Want to experience Patagonia, but not sure how to reserve everything? Let us take care of everything for you. We’ll reserve your lodging and transport to the national park. All you need to worry about is capturing those amazing moments along the W.
On this self-guided trek of Torres del Paine National Park, you can explore the teal lakes, massive glaciers, and spectacular peaks of the park at your own pace! Hike along Lake Nordenskjold, spot the famous Torres (Towers), and visit the gorgeous French Valley. We’ll take the stress out of your Torres del Paine trip by booking your lodging at comfortable refugios and providing most meals, transportation, and the entrance fee.
Day 1: Visit the Torres of Torres del Paine
In the morning, you will leave Puerto Natales heading towards Torres del Paine National Park. After arriving in the park, you will begin to casually walk up Almirante Nieto, a mountain that takes you to an incredible view of Lake Nordenskjold and the Asencio Valley.
You will arrive at Refugio Chileno a few hours after lunch. This is where you will be spending the night, so you will check into the refugio and leave your things there, before continuing on the hike. After a short rest in Chileno, you will hike one hour through a dense Lenga forest. After leaving the forest, you will approach a moraine and climb to see the amazing granite peaks known as the Torres. After a bit of time admiring the view, you will return back to Chileno to have dinner and sleep.
Hike: Puerto Natales – Refugio Chileno
Total Distance: 15.5 km (9.6 mi)
Average Time: 6.5 hours
Meals: lunch and dinner
Day 2: Hike along Lake Nordenskjold
You will have breakfast in the morning before then heading off to hike again. You will set off from Refugio Chileno and walk for around four hours toward Refugio Cuernos, which is located on the coast of Lake Nordenskjold and the foot of the impressive Cuernos of Paine.
On the way, you will border Almirante Nieto and pass by Lake Nordenskjold. You will have a few rivers to cross by hopping across rocks and also catch views of glaciers upon the mountain tops that are hovering over you. Finally you see the Cuernos! They are monstrous peaks, you will spend the night at the foot of them in Refugio Cuernos after a breathtaking journey.
Hike: Refugio Chileno – Refugio Cuernos
Total Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi)
Average Time: 4.5 hours
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 3: Explore the French Valley
Just after breakfast, you will begin the hike toward Camp Italiano. This camp is just two and a half easy hours away. The trek begins on a windy beach but you will eventually escape into the valley and find that the wind is a little calmer.
You will leave your backpack at Camp Italiano once you arrive there and continue into the French Valley with just a small day pack. You will hike across a moraine and through a forest until you finally arrived at a clearing. Whilst the wind will be very strong here, you will be blown away even more by the spectacular views of Lake Nordenskjold, Skottberg and Pehoe behind you. Ahead of you, you will be able to see the shocking hanging glacier called the French Glacier, as well as many of the peaks that are the reason why this park has become famous. After leaving the lookout, you will return to gather your backpacks and continue to Refugio Paine Grande where you will spend the night.
Hike: Refugio Cuernos – Refugio Paine Grande
Total Distance: 17.3 km (10.7 mi)
Average Time: 7 hours
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4: Admire Glacier Grey
After a restful night’s sleep and an energizing breakfast, you will be ready to hike again. Today you will hike a short two hours up through a small forest to the first lookout of Grey Glacier. You will be able to experience the wind coming off the Southern Ice Field and see both the ice field and Glacier Grey!
You will continue walking for 2 more hours until finally reaching Refugio Grey, which is tucked away in a small valley in a wooded area that is protected from the wind. You will check into the refugio and then have time to continue towards Glacier Grey. If you like you can get up close to the Glacier at Camp Guardas or you can rest along the beach. You will return to Refugio Grey for dinner and a warm bed. (You can also opt for additional excursions in the afternoon or morning while staying in Refugio Grey — see “Additional Extras” below.)
Hike: Refugio Paine Grande – Glacier Grey
Total Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi)
Average Time: 4 hours
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 5: Return to Puerto Natales
After four days hiking on the famous Torres del Paine W Trek, you will have the morning to walk around Glacier Grey. You will board the Grey III boat in the afternoon. You will enjoy your afternoon by admiring the glacier from up-close and take remarkable photographs of the surroundings. Just after 4:00 pm you will begin your journey towards Puerto Natales and on to your next adventure!
You also have the option to opt-out of the Grey III and instead hike 4 hours back to Paine Grande. From there you will board a catamaran that will take you across Lake Pehoe where you will catch your bus back to Puerto Natales.
How far ahead should I book my trip?
Due to the popularity of Patagonia, we recommend booking your Torres del Paine W Trek 4 months in advance during the peak travel months (Dec-Feb). If you want to travel in November or March we recommend booking travel 2 months in advance.
Upon arrival to Patagonia
If you have booked a guided trip your guide will meet you in Puerto Natales, which is about a 3-hour drive from Punta Arenas. Depending on what time your plane arrives, you will have the entire day or just a few hours to explore or rest-up in the small town of Puerto Natales. Your guide will meet you shortly after dinner to discuss trip details, answer questions, and make sure that you have all the appropriate gear for the next few days (the hotel will allow you to leave any unnecessary luggage with them).
Most of the time, there is no way to know what to expect. What you need to know is that it is fast changing and one can witness the wind, sun, rain, and snow all in a matter of hours while in Patagonian wilderness. However, in the cities it is slightly more predictable, check www.accuweather.com.
What to pack
During the Torres del Paine W Trek, you need to have a backpack (renting a backpack is possible) with just enough room to carry your clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bag (during the Torres del Paine W Trek, renting a sleeping bag is also possible). Shared equipment like tents, stoves, pots, and food will be brought and transferred by the tour operator staff.
Personal equipment and clothing should be chosen to allow comfort while hiking. Select clothes to keep you dry in the rain, protected from the wind, and cool enough for warmer moments. It is essential that you are prepared to experience all four seasons in one day. Scroll down to see a full packing list!
It is very important that every visitor has international insurance against accidents. Make sure you have arranged for this insurance before paying for the trip. It is worth considering that some aspects of nature are unpredictable and that you must be prepared for any inconvenient circumstances.
Three meals a day during your program are included. Drinks are not included while in cities or snacks during the day. When staying in cities you will eat in restaurants, however during the days you are in the wilderness your guide will prepare your food. Food is purchased at local stores and the operator chooses your meals according to the preference sheet you fill out. Food can include, but is not limited to, assorted vegetables, beef, chicken and fish. They will also provide energy-rich carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or potatoes. To top things off and excite your taste buds they also bring some of the following: wine, beer, cookies, cheese, crackers, and fruits. Your meals are carried and, most of the time, prepared by your guide.
Changes in itinerary
Although the operator will do their very best to adhere to the schedule agreed upon, the itinerary for the Torres del Paine W Trek is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.
30% of the trip payment is immediately non-refundable, as we need to pay it to the national park in order to reserve spaces (they only make reservations upon payment, and do not issue refunds). The rest of the payment is fully refundable until 29 prior to the start of the tour, at which point it is not refundable. If the tour operator cancels the tour for whatever reason, you will receive a refund.
Other necessary items:
If you take this tour you will probably be greeted by David. He was born in Santiago, where he developed a passion for the mountain. He took his first steps in the ‘Andinismo’ in the beautiful Peaks of the central Andes Region, just outside of the capital city.
David has been a certified guide since 2004, when he decided to move to the south and start his own business. He often tells us that making his passion his job was the best decision he ever made. He believes that when people follow their dreams, they have the ability to truly make a positive impact on the world. He is committed to empowering local guides and communities to truly benefit from tourism, and share their incredible experience and perspective.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.