W Trek: The Iconic Route in Torres del Paine, Chile

The W Trek is undoubtedly the most famous trail in Patagonia Torres del Paine National Park. This non-technical hike connects a best-of-the-best selection of Patagonia’s highlights: the Towers Base lookout, French Valley and Grey Glacier. Hike along through pristine Patagonia landscapes, past rivers, lakes and rocky peaks – plus take advantage of the chance to do an ice hike or kayak in Grey Lake. This program differs from the Independent W Trek in two important ways: you have an expert guide to lead you each day, and you’ll travel by boat up close to Grey Glacier’s massive ice wall.


DAY 1: The W trek starts from Puerto Natales at 7:00 AM, where we will drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park. We will drive along open pampas and ranches (estancias) and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (rare South American ostrich). We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night. Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and birding opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. After leaving your backpack at the Refugio, we start the trek to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to start the Ascencio Valley hike. The walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue the Ascencio Valley hike for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. After being awed by the towers we’ll start the descent on the the Ascencio Valley hike, following the same path back to our refugio for the evening.

DAY 2: Today we will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors contrasted among the Towers in the background. As we leave the campground we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well marked trail ascending around (200 M) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 M), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight.

DAY 3: We will start our next day of the W trek with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests. This trek will bring us to a viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will have lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of Los Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M). Our way back, we continue along the same path until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake.

DAY 4: We will begin the fourth day of the W trek early in morning with a hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200 meters up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall. Optional Ice hike or Kayak is available in the afternoon upon arriving to our refugio (book in advance, please contact our Travel Specialists)

DAY 5: On your last day, you have the morning at leisure at the refugio. Right after lunch we start the last day of the W trek with an exciting adventure by boat. We will navigate for a while in front of the Grey Glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. Afterwards, we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales.

Trip Highlights
• Trek to the base of the famous Towers lookout
• View Los Cuernos and other worldly peaks
• Hike in pristine landscapes inhabited by wild Patagonian fauna
• Trek the iconic French Valley
• See hanging glaciers and possible avalanches
• Boat trip to Grey Glacier’s icy wall
• Optional ice hike on Grey Glacier or kayaking trip in Grey Lake

Prices valid until April 2021 for 2 persons. Contact us for less or more.

Our others offers:

Durée (en jours): 5
Période (recherche): january, february, march, april, october, november, december
Nombre minimum de personnes: 4
Niveau physique: Engagé
Activité principale: Marche