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Torres del Paine, Chile

W-Trek: In Comfort

Patagonia

W-Trek West to East in 4 Stages

Lodging

Hotels, Refugios

Nights

4

Trip Details

Self-Guided

Price

$1,760 USD per person

Transport

Private Transfers

Pygmy miles

2,065 miles

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

On this journey, you will hike four days in Torres del Paine National Park, the home of the W-Trek and its extension, the O-Trek. In total, you will hike 44 miles (70 km) on the W-Trek and see the most famous formations of the Paine Massif. You will see the shining blue of the icebergs on Lago Grey, Glaciers in Valle del Frances and marvel at the turquoise water of Lago Nordenskjöld. 

Private transfers to and from the park are included, allowing you flexibility on arrival and departure time. It includes one night at the four star Hotel Lago Grey and three nights in refuges in shared dormitories. It also includes a navigation on Lago Grey which allows you to avoid backtracking a section of the tour between Refugio Grey and Paine Grande. 

This tour was carefully crafted to be more flexible and to also provide you with a good balance between comfort and a certain level of privacy.

Itinerary options

Adjusting the hike to your budget and preferences

BUDGET FRIENDLY

$1,250 USD per person
  • 4 NTS / 5 STAGES
  • 4 NTS IN DORMS OR CAMPING
  • BUS TRANSFERS

IN COMFORT

$1,760 USD per person
  • 4 NTS / 4 STAGES
  • 1 NT 4 STAR HOTEL
  • 3 NTS DORMS
  • PRIVATE TRANSFERS
  • LAGO GREY NAVIGATION

IN LUX AND STYLE

$2,480 USD per person
  • 5 NTS / 4 STAGES
  • 3 NTS 4 STAR HOTELS
  • 1 NT PRIVATE CABANA
  • 1 NT DORM
  • PRIVATE TRANSFERS
  • LAGO GREY NAVIGATION
  • PORTER SERVICE
The Towers of Torres Del Paine

Activities

Trekking

Conquer the W-trek hiking from West to East

Boat

Glide across the waters of Lago Grey to see Glacier Grey up close and personal.

Wildlife Viewing

Spot guanaco and other flora and fauna.

And also

Optional Extensions:

  • 1-day extension for ice hiking, kayaking or horseback riding
  • 2-day extension to Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate
  • 5-day extension of Argentina—includes Perito Moreno Glacier and hiking to Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy in El Chaltén
 

Place

Torres del Paine is a national park in the Chilean part of southern Patagonia. The park is located 70 miles (112 km) south of Puerto Natales and 194 miles (312 km) from Punta Arenas, the largest city in the region and where most travelers arrive. The peaks of the Paine Massif, the centerpiece of the park, reach up to 9,462 feet (2,884 meters). Exploring this remote region will bring you into the heart of Chilean’s unique biome, a mix of Magellanic subpolar forests, Patagonian steppe and Pre-Andean shrubland. The region is also the lair of a large set of mammals like guanacos, rheas(a large ostrich-like bird), south Andean deer and foxes, and big birds such as the Andean condor.  The weather is unpredictable and it’s often possible to experience four seasons in a single day. Especially remarkable is when snow that is produced above the mountains is pushed down to lower altitude, where the temperature is warm enough for a t-shirt. Quite a rare experience.

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Day-1

Navigation on Lago Grey. Hike to Refugio Paine Grande (3.5 hours, 10.7 km / 6.7 mi)

After a unique and breathtaking stay at Hotel Lago Grey; you will enjoy breakfast and afterwards take a navigation across Lago Grey towards Grey Glacier. Grey Glacier is one of Torres del Paine’s most spectacular glaciers, and Lago Grey that it fills, one of its most beautiful lakes. It lies in the west of the park and can be seen in many different ways, boat, kayak or from land. It is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the world’s second largest contiguous ice field outside of the poles. You will then hike along the shores of Lago Grey heading south. THis section of the tour is undulating, however one of the easier hikes of the W trek. In around 3.5 hours, you will reach Refugio Paine Grande

Day-2

Paine Grande to Refugio Los Cuernos (8.5 hours, 22.9 km / 14.2 mi)

Today you will hike along Lago Skottsberg and then up into Valley Frances. On your left hand side you will see Glacier Frances, where frequent small avalanches take place. The noise booms throughout the valley, although the ice that breaks away seems much smaller than it should considering the noise. After ducking in and out of the forest, with sporadic views of Rio Frances below, you will eventually reach Campamento Britanico. In another 25 minutes, you will reach the lookout point, which is a highlight of the trek. Return back down Valle France and continue to Refugio Los Cuernos.

