Torres del Paine W Trek
Hike the Finest Trails in Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine W Trek is a non-technical trekking connecting the best-of-the-best of Patagonia Torre del Paine National Park. On this 5-day trekking and lodging adventure, you will hike more than 60 km (37 miles) along one of the world's classic trails; continually accompanied by granite mountains, countless glacier-fed lakes, untamed weather and spectacular views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Starting with a glimpse of the iconic Three-Tower which give the Park's name, we will move to a less explore area following Nordenskjold Lake till reaching Los Cuernos Mountain Hut and Cabins. From here we will slightly ascend through a beech forest to explore the amphitheater of the magical French Valley before continuing towards West alongside Skottsberg Lake to reach Paine Grande before tackling our last stretch of the W, the 7 miles to Grey Refuge and the impressive ice-walls of Grey Glacier. We call it the "Bluest Grey Ever", and you will understand why during your last farewell trip across Grey Lake on this marvellous trip to Patagonia!
The 3 Granitic Spires which give the Park's Name
A glimpse of the Ascencio Valley from the Windy Pass
Monstrous-horn-shape mountains, Los Cuernos are among the most iconic peaks of the Park
The 3 Granitic Spires which give the Park's Name
DAY 1: PUERTO NATALES --> BASE TORRES
22Km (13,5 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-770m (+/-2550ft) - Hiking Time: 7-8 hrs
Departing Puerto Natales early in the morning we travel to Torres del Paine National Park via unpaved accompanied by jumping guanacos, elusive grey foxes and black-necked swans. Our first challenge is the ascent to 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. We'll then continue uphill for another 90 minutes and prepare to ascend a gigantic terminal moraine. At the top, we'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, we'll have lunch and take pictures before beginning our descent down the same path and to our mountain lodge: Refugio Torre Central.
DAY 2: TORRE CENTRAL --> LOS CUERNOS
11Km (7 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-250m (+/-850ft) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
After breakfast , we 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 we stop for a picnic next to the Lake Nordenskjöld and we continue to Refugio Los Cuernos where we stay overnight in one of the Private Cabins (with share bathrooms).
DAY 3: LOS CUERNOS --> PAINE GRANDE
16Km (9 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-350m (+/-4500ft) - Hiking Time: 6-7 hrs
After early breakfast we start our hike up to the French Valley; it's 2,5 hours walk from Refugio Los Cuernos to the Italian Campsite where we can leave our backpacks and continue to the French Plateau which is going to be a short detour that will lead us 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 our lunch break on the lookout we walk back to Italian campsite to pick up our backpacks and we continue to the Refugio Paine Grande for a couple of hours of easy walk.
DAY 4: PAINE GRANDE --> GREY
11Km (7 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-250m (+/-850ft) - Hiking Time: 3,5-4 hrs
On our fourth day in the park we start to hike up to the Grey Valley. After 3,5 hrs walking we arrive to Refugio Grey and we keep walking to the Grey lookout where you can see the eastern face of the Grey Glacier. Relax and overnight stay at Refugio Grey.
DAY 5: GREY GLACIER --> PUERTO NATALES
10Km (6,5 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-200m (+/-600ft) - Hiking Time: 3,5-4 hrs
Day of optional activities. Early morning if weather permits we can enjoy kayaking in Grey lake near icebergs; as an alternative we can proceed towards Campamento Paso going across two hanging bridges to admire Grey Glacier from another perspective. The hike might last a couple of hours each way whereas kayaking will be over around midday. At 2pm we will take our boat from Refugio Grey to visit the Grey Glacier and after 2.5hrs journey we will disembark at Playa Grey where we will take our private transfer back to Puerto Natales.
Overnight in Puerto Natales.
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 to Visit Grey Glacier and Cross Grey Lake
Certified Guide of Torres del Paine National Park
Any Additional Nights
Travel Insurance (Air/Ground Evacuation Costs)
Alcoholic and Non -Alcoholic Drinks Except the ones Included in the Menus
Kayak Activity on Day 5
Gratuities for the Guide
SEASON 2019/2020 (Valid until April 2020)
2 Members 1990 USD p.p.
3 Members 1650 USD p.p.
4-8 Members 1450 USD p.p.
