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The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

Hike the original W Trek and experience the highlights of this unique region. Trek to the best lookout points for stunning views of the Torres del Paine and explore the French Valley surrounded by hanging glaciers. Follow this with a boat trip across Lago Grey to the massive Glacier Grey where you can try ice hiking and kayaking.

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The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

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Trip type

Guided Activity

Trip length

5 Days




Torres del Paine

The Original Torres del Paine W Trek - 5 - $2,395

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

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

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

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

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

    Day 5: Boat trip to face of Glacier Grey; optional ice hiking

    Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

    Landmarks visited on The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

    Operator's Itinerary

    Day 1: Trek to Las Torres lookout; Refugio Torres Central

    We leave Puerto Natales at 7am for the drive to Torres del Paine National Park, passing flat pampas and lagoons where you can see guanacos, Darwin's Rheas, Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans.

    After arriving at the Refugio Torres Central you’ll have time to relax before we begin our first hike of the trip, up to Las Torres lookout.

    An initial ascent follows the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. At a lookout point, about an hour into the trek, we’ll 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 we’ll be rewarded by the stunning sight of Las Torres and stay a while to soak up the amazing views, take photos and have lunch.

    We'll then retrace our steps back to the Refugio where we’ll have dinner and rest for the evening.

    Group transfer: 2hrs 

    Length of hike: 8-10hrs, 22km

    Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner

    Accommodation: Refugio Torres Central

    Day 2: Trek to Los Cuernos lookout; Refugio Los Cuernos

    Today we'll hike to Los Cuernos lookout, where monumental horn-shaped black twin granite peaks shoot skyward. This route is the best on the trek for all-round panoramic views where you can take in not only the Andes mountains, glaciated valleys and stunning lakes, but also the wind-swept rolling hills of the steppe which stretches eastwards to the Atlantic.

    We'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 us. 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 our left until we reach our finishing point and accommodation for the night – Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances.

    Length of hike: 4-5hrs, 13km

    Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

    Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances

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

    A challenging trek to the heart of the Paine massif awaits us today. After breakfast, a meandering path leads us to the French River, a 1-2 hour hike depending on whether we 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 we 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. We'll have plenty of time to rest and have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies.

    Our descent is via the same path until we reach the valley’s entrance, from where we’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. We'll have dinner and rest here for the night.

    Length of hike: 8-9hrs, 18km

    Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

    Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

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

    We’ll start early, 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, we pass forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flightless steamer ducks. Lunch is at the lookout point with the monumental Glacier Grey at our feet. We 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 in the afternoon where you'll paddle around the huge floating icebergs that have calved from the glacial wall. You'll first receive a safety briefing from a specialist guide covering the kayak, paddling, route and conditions. All necessary equipment will be provided - neoprene suit, waterproof jacket, gloves, boots, kayak skirt and life vest. Advance booking and payment is required - please see the 'Additional Notes' section below.

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

    Length of hike: 4hrs, 11km

    Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

    Accommodation: Refugio Grey

    Day 5: Boat trip to face of Glacier Grey; optional ice hiking

    The final day starts with a free morning to relax and take in the landscape or go kayaking. There's also an excellent option to ice hike on Glacier Grey which would be great if you had already kayaked the day before. Following a safety briefing you'll take a boat ride, then hike for an hour to safely reach the glacier. From here your guide will check the equipment provided to you - ice axe, crampons, helmet and harness. You must have your own hiking boots with ankle support, gloves and sunglasses - without these you will not be permitted to take this ice hike. The hike on the glacier lasts for 2.5hrs, with the whole trip taking about 5hrs. You must be in very good physical shape for this excursion as the hike to the glacier is challenging. Advance booking and payment is required - please see the 'Additional Notes' section below.

    After lunch we’ll take a boat across Lake Grey to the massive facade of Glacier Grey. There will be plenty of time to study the wall’s textures, lines and colours and of course, watch for ice calving. The return journey passes blue icebergs and you’ll also see the wind-sculpted 'ice mushrooms' atop the massive peaks of Paine Grande. Due to the highly temperamental weather in the region, boat trips across the lake may occasionally be cancelled. If this is the case, your guide will instruct you and you will trek from Refugio Grey to Refugio Paine Grande (11km) and take a catamaran boat to be picked up elsewhere and driven back to Puerto Natales.

