (13.6 miles) / night at refugio Las Torres (BL-D).
You’ll leave Puerto Natales at 7:00 am, taking a public bus straight to Torres del Paine National Park. The route passes estancias (ranches) and flat pampas, and possibly even Ñandus (Patagonian ostrich). At Laguna Amarga, the main entrance to the Park, you'll take the shuttle bound for your Refugio. Here, you’ll leave your backpack and take your packed lunch (provided during your trek briefing in Puerto Natales, held day before at 6 pm). You’re ready to begin the W Trek’s first highlight: the hike to the Towers lookout. You’ll ascend, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley, for about an hour. Here, take a moment to stop and observe the first glimpses of this gorgeous valley, complete with beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Continue uphill for another 90 minutes before beginning your ascent of the gigantic terminal moraine, 900 meters above sea level. At the top, you’ll be rewarded by the remarkable sight of the three Towers themselves. Rest a while, take photos and have lunch. Your descent is along the same path, taking you back to the Refugio where dinner will be served.
4-5 hours hiking (8 miles) / night at refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances, subject to availability (B-BL-D).
Enjoy breakfast at your Refugio and request your packed lunch. Starting today’s trek, you’ll arrive at Inge lagoon where chances are you’ll catch Condors and other birds of prey circling the skies above you. The well-marked trail ascends 650 feets from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (9000 feets) and crosses the Bader River to today’s destination, Refugio Los Cuernos or Domes Frances (depending on availability). Here, enjoy a good meal and settle in for the night.
8-9 hour 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, request your packed lunch and set off on a 2-hour hike through a winding path to the French River (one hour if your accommodation was at the French Domes). 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 (10,000 feets); 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. If time and energy levels allow, you can continue hiking for an additional hour through the Valley to the British Camp for yet another spectacular cirque (amphitheater-like formation) of mountains. 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).
Set out early after breakfast, ascending 650 feets through the narrow winding path to Laguna Los Patos. Here, you’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that still hides many unclimbed mountains. From here you’ll continue 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 pass by our Refugio beforehand, so we can drop off our backpacks and head to the lookout to eat our packed lunches with the mammoth Grey Glacier at our feet. Dinner will be served at the Refugio.
4 hours hiking (6.8 miles) / 35 minutes by catamaran / 3 hours by public bus (B-BL).
This morning is yours to enjoy at leisure. Options include an ice trek on Grey Glacier (USD$ 190 per person), kayaking in Grey Lake (USD$ 120 per person) or an additional hike (5 miles, about 3 hours return) to the hanging bridges for a magnificent view of Grey Glacier*. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll later walk back along the same path to Paine Grande to catch the last catamaran across Pehoe Lake (check catamaran and walking times with Refugio staff in the morning to ensure you arrive in time). While hiking, take in views of Paine Grande and the powerful, almost muscular granite walls of Cordon Olguín. At the other side of Pehoe Lake, a public bus will be waiting to drive you to Puerto Natales. Because you will arrive in town around 10:00 pm you should consider spending the night in Puerto Natales.
*Hikers without guides are not permitted to go farther than the second bridge.More...
- Difficulty : Demanding
- Equipment : Recommend equipment for low tempetures
- Important : Recommend travel insurance
- Prices : All prices depend on the number of travelers
- Notice : No min or max pax
- Briefing (day before) at 5-6pm in our office in Puerto Natales
- All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
- Shuttle in between Laguna Amarga and Refugio Las Torres
- Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
- Four nights accommodation in mountain lodges (Refugios)
- Sleeping bags and liners (where possible we include a bed with sheets, blankets and a pillow)
- Catamaran to cross the Pehoe Lake
- All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: picnic lunch, D: dinner)
You’ll leave Puerto Natales at 7:00 am, taking a public bus straight 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.