Self-guided W Trek (5D/4N)

Hike the original W Trek independently and experience the highlights of this unique region at your own pace. Trek to the best lookout points for stunning views of the Torres del Paine and explore the French Valley surrounded by hanging glaciers. Trek to the massive Glacier Grey where you can try ice hiking and kayaking. Hike the original W Trek independently and experience the highlights of this unique region at your own pace. Trek to the best lookout points for stunning views of the Torres del Paine and explore the French Valley surrounded by hanging glaciers. Trek to the massive Glacier Grey where you can try ice hiking and kayaking.
5 Days
$1,095

Self-guided W Trek (5D/4N) - 5 - $1,095

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Trek to Las Torres (The Towers) lookout; Camping at Refugio Las Torres 

Day 2: Trek to Los Cuernos (The Horns); Camping at Refugio Los Cuernos 

Day 3: Trek to the French Valley; Camping at Refugio Paine Grande 

Day 4: Trek to Glacier Grey; optional kayaking; Camping at Refugio Grey

Day 5: Optional ice hike, kayak or trek; Puerto Natales

Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks visited on Self-guided W Trek (5D/4N)

Operator's Itinerary

Due to COVID-19 the refugios are not offering shared dorm beds during the 2021/22 season but we can book the entire dorm for a group or pre-pitched tents with mattress and sleeping bag. This trip includes fully supported camping but if you would prefer to stay indoors then take a look at our Self Guided Deluxe W Trek.


Day 1: Trek to Las Torres (The Towers) lookout; Camping at Refugio Las Torres

By 6.45am you must be at the Bus Terminal in Puerto Natales where you will board the 7am public bus for Torres del Paine National Park. The route passes grand estancias and flat pampas, where you'll spot ñandus (Patagonian ostrich), guanacos, and a variety of bird species.

At Laguna Amarga, the main entrance to the Park, you will collect your park entrance permit (included in your trip), then board a shuttle bound for your Refugio Las Torres. Here, you’ll leave your backpack and take your packed lunch (provided during your trek briefing in Puerto Natales held the day prior). Now you're ready to begin the W Trek’s first highlight: the trek to the Towers lookout.

An initial ascent follows the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. At a lookout point, about an hour into the trek, pause to take in the beauty of the valley's rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls.

After this point the path continues climbing through lush beech forests before ascending a gigantic terminal moraine (the ridge formed at a glacier’s end point). It's here, at an altitude of 900m, where you’ll be rewarded by the stunning sight of Las Torres. Stay a while to soak up the amazing views, take photos and have lunch.

You'll then retrace your steps back to Refugio Las Torres where you’ll camp, have dinner and rest for the evening.

Public bus: 2hrs

Shuttle transfer: 30mins

Length of hike: 8-10hrs, 22km

Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping at Refugio Las Torres (meals in the refugio)


Day 2: Hike to Los Cuernos (The Horns); Camping at Refugio Los Cuernos

Enjoy breakfast at the refugio and request your packed lunch before setting out for the day.

You'll leave behind the crowds who are entering the park just to see Las Torres and will follow a route via Inge Lagoon – condors and other birds of prey may be circling the skies above you. The well-marked trail climbs 200m from the base of Mt Almirante Nieto (2750m) and crosses the Bader River with the magnificent turquiose-hued lake a constant to your left until you reach your finishing point and accommodation for the night – camping at Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances, depending on availability.

Here, settle in, enjoy a good meal among fellow travellers, and rest beneath the immense moraine.

Length of hike: 4-5hrs, 13km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping at Refugio Los Cuernos (meals in the refugio)


Day 3: Trek to the French Valley; Camping at Refugio Paine Grande

A challenging trek to the heart of the Paine massif awaits you today. After breakfast, request your packed lunch at the refugio and take the meandering path that leads you to the French River, a 1-2hr hike, depending on whether you stayed at Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances the night before. On entering the French Valley – a glacial moraine surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers – we’ll scramble over huge boulders and catch our first sight of the hanging glacier atop the valley.

From here you ascend for an hour through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the French Valley viewpoint (the 'Plateau'). Your reward is a stunning bird’s eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers. On one side is the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050m); while on 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, Mt Catedral and Mt Fortaleza loom like turrets above the landscape. You'll have plenty of time to rest and have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies.

Your descent is via the same path until you reach the valley’s entrance, from where you’ll continue around the south-west side of Torres del Paine’s highest peak, Paine Grande. This final stretch passes through native firebush and evergreen beech forests to Refugio Paine Grande, by the shores of Lake Pehoe. You'll have dinner and rest here for the night.

Length of hike: 8-9hrs, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping at Refugio Paine Grande (meals in the refugio)


Day 4: Trek to Glacier Grey; optional kayaking; Camping at Refugio Grey

Start early after breakfast, ascending 200m on the winding trail to Lake Negra. It's here where we’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that still guards many unexplored peaks.

Continuing on to Glacier Grey’s lookout point, you pass forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flightless steamer ducks. Have lunch at the lookout point with the monumental Glacier Grey at your feet. You might catch sight of ice calving from its huge walls into the freezing waters below.

There is a fantastic opportunity to go on a 2.5-hour kayaking excursion on Lake Grey in the afternoon (USD $100 per person, advance booking required, please enquire for more information).

Accommodation for the night is camping at Refugio Grey, on the shore of Lake Grey.