    Once back on dry land, we’ll hike 20 minutes along Grey Beach to rendezvous with our group transfer. This takes us back to Puerto Natales where our journey ends.

    Boat trip: 2hrs

    Group transfer: 2hrs

    Length of hike: 20mins

    Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

    Customer review background image

    What our customers think of The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

    The Original Torres del Paine W Trek trips scored 4.6/5 from 114 reviews

    It's impossible to pick a highlight because we enjoyed so much of what we saw and did, for many different reasons - the landscapes, encounters with wildlife, chatting with people, our activities, the weather, the food. We were surprised by the quality of the huts we stayed in (more like basic hotels really) and the coaches we travelled on (so smart and comfortable). Also, the weather was far better than we expected! We really feel like we made the most of our time in Patagonia, which was important as unfortunately it could be some time before we can go back.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Emma Rae -

    There were so many but I found the hike on day 3 through the French valley to be out of this world.

    Travelled: December 2021

    Sean -

    So many highlights! El Chalten was the first area we explored and our first hike was to Mt Fitzroy as the weather was beautiful that day. A very special time sitting in front of the lake looking at the granite spires after a hard scramble to the top. Another favourite hike was Loma del Pliegue Tumbardo with it snowing at the top! Also Puerto Moreno Glacier seeing carvings, the Petrified Forest at Leona, the W trek and whale watching with a very knowledgeable guide on the 'Forrest' boat. Probably the best weeks scenery was the Carretera Austral and surviving the gravel roads! This area should be recommended more although the beauty was fewer people! I think it will take a while to fully appreciate all we saw.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Hilary -

    There were so many highlights that it is difficult to pick one. We experienced it all. From the 10 hour hike in freezing rain, gale level wind, and no view to days of perfection weather (so lucky) and stunning views every minute of every hiking hour. The bicolor majestic cuernos (horns), the glassy turquoise surface of the Nordenskold lake, the 360 degree amphitheater view in the Frances Valley, the wild orchids of Patagonia, and the bluest of blue Gray Glacier. One day, we even experienced the famed four seasons Patagonian day. My magic moment? Las Torres....the gleaming granite towers of Paine sheathing straight to the Patagonian skies from the pit of volcanic hell. After a very steep climb, I turned the corner and the scenery took my breath away. My heart stilled. No human could have conceived or imagined such beauty. Pictures are one dimensional and emotionally limited. I can now understand why Las Torres have been a life time dream of hikers and mountain climbers the world over. It is here that heavens and earth syphonically merged to create a beauty that will forever endure.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Hoang -

    My trip was incredible. It 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. We were incredibly lucky with weather and very fortunate to have a group that was made up of all positive, excited people who were up for whatever each day brought our way. Our guide, too, was incredible. The Patagonian landscape was breathtaking. Every single bit of it. I've never been in a place quite so beautiful.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Anne -

    More personal. I went with my two adult kids. There were a couple of moments during which laughed a lot togetber at dinner. The hiking adventure contributed to those relaxing 'let the guard down' moments.

    Travelled: April 2023

    Mike -

    The highlights for me (being a mountain person) were the enormous and abundant glaciers and always the thought that I was seeing only a fraction of the ice that makes up the South Patagonian Ice Cap. Another highlight was the weather! We were blessed with clear sunny days that offered perfect views in all directions. Saw quite a lot of wildlife but no pumas ;( My group was fantastic. Lots of fun, supportive and caring. Guides too.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Claire Marvin -

    Highlight- sliding down Villarica at high speed after a rewarding hike up in crampons Landscapes- stunning scenery around every corner. Even the rain (and snow!) couldn't spoil it Guide- fantastic, knowledgeable guide for our W-trek really helped make the experience

