Self Guided Hikes
West to East in 4 Hiking Stages
Hotels and Refugios
$1,625 per person
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.
Included are private transfers to and from the park, 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.
Adjusting the hike to your budget and preferences
Conquer the W-trek hiking from West to East
Glide across the waters of Lago Grey to see Glacier Grey up close and personal.
Spot guanaco and other flora and fauna.
- 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
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.
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
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.
Hike 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.
Hike to see the Towers rise magnificently in the cold Chilean Sky at sunrise. Afterwards descend back to the Las Torres Base Area (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 Total
You receive 1 mile for every 1 dollar you spend with Pygmy Elephant
You receive 10 miles for every 1 mile hiked with Pygmy Elephant
Total Pygmy Miles
1st Night: 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.
2nd Night: 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
3rd Night: 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.
4th Night: 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.
Most people complete the trek during the spring through fall months (it is 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.
Self-guided does not mean you are alone. We help you coordinate and plan your trip beforehand. Once you are on your way, we provide 24 hour customer service in case there are any issues on the trek.
Pygmy Elephant Itinerary Includes:
- Customization of Itinerary: Add, change, switch, choose, attach, remove,modify and customize EVERYTHING. We design your trip entirely around your needs, fitness and preferences.
- Briefing and Pre-departure support: Hike briefing before you go via video conference, plus our "Before You Go" email series.
- Price Transparency: we will breakdown the price so you know where your money is going
- Premium Gaia GPS membership plus GPX file: Gaia is accessible via an App on your phone with offline capabilities.
- Personalized Travel App: Combined with your Gaia App, you'll be armed to the teeth with tech to take on your trek.
- Customized Handbook: For those who are old school, we've got you covered with elevation profiles, maps and daily hike summaries.
- 24 hour customer service: if something goes wrong, we have your back.
- Pygmy Miles: receive discounts off future travel.
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Level : Low
Level : Medium
INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
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We customize the tour to fit your budget and preference. We can customize the tour by:
- Transport type - It's possible to take a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine.
- Transport location - We can change the pick up and drop-off locations as well. The prices will be different, however we can arrange a pick-up from Punta Arenas or El Calafate as well. There is a shared transfer to El Calafate that is relatively economical.
- Accommodation in Torres del Paine - For those on a budget, we can also substitute in dormitories at Refugio Central for Hotel Las Torres and the dormitories at Los Cuernos for the cabanas. Furthermore, camping with all equipment is possible throughout the park, which is also a more economical option.
- Number of hiking days - we can increase or decrease the number of hiking days, depending on your fitness and motivation. For example, it's possible to transfer directly back to Puerto Natales after the navigation on Lago Grey, rather than staying an extra night at Hotel Lago Grey.
- Add on activities in Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. - We organize a range of activities in the region including kayaking on Lago Grey, Ice Hiking on Glacier Grey, Navigation to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers, Navigation to Isla Magdalena to see the penguins and more.
- Add on additional locations - We work extensively in El Calafate and El Chalten. We can add self guided hikes to see Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre as well as an ice hike on the Perito Moreno Glacier. Furthermore, we can help you organize a complete vacation in Chile (Atacama, Santiago, Lakes District, etc) or Argentina (Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Bariloche, Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn, etc).
- Hire a porter - The porter can carry up to 15 kg (33 pounds). They meet you on the first day and will transfer the contents of your bag into one of their own and then strap your bag(s) onto theirs. Normally, one porter is sufficient for two people.