The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

The most popular way to experience what might just be Patagonia's best hiking. Great local guides, small groups, moderate comfort in refugios and an efficient itinerary help you get the most out of your time. Great for solo travellers or pairs looking for a sociable trek. The most popular way to experience what might just be Patagonia's best hiking. Great local guides, small groups, moderate comfort in refugios and an efficient itinerary help you get the most out of your time. Great for solo travellers or pairs looking for a sociable trek.

5 Days

$2,195

The Original Torres del Paine W Trek - 5 - $2,195

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Transfer from Puerto Natales to Torres Del Paine National Park, before the challenging but incredibly rewarding round trip hike to Las Torres lookout
  • Hike to Los Cuernos viewpoint with a chance to spot impressive Andean condors
  • Explore the French Valley for magnificent views of the French Glacier, granite peaks and lakes; the hike finishes up on the shore of Lake Pehoe
  • Trek to Glacier Grey to get close to the awe-inspiring Southern Patagonian Ice Field; 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

Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks visited on The Original Torres del Paine W Trek

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Roundtrip hike to Las Torres lookout point

Starting from Puerto Natales at 7 am, we drive to Torres del Paine National Park, passing estancias (ranches) and flat pampas taken straight from Patagonian folklore. Have your camera ready en route: ñandu (Patagonian ostrich), Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans are likely to be out in the pampas and lagoons.

After arriving at the Refugio you’ll have time to leave your backpack before we begin the W Trek’s first highlight: the hike to 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 and through lush beech forests 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 for the evening.

Private transfer: 2 hours 

Length of hike: 8-10 hours, 22 km

Meals: Box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: 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

If the weather allows, our morning will be lit by the rich oranges and pinks of a Patagonian dawn. Today we'll 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 200 m from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 m) and crosses the Bader River to Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances, today’s destination.

Length of hike: 4-5 hours, 13 km

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos, Domos Frances or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)


Day 3: One-way hike to Pehoe Lake, via the French Valley

Today’s hike is a challenging trek to the heart of the Paine massif. The French Valley is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers.

After breakfast, a winding path will take us to the French River (1-2 hour hike depending on whether our accommodation was at Los Cuernos or Domos Frances). At the entrance to the French Valley - a glacial moraine - you’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 (the “Plateau”). Your reward is a heart-stirring 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. Take your time to have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies.

You’ll 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 where we rest for our third night.

Length of hike: 8-9 hours, 18 km

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: 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’ll set out early, ascending 200m through the winding path that takes us to Laguna Negra. Here, 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 flightless steamer ducks that call them home.

We’ll have lunch at the lookout with the mammoth Grey Glacier at our feet, and might be lucky enough to catch sight of ice calving from its huge walls into the freezing waters.

This afternoon, there is the option to go on a 2.5-hour kayaking excursion (advance booking required, please enquire for more details).

Length of hike: 4 hours, 11 km

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Grey or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)


Day 5: Optional Ice Hike or Kayak - boat trip in front of Glacier Grey – transfer back to Puerto Natales 

Today starts gently with a free morning to stretch, relax and breathe in the landscape. You also have the option to go kayaking or ice hike on Grey Glacier - great if you chose the kayak excursion the evening before on day 4 (advance booking required for both activities, please enquire for more details).

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 calving.

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.

On dry land once again, we’ll hike 20 minutes along Grey Beach to meet our private transfer which takes us back to Puerto Natales where we end our journey.

Boat trip: 2 hours

Private transfer: 2 hours

Length of hike: 20 mins

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch

Customer review background image

What our customers think

The trip was incredible! We 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 coming into Los Cuernos. We really loved the experience with our group, both the other people and our guide.

Lauren Harris United States Of America November 2018

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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

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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

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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

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Many highlights, but possibly the strange highlight of being woken in the French campsite by thunderous roars from the glacier in the French Valley before trekking to the viewpoint to watch the ice falling. Spectacular landscapes, lovely birds and flowers, excellent guide, accommodation very good and transport couldn't have been better.

Ronnie United Kingdom November 2018

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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.

Lauren Harris United States Of America November 2018

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We saw a Puma resting under a tree not far from the trail within an hour of our first day of hiking. Such a thrill! Enjoying camaraderie with other hikers at the lodges after long days of peaceful solitude on the trails was bliss!

Rachel Roesler United States Of America December 2019

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Our guide was awesome. Not only was he a great guide who taught us a ton about the fauna and flora in the region, but also told us so much about Chile and the people. He was so helpful and a really smart and fun guy!

Terri Ellis Canada March 2018

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We love Torres del Paine! The hiking was spectacular. The continuous views are amazing. The whole time you are hiking, the views are incredible and ever changing. Our guide was great and throughout the hike, gave us the history, geology, wildlife, and plant descriptions of the area. The refugios were really nice compared to others we have seen.

Brian McIntyre United States Of America February 2019

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Our guide was brilliant and added to the experience. He gauged the pace of the group well and offered to take photos at every viewpoint. We had perfect weather, but had it been worse, his charismatic chirps of encouragement and knowledge of when it is and isn't appropriate to take the extended French Valley detour would have been invaluable.

Howard Williams United Kingdom November 2018

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I had for many decades dreamt of travelling to Patagonia. Our five days hiking in Torres del Paine with our guide are five days that I will never forget.

Eric October 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The highlight of the trip was definitely riding on the Grey III and getting to experience the Glacier super close up. I also really enjoyed the day hike from Refugio Chileno to Domo Frances, it was the most scenic in my opinion. The landscape was just mesmerizing. I couldn't stop looking at the granite peaks to the right and the turquoise blue glacier lakes to my left.

Dipesh United States Of America December 2018

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I recommend booking the refugios because it is extremely worth it after you hike all day. The food was extremely delicious and lodging was excellent.

Dipesh United States Of America December 2018

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Up to April 2021, 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

Start date Price (pp)
January 2021
29-Jan-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
February 2021
3-Feb-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
4-Feb-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
9-Feb-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
10-Feb-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
15-Feb-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
16-Feb-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
18-Feb-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
21-Feb-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
22-Feb-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
28-Feb-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
March 2021
5-Mar-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
10-Mar-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
15-Mar-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
20-Mar-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
25-Mar-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
30-Mar-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
April 2021
4-Apr-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
9-Apr-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
14-Apr-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date
19-Apr-2021 $2,195* Provisional Date
24-Apr-2021 $2,195 Provisional Date

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $2,195

Additional Notes

Group size - 8 maximum, 2 minimum

Accommodation upgradeupgrade 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.

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
  • Gratuities/Tips
  • International and domestic/in country flights
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • An accommodation upgrade is available on day 2 to a private cabin at Los Cuernos ($230 USD for a single, $140 USD for a double)

Questions about this Trip?