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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 $1295 USD

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Experience the traditional W-Trek in Torres del Paine based from cozy refugios, fully equipped camping and/or Hotel Las Torres all along the way.

This trek is self-guided unless you do 4 night in a hotel, which is only offered 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, French/Frances 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:

The W-Trek is only open Oct 1 - Apr 27.


Day 1: Bus Transfer from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (D)

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(We recommend that you arrive in Puerto Natales the day before and spend the night before starting the trek. You will get an online briefing that will help guide you on the trek.)

  • 2:00pm Registration time at Rodoviario Puerto Natales Bus Station (Av. España #1455)
  • 2:30pm Departure
  • 4:30pm Arrival to Porteria Laguna Amarga (park entrance)

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 (park entrance), 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.

You then board the transfer vehicle that belong to "Transportes Las Torres," which will take you to the Welcome Center. Here, they will give you your Welcome Kit and direct you to your first accommodation: Refugio, Camping, or Hotel Las Torres.

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

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

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Recommended time to begin the trek: 7am

You will hike to the start of the trail just past Hotel Las Torres. 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 at Refugio El Chileno. You can stop here on your way up or down to rest and have a snack or drink. For the next hour, you will go through a millennium-old forest of lenga trees before arriving to the base of the "Morrena". At this point, you will ascend the steep hill for about 60 minutes arriving at one of the site's most magnificent areas: "Base Torres Lookout". 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: Trek from Refugio Central to Refugio Los Cuernos/Frances (5-6.5 hours, 13.5 Km) (BLD)

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Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am

This is a moderate trek around the Macizo Paine, circling the base of Mount Almirante Nieto. From Refugio Central, and after a 30-minute walk, you arrive at the "Atajo", a path on the right that continues towards Refugio Los Cuernos. Along the journey, you can take in the incredible views 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 4-5 hour walk, you arrive to the area of Los Cuernos, which is considered by many as one of the most welcoming spots along the entire circuit. You will spend the night at Cuernos or Frances depending on availability. The two areas are fairly close.

  • 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: Trek the Frances Valley and then to 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 at Camp Italiano. Then the climb begins from the valley of River Frances and continues all the way up to the Frances Glacier Lookout (1.5 hours). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving at the Britanico Lookout, which offers one of the national park's most impressive landscape views. The peaks that can be seen 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 Paine Grande, 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: Trek to Grey Glacier Lookout (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

This hike is a roundtrip to the Grey Glacier Lookout. You can leave extra luggage at Paine Grande and just hike with a day pack to Grey Glacier.

After about 1.5 hours, you will reach the first lookout, where it is possible to observe the glacier at a distance. From there, you follow a path that circles the west bank of Lake Grey. After about 1.5-2 hours, you will reach the main lookout with spectacular views of Grey Glacier, Cordon Olguin and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path back to Paine Grande. At the pier, you will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Pehoe, disembarking at Pudeto where you will board a bus back to Puerto Natales (Buse Base Torres).

The ferry for Lake Pehoe picks up at Paine Grande at 6:30pm. Be in line for the ferry at 6:00pm. Plan your hiking day to return in time!

You will arrive in Puerto Natales around 10:00pm.

  • 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 October 1, 2024 through April 30, 2024

# People in Group: 2+
Camping/Self-Guided: $1295
Hotel/Guided Group: $4695
Refugio+Hotel/Self-Guided: $2095
Refugio/Self-Guided: $1645
*** 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/Cuernos 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 any 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.
  • Sleeping bags are cleaned and sanitized. You do not carry them on the trek.
  • 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.
  • 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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