Torres del Paine Trekking
Self-Guided Trekking Torres del Paine
This itinerary of Trekking Torres del Paine is meant to give you the freedom of hiking alone or with your partner along the trails of this beautiful National Park. We will provide you with all the due information to tackle this 5-day trekking and lodging adventure and in addition we are going to lead you during the first and last day in two less explored parts of the area. With our self-guided proposal you will get the opportunity to visit the most iconic lookouts and spots along the world-famous W-trail with the chance of be accompanied by us along a scenic and off the beaten path trail which will reward you with a magnificient view of Toro Lake and the turquoise waters of Paine river flowing into it. Get the backpack ready and let us to take care of the rest!
DAY 1: PUERTO NATALES --> ALTO DEL TORO --> TORRE CENTRAL
15Km (9 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-450m (+/-1450ft) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
We will leave Puerto Natales early in the morning drive to the Torres del Paine National Park via Serrano entrance. During this 4-to-5 hours hike we will pass different scenario dotted with colorful lakes like Laguna Honda and Laguna Verde, with the presence of Paine Massif always in the background. At almost the end of the trail you will be reaching De Agostini Pass overlooking the sediment -turquoise-colour waters of Paine river ending their run into blue-cobalt Toro Lake. A steep descent awaits for you before getting into the vehicle that will lead you to the first Mountain Lodge of this adventure, Torre Central.
DAY 2: TORRE CENTRAL --> BASE TORRES --> TORRE CENTRAL
22Km (13,5 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-770m (+/-2550ft) - Hiking Time: 7-8 hrs
Your first self-guided challenge along the W-trek is the ascent to the Base Torres lookout, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. After our first hour-an-half trek we'll pause to observe the magnificent valley filled up with beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. You'll then continue uphill for another 90 minutes and prepare to ascend a gigantic terminal moraine. At the top, you'll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 meters above sea level, the three granite spires appear to burst dramatically out of the rocky landscape, while at their base a green-blue lake provides a counterpoint of stillness. Here, you can have lunch and take pictures before beginning your descent down the same path and to our mountain lodge: Refugio Torre Central.
DAY 3: TORRE CENTRAL --> LOS CUERNOS
11Km (7 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-250m (+/-850ft) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
After breakfast , you take the trail towards Los Cuernos (The Horns), spectacular peaks of granite and metamorphic rocks. Compared to the steep ascends of the previous day, this is an easy-going trail with great views of the mountains and the lakes with few ascents and descents. Around midday you might stop for a picnic next to the Lake Nordenskjöld and then continue to Refugio Los Cuernos where you will stay for your second night.
DAY 4: LOS CUERNOS --> PAINE GRANDE
16Km (9 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-350m (+/-4500ft) - Hiking Time: 6-7 hrs
After early breakfast you start your hike up to the French Valley; it's 2,5 hours walk from Refugio Los Cuernos to the Italian Campsite where you can leave your backpacks and continue to the French Plateau which is going to be a short detour that will lead you to one of the most spectacular views of the W circuit : a 360° view of the hanging glacier of Paine Grande and its numerous avalanches, the granitic peaks of Espada, Hoja, Mascara and Cuerno Norte and the beautiful lake Nordenskjöold and Pehoe standing towards the South. After having your lunch break on the lookout you walk back to Italian campsite to pick up your backpacks and continue to the Refugio Paine Grande for a couple of hours of easy walk.
DAY 5: HIKE TO GREY LOOKOUT --> FAUNA ENCOUNTER --> PUERTO NATALES
10Km (6,5 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-250m (+/-850ft) - Hiking Time: 4 hrs
During your last day in the park you start early to hike up to the Grey Valley. After 2 hrs walking you'll reach Grey lake and Glacier lookout from where the view of the Icefield is just incredible; that 's your point of return for the morning since you'll have to retrace your steps back to Paine Grande in order to get on the catamaran which will lead you across Pehoe lake to reach Pudeto. Here your guide will be waiting to take you across the park in search of wildlife on a photo-safari half-day tour during where you can have a 2-hour hike in a less known area of Torres del Paine before making your way back to Puerto Natales for the evening.
Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
4 Nights Lodging in Mountain Huts
All Meals indicated in the program except for Breakfast on Day 1 and Dinner on Day 5
Private Transportation Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine NP Round Trip
Catamaran Across Pehoe Lake
2-Day Private Guiding Service (Day 1 and Day 5)
Briefing for the W Circuit Trek
Any Additional Nights
Travel Insurance (Air/Ground Evacuation Costs)
Alcoholic and Non -Alcoholic Drinks Except the ones Included in the Menus
SEASON 2019/2020 (Valid until April 2020)
1 Member ---- USD p.p.
2 Members ---- USD p.p.
3 or More ---- USD p.p.
