Patagonia Torres del Paine W Trek

EcoCamp Patagonia Stay
Trip Length: 7 Days
Group Size: 1-12
Difficulty
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Are you ready to tackle the incomparable W trek? It's one of the world's best adventures, taking you deep into beautiful Torres del Paine National Park.

The visually stunning W Trek highlights the best of Torres del Paine including Grey Glacier, French Valley and the Tower base - a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Team up with our highly experienced and knowledgeable guides and head off on one of the most famous treks in the world. Spend your evenings at cozy refugios and  EcoCamp Patagonia, an award-winning hotel that combines revolutionary eco-living with delicious food, yoga and great company.

 

Highlights

Highlights

  • Trek on some of Patagonia’s best trails and pass by picturesque landscapes, such as the French Valley or base of the Paine Towers.
  • Take a relaxing boat ride to Grey Glacier, one of the park’s top attractions. 
  • Spend some of your nights at EcoCamp Patagonia, the world’s first geodesic dome hotel. It’s a chance to snack on tasty food made from local ingredients, mingle with new friends from around the world and sleep in your own cozy eco-dome.
  • Enjoy the trek by only carrying your daypack while our porters take your backpack with your personal belongings.

Itinerary

Day 1: The Patagonian Adventure Starts

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Let’s begin the trip of a lifetime! We’ll start with a morning pick-up from your hotel or the airport in Punta Arenas and drive to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Depending on where you are coming from, you could also choose to start your trip from El Calafate (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick-up and drop-off schedule). On the way to EcoCamp, we’ll make a stop in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of Last Hope Sound (Ultima Esperanza) where we can enjoy a hearty lunch of local food. This scenic journey ends with our arrival at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park with a prime view of the majestic Paine Towers.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 2: Los Cuernos Trek

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

We’ll dive into our Patagonian adventure with a pleasant walk along the Cuernos Trail which leads  to the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this warm-up walk, we will have the opportunity to admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna and take in the views of the horn-like peaks of slate that sit atop the gray granite of the Paine Massif. The trek may end at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain guesthouse located on the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. Or it will end at Domo el Francés, located between Cuernos and Italiano camping sites, with an amazing view of Nordenskjöld Lake. The evening is at your leisure.

Overnight at Refugio Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability)

Day 3: The Paine Massif's Heart: Valle Frances

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Get your boots ready for today’s challenging, yet rewarding, trek. After breakfast at Refugio Los Cuernos, we'll begin hiking along a steep trail leading into the very heart of the Paine Massif - the famed French Valley. How far we’ll go depends on our group's trekking rhythm. 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 tasty picnic and relax for a while. The day's trek will end with a descent through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest to Refugio Paine Grande.
Please note: An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is also available.

Overnight at Refugio Paine Grande

Day 4: Glacier Grey

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Today we will hike from the Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern side of Lake Grey. We will feast on a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the huge, crystalline facade of Glacier Grey. From the southern end of Glacier Grey, we will transfer to EcoCamp. Due to the temperamental weather of the region, boat trips across the lake may occasionally be canceled or if the required minimum of 15 passengers is not reached. If this is the case, we will trek up to the sightseeing point to enjoy wonderful, panoramic views of Grey Glacier instead. Afterward, it is time to return on foot to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to the dock, where we will be picked up and driven to EcoCamp.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 5: 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.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 6: Eastern Lakes

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

On the sixth day, we'll opt for a less strenuous trail in order to counter our exhausting efforts of the previous day. After breakfast, we will make a leisurely car journey towards Laguna Azul, home to many wild guanacos and ñandús. We will pause occasionally to admire the views of the Patagonian steppe and the Towers from its many perspectives. At Laguna Azul, we will hike to the lookout point where we will be treated to a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and the granite towers. After lunch, we will drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. As we hike northbound, we will spot an impressive range of Patagonian fauna on the vast plains, and maybe even the occasional puma print! We will pass the charming Goic lagoon and, after approximately 5 km of relaxed walking, we will reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we will be picked up and driven back to Ecocamp to celebrate with a farewell dinner.

*Please note: if there are more than 6 travelers in the group, there is an option to split into two groups, with one group (or the whole group if everybody's in the mood!) cycling to Laguna Azul!

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 7: 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. If you are heading to Argentina, you can  board an early morning vehicle to the border to continue the journey to El Calafate.

Accommodation

Some Nights at EcoCamp Patagonia

Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile with views of the majestic granite Paine Towers. It was the first geodesic dome hotel in the world, offering an upscale camp at the domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants. 

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

Suite Dome EcoCamp Patagonia 1920x1281Suite 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.

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

Suite Loft  (4)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.

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

Superior Dome InteriorSpacious, 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

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

Standard Dome TwinEcoCamp 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.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will not be involved in the Standard Dome sharing option this season. All standard domes will be reserved for individual travelers or travelers from the same reservation group.

Some Nights at Guesthouses/Refugios

Typical mountain guesthouses or “refugios” have rooms for 4-6 people. Beds are single bunks (sleeping bags and polar fleece liners are provided) while bathrooms are also shared and with hot water. The refugios are heated and have a very comfortable dining area where plentiful meals are served. If refugios are unavailable, alternative accommodation will be provided in tents with prior notice.

One Night at Domos El Francés

These domes have an amazing view of Nordenskjöld Lake, the Horns (Los Cuernos) and the Paine Grande Mountains. They come with a private bathroom for 8 people each (shared bathroom and dome). Accommodation is in single beds or bunk beds; sleeping bag/polar fleece liner is provided.

Included

Included

  • All ground transport - private and domestic - as indicated in the itinerary
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate <> Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate
  • Boat crossing on Grey Lake
  • 4 nights accommodation in EcoCamp
  • 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande (depending on availability)
  • 1 night in Refugio Los Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability)
  • Park fees for Torres del Paine National Park
  • One expert English speaking trekking guide
  • Sleeping bag for refugios if needed
  • Transportation for your luggage within the park (while trekking you will carry just your day pack)
  • Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches/Box Lunches, 6 Dinners

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 refugios are unavailable, alternative accommodation will be provided in tents or domes with prior notice.
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. (Please note: If you are traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will only be able to stay in a dome alone or  with people from you reservation party).
Accommodation in the refugio will be provided either in dormitories or in comfortable tents or domes, including mat, sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner; our team will set up and dismantle all this. The campsite provides satisfactory bathroom facilities. Meals will be served inside the refugio.
Please note: During Shoulder and Low Season (October and April) the Towers Trek excursion might be canceled due to weather conditions and safety concerns.
 

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

Every Monday from October to April.

Starting / finishing point

This trip starts on Monday and finishes on Sunday 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 from both Chile and Argentina.

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 77kms /48,5mi. On the map, in the itinerary section, click on the walking person icon for daily information.   

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.

Group size guiding staff

  • 9 travelers is the most typical group size, plus guiding staff.
  • Maximum 12 clients.
  • Guide to passenger ratio: 1:6

Children policy

Those aged 13 years or older are welcome and are considered adults.

Children between 10 and 12 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)
  • Trekking or hiking boots
  • Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet
  • Waterproof jacket
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Shorts or comfortable loose pants
  • Sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm, and screen) and
  • 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. Our base prices are in Chilean Pesos (CLP), but we charge prices in USD based on the exchange rate valid on the day of payment.

Destinations | Chile

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