Explore the unforgettable landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park while hiking the “W” route, as it weaves in-between the craggy mountains of the park. Discover Patagonia’s varied plant and wildlife on this 8 Day Torres del Paine “W” Trek that is perfect for physically-active travelers who seeks challenging hikes and backdrops of rock spires, gleaming glaciers, luminous lakes and glaciers while exploring Las Torres, Los Cuernos, Valle Frances and the infamous Grey Glacier.
Arrival in Santiago
Your first day begins in Santiago, the capital and largest city in Chile. Rich with history the downtown core is of 19th century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic buildings. After an airport transfer to your hotel, you can spend the day exploring the history of this cultural capital. Overnight in Santiago (Hotel Plaza San Francisco).
Fly to Punta Arenas Airport - Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park
It is ideal to get an early morning flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas as it gives you the opportunity to relish panoramic vistas of the Patagonian Ice Fields. On arrival, a private transfer service will transport you to Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way, you can view the Tierra del Fuego Island and the Magellan Strait. This 5-hour drive will allow you to observe huge estancias (ranches) and open pampas and view some of the most unique animals. You will also pass through Puerto Natales – a mountain-fringed fishing town, on the Sound of Last Hope. Your drive will take you through unpaved roads to the Torres Del Paine National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to view and photograph exotic birds, as you pass through lagoons filled with black-neck swans and Chilean flamencos. (L-D) (Overnight at Refugio Las Torres)
Round-trip Hike to Las Torres Lookout
Your second day begins with a trek to the Towers base, following the trail of the Ascencio River towards the Ascencio Valley. Your uphill hour-long hike will offer stunning valley views fringed with unparalleled beech forests, waterfalls and glaciers. We will then climb up to a huge moraine terminal with a 2,952 foot high lookout; this outstanding view is complemented with lunch. The descent begins along the same path back to the hut. This 11 mile round-trip hike takes roughly 7-8 hours. (B-BL-D) (Overnight at Refugio Las Torres)
Hike to Los Cuernos Lookout
Your early morning start will enable you to enjoy a spectacular dawn infused with exciting oranges and pinks (weather permitting). On this trail, you may see eagles hunting small rodents and the possibility of spotting an Andean condor are good. The well-marked trail ascends to around 656 feet from the Almirante Nieto Mountain base which stands at 8,858 feet above sea level. You will cross the Bader River to Refugio Los Cuernos. This 10.5 mile hike takes approximately 6 hours. (B-BL-D) (Overnight at Refugio Los Cuernos).
*Option: upgrade to a two-bed private cabin with shared bathroom and free hot tub access for $90 per cabin.
Hike to Pehoe Lake, via the French Valley
Your day begins with a 2 hour hike on an undulating path before reaching the French River for glimpses of the gorgeous hanging glacier. You will then ascend roughly 980 feet for approximately an hour through the stunning Japanese garden landscape, where you will cross impressive beech forests to reach the viewpoint of the French Valley for majestic vistas of lakes and mountains. They return route is the same until the valley entrance, from here, you will take a different trail around the Paine Grande's southwest side through the native Chilean evergreen beech forests up to Lake Pehoe's shores. The entire 11 mile hike takes around 6 hours. (B-BL-D) (Overnight at Refugio Paine Grande)
Hike to Grey Glacier Optional Ice hike on Glacier)
Your day begins with an early morning hike to the Grey Glacier. You will initially climb up a winding narrow path to the Negra Laguna, where you will savor incomparable views of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its countless unclimbed mountains. The hiking trail crosses rivers and forests where you can enjoy sightings of exotic creatures like the flying steamer duck.
Optional Ice Hike: You will take a 20-minute zodiac trip to the Nunatak western side and then hike for an hour to reach the glacier. Here expert guides will prepare you with the necessary equipment for your ice hike.
Return to the Refugio for dinner. The hike to Grey Glacier is roughly 4 hours and 7.5 miles. (B-L-D) (Overnight at Refugio Grey)
Navigation at Grey Lake – Transfer to Natales
You have an optional morning kayak at Grey Lake. At 9am, you will be taken to the lakeshore, where expert guides will prepare you with the equipment needed, along with a safety briefing. You will have the opportunity to paddle around floating icebergs in the lake.
At 1.30 pm, you will commence an exciting boat adventure. You will get an opportunity to navigate along the glacier to see the calving of icebergs. Your return trip delivers stunning vistas of Paine Grande with its imposing ice mushrooms and different blue tones. You will then be transferred back to Puerto Natales, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner. The options kayaking trip is 2.5-hour of paddling. The boat adventure is 2 hours on Grey Lake with a 2-hour transfer. (B-BL-D) (Overnight at Hotel El Muelle)
Transfer to Punta Arenas Airport - Fly to Santiago
On the last day, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas, where you will catch your outbound flight to Santiago. (B)
END OF SERVICES
- Airport transfers
- Ground transportation
- National Park fees
- Sleeping bags and liners
- Boat ride on Grey Lake
- Meals (as mentioned in itinerary)
- Expert guides and porters
- Lunch on day 7
- Ice Hike & Kayak activities