Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- From Puerto Natales, a drive to Torres Del Paine National Park and a round trip to Las Torres lookout point
- Trek to Los Cuernos lookout point with a chance of seeing Andean condors
- A hike to the French Valley viewpoint with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes; the hike finishes up on the shore of the Pehoe Lake
- Ascend Glacier Grey and then enjoy lunch at the glacier viewpoint; for further exploration add on an optional ice hike or kayak
- Discover the history, culture, geology, flora and fauna of the area with experienced local guides throughout the trip
Day 1: Roundtrip Hike to Las Torres Lookout Point
Starting from Puerto Natales at 7:00 AM, we drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park. We will drive through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the nandu (rare South American ostrich). We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night.
Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and birding opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. Leaving our backpacks at the Refugio, we start the trek to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. The walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We'll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), again great for picture taking. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment.
After being awed by the towers we'll start the descent, following the same path back to the hut. Dinner will be served in the Refugio.
Transfer: 2 hour private transfer
Length of hike: 8-10 hours, 18 km
Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Night at Refugio Torres Central or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)
Day 2: One Way Hike to Los Cuernos Lookout Point
We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the campground we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well mark trail ascending around (200 M) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 M), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight.
Length of hike: 6 hours, 12.5 km
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Night at Refugio Los Cuernos or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)
Day 3: One Way Hike to Pehoe Lake, via The French Valley
We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M).
Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake.
Length of hike: 8-9 hours, 18 km
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Night at Refugio Paine Grande or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)
Day 4: One Way Hike to Glacier Grey - Optional Ice Hike or Kayak
We will begin early morning with our hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200m up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains.
We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall. At this stage optional ice hikes or kayaks can be enjoyed - extraordinary ways to see the glacier. These must be booked in advance, please contact our Travel Specialists.
Length of hike: 4 hours, 11 km
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Night at Refugio Grey or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)
Day 5: Navigation in front of Glacier - Transfer back to Natales
Spend the morning in a leisurely fashion. Hike above the Glacier, down to the lake, or simply relax on the refugio terrace.
Straight after lunch we set out on an exciting adventure by boat. We will navigate for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. We will then take a transfer back to Puerto Natales.
Transfer: 2 hours by boat on Lake Grey
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch
What our customers think
This was definitely the highlight of our trip! I am so glad we did the W trek from site to site, as opposed to trying to do various hikes from other jumping off points. I liked the refugios and would definitely recommend doing it that way to others.
Alysha Colorado, USA December 2017
Many thanks for supervising a terrific and memorable trek. The highlight to me was the hike to the Towers and view there, though the entire 5 day trek was awesome.
Ted November 2015
We especially loved hiking the W. It was so beautiful, with dramatic mountains of towers and glaciers, and hillsides in prime flower blooming season. We met lots of other travelers and shared stories, and ibuprofen for our sore muscles, at the dinner table.
Mary Lou Fairweather United States Of America December 2018
Not only did the guides show us where to go on the trail, they organized our tables for meals in the Refugios, our packed lunches and planned our departure times.
Gabbie Whelan Australia March 2018
Just do it!! The east-to-west route Swoop does for the W trek is preferable, you get the hard part of the hike done first and it's awesome to finish the trek with the boat ride along the glacier as the "reward".
Casey Schorr United States Of America December 2016
Beyond my expectations. I could not get over all of the beauty on my trek. Everyday there was something new and amazing to discover.
Kristen Boscia United States Of America December 2016
Guide was excellent he had an extensive knowledge of the park , its geology flora and fauna and was always helpful and encouraging accommodation was good , very clean and the food was good.
Ross Gutteridge Australia January 2019
We were fortunate to be part of a very interesting and fun group. We all got along beautifully and intend to continue to stay in touch. We hiked in sun, rain, snow and strong winds at times that made the trip magical. Our guide was engaged, caring, knowledgeable, funny and took great care of all of us.
Dindy Pawlinger United States Of America December 2018
The trip was incredible! We really lucked out on the weather. On our first day, the Towers were gorgeous and getting to visit the Britanico Valley was spectacular, despite being long, somewhat difficult days of hiking. The picturesque views on day two could not be beat, especially as coming into Los Cuernos. We really loved the experience with our group, both the other people and our guide, Mauricio.
Lauren Harris United States Of America November 2018
Swoop did a good job of staying in contact with me and quickly responding to my questions. I honestly can’t think of anything you should have done differently, you were great!
Leslie December 2015
My trip has really left me at a bit of a loss for words. While I tremendously enjoyed every piece of my trip (hiking, kayaking and then day hiking with an afternoon of horseback riding), I really loved hiking the W. I was traveling solo, but I enjoyed my time with our small group during the W trek. The Patagonian landscape was breathtaking - I've never been in a place quite so beautiful.
Anne Helen-Evans United States Of America December 2016
The trip was amazing. We highly recommend the W-Trek and adding the ice kayak / glacier hike adventure options!
Jordana Kozel United States Of America December 2016
I had for many decades dreamt of travelling to Patagonia. Our five days hiking in Torres del Paine with Mauricio are five days that I will never forget.
Eric October 2015
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
From April 2019 - April 2020, the trip prices are as below:
4-8 people - USD $1,895 per person
3 people - USD $1,995 per person
2 people - USD $2,195 person
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $1,895
Group size - 8 maximum, 2 minimum
Accommodation upgrade - upgrade your shared dormitory on Day 9 for a private cabin at Refugio Los Cuernos (availability dependent - $230 USD for a single, $140 USD for a double). Please note, this is not included as part of the single supplement
Joining & Departure instructions - please arrive in Puerto Natales on the evening before for your group briefing; it is recommended to plan to stay in Puerto Natales when you have finished your W trek. If you would like help booking your pre/post trek arrangements please just let us know.
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
- Accommodation: 4 nights in refugios in Torres del Paine (comfortable rooms with 6 beds and shared bathrooms) or supporting camps (with all equipment provided)
- Sleeping bags and liners (when possible with sheets, blanket and pillow)
- Torres del Paine entrance fee
- All private transport included in the itinerary
- Boat trip on Lago Grey
- English and Spanish speaking guide
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- Any extra/optional excursions
- Travel insurance
- Personal Equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
- International and domestic/in country flights
- Drinks during lunch or dinner
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
- An accommodation upgrade is available on day 3 to a private cabin at Los Cuernos ($230 USD for a single, $140 USD for a double)