Patagonia Torres del Paine W Trek - Brush Variant

7-day variation for the famous Patagonia W Trek tour

Trip Length: 7 Days
Group Size: 2-12
Difficulty
From:
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Walk from the fjords into the heart of the Torres del Paine massif and explore an alternative route for the Patagonia W trek tour. 

You will experience the complete process of ancient explorers coming from the sea to the visually stunning highlights of the Torres del Paine W Trek, including the Grey Glacier, French Valley and the Towers Base, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enter the park via the Last Hope Sound, then venture into remote trails crossing through the park and spend your evenings at the campsite areas in connection with nature to finish at EcoCamp Patagonia. This award-winning sustainable hotel combines revolutionary eco-living with delicious food, yoga and great company.

Patagonia W trek Brush variant: explore an off-the-beaten path in Torres del Paine National Park.

 

Highlights

Highlights

  • Visit two of the most beautiful National Parks in Chile.
  • Boat ride to Balmaceda Glacier.
  • Trek through an amazing Nothofagus forest.
  • Grey Lake navigation.
  • Trek the marvellous French Valley.
  • Take in the views of Los Cuernos.
  • Challenge yourself with the Towers Base trek.
  • Stay at award-winning EcoCamp Patagonia.
  • Recommended trek for experienced hikers.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Friday): Sailing into Torres Del Paine and Brush Lake

Bernardo O'Higgins & Torres del Paine National Parks, Chile

The trip begins with a morning pickup at 7AM from your hotel in Puerto Natales*. We will take a short, scenic drive to the port. Once arriving, we’ll board a boat to travel to the Serrano and Balmaceda glaciers, where we will marvel at the incredible beauty of Patagonia’s icy giants.  After we are dropped off at the Puerto Toro dock, it’ll be time to begin our  W trek!. 

We’ll start with a 5 to 6 hour walk  through the mystical Nothofagus forest, where we may encounter diverse flora and fauna in this wet, rainy environment. We’ll finish off the day with an unbelievable panoramic view Bruhs Lake and the Torres del Paine Massif.

Upon arrival to Brush Lake, we will be picked up in a boat to be taken towards the front shore of the lake, then we will take a short walk (about 150 m. / 0.09 mi.) and then arrive to our accommodation for the night at the Brush Lake Campsite, where we will have a cozy dinner and a well deserved rest. Accommodation will be in small cabins and/or shared domes, including sleeping bag and mat.

*This program begins early in the morning at Puerto Natales, therefore, you will need to arrive the day before (Thursday) in order to catch the navigation to enter the Park on Day 1 (Friday) morning. If you arrive in Punta Arenas the day before, you might join our regular transfer to Puerto Natales as long as your schedule fits our Transfer Schedule. For more information please check the "Facts" section.

Please ask your Travel Experience Designer for more assistance if needed.

Please Note: In case the navigation on Day 1 gets cancelled (usually due to weather  conditions), an alternative itinerary will be provided.

  • Hiking Distance: 14 km./8.6 mi.

  • Hiking Time: 6 hrs.

  • Max. Altitude: 232 m./761 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 230 m. / 755 ft.

Overnight at the Brush Lake Domes Campsite.

Day 2 (Saturday): From Brush Lake to Villa Serrano & Grey Lake

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

After enjoying a spectacular night at Brush Lake's Domes, we will be dropped off by boat at the shores on the other side of the lake to continue our way passing through Jote Lake and ascending until we reach the Río Serrano sector, where a van will be waiting for us that will take us to the cozy Lago Grey Hotel to enjoy a delicious dinner and rest. If we stay at Pampa Lodge or another hotel in the Serrano sector, the walk will conclude there and the next day we will be transferred in the van to the Grey Lake sector to embark on the navigation to the Grey trail on the W trek.

  • Hiking Distance: 13 km./8 mi.

  • Hiking Time: 6-7 hrs.

  • Max. Altitude: 268 m./879 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 254 m. / 833 ft.

