The W trek to Torres del Paine in Patagonia

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Massif Glacier Frances Torres del Paine W

The W trek to Torres del Paine in Patagonia

  • 10 Days
  • Ideal for: couple, group of friends
  • Multi-day itinerant hike
  • Rhythm: intense
  • Style: adventure, off the beaten track
  • Minimum: 2 people

Follow the path to Chilean Patagonia for an unforgettable experience: the W trek in the famous Torres del Paine Park!

This 5-day itinerant hike allows you to explore the must-see points of Chile’s most famous park between glaciers, lakes, wildlife, and peaks.

The tour starts in Pudeto near Lake Péhoé. After a catamaran crossing, you will climb to the impressive Glacier Grey and then take the road to the beautiful Valle del Francés before starting the ascent to the Torres lookout.

Highlights and experiences

This fantastic tour in the middle of the wilderness surrounding Torres del Paine will be in the form of a free hike with full board and overnight stays in refuges. The other nights outside the park are planned in charming lodges and hotels.

An active journey filled with rewarding experiences awaits you:

  • Torres del Paine Park, the most beautiful natural park in the country
  • The majestic Grey Glacier
  • The Britanico viewpoint, 360° of beauty
  • The Torres de Granit, the park's namesake
  • Lago Péhoé and its turquoise waters
Daily itinerary

Day 1On the way to Chilean Patagonia

A driver will take you to Santiago’s airport for a domestic flight to Puerto Natales. For this first afternoon, discover the city. Located on the shores of the bay of Última Esperanza, its small houses with multicolored, corrugated tin roofs lend it a certain charm.

The atmosphere is very cosmopolitan, while the contrasting landscapes reflect powerful, wild beauty. There is always a special ambiance specific to these large Patagonian villages; they seem lost in time and shrouded in mystery.

Things to see in Puerto Natales:

  • The coastal road, from which you can observe the mountain range: Cerro Tenerife, Mocho, Benítez, Ballena, Paine Grande and Monte Balmaceda
  • The Puerto Boris, a former industrial complex now remodeled into a luxury hotel and declared a historical heritage site

Overnight stay in a comfortable hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 2Your adventure in Torres del Paine Park begins!

This morning, hop on your bus to Torres del Paine National Park to start your outdoor adventures.

You’re on your way to the Grey refuge! The first section from Paine Grande will take you to the Laguna de Los Patos and its breathtaking view of the Grey Glacier. You will then access other incredible viewpoints.

You’ll cover nearly 7 miles of trekking, which amounts to around 5 hours of walking and almost 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

Overnight stay in a mountain refuge.

Day 3Back to Lake Péhoé

Start the day by making a short round trip to the north to arrive at the viewpoint facing the glacier, and if you have the courage, continue on one end of the “O” circuit to reach the suspension bridges and their unbelievable views.

Then, take the same path as the day before to return to Paine Grande.

Overnight stay in a mountain refuge.

Day 4Ascent of the Francés Valley

From the Paine Grande refuge, the trail goes north, following Lake Péhoé. A few minutes after a short ascent, you will see Los Cuernos del Paine. Follow the path; you will eventually see Lake Skottsberg appear, and on your left will emerge one of the peaks of Cerro Paine Grande: Bariloche Point!

After walking along the lake, you can reach a view of the entire Paine Grande cluster. You will then cross the Rio Francés via suspension bridge. After, you will arrive at the Italian sector, where we recommend that you leave your belongings to continue on as weightless as possible for the next ascent in the heart of the valley.

The path heads north, while the Rio Francés will accompany you on your left. Your objective is to reach the Britanico viewpoint. The first break comes at the foot of the suspended Glacier del Francés. Then, once you’re about 1.5 hours into the hike, you will arrive at the first viewpoint from which you can see the Nordenskjold, Pehoe, and Toro lakes. An hour later, you will reach the Britanico campsite. From the campsite, after crossing an area of white stones, the trail becomes steep and requires 20 minutes of effort before reaching the Britanico viewpoint.

Return to the Italiano campsite and take the road back to the Francés sector after 1.5 hours.

Count on 7-8 hours of walking, about 12.5 miles.

Overnight stay in a dome, the Domo Francés.

Day 5Crossing to the Chilean sector

You will start the day traversing a wooded area to arrive at the Refuge Cuernos. The path gets closer to Lake Nordenskjold as you go, until you reach its shore. From there, you will follow along the beach before returning to the woods and finding the refuge Los Cuernos.

You then still have 10 miles left, which totals about 5-6 hours. You will cross the Bader River after the refuge and continue on a path that runs parallel to the lake. You will see the Bader Valley on your left, and after 2 hours of walking, you will arrive at the Rio Arriero and take a path that winds between its gaps. The path will then drift away from the lake to arrive at a small lagoon. Take the path to the left to go directly to the Chilean refuge. You will be giften with a beautiful 45-minute ascent along an eroded, stony path. After 1.5 hours in the valley of the Ascencion you can observe the refuge, which is on the other side of the river. You can do it, you’re on the last stretch!

Overnight stay in a mountain refuge.

Day 6The mythical ascent to the Torres

For this last day of your itinerant trek, you will finish with a climb to the mythical Torres and desend in the Base Torres sector. Once you arrive at the administration, you will take your bus to reach the city of Puerto Natales in 2 hours of travel.

Plan on 7 hours of walking and 4,000 feet of elevation gain, over 4.5 miles.

Overnight stay in a very comfortable hotel.

Day 7Back to the capital

After a good night’s rest in Puerto Natales, you will take a bus back to Punta Arenas.

Optional: meet the Magellanic penguins on Isla Magdalena!

Alternatively, take your domestic flight to the capital Santiago.

Have a safe trip back!

Recommended airport and departure point

Santiago International Airport (Arturo Benitez Merino) (Google Maps)

The price includes

  • 2 domestic flights per person
  • Accommodation
  • Full board during the trek (breakfast, boxed lunch, and dinner)
  • Buses and shuttles to the hike
  • Buses to Punta Arenas

Price does NOT include

  • International flights
  • Entrances to the park (21,000 CLP, or roughly $30 USD)
  • The crossing by catamaran (about 20,000 CLP, or roughly $30 USD)