Day-3

Refugio Los Cuernos to Rifugio Chileno (4.5 HOURS, 12.3km / 7.7mi)

After you leave the refugio to begin your trek, the mighty Los Cuernos will open up to your left hand side. Halfway through the hike, you will have the opportunity to take a shortcut that goes directly to Refugio Chileno, or your can continue on to Hotel Los Torres for one of the better lunches available along the trek. From Hotel Los Torres, its a 2 hour uphill slog skirting Rio Ascencio to reach Refugio Chileno.

Day-4

REFUGIO CHILENO - MIRADOR BASE LAS TORRES - HOTEL LAS TORRES (5 hours - 13 km / 8.1 mi)

A highlight of the trip, you will need to wake up at least 2.5 hours before sunrise (ask for sunrise times when you inquire). It’s also the most difficult hike of the W-Trek. You will need to do a bit of light scrambling up some rocky areas, and if it’s been raining (which it does a lot), then things can get very slippery. Take your time, travel with a hiking partner and bring a flashlight. But it’s all worth it once you reach the towers. The morning hues of purple, pink and blue paint the three towers in a fantastic light. A tip: Bring a sleeping bag up to the top so you can stay warm—the weather is especially brutal up here. After seeing the towers, head back to Refugio Chileno for breakfast and then down to Hotel Las Torres, where your private transport will be waiting to take you on to your next destination (Breakfast - Recommendation to have lunch at Hotel Las Torres).

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
1625pygmy miles

Base Miles

You receive 1 mile for every 1 dollar you spend with Pygmy Elephant

440pygmy miles

Hike Miles

You receive 10 miles for every 1 mile hiked with Pygmy Elephant

Total Pygmy Miles

2065pygmy miles

Accommodation

 

Hotel Lago Grey

Torres del Paine

Lago Grey Hotel is situated on the eponymous lake, from which you can enjoy amazing panoramic views of Grey Lake and beautiful floating icebergs. Glacier Grey is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest freshwater ice field in the world. There are 60 rooms available in the hotel, all with comfortable spaces, heating, Wi-Fi, safe for valuables, direct dial national and international calling, and most importantly, all of which are surrounded by nature and beautiful scenery that can only be found in the Torres del Paine National Park.

Refugio Paine Grande

Torres Del Paine

Paine Grande is located at the drop-off point of the catamaran on Lago Pehoé. The building can accommodate 100 hikers in 22 dormitory rooms with bunk beds for 2, 4, or 6 people. The refugio has a restaurant, bar, lounge and shop with camping supplies. This refugio is a good overnight option if you choose to do an ice hike early on day 2

Refugio Los Cuernos

Torres Del Paine

Probably the most popular and busy of all the refugios, Refugio Los Cuernos is located not far from the beach of Lago Nordenskjöld. It has a capacity for 36 people. Four shared, mixed dorms hold 8 people each. For hikers looking for private accommodation, there are 8 double cabins that provide access to a hot tub. There are also camping pitches available here. All bathrooms are shared by guests in each category, meaning cabin guests share a bathroom with other cabin guests, refugio guests share with refugio guests and campers share with other campers. Dinner is served at communal tables in two shifts.

Refugio Chileno

Torres del Paine

Located 2.5 hours from the base of the towers and 2 hours from Hotel Las Torres, Refugio Chileno is ideally located for those that would like to see the towers at sunrise, yet would like some creature comfort as well. The food is surprisingly good and there is quite a bit of it. There is capacity in the refugio for 32 people (four shared and mixed dorms of 8 people each) and plenty more camping spots.

