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5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine

Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine -- Trip Photo of Chile trek  Chile map

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Day 1 : Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine (Regular Bus)

Visiting: Torres del Paine

Registration time at Rodoviario (Bus Station): 2pm. Departure: 2.30pm. / Arrival to Portería Laguna Amarga: 4.30pm. Transfer in a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours (112 Km.), passing through Cerro Castillo (a small border town situated along the route to the park and 54 Km. from Puerto Natales). Upon arrival to Laguna Amarga, all travelers must get off of the bus and visit the CONAF Administration Office where they will follow all protocol necessary to enter the park; the park entrance fee is included in the cost of the program. Having finished the paperwork, travelers will board the transfer vehicles that belong to Transportes Las Torres and which will take them to the sector surrounding the Cerro Paine Ranch and then on to The Welcome Centre of their first accommodation site.

  • Meals: D
  • Budget Lodging: Refugio Torre Central

Day 2 : Trekking Base Torres Lookout (7 – 8 hours, 13 Km)

Visiting: Torres del Paine

Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am The first stage includes an ascent for about 1,5 hours, with beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and Mount Almirante Nieto’s hanging glacier (2.670 m a.s.l.), until arriving to Refugio El Chileno. Here, the traveler will go through check-in, recharge energies and leave his/her main luggage before initiating the climb with a small rucksack. From here, and for about an hour, the traveler will cross a millennium-old forest of lenga trees before arriving to the base of the “Morrena”. At this point, he/she will ascend for about 45 minutes in order to arrive to one of the site’s most magnificent areas, "Base Torres Lookout", from where the imposing Torre Sur (2.850 m a.s.l.), Torre Central (2.800 m a.s.l.), Torre Norte (2.600 m a.s.l.), Nido de Condor and Glacier Torre can all be appreciated. Level of difficulty: High.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Refugio El Chileno

Day 3 : Trekking Refugio El Chileno – Refugio Los Cuernos (5 – 6 hours, 11 Km)

Visiting: Torres del Paine

Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am A moderate trek around the Macizo Paine, circling the base of Mount Almirante Nieto. From Refugio El Chileno, and after half and hour’s walk, the traveler arrives to the “Atajo”, a path on the right that continues towards Refugio Los Cuernos. Along the journey the traveler can take in the incredible sites of Lake Nordenskjöld, the hanging glaciers and local flora, including the “ciruelillo” or “notro” trees, which delight in displaying their characteristic red flowers from December onwards. After a four or five-hour walk, the traveler will arrive to the area entitled, Los Cuernos, which is considered by many as one of the most welcoming spots along the entire circuit. Level of difficulty: Medium.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Refugio Los Cuernos

Day 4 : Trekking to Francés Valley / Paine Grande (11 – 12 hours, 25.3 Km)

Visiting: Torres del Paine

Recommended time to begin the trek: 8am The first two hours are fairly light with views of Lake Nordenskjöld until arriving to “Camp Italiano”. At this point, we recommend that you contact CONAF staff and make arrangements for leaving backpacks at the camp before beginning the ascent with just a small rucksack containing water, food and warm clothing. The climb begins from the valley of River Francés and continues all the way up to the Francés Glacier Lookout (1.5 hrs). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving to the area called “Británico” and the “Británico Lookout”, which offers one of the national park’s most impressive landscape views.. The peaks that can be appreciated from this lookout are Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Máscara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburón and Cuerno Norte. The return trek follows the same path down to “Camp Italiano” and then onwards to the sector known as Pehoé, where the shelter is located. Level of difficulty: High.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Paine Grande Lodge

Day 5 : Trekking to Grey Glacier (8 – 9 hours, 22 Km)

Visiting: Torres del Paine

Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am Roundtrip to the Grey Glacier Lookout. After about one and a half hours the traveler will reach the first lookout, where it’s possible to observe the glacier at a distance. From there, the traveler will follow a path that circles the west bank of Lake Grey. After about one and a half / two hours the traveler will reach the main lookout with spectacular views of Grey Glacier, Cordón Olguín and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path, arriving to the sector known as Pehoé. At the pier the traveler will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Pehoé, disembarking at the sector known as Pudeto from which point a transfer will be waiting to take him/her back to Puerto Natales. Level of difficulty: Medium.

  • Meals: BL

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