Length of hike: 4hrs, 11km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping at Refugio Grey (meals in the refugio)


Day 5: Optional ice hike, kayak or trek; Puerto Natales

This morning is yours to enjoy at leisure! Options include a 5hr ice hike on Grey Glacier, a 2.5 hour kayak excursion on Lake Grey or an additional trek (8km, about 3hrs return) to the hanging bridges for a magnificent view of Grey Glacier. Note that independent hikers without guides are only permitted to go to the second hanging bridge. You must book your optional excursion in advance so do get in touch to reserve.

Whatever you choose to do today, you’ll later walk back along the same path to Paine Grande to catch the last catamaran across Lake Pehoe. Please check catamaran and walking times with refugio staff in the morning to ensure you arrive in time.

While walking, take in views of Paine Grande and the granite walls of Cordon Olguín. On the other side of Pehoe Lake, a public bus will be waiting to drive you to Puerto Natales. Since you will be arriving in town at around 10pm we recommend spending the night there.

Length of hike: 4hrs, 11km

Catamaran: 35min

Public bus: 3hrs

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Customer review background image

What our customers think

Swoop were incredibly responsive, with thoughtful and generous advice, honest feedback...we were thoroughly impressed and happy with the service provided.

Ariel January 2016

Highlight was the Valle de Frances in the snow and the suspension bridges with the view of Glacier Grey. We met amazing people from all over.

Michael Grant Mexico April 2019

Everything was perfectly organised and we were constantly impressed with how easy everything was, from transport to food. It meant all we had to think about was the hike (and the wine afterwards!)

Rory Dormer United Kingdom January 2019

My favourite part was Las Torres. It was really fun to meet people from all over the world at the Refugios. The food was delicious.

Mary February 2017

Landscape was incredible. Feeling of accomplishment I felt every night and being able to sit down at dinner with people of all ages from around the world and drink a toast to the days accomplishment was amazing.

Sherry Wilson Canada February 2018

The landscapes of Patagonia are literally other-worldly. When we left the park, my nephew said it was like leaving Jurassic Park- it was so unreal. We saw grey foxes, condors, guanacos, and hawks (not to mention many other birds). The weather is as INTENSE as the beauty...every minute, it changed. The trail, though well-traveled, is not for the faint of heart. As times it was difficult. But never once did we regret the strain or aches. The people we met along the way were diverse and friendly. If we said "hola" one time a day, we said it fifty. it was truly a spirit-lifting trip!

Julie Emery United States Of America January 2017

It was wonderful. I think we were a little unfit for it to be honest - but the sense of achievement when we got back to Puerto Natales was amazing. We both really enjoyed it.

Bryony December 2015

After trekking Torres del Paine, I feel like most of the time you won't need a guide, as everything is well-prepared and scheduled for the self-guided tour. You will also meet other people on the way that are doing the same trek, so you won't be alone.

Ivo Correia United States Of America December 2019

Self-Guided W Trek

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The price is USD $1,095 per person

2021

2022

Start date Price (pp)
October 2021
21-Oct-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
26-Oct-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
31-Oct-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
November 2021
5-Nov-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
10-Nov-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
15-Nov-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
20-Nov-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
21-Nov-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
22-Nov-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
23-Nov-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
25-Nov-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
December 2021
1-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
6-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
11-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
16-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
20-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
21-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
22-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
23-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
24-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
25-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
26-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
27-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
28-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
29-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
30-Dec-2021 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
31-Dec-2021 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
January 2022
1-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
2-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
3-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
4-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
8-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
9-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
13-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
14-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
18-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
19-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
23-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
24-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
28-Jan-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
29-Jan-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
February 2022
2-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
3-Feb-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
7-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
8-Feb-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
12-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
13-Feb-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
17-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
18-Feb-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
22-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
23-Feb-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
27-Feb-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
March 2022
4-Mar-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
9-Mar-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
14-Mar-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
19-Mar-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire
24-Mar-2022 $1,095* Provisional Date Enquire
29-Mar-2022 $1,095 Provisional Date Enquire

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $1,095

Additional Notes

Camping – Camping comprises a pre-pitched tent with sleeping bag and mat.

Accommodation upgrade – Upgrade to a private room in Refugio Las Torres (Day 1), or to a private cabin at Refugio Los Cuernos (Day 2), subject to availability. Please ask us for more information.

COVID-19 – Due to COVID-19 the refugios are not offering shared dorm beds during the 2021/22 season but we can book the entire dorm for a group or pre-pitched tents with mattress and sleeping bag. This trip includes fully supported camping but if you would prefer to stay indoors then take a look at our Self Guided Deluxe W Trek.

Optional excursions – The 5hr ice hike on Glacier Grey costs USD $175 per person. The 2.5hr kayak excursion on Lake Grey costs USD $100 per person. Both excursions must be booked in advance.

Includes

  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 4 dinners
  • Accommodation: 4 nights supported camping
  • All public transportation indicated in the itinerary
  • Shuttle between Laguna Amarga & Refugio Las Torres
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping liner, mat and pre-pitched tent for camping
  • Catamaran to cross Lake Pehoe

Excludes

  • Any additional nights
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Dinner on Day 5 in Puerto Natales
  • Drinks at refugios not included in the menu
  • Kayak or ice hike excursion at Glacier Grey
  • Guide or porters
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?