Practical info

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

Most people complete the W-Trek during the southern hemisphere's spring through fall months, between October and March. It is also possible to complete the trek in winter, but a guide is recommended. Peak travel is in January and February. Expect rain almost daily, along with sun, possible snow and high wind. In fact, just expect all four seasons in one day.

 

How

Self guided

Self guided does not mean you are alone. We help you coordinate and plan your trip beforehand. Once you are on the trail, we provide 24-hour customer service in case there are any urgent issues with your bookings.

We can also arrange private guides for this itinerary.

 

Service Category

Pygmy Itineraries

PYGMY ITINERARY BENEFITS

  • Price Transparency: see where your money is going with line-item pricing
  • Never Lose Your Deposit Guarantee: 50% refund, 50% credit to future trip
  • Customized Handbook with Journey Details: maps, elevation profiles, tips and more
  • Destination Book Digital Travel App: everything in your handbook, in digital form
  • One Year Premium GAIA GPS Membership: your GPS routes, on your phone
  • Complete Itinerary Customization: build the trip you want to take
  • Special Meal Requests: we'll help you stick to your diet of choice
  • Before-You-Go Email Series: helpful emails to get you prepared for your trek
  • Transportation Options Information: timetables, routes and contact info
  • 24/7 Phone Support for Urgent Issues: give us a call if anything goes wrong
  • WhatsApp Support (9 AM to 5 PM, ET): rapid response to your inquiries
  • Email Support (24-hour turnaround): answers for not-so-urgent questions
  • Virtual Pre-Hike Briefing: one-on-one briefing with your travel consultant
  • Baggage Transfers (where applicable): your bags, delivered to your accommodation

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : Low

Mental Strength

Level : Low

Physical Conditioning

Level : Medium

  • The path is well marked, but previous hiking experience is recommended, as the terrain is rocky and uneven. Those without experience may be more comfortable on a guided hike.
  • Mental strength is rated low because of the comfortable accommodation, but waking up early for the Mirador Las Torres hike is not pleasant.
  • The hiking is challenging, but only treks into Valle del Frances and to the towers have much elevation change. Only those in good physical health should book this trip. 

Price

 Starting at $1,760 per person, based on double occupancy

After initial consultation, we will customize your itinerary to meet your fitness level, budget, accommodation wishes and schedule. Depending on the journey, it might be possible to skip stages, rearrange their order, substitute accommodations, and add or subtract transfers. Find more information on the base itinerary and possible customizations below.

 

Base Itinerary

  • Local support in Puerto Natales
  • Private transfer between Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine
  • 1 night accommodation at Hotel Lago Grey
  • 3 nights accommodation in refugios (2, 4 or 6 person dorm)
  • 3 dinners, 4 breakfasts and 3 box lunches
  • Navigation across Lago Grey

CUSTOMIZATIONS

  • Shared transfer between Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine
  • Pick-up and/or drop-off in Punta Arenas or El Calafate
  • Substitute dormitories at Los Cuernos for private cabana
  • Substitute dormitories in Refugio Central for Hotel Las Torres
  • Substitute camping for all accommodations
  • Increase or decrease number of hiking days, depending on fitness and motivation

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

  • Guide (daily fee + expenses)
  • Porters (fee per porter, per day)
  • Internal transfer to Laguna Amarga
  • Catamaran on Lago Pehoé
  • Private transfer between Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine park
  • Kayaking on Lago Grey
  • Ice Hike on Glacier Grey
  • Horseback riding in Puerto Natales
  • Navigation to Balmaceda Glacier
  • Navigation to Serrano Glacier
  • Navigation to Isla Magdalena to see penguins
  • Visit an estancia, a traditional Patagonian ranch
  • Torres del Paine park entrance fee

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

  • 1-day extension for ice hiking, kayaking or horseback riding
  • 2-day extension to Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate
  • 5-day extension to Argentina, including Perito Moreno Glacier and hiking to Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy in El Chaltén
  • Complete end-to-end vacation planning in Chile or Argentina

not included

  • Airfare
  • Internal transfer to Lake Amarga (about $25 USD)
  • Incidentals
  • Alcohol
  • Travel insurance

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Bolivia, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.