Overnight at Pampa Lodge or Hotel Lago Grey, Standard Room, Torres del Paine National Park.

Day 3 (Sunday): Grey Navigation & Hike to Paine Grande

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Today we will take the 9 AM navigation to Refugio Grey, from where we will hike toward a lookout to take in the views of the immense Grey Glacier and then we’ll walk along the shores of Grey Lake to the northern side of Lake Pehoe. The day's trek will end with a soft climb through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest to Paine Grande´s Campsite.

*Due to weather conditions, the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be canceled, if this is the case, the alternative is to hike Las Carretas trail to Paine Grande (17 Km. / 10.6 Mi.).

  • Hiking Distance: 11.5 km./7 mi.

  • Hiking Time: 5 hrs. (40 min. by boat).

  • Max. Altitude: 302 m./990 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 243 m./737 ft.

Overnight at the Campsite in Paine Grande.

Day 4 (Monday): The Paine Massif's Heart: Valle Francés

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

After breakfast at Paine Grande, we will begin the challenging trek along a steep trail leading into the very heart of the Paine Massif - the famed French Valley. A swifter walk will lead us to the French River’s hanging bridge, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif. We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley's geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax for a while. Then we will finally start our hike back to Los Cuernos or Francés campsite, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Please note: An optional hike to Británico Lookout is available if the weather and physical conditions of the group are optimal for this activity, which consists of an aditional 6,8 Km. / 4,2 Mi. of hiking distance.

  • Hiking Distance: 26.7 km./16.5 mi. (Including Británico Lookout).

  • Hiking Time: 8 hrs.

  • Max. Altitude: 800 m./2624 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 753 m. / 2470 ft.

Overnight at the Campsite in Francés or Los Cuernos, Torres del Paine National Park.

Day 5 (Tuesday): Los Cuernos Trek.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

Once we have finished breakfast, we will continue our journey to Ecocamp Patagonia along the Cuernos trail, which will take us along the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. Today's walk is less strenuous yet richer in the diversity of terrain that we will cover. It will, therefore, be the perfect opportunity to take in the park’s charming flora and fauna and learn more about the vast variety of species along the way. We will pause throughout the walk-in and eat our box lunch, rest our legs, and admire the stunning surroundings. The trek ends as we arrive at Ecocamp where we will enjoy a hearty dinner and prepare for tomorrow's big challenge.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 km./7.5 mi.

  • Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hrs.

  • Max. Altitude: 247 m./810 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 181 m. / 594 ft.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia.

Day 6 (Wednesday): The Big Challenge: Trek to the Towers Base

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Today is the big day -- the walk to the base of the famous Paine Towers. We will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests, and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge is the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders that lead to that iconic base of the Towers, the three gigantic granite monoliths that are the remains of a great cirque sheared away by glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view,we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp for a well-deserved dinner and some tasty Chilean wine.

  • Hiking Distance: 22 km./13.6 mi.

  • Hiking Time: 10 hrs.

  • Max. Altitude: 914 m./3000 ft.

  • Elevation gain: 796 m. / 2611 ft.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia.

Day 7 (Thursday): Adiós Torres del Paine!

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

On to the next adventure! Today we will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch an evening flight onwards. Alternatively, you can ask for a drop off in Puerto Natales or board a bus to El Calafate.

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Accommodation

Brush Lake Domes Camping (Night 1)

The campsite area for this day will consist on small cabins and domes with beds (to use with sleeping bags) for 2 people, providing also a common dome area to have dinner that night and enjoy disconnection.

This campsite at Brush lake has dry toilets and showers with cold water.

domos nunatak nunatak domo comedor nunatak cabaña

Pampa Lodge or Hotel Lago Grey Hotel (Night 2)

For the second evening of your adventure and according to availability, you will stay at either Pampa Lodge, nestled in the scenic Río Serrano region, or Hotel Lago Grey, situated along the tranquil shores of Grey Lake. Both accommodations promise a peaceful night's sleep. If you choose Pampa Lodge, your transfer to Grey Lake will take place on the morning of day 3, whilst if you stay at Hotel Lago Grey, transportation will be provided from the Serrano sector to Hotel Lago Grey on day 2.