    Travelled: March 2021

    Marie -

    Overall, the obvious highlight was the W-trek through Torres Del Paine. The park is great, the route is fantastic. We got very lucky with the weather. We did the refugios and the 'glamping' option which we enjoyed for our short trip - the food in the refugios was surprisingly excellent and we enjoyed all of that a lot. In particular, our guide Chuma, was fantastic and really made the trip too. I was a bit dubious about having a guide but that worked out brilliantly. The whole W is great, but getting up to the towers, and hiking up to Brittanica (a slight detour) were both really great. As was going up to see the glacier field above Glacier Grey by hiking up over the second suspension bridge (another detour). Alongside all the of the information and time with glaciers was fascinating.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Oli -


    Travelled: January 2023

    Joyce Ka Ching -

    My girlfriend and I were first time trekkers and were not sure how we would find the 5 day W-trek. We both agree that it is the most rewarding holiday we have had on any continent. The ultimate highlight is difficult to pick, as we were exceptionally lucky with weather during the week - the landscape of the park is breathtaking in a manner that no photo or video can adequately capture - the memories we have returned with are too vivid to forget. We remain in touch with the other members of our group, I didn't anticipate that the social aspect of the trip would be significant, but it definitely was!

    Travelled: March 2021

    Howard -

    I think the most memorable moment on the trail was finally getting to the view points in the French Valley and Mirador del Torre. They were breath taking. The most memorable moments off trail were enjoying time with our group and amazing guides at the end of each day.

    Travelled: January 2023

    Jessica -

    The trip was great. Unfortunately there was a bridge broken so we were unable to complete the actual W Trek and had to do one of the hikes 2 days in a row, which was very disappointing, but that wasn't something that could be controlled. The guide offered to let us cross the river, and half of the group wanted to but the other half was against it so it would have been nice to just have the guide make the decision for us instead of leaving it up to individuals totally unfamiliar with the area. Also the mandatory upgrade to semi private cabins on the 3rd night was very disappointing and inconvenient as the bathrooms were broken and we ended up having to trek down to the main part just to use the bathroom and showers. We got to see a lot of wildlife- including a puma, foxes, and guanacos! Very cool! The accommodations are in stunning locations as well and glad I wasn't camping!

    Travelled: March 2021

    Erica -

    Overall my trip was incredible. I honestly don't know if I can think of a highlight - the group was amazing, the guide was fantastic and the views were just second to none. I couldn't have asked for a better group, we all got on so well and the guide (Armando) couldn't have been better.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Emily Lees-Millais -

    I would not say that the people working in the refugios were particularly friendly, but wow the people we met along the trail were all so unbelievably friendly! Almost everyone we passed said Hola, and it felt like we were all friends sharing this great experience together. The landscapes were unique and breathtaking, something new around every corner. We were fortunate enough to have good weather, as I think that would be the biggest cause for disappointment for most trekkers in Patagonia. The most magical moment was when we reached Mirador Britanico... impossible to describe the feeling of being in such an overwhelming place. Much like the first time I looked down into the Grand Canyon. The biggest surprise was how beautiful Los Cuernos were in person; photos do not do them justice. But Mirador Las Torres was the real reason for the entire trip to Patagonia, and despite the huge amount of people there and on the trail, it was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Anonymous -

    Everything. From start to finish, everything was so well organized and easy, it allowed us to fully appreciate the trekking experience and the absolutely AMAZING beauty of Torres del Paine.

    Travelled: November 2022

    Juliet -

    Hiking in the Zapata Valley with no humans for miles, hearing the feral cows, stumbling upon fossils and hearing the thunderous glacier drops - we were literally in the middle of nowhere. After our self-guided hike on the W Trail switching gears to a guided hike in Zapata Valley was incredible. The nearly untouched wilderness engulfed our hearts and we will never forget our time there.

    Travelled: January 2020

    Meghan -

    A tie between reaching the top of the Britanico hike and enjoying a beer and the sun at the Central campsite.

    Travelled: January 2023

    Jacquelyn -

    Great group of kindred spirits, lots of laughs after amazing hikes. Wonderful to have had all logistics taken care of so effectively. Landscape exceeded our expectations in its size and grandeur. We were supremely lucky with the weather.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Kate Yonge -

    I love my guide Felipe. He was such a joy to trek with. You could see and feel the love that he has for Torres Del Paine. I enjoyed the stories he shared bringing everything to life. You know that someone loves what they do when on their off days, they come back to do some trekking on their own. I couldn't have asked for a better guide.

