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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

From

$2,395

Location

Torres del Paine

The Original Torres del Paine W Trek - 5 Days - $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, 20km/12.4 miles

    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/8 miles

    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, 23km/14.3 miles

    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 Laguna Los Patos. 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/8.6 miles

    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

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    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 173 reviews

    Sharing the experience with the family.

    Travelled: February 2024

    David -

    Reaching the towers, (Torres de Paine) with our group. It was a challenging day but very worth it, we all felt great at the top, and the view and scenery were amazing.

    Travelled: February 2024

    Randy C. -

    There are so many memorable moments! The towers, the horns, the plants and berries along the path, and the breathtaking views!

    Travelled: February 2024

    Michelle -

    When Cata and Hector would say throughout the day “With passion!”. They are amazing! Their love of Patagonia and Chile was infectious. Feel that I have made two new life long friends. People in other tour groups told me they wished Cata and Hector were their guides. Everyone in the refugios could see that we were having a great time. Cata and Hector complimented each other so well.

    Travelled: February 2024

    Gregory -

    Dave and I really like the Argentina (Fitz Roy) segment of the trip. The views from Laguna de Los Tres was simply amazing.

    Travelled: February 2024

    Denelle -

    On the third day there was an option for extending the hike. Those of us who wanted to go to the next lookout split off and we had so much fun with our guide (Matti) trying to beat the clock and make it to the look out and back to the refugio for dinner time. We ended up having plenty of time and it was a fun day of bonding with the group and our guide, and of course taking in the great views!!

    Travelled: February 2024

    Kayla -

    Too many to count.

    Travelled: February 2024

    Lisa -

    Getting engaged and the French valley!

    Travelled: February 2024

    Madeleine -

    First view of towers Glaciers up close

    Travelled: February 2024

    Paul -

    Completing the W at age 64

    Travelled: February 2024

    Cynthia -

    There were many memorable moments! Seeing the three iconic towers during our first day hike was very memorable. Rounding the corner to see the Grey Glacier on our 4th day was also pretty amazing. Having the staff at the refugios sing happy birthday was also pretty cool. We were fortunate enough to have great guides and fellow trekkers!

    Travelled: February 2024

    Kate -

    The W Trek Hike which is fabulous. Great guide and experience.

    Travelled: February 2024

    Chau -

    Seeing the glacial lake at the base of the Towers

    Travelled: January 2024

    Mary Melissa -

    The scenery throughout the W trek was continually AH-MAZING! So awesome and awe-inspiring.

    Travelled: January 2024

    Kelli -

    The view (and wind!) of the three towers and hiking on glacier Grey. Also the geography tidbits we learned from our guide.

    Travelled: January 2024

    Sarah -

    All of the challenges and experiences and awe inspiring sights together

    Travelled: January 2024

    Janneke -

    1. Statues in Rapa Nui 2. Beagle Channel and Woolya bay, Tierra del Fuego Cape Horn landing

    Travelled: January 2024

    Phil -

    Slowly approaching the Grey Glacier the last day.

    Travelled: January 2024

    Andrea -

    W trek was spectacular, all the locations were wonderful. Felipe and Hector (guides on W Trek) were standouts. Trip was exceptionally well planned and executed by the Swoop team and partners. Communication was excellent and we were impressed.

    Travelled: January 2024

    Brent -

    Being in your own head during the long walks, without the stress of having to find the way or organize anything

    Travelled: January 2024

    Filippo -

    Review:

    Original W Trek

    Prices, Departures and Inclusions

    Prices for the 2023/24 season:

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

    2 people: USD $2,995 per person

    -

    Book now to guarantee your place for the 2024-25 season. Prices as follows:

    4-8 people: from USD $2,595 per person

    2 people: from USD $3,295 per person

    2024

    2025

    Start date Price (pp)
    March 2024
    2-Mar-2024 $2,395* Fully Booked Enquire
    5-Mar-2024 $2,395 Fully Booked Enquire
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    April 2024
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    9-Apr-2024 $2,395* Fully Booked Enquire
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    October 2024
    1-Oct-2024 $2,595 Provisional Date Enquire
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    1-Feb-2025 $2,595 Provisional Date Enquire
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    1-Mar-2025 $2,595 Provisional Date Enquire
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    April 2025
    1-Apr-2025 $2,595 Provisional Date Enquire
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    22-Apr-2025 $2,595 Provisional Date Enquire
    26-Apr-2025 $2,595 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. Prices are yet to be confirmed for 2024/25.

    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. 

    2024/25 bookings - We will guarantee your space on the trip immediately. Please note that whilst we request refugio bed spaces in shared dormitories (as standard) for all of our travellers, this rooming arrangement will be confirmed to you as soon as the refugio administrators confirm this with us in mid-2024. If a dorm room is not available for a particular night, a fully-assisted camping spot will be provided. 

    Christmas/New Year's Eve surcharge – Trips starting on the 21st, 22nd, 24th, 28th, 29th and 31st Dec 2024 will be subject to a surcharge.

    Includes

    • 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 National Park entrance fee
    • All group transport included in the itinerary
    • Boat trip on Lago Grey (Day 5)
    • English and Spanish speaking trekking guide

    Excludes

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

    Questions about this Trip?