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Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park is one of the absolute highlights of a visit to Patagonia. The park has excellent trails with good signage. It is almost impossible to get off route or lost. The W trek is Torres del Paine’s iconic and most popular trek. The W trek is great for less experienced trekkers on their first multi-day trek, those who want to see the highlights of the park in a limited amount of time and those on a budget. The Torres del Paine Park has the goods, with stunning views at every turn. It provides true global trekking.
Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport, Chile
3 Hours Before Flight Time
With dramatic granite spires, immense glaciers, and glistening turquoise lakes, Torres del Paine has all the ingredients for an unforgettable and rugged adventure. Each valley, peak and pass hides its own treasures, be it hanging glaciers, vast pampas, twisted metamorphic rock or ice blue streams. There are immense towers of rock, rushing mountain streams and waterfalls, huge azure lakes, and sublime fields of wildflowers—Andean Condors with a wingspan of over 10 feet soar overhead.
Upon your arrival at the Puerto Natales airport, you would be picked up and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day can be spend at leisure.
(Overnight at Puerto Natales)
Early morning today after breakfast we leave for Torres del Paine National Park. We pass by many ranches and flat pampas taken straight from Patagonian Folklore. Spot Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans in the pampas and lagoons. After arriving at the Refugio, we will hike the three Towers lookout.The trek begins with an ascent, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. After about an hour, we’ll stop to observe how the valley’s beauty unfolds with rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Past this lookout point, we continue uphill for another ninety minutes before ascending a gigantic terminal moraine (the ridge formed at a glacier’s end point) where we’ll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the three Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 m above sea level, we’ll rest, take photos and have lunch. Our descent is along the same path, taking us back to the Refugio where we’ll have dinner, stretch and rest.
Total trek: 22 km (8 hours)
(Overnight at Refugio Torre Central)
After breakfast today we will hike to Los Cuernos lookout, where monumental horn-shaped black twin granite peaks shoot skyward. We’ll make our way via Inge Lagoon and may see condors and other birds of prey circling the skies while we trek below. The well-marked trail ascends 200m from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750m) and crosses the Bader River to Refugio Los Cuernos, today’s destination
Total trek: 13 km/ 4-5 hours
(Overnight at Refugio Los Cuernos)
After breakfast, a winding path will take us to the French River. At the entrance to the French Valleyyou’ll scramble over huge boulders and catch the first sight of the hanging glacier atop the valley. From this point, you’ll ascend for an hour through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the French Valley viewpoint. Get to witness the bird’s eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers.To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m); while to the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north “horns” of Los Cuernos arch upwards. In the upper section of the Valley, Cerro Catedral and Cerro Fortaleza loom like turrets above the landscape. After lunch we will descend via the same path until you reach the valley’s entrance, at which point you’ll continue around the south-west side of Paine Grande, Torres del Paine’s highest peak. This final leg passes through native firebush and evergreen beech forests to the shores of Pehoe Lake. Dinner will be served at Refugio Paine Grande.
Total trek: 18 km / 8 hours
(Overnight at Refugio Paine Grande
Today we will set out early after breakfast. We will ascend 200m through the winding path that takes us to Laguna Negra. we’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that still guards many unexplored peaks. You’ll continue on to Grey Glacier’s lookout point, passing forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flying steamer ducks. After lunch there is the option to go on an ice hike or kayaking trip.
Total trek: 11 km / 4 hours
(Overnight at Refugio Grey)
Today our morning begins with a bit of leisure. You can also choose to go for kayaking. After lunch we’ll set off by boat across Grey Lake, to the massive facade of Grey Glacier. We’ll stay here for a while to observe the wall’s textures, lines and colors – and of course, watch for ice calvings. On your return journey you’ll see the wind-sculpted “ice mushrooms” atop the massive peaks of Paine Grande, as we sail past blue-hued icebergs. We then return to Puerto Natales and check into our accommodation.
(Overnight at Puerto Natales)
After breakfast today you will be transferred to the airport from where you can board your flight back home.