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W Trek in Winter

Our expert guides make it possible to follow the majority of the W Trek and experience its highlights even in the winter months, despite of chillier conditions and limited services. You'll have the snow-covered Torres del Paine National Park almost all to yourself – something that few people ever experience.

Are you hoping to travel before January 2023?

Patagonia's a big trip and we know how crucial it is to get it right. As you’re considering travelling in the next couple of months, we want to be upfront with you…

Finding available accommodation is proving almost impossible in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. While not uncommon, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation this year.

Alongside this, Swoop are also currently focused on ensuring that all of the logistics are in place for our booked travellers who are due to head south shortly.

Swoop has therefore decided to no longer accept any new bookings departing before the beginning of January 2023.

As alternative options, here’s what we suggest:

Option A:

Push your trip back and choose to travel instead in early 2023. Feb - April in particular has more accommodation options still available. The Patagonian autumnal colours are stunning and trails less crowded.

Option B:

Defer your Patagonia adventure by 12 months, benefitting by getting exactly the trip you want without compromise, and lock in plans now while there’s still good availability.

If you are able to be flexible on your travel dates, the next step would then be for us to arrange a time to talk through the options.

  • I want to travel before January 2023

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  • I’m flexible and could travel later

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Trip type

Guided Activity

Trip length

5 Days




Torres del Paine

W Trek in Winter - 5 - $1,695

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Arrive in Torres del Paine; Hike to Lake Pehoé

Day 2: Hike to Glacier Grey

Day 3: Hike to the French Valley

Day 4: Hike via Las Carretas Trail; Transfer to Serrano Area

Day 5: Hike to Las Torres (The Towers) viewpoint; Transfer to Puerto Natales

Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks visited on W Trek in Winter

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Torres del Paine; Hike to Lake Pehoé

Your private transfer will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel in Puerto Natales and drive you to Torres del Paine National Park’s administration area, where our first hike will begin.

This is a 6hr hike along Las Carretas trail to the shores of Lake Pehoé, tucked at the base of the Paine Massif. The Grey River will accompany us along the way and we’ll have a picnic lunch before arriving at our Refugio.

Once there, you’ll settle into your dorm before meeting again for dinner.

Transfer duration: 2hrs

Length of hike: 6hrs, 16km

Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

Day 2: Hike to Glacier Grey

Today, our destination is Glacier Grey: a stirringly beautiful ice giantending abruptly in the glacial lake of the same name. We’ll set out early, ascending 200 metres on 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 sections. You’ll continue on to Grey Glacier’s lookout point, passing forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flying steamer ducks that call them home.

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

We return along the same path, accompanied by views of Paine Grande and the muscled granite walls of Cordon Olguín, to our Refugio where we’ll spend a second night.

Length of hike: 8hrs, 22km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

Day 3: Hike to the French Valley

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

After breakfast we’ll set off on a 2-hour hike through firebush and beech forests to the suspension bridge over the French River. 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 (3,050m); 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.

We’ll have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies, then return to our Refugio via the same route for our final night there.

Length of hike: 7-8hrs, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

Day 4: Hike via Las Carretas Trail; Transfer to Serrano Area

Today we’ll make our way across the park, hiking the Las Carretas Trail to the park’s administration area. Here, we take our transfer to Rio Serrano where we’ll stay the night in a cosy cabin located in the Rio Serrano Sector.

Transfer duration: 10mins

Length of hike: 5-6hrs, 16km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Vista Paine

Day 5: Hike to Las Torres viewpoint; Transfer to Puerto Natales

In the morning, we take a transfer to Las Torres area to begin our hike to the three Towers base. The trail takes us through incredible deciduous beech forests, with views of glaciers and waterfalls.

Our journey continues as we ascend a huge terminal moraine up to the Las Torres (The Towers) viewpoint (900m) with excellent photo opportunities. From here we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (2,850m) and a lagoon fed by waters from glacial erosion. We will enjoy lunch in front of this breathtaking scenery.

We will then descend, following the same path down to the estancia Las Torres, located at the mountain's plateau, where we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales.

Transfer duration: 1.5hrs

Length of hike: 8-10hrs, 22km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Customer review background image

What our customers think of W Trek in Winter

W Trek in Winter trips scored 4.8/5 from 3 reviews

Hiking up the Torres in a driving snow was pretty awesome; on top of the fact that the winter weather limited the number of people on the trail, we only saw one other hiker.

Travelled: July 2017

Philip - Virginia, US

Everything ran as planned. The guides were fantastic. The accommodation was rustic (but expected).

Travelled: September 2016

David -

Patagonia was amazing! We were wary of visiting in the middle of winter, but we are so glad that we avoided the crowds and could enjoy the peacefulness of the area.

Travelled: August 2016

Stuart & Sandra -

Swoop was great in that they helped guide me to finding the right guided trip in the winter. Without Swoop, planning this trip would have been a lot more tricky! Nothing could have been done differently.

Travelled: May 2017

Samantha Hastie -

Torres del Paine Winter Adventure

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Please note this trip is not operating during the 2022 season.

You may be interested in our Winter Highlights of Torres del Paine trip.

Additional Notes

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.

Group size – Minimum 2, maximum 8.


  • All meals indicated in the itinerary
  • Three nights in refugios (dormitories with bunk beds & fresh bedding), heating, showers and hot water
  • One night in a cabin in the Serrano Area (two-room cabin with shared bathroom)
  • All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
  • English and Spanish-speaking guide


  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch and dinner
  • Any additional nights
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Porters to carry personal belongings (available upon request, cost of USD $150 per day with a maximum of 15 kg per porter, usually good to share one between two hikers)
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?