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

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

5 days

5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine
from $1195 USD

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Experience the traditional W-Trek in Torres del Paine based from cozy refugios all along the way.

This trek is self-guided unless you do all hotels, which is only offerend in a guided group.

The name "W" comes from the formation of a perfect W with the coming together of the paths that surround the southern sector of Torres del Paine national park. The principal attractions of the W Circuit are: Base Torres, Franc's Valley and Grey Glacier.

This trek can be done with different lodging options:

  • 4 nights in Refugios (self-guided)
  • 4 nights at Hotel Las Torres (guided)
  • 2 nights Refugios + 2 nights Hotel Las Torres (self-guided)

See also:


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

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(You want to be in Puerto Natales the day before and spend the night before starting the trek. You will be sent an online briefing that will help you on the trek.)

Registration time at Rodoviario (Bus Station): 2pm.
Departure: 2.30pm. / Arrival to Porteria 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 included: Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio/Camping Torre Central

Day 2: Trekking Base Torres Lookout (8-10 hours, 19.5 Km) (BLD)

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Recommended time to begin the trek: 7am

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 (2670m), 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 (2850m), Torre Central (2800m), Torre Norte (2.600 m), Nido de Condor and Glacier Torre can all be appreciated.

  • 8 to 10 hours - 12 miles / 19.5km
  • Highest elevation: 2870 feet / 870m
  • Lowest Elevation: 400 feet / 120m
  • Level of difficulty: High

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio/Camping Torre Central

Day 3: Trekking Refugio El Chileno - Refugio Los Cuernos (5-6.5 hours, 13.5 Km) (BLD)

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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 Nordenskjold, 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.

  • 5 to 6.5 hours - 8.5 miles / 13.5km
  • Total Altitude: 650 feet / 200m
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio/Camping Los Cuernos

Day 4: Trekking to Frances Valley - Paine Grande (8-10 hours, 20.5 Km) (BLD)

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Recommended time to begin the trek: 8am

The first two hours are fairly light with views of Lake Nordenskjold 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 Frances and continues all the way up to the Frances Glacier Lookout (1.5 hrs). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving to the area called "Britanico" and the "Britanico 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, Mascara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburon and Cuerno Norte. The return trek follows the same path down to "Camp Italiano" and then onwards to the sector known as Pehoe, where the shelter is located.

  • 8 to 10 hours - 12.5 miles / 20.5km
  • Highest elevation: 2500 feet / 762m
  • Lowest Elevation: 400 feet / 120m
  • Level of difficulty: High

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio/Camping Paine Grande

Day 5: Trekking to Grey Glacier (8 - 9 hours, 22 Km), Boat across Lake Pehoe, Bus to Puerto Natales (BL)

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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, Cordon Olguin and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path, arriving to the sector known as Pehoe. At the pier the traveler will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Pehoe, disembarking at the sector known as Pudeto from which point a transfer will be waiting to take him/her back to Puerto Natales.

The ferry for Lake Pehoe picks up near Paine Grande around 5:00pm. You can leave extra luggage at Paine Grande and just hike with a day pack to Glacier Grey.

You will arrive in Puerto Natales around 9:00pm.

  • 7-8 hours - 13.5 miles / 22km
  • Highest elevation: 1030 feet / 313m
  • Lowest Elevation: 140 feet / 43m
  • Level of difficulty: High

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


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

Prices are Per Person and Valid for Trips through December 31, 2023

# People in Group: 2+
Camping/Self-Guided: $1195
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Transport on a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park and back. (Hotel/Guided Group includes shared transfers to Punta Arenas and El Calafate.)
  • 2 nights of lodging in Central Sector, 1 night in the Frances Sector and 1 night in the Paine Grande Sector, depending on availability.
  • Camping -- Pre set-up mountain tent equipped with sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow, welcome drink voucher. Tent is elevated from the ground at a height of 1.60 mt (5.2 ft). You do not carry the camping gear.
  • Mountain Hostels -- Accommodation in shared mixed rooms with bunk beds for 6 or 8 people. Each bed includes a sleeping bag and pillow.
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch (box lunch) and dinner (dinner first day through box lunch last day).
  • Pehoe Lake Catamaran.
  • Torres del Paine National Park entrance fees.
  • Bilingual guide (for guided trips).
  • Welcome Kit: Includes sleeping-bag liner, microfiber towel, water bottle (stainless steel), a map and a journal notebook.
  • Sleeping bags are cleaned and sanitized. You do not carry them on the trek.
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)

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