Cass and James - October 2019
"We engaged the services of Middle Earth Patagonia Expeditions to book the logistics of our multi-day hiking in Patagonia. Pelin worked with us every step of the way, providing knowledge, options and recommendations to ensure our itinerary worked perfectly within our timeframe, and to maximise every detail we could squeeze out of our time in this stunning part of the world. We wanted to walk the W trail as a self guided trip and Pelin took care of every detail for us - not just the meals and accomodation but also park passes, passport requirements, and the flexibility to be picked up and dropped by the driver at different locations so we didn’t need to backtrack. Pelin also suggested and guided a warm up walk with great overviews of the park, taking us on side trips to see wildlife and waterfalls, packing picnic lunches on our way to and from the park and even recommending local estancias to stay at, cafes in Puerto Natales for great coffee and providing us with our own walking map for the W.
More importantly though, rather than just ticking boxes and going through the motions to keep customers happy, Pelin has an immense knowledge of the area she has made her home, and a huge passion to share it. Her knowledge shared on the flora, the geology, the clouds, the fauna, local history as well as the mountains and lakes is incredible. We were invited to feel like we were really a part of the area with an inside local’s view as opposed to simply being tourists enjoying the scenery.
Thank you Pelin, we can’t wait to visit your beautiful backyard with you again soon."
The Region: Torres del Paine National Park
Patagonia is mainly shaped by three factors: tectonic forces, the Icefields and the Wind. The Andean Cordillera is the longest mountain range in the wolrd, stretching from Colombia to Chile for about 8000km; it represents the backbone of South America and shapes the landscape throughout the sub-continent, particularly in the southernmost part of it. The predominant western winds (the Westerlies) carry moisture from the Pacific ocean and as they slam into the Chilean coast the mountains force moisture-laden air up, drenching the western side of the range in rain and burying the summits in snow. Patagonia's extensive network of glaciers is thus built and shaped by the wind, and the delicate balance of glacial ice in these temperate latitude depends on the strength and constancy of the Westerlies. Towards the East lies instead a flat and drier landscape, the Patagonian Steppe or Pampa, dominated by yellow-cushioned bushes and grasses and where average rainfall is almost as equal as to a desert-like environment. TorreS del Paine National Park lies right in the middle of this scenario, thus its importance as a special ecosystem and a worldwide recognized Biosphere Reserve; from one side the Southern Patagonian Icefield and from another the grassy Steppe, right in the middle the craggy granite peaks of the Paine Massif that we will discover during our trekking programs.
Trekking in Torres del Paine
Trekking in Torres del Paine is an outdoor activity suitable for every kind of person with good phisical conditions who is willing to explore on foot the beauty of the best National Park in Chile. On average you are going to walk between 6 to 8 hours a day, covering a distance of roughly 15 to 22km (9 to 13 miles daily). Elevation gain in Torres del Paine is not an issue since the trails run along valleys and lake sides with small to average elevation gains; as well as altitude is not a concern, since the highest point we are going to reach during this 5-day trekking circuit is located at 900m (barely 1800 feet).
You will be hiking with our daypack in which we will bring our lunch box, extra layers for rain and cold, a water flask and our camera. Water is plentiful inside the park and drinkable since no wild animals roam around the trail we will hike, although for those who are use to purifying tablets you can carry them with you!
Perhaps the most challenging element is going to be the wind, this area of South America is very famous for its strong wind gusts which sometimes can reach up to 100km/h (60 mph). Get ready to feel alive among the natural elements that shape Patagonia!
Torres del Paine Refugios
During the trekking journey the accomodations inside Torre del Paine National Park will be provided in comfortable Mountain Lodges (Refugios) in which a spacious and cozy common area with kitchen and dining room is use for breakfast and dinner, while bed rooms are located in a different wing of the building. Bedrooms normally have 3 to 4 bunk beds (thus 6 to 8 people sharing bedroom) and common bathrooms with lavatories and hot showers.
Breakfast will be served inside the mountain lodge, with hot bevarages, cereals, bread, butter, jam, fruit, juice and scrumbled eggs. We'll then be provided with a box lunch to carry every day in which we find a sandwich, cereal bars, choccolate and fruit. Dinner normally starts with a soup of veggie cream, main dish with chicken, meat or fish with rice and veggies. Vegetarian and Vegan options are available.