Pampa Lodge

Hotel Lago Grey

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Campsite at Paine Grande

Accommodation in tents for 2 people will be provided in the corresponding shelter facilities. The shelters are heated and have a very comfortable feeding area where abundant meals are served. Alternatively, guest houses or lodges have rooms for 4 to 6 people. The beds are single bunk beds (sleeping bags and fleece blankets are provided) while the bathrooms are also shared and have hot water.

Optional upgrade to the shared dormitories inside Refugios are available upon request, please ask to your Travel Experience Designer for more information.

Paine Grande Campsite & Refugio

Paine-Grande-_-FACHADA-3 PAT025 _ Torres del Paine _ Paine Grande Camp & Refuge-1

Paine-Grande-_-COMEDOR-1 Paine-Grande-_-BUFFET-2

Paine Grande's Shared Dormitories

An optional upgrade to the shared dormitories inside Refugio Paine Grande can be requested. Please review availability and prices with your Travel Experience Designer.

Paine-Grande-_-HABITACION-1 Paine-Grande-_-HABITACION-2

Campsite at Los Cuernos or El Francés

Depending on the itinerary, guests will have the opportunity to camp at either the picturesque El Francés or Los Cuernos Sector during their stay. Both locations offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and are perfect for immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Torres del Paine National Park.

Optional upgrade to the shared dormitories inside Refugios are available upon request, please ask to your Travel Experience Designer for more information.

Los Cuernos Campsite & Refugio

exterior-refugio-cuernos 2-camping-cuernos ref cuernos interior

Shared dormitories in Refugio Los Cuernos

Refugio Cuernos habitacion R cuernos 2

Francés Campsite & Refugio

vista-aerea-frances-1 frances carpa full equipo tribu

Domo Frances Comedor 1

Shared dormitories at Domes in Refugio Francés

Domo Frances Interior 3 Domo Frances Interior 2 domo-frances-4

EcoCamp Patagonia (Nights 5 & 6)

Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, overlooking the majestic Granite Towers. It was the first sustainable lodge south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian vastness. EcoCamp offers a dome camp inspired by the region's ancient nomadic inhabitants.

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome
(Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)

Suite domes were designed to further our goal of providing comfort in a natural setting with minimal environmental impact, and also maintain the hotel’s familiar and cozy vibe. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a wood stove and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet.

Suite Dome at EcoCamp

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome Loft
(2 floors, Heating & Private bathroom, 37m²/398ft²)

Suite dome lofts are two-storey domes which fit up to four people and have comfortable double or twin beds both up and downstairs. These domes, ideal for families or groups of friends, come with a wood stove, a private terrace and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet.

Suite Dome Loft at EcoCamp

EcoCamp Patagonia Superior Dome
(Heating & Private bathroom, 23m²/250ft²)

Spacious, comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, Superior Domes are the optimum choice for trekkers wanting that bit more space and comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. Each Superior Dome has comfortable queen-size or twin beds, a propane heater, skylight windows and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet.

Superior Dome at EcoCamp

EcoCamp Patagonia Standard Dome
(Shared bathroom, 10m²/108ft²)

EcoCamp Standard domes were the world's first lodge accommodation in geodesic shape. They are resistant to the strong Patagonian winds, and come equipped with two single beds (doubles on request), cozy fleece blankets and feather quilts. There are windows in the ceiling for stargazing. Standard domes include shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

Standard Domes at EcoCamp

 