Martin, Karen and Howard - January 2020
"Our trip with Pelin was even better than we'd hoped, which is really saying something, as she came so highly recommended by friends that it seemed impossible that she would exceed such glowing reviews. Pelin exceeded all our expectations, and did so much more. She made the trip easy by handling all the logistics, she made it much more rewarding through her knowledge of the trek and her obvious love of Patagonia, and she made it fun through her wit and conversational breadth. If you enjoy learning about the landscape as move through it, the people who live and work in Patagonia, and larger socioeconomic events impacting the region, you'll love trekking with Pelin. If you have equipment issues, need to get something taken care of at one of the lodges, or just want a guide who can help you get a beautiful private cabin in a stunning location, you'll appreciate Pelin's skill, savvy, and connections. All I can say, in closing, is that we look forward to working with Pelin the next time we head to Patagonia and will continue to recommend her to friends and colleagues who are headed to that beautiful part of the world."
Martin, Karen and Howard
DC, United States
If you enjoy learning about the landscape as move through it, the people who live and work in Patagonia, and larger socioeconomic events impacting the region, you'll love trekking with Pelin.
Nedret and Zeki - March 2019
We had fallen in love with Patagonia, the magical and unique place on earth, during our three day exploratory visit in 2017. We decided that we would visit there again to explore more this magical place. This was our dream. Our dream was materialized when we were hooked with Pelin in 2019! Pelin is an amazing organizer and has deep knowledge about the area, its geology (my husband is geologist, he was very impressed by her knowledge!), and she is in love with Patagonia. You can observe this once she starts pouring her knowledge onto you with a great passion and love from her heart. I would never forget the surprise birthday cake she had for me at Los Cuernos, mesmerizing beautiful place, which made me cry. She is such a caring person, here is an example for that: we are coffee lovers, she prepared coffee for us every morning which added another layer to our amazing adventure. In summary, our 7 day magical visit to Patagonia has been such a memorable trip because of Pelin’s outstanding guidance in every aspect of our trip. This was the trip that led us to plan on spending a few months in this part of the world on our retirement. Do not hesitate to visit this place once you get a chance. If Pelin is your guide you are in good hands. She is caring and knowledgeable individual, and more importantly very experience guide in Patagonia.
Nedret and Zeki
Alabama, United States
I would never forget the surprise birthday cake she had for me at Los Cuernos, mesmerizing beautiful place, which made me cry.
She is very experience guide in Patagonia
Lynda, Paul and Kate - January 2018
We spent a week trekking with Pelin on the W circuit in the heart of Patagonian heaven. From the moment we contacted her to today, Pelin has been a wonderful and passionate source of information. Organized, creative and filled with a love for this land (its history, geology, and its ways), Pelin was an outstanding guide. We were three on the hike: my husband, my 16 year old daughter and I. From the moment we started Pelin paced us perfectly, accommodating my husband, who didn’t feel the need or desire to go ahead for fear he may miss out on some interesting piece of information Pelin had to share about the topography or the history of the area. She pushed my daughter and I but in a way that was both accessible and realistic. She anticipated needs for breaks and pushed when she knew it was best to get through either weather or terrain challenges.
Because we were travelling from Canada and did not want to carry too much gear, we opted for the Refugios which were great (thanks to Pelin who booked all of the places in advance for us and made sure we stayed in her favourite places). Pelin held my hand through the details and the worries and within the first moments of the hike, I knew it would be smooth, challenging but vastly rewarding.
Pelin was recommended to us by another family and we have since recommended her to other friends. She is a deeply intelligent and passionate woman and the depth of her experience with the mountains in this part of the world is founded on awe and respect. We are proud to call her our friend. We will definitely go back!
Lynda, Paul, Kate
Pelin held my hand through the details and the worries and within the first moments of the hike, I knew it would be smooth, challenging but vastly rewarding.
The Region: Torres del Paine National Park
Trekking the w-circuit in Torres del Paine
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. Torre 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 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 we 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).
We 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). This is something you can only experience in Patagonia.
Torres del Paine Refugios
During the trekking journey the accomodations inside Torres 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.