    Travelled: March 2021

    Kristen -


    Original W Trek

    Prices, Departures and Inclusions

    Prices for the 2023/24 season:

    4-8 people: USD $2,395 per person

    3 people: USD $2,695 per person

    2 people: USD $2,995 per person



    Start date Price (pp)
    October 2023
    3-Oct-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    10-Oct-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    17-Oct-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    24-Oct-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    31-Oct-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    November 2023
    2-Nov-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    7-Nov-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    9-Nov-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    14-Nov-2023 $2,395* Limited Availability Enquire
    16-Nov-2023 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    18-Nov-2023 $2,395* Fully Booked Enquire
    21-Nov-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    23-Nov-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    25-Nov-2023 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    28-Nov-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    30-Nov-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    December 2023
    5-Dec-2023 $2,395* Limited Availability Enquire
    7-Dec-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    12-Dec-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    14-Dec-2023 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    16-Dec-2023 $2,395* Guaranteed Date Enquire
    19-Dec-2023 $2,395 Limited Availability Enquire
    21-Dec-2023 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    23-Dec-2023 $2,395 Limited Availability Enquire
    26-Dec-2023 $2,395* Guaranteed Date Enquire
    28-Dec-2023 $2,395 Fully Booked Enquire
    30-Dec-2023 $2,395* Fully Booked Enquire
    January 2024
    2-Jan-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    4-Jan-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    6-Jan-2024 $2,395 Fully Booked Enquire
    9-Jan-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    11-Jan-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    13-Jan-2024 $2,395* Limited Availability Enquire
    16-Jan-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    18-Jan-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    20-Jan-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    23-Jan-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    25-Jan-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    30-Jan-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    February 2024
    1-Feb-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    3-Feb-2024 $2,395* Guaranteed Date Enquire
    6-Feb-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    8-Feb-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    13-Feb-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    15-Feb-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    17-Feb-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    20-Feb-2024 $2,395* Guaranteed Date Enquire
    22-Feb-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    27-Feb-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    29-Feb-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    March 2024
    2-Mar-2024 $2,395* Limited Availability Enquire
    5-Mar-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    7-Mar-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    12-Mar-2024 $2,395 Fully Booked Enquire
    14-Mar-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    16-Mar-2024 $2,395 Guaranteed Date Enquire
    19-Mar-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    21-Mar-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    26-Mar-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    28-Mar-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    April 2024
    2-Apr-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    4-Apr-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    9-Apr-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    11-Apr-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    16-Apr-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    18-Apr-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire
    23-Apr-2024 $2,395* Provisional Date Enquire
    25-Apr-2024 $2,395 Provisional Date Enquire

    * Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $2,395

    Additional Notes

    Group size – 8 maximum, 2 minimum.

    Optional excursions – Kayak on Lake Grey (2.5hrs, USD $180 per person). Ice hike on Glacier Grey (5hrs, USD $240 per person). Both excursions are subject to availability and must be booked and paid for in advance as they are not included in the trip price. Please contact us for more information.

    Joining & departure instructions – Please arrive in Puerto Natales on the afternoon before for your trip starts for your group briefing. It is also recommended that you plan to stay in Puerto Natales when you finish your trek. If you would like help booking your pre/post-trek arrangements please just let us know.

    Availability of refugio dormitories – In some cases where refugio dorm beds are not available, you will be offered fully supported camping. This will be confirmed with you in advance of travel.


    • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 4 dinners
    • Accommodation: Refugio dormitory rooms
    • Sleeping bags and liners (when possible with sheets, blanket and pillow)
    • Torres del Paine entrance fee
    • All group transport included in the itinerary
    • Boat trip on Lago Grey
    • English and Spanish speaking guide


    • Meals not indicated in itinerary
    • Drinks during lunch or dinner
    • Any extra/optional excursions
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal equipment (our recommended kit list)
    • Gratuities/tips
    • International and domestic/in-country flights
    • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

    Questions about this Trip?