Included

Included

  • All ground transport - private and domestic - as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate <> Natales if starting*/finishing in Calafate (This includes bus tickets and transportation between the bus terminal and your hotel). *Starting in El Calafate the day before your trip starts.
  • Boat trip to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers (One Way boat ride to sail into Torres del Paine & Serrano/Brush).
  • Ground Transport from Villa Serrano to Hotel Lago Grey.
  • Boat crossing on Grey Lake please check day 3 of the itinerary.
  • Sleeping bag & mat.
  • Tent (includes tent pitching).
  • Porters.
  • 1 night camping at the Brush Lake Domes.
  • 1 night accommodation at Pampa Lodge or Hotel Lago Grey.
  • 1 night in Camping Paine Grande.
  • 1 night in Cuernos or Francés Campsite.
  • 2 nights at EcoCamp Patagonia.
  • Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 7 Box Lunches, 6 Dinners.

Not included

  • Flight tickets.
  • Insurance (appropriate insurance is mandatory).
  • Voluntary tipping to guides and staff.
  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bring cash to buy extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Personal items.

Facts

Departures

Departures on Fridays, from November to March.

Departures require a minimum of 2 participants. If a given departure isn't available, you will be put on a waiting list.

Starting / finishing point

This trip starts on Friday and finishes on Thursday with pickups and drop-offs in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or El Calafate. Please visit our Weekly Transfer Board for details of EcoCamp pick up and drop off times. (Remember that you will need to be in Puerto Natales before the first day of the program in order to board the navigation of Day 1 at 7 am)*.

*This program begins early in the morning at Puerto Natales, therefore, you will need to arrive the day before (Thursday) in order to catch the navigation to enter the Park on Day 1 (Friday) morning. If you arrive in Punta Arenas the day before, you might join our regular transfer to Puerto Natales as long as your schedule fits our Transfer Schedule.

Please ask your Travel Experience Designer for more assistance if needed.

Physical demands

This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. During this trek you will walk a total of 98 kms /60,8mi.

To enjoy this trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of conditioning well before departure.

Important notes

During Low and Shoulder Season (October and April), the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be canceled, if this is the case we will offer you a comparable alternative within the park.
 
If you choose a Standard Dome and you are traveling alone, you can share the dome with another person of the same gender and pay the double base price. If you want the dome to yourself, you need to pay a Single Supplement.
 
The campsites in Paine Grande, Cuernos & Francés provide satisfactory bathroom facilities. Meals will be served inside the refugio.
 

Group size guiding staff

  • 9 travelers is the most typical group size, plus guiding staff.
  • Maximum 24 clients.
  • Guide to passenger ratio: 1:6.

Children policy

Those aged 14 years or older are welcome and are considered adults.

Children between 10 and 13 might be accepted in this program if their legal guardian sends a formal letter stating that the child is prepared for such an intense trekking trip and authorizes us to hire a private guide in case the child cannot perform well during the trek.

Children under 10 years of age cannot participate in this trip.

This trip doesn’t offer a special discount for children.

Transport

In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia transport is in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 people. Pick up/ off times will be confirmed locally by our operations team. An exclusive toll-free emergency number will be available for anyone needing additional support while they are in Chile.

Weather

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the winds that circle the Antarctic landmass, making the weather hard to predict. Fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning; even in summer (December to March), you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. Summer’s average temperature is 11ºC (52ºF), ranging between 2 to 24ºC (35 to 75ºF).

What you need to bring

Passengers need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once. We recommend the following:

  • A day backpack (30 liters - to carry a camera, glasses, raincoat, etc).
  • Gaiters (long ones for muddy terrain).
  • Sandals for river/lake crossing.
  • Trekking or hiking boots.
  • Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Comfortable hiking socks for warm and cold weather.
  • Fleece jacket or sweater.
  • Shorts or comfortable loose pants.
  • Sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm, and screen).
  • Optional Capilene underwear for the upper and lower body.
  • Cash to buy extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park.
 

Itinerary modifications

The weather in Patagonia can be difficult to plan around at times. We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based upon these safety/weather considerations.

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We are a Chilean owned adventure tour operator, based in Santiago de Chile, operating adventure tours in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.

Destinations | Chile

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