Torres del Paine Classic 'W' trek
The 'W' - Patagonia's Classic Trek - 4 nights, 5 days
Maximum 6 clients
Level of difficulty: Demanding
Pack weight: Your pack + 4 kilos
Cost: $1500 USD - tent camping tour
The Classic 'W' tour:
The most highly trekked route in Torres del Paine National Park is called the ‘W’. This trail system can be done in a variety of ways, from more rugged camping based treks to full room and board in refugios (well stocked cabins) along the trail, where beds, food, and showers await you at the end of each day. The trek is named after its trail system, which navigates up and down the mountain valleys. Torres del Paine is an immense park and the ‘W’ trek brings you up close to its world-famous Patagonian views and natural wonders. The typical ‘W’ takes five to seven days, with five to eight hours of hiking per day. Most notably, the trek boasts a majority of the park’s must-see attractions: Las Torres, Los Cuernos, Valle del Francés, Paine Grande and Glacier Grey. This, one of the most popular hikes in Patagonia, is truly world class and considered a trekking experience of a lifetime. Although this trek is growing in popularity, the remote nature, rough trails and strong winds can humble even a seasoned trekker.
Day 0: Meeting day.
Briefing with the guide at our Expedition Center at - 5pm. Gear check and itinerary review.
Day 1: Puerto Natales – Campsite Grey.
We will start our trip in the early morning, leaving Puerto Natales for a 2 - 2.5-hour drive to the West entrance of the National Park Torres del Paine. On the way, we can enjoy the view of the mountains that form the amazing landscape of Patagonia. We will pass by lakes, forest and also one of the best lookouts of the whole national park mountain range.
After we check in at the ranger station and entrance of the park we will continue driving for another half an hour to get to Pudeto peer. We take the catamaran that will take us for approximately 25 minutes over the Lake Pehoe, known as the most beautiful lake in the region, until we get to the Paine Grande Lodge/campsite. From here we start to get ready for our first hike and the official start of the ‘W’ trail. After a quick organisational break, we begin hiking towards Campsite/Refugio Grey. This will be an 11 km hike with amazing views over the Grey Lake, which displays the impressive geological changes that have happened in this area. When arriving at the campsite, we set up the tents and prepare for dinner.
Day 2: Campsite Grey – Grey Glacier Lookout - Campsite Paine Grande.
In the morning of our second day, we do a half-day hike that goes up to an amazing viewpoint of glaciers and the southern Patagonian ice-field. We will be able to do this section of the hike with a light daypack. During this hike, we will cross mainly forest and two hanging bridges to get to an encompassing view over Glacier Grey. Coming back to camp, we will pack our backpacks and start our hike back to Paine Grande campsite, where we will stay for the night. This campground is known for its amazing views of the “Cuernos”, big granite walls that are part of the unique mountain range of the national park, and also the strong gusts of wind that can make camping an all-together more challenging experience.
Day 3: Paine Grande Campsite – Valle Francés - Campsite Francés
On the third day, we make our way to the beautiful Valle del Francés. We start our walk from Paine Grande to Campsite Italiano, over rolling hills we will arrive at a ranger station at the foot of the valley. Here we drop our big backpacks and prepare our small daypacks for the hike up into the valley. There are 2 viewpoints to hike to; the first viewpoint is called Mirador Francés, it will take us 1 hour hiking up some steep parts of the valley. From this viewpoint, you can enjoy the view of the hanging glacier coming down from the largest mountain in the park, the Paine Grande. From this spot, it is another hour and a half to get to the second viewpoint called Británico. This next part of the trail is easier and relaxing, with a boulder field at the end were we can have the amazing 360° view around you.
The Británico lookout is on a big rock formation at the end of the valley, the best spot for the perfect picture from the Valle del Francés. After some good time enjoying the view, we turn around and go back to Campsite Italiano. Here we pick up our big backpacks again and go for the last half an hour hiking to the campground for the night, camping Francés.
Day 4: Campsite Francés – Campsite Las Torres/Central
Today is one of the longest day of the W trek. We will cross forest, pebble beaches, some steep inclines and descents, all this with views overlooking Lago Nordenskjold and up against the impressive walls of the Cuernos and the Almirante Nieto mountain. Around every corner you will find a different perspective of the Patagonian steppe, making this a beautiful landscape.
After a few hours of hiking, we get to the beginning of the Ascencio Valley, were we can start to see part of the famous Torres del Paine. Here we will find our camping ground.
Day 5: Base Torres hike – Puerto Natales
This is our last trekking day, going up to the famous Torres del Paine. A full day of hiking with only our daypack. Starting the hike up into the mountain, we will have an amazing view from the green Ascencio Valley, and the mountains from the surroundings. After 2 hours hiking up, we reach “The pass of the wind”, the best view of the while valley Ascencio. From here we start walking down to Refugio Chileno, located next to the river of the valley. After a short break we will continue hiking for another hour into the valley, through the beautiful Magellan forest. At the end of the forest, we will find “Camp Torres” and the ranger station of the area. From here we start hiking the last section of the trail, for 45 min we make our way up to finally get to the “Mirador” where can see the three towers standing in front of a glacial lake.
After having enjoyed the spectacle at the towers, we will make our way back down to the camping ground. This marks the end of our trek. We will then take our private transportation back to Puerto Natales where our 'W' program officially ends.
NEW 2021-22 Program Dates
• guide with satellite communication devices & park radio
• all meals in the field
• all transportation
• entrance, camping & park fees
• all logistics
• personal camping and trekking gear (trekking poles, sleeping bag etc)
• alcoholic beverages
• lodging in town before and after the program
• travel insurance
• itinerary changes
• personal first aid kit
• single tent upgrade +100 USD