The "W"-Trek, Torres del Paine
One of South America's most famous trekking routes...
A popular choice for keen walkers, the “W” Trek is the most famous trek in the Torres del Paine National Park. Starting every Monday from October to April, this trek takes you along the route, spending a couple of nights at simple “refugios” with dormitories and shared facilities and the rest of time at EcoCamp Patagonia staying in one of their unique domes. Hike through wild Patagonian Forests and along the windswept turquoise Lake Nordenskjöld. See ice falling from the glacier in the French Valley, and floating icebergs, which have broken away from the Grey Glacier. Understand the tremendous power of flowing glaciers by climbing up the giant moraine to reach the Torres peaks.
Punta Arenas - Torres del Paine National Park
After being met by your guide at your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning you will be driven to the Torres del Paine National Park to stay at EcoCamp Patagonia for the night, stopping in Puerto Natales for lunch and then at Cueva de Milodon; a huge cave where the remains of a giant prehistoric ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. There is also a shared transfer available from El Calafate for those coming from Argentina.
EcoCamp - Refugio los Cuernos
To ease you into the trek and what will be a challenging few days of walking, you’ll start with a warm up walk on the Cuernos Trail. Leading along the banks of the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold, the trail gives you plenty of opportunities to appreciate the Park’s flora and fauna while offering fantastic views of the Paine “Cuernos” or Horns. Overnight at Refugio Los Cuernos or Domo El Francés with dinner included.
(4.5 – 5.5 hours – 12 to 14km. 344m max altitude).
Difficulty level: gentle, distance: 12 to 14km - 4.5 - 5.5 hours, max. elevation: 345m.
Refugio Los Cuernos - the French Valley
One of the more challenging treks in the Park, the Valle Francés hike takes you along a steep trail leading to the heart of the Paine Massif. Aiming first for the hanging bridge over the Rio Francés with its sweeping views of the valley, you will then ascend towards the valley’s upper section to admire the different geological formations. After a picnic lunch you will then start your descent taking you along Lake Skottsberg until you reach Refugio Paine where you'll stay for the night with dinner included.
Difficulty level - challenging, distance:26km - 10hrs, max. elevation: 685m.
Refugio Paine - Glacier Grey
The trek to the Grey Glacier follows the western side of the Paine Massif with great views of Lago Grey. After a picnic lunch you will board the boat to cross in front of Glacier Grey and see it calving. You will then be met to drive back to EcoCamp to stay for the night with dinner at the Camp included.
Optional extra: Kayaking around Glacier Grey. Kayak around huge floating icebergs on the eastern side of the glacier.
Difficulty level: moderate, distance: 11km - 4hrs, max. elevation: 245m.
EcoCamp - Base Torres
The most famous trail in the Torres del Paine, the Torres Base Hike is also one of the most challenging! Setting out from EcoCamp you will walk towards Hostería las Torres before ascending towards the Tower’s Eastern face. The most challenging part of the walk involves the climb to the iconic base-view of the Towers with the glacial lake below. After a picnic in front of the towers you’ll return through the Ascenio Valley to EcoCamp to stay for the night with dinner at the Camp included.
Difficulty level: challenging, distance: 22km - 9hrs, max. elevation: 915m.
EcoCamp - Eastern Lakes
With the hard work done your final day in the Park involves a less strenuous trail to allow you to enjoy the scenery and fauna surrounding the lakes on the Eastern side of the Park. Taking a vehicle to Laguna Azul (known for its vibrant blueish colour) you’ll then hike to the Laguna Azul lookpoint point. After lunch you’ll drive to the northern shore of Lago Sarmiento where you’ll begin the fauna trail north towards the Paine River. Here you’ll be able to spot guanacos, ostrich-like ñandúes and the occasional puma print if you’re lucky! After 5km of relaxed walking you’ll be picked up and driven back to EcoCamp to enjoy your last night at the Camp with dinner included.
Difficulty level: moderate, distance: 6km - 3hrs, max. elevation: 180m.
Torres del Paine - Onwards travel
Saying goodbye to Torres del Paine, you’ll embark on your onwards travel arrangements taking the transfer back to Punta Arenas or on to El Calafate in Argentina.
Please note that the above is on a full-board basis unless otherwise shown and the cost does not include flights. Price is based on accommodation in dormitories or standard domes with shared facilities with the option of upgrading to a suite or superior dome with private facilities.