Classic W Trek

Hike Patagonia’s most famous trails, taking in views of the iconic Towers of Paine, the atmospheric French Valley, and the electric blue Glacier Grey. Enjoy the company of an experienced guide and the comfort of warm beds and hearty meals in mountain refugios. This is the classic way to experience the W Trek and is one of our most popular trips. You can combine it with ‘Classics’ in other parts of Chile and Argentina to tailor your 2-3 week holiday. Please enquire for further details.

7 Days

$2,262

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Classic W Trek - 7 - $2,262

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Journey to Torres del Paine, travelling through pampa grass steppes, and look out for guanacos, rheas and a variety of birds
  • Follow the Ascencio River before trekking through the Ascencio Valley, and then ascending to reach an iconic view point of the towers 
  • Trek to the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain, enjoying sublime views of Lake Nordenskjold and the hanging glaciers
  • Hike up the French Valley, and, if you're up for it, continue to the Britanico Lookout, surrounded by mountains of all shapes and sizes
  • Trek to the Grey Glacier lookout, navigating a path that circles the eastern shore of Lago Grey 

Start from Punta Arenas and end at Punta Arenas

Landmarks visited on Classic W Trek

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

Upon arrival at Punta Arenas airport you'll have a meet and greet service before boarding the 3 hour public bus to Puerto Natales, a charming town on the banks of the Ultima Esperanza Bay. The bus will drop you at the bus station, from where you can walk or take a short taxi ride to your hotel.

Meet & greet service

Length of transfer: public bus transfer 2.5 hours

Accommodation: Hotel, Puerto Natales


Day 2: Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine

After a morning exploring Puerto Natales you will take the two hour public bus journey to Torres del Paine, travelling through pampa grass steppes typical of the region. Look out for guanacos, rheas and a variety of birds during the journey. Register with the park authorities at Laguna Amarga and continue to your accommodation where you can relax before your first hike the next day.

Length of transfer: 2 hours public bus transfer

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central


Day 3: Trekking Base Torres Circuit

In the morning, your guide will lead you to the start of your trek - the most famous route in the park to the Base of the Towers.

Hike upwards for about one and a half hours with beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and Mount Almirante Nieto's hanging glacier until you arrive at Refugio Chileno, where you can recharge your energy levels.

Following the Ascencio River, walk uphill for an hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the Ascencio Valley's Lenga beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Continue with your guide through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to the iconic viewpoint. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment.

Reveling in the awe inspired by the towers, you'll start the descent, following the same path back to the refugio. A well deserved dinner will be provided.

Excursion: Full day, small group, guided trek, 7-8 hours, 13km, difficulty level high

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio el Chileno


Day 4: Trekking El Chileno - Los Cuernos Refuges

You will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn with orange-pink hues filling the sky. As you leave the refugio keep your eyes peeled because there are good chances of seeing Andean condors on this path. You will follow a well marked trail ascending around 200 metres and circling the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain. Behold expansive views of Lake Nordenskjold, the hanging glaciers and the unique local flora, including the "ciruelillo" or "notro" trees, which bloom with their characteristic red flowers from December onwards. Arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where you will stay overnight.

Excursion: Full day, small group, guided trek, 5-6 hours, 11km, difficulty level medium

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos


Day 5: Trekking French Valley

The day will begin with a fairly moderate trek, involving two hours of walking, with views of Lake Nordenskjold, until arriving at "Camp Italiano". At this point, if you wish to do so, you can arrange to leave any additional backpack contents with CONAF staff so that you are travelling light for your hike up the French Valley with just a small rucksack containing water, food and warm clothing. The climb begins from the valley of River Frances and continues for one and a half hours all the way up to the Frances Glacier Lookout. You can either turnaround at this point after enjoying your lunch, or continue along the path until arriving to the area known as "Britanico Lookout", which offers one of Torres del Paine's most impressive views, including Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Mascara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburon and Cuerno Norte.

The return trek follows the same path down to "Camp Italiano" and then onwards to Pehoe Lake and your accommodation at Paine Grande Lodge.

Excursion: Full day, small group, guided trek, up to 11-12 hours, 25km, difficulty level high

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Paine Grande Lodge


Day 6: Trekking to Greg Glacier - Puerto Natales 

Today's hike is a round trip one to Grey Glacier Lookout. From Paine Grande Lodge, you walk for about one and a half hours before reaching the first viewpoint from where you can see Glacier Grey in the distance. From here, you follow a path that circles the eastern shore of Lago Grey. After another one or two hours you will reach the main lookout and enjoy spectacular views of Glacier Grey, Cordon Olguin and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path. Reaching Pehoe Lake by 6pm you will then board a catamaran to ferry you to the other side, where your transfer back to Puerto Natales will be waiting for you.

Full day, small group, guided trek and transfer, 8-9 hours, 22km, difficulty level medium

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel, Puerto Natales


Day 7: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas

Travel 3 hours by public bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $2,262 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

The price is from $2,262 per person

Prices valid until 30/4/2018

Includes

  • Price Includes: 2 nights accommodation in Puerto Natales
  • 4 nights accommodation in refugios on the W Trek
  • Meet & Greet service on day 1 at Punta Arenas Airport
  • Combination of public bus and private transfers as described
  • Shared guide for 5 days hiking
  • Bus and transfers to / from Torres del Paine National Park Catamaran Pehoe Meals stated

Excludes

  • Flights
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

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