Torres Del Paine W Trek
Torres del Paine is for those who love nature and the outdoors. The W Trek is within Torres del Paine National Park and is for those who wish to walk amid one of the most outstandingly beautiful and dramatic natural landscapes on Earth. It is this incredible scenic “miracle” that draws people in from all over the world and what makes it a “must see” destination.
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The W Trek
Most will come to Torres del Paine to hike the iconic “W” trek and the more serious walkers will walk the complete “circuit” that goes around the back sector behind the Central Massif. The W Trek is a well-trodden hiking trail that takes the shape of a “W” when seen on the map. It covers approximately 55km, but this distance is divided into sectors where strategically located refugios offer accommodation for the night. There are three key valleys on the W Trek that most trekkers want to experience and these are: the Grey Valley on the western end, where the middle is filled with water creating Grey Lake; in the central sector where the the French Valley is – home to hanging glaciers and incredible views; and on the eastern side is the Ascencio Valley filled with wooded sides, a river on the valley floor, hanging glaciers and the fabled Torres Base at the end (called so because it is the base of the vertically-sided, needle-like towers).
The Circuit Trek
The Circuit Trek or the “0”, although encompassing the “W” also takes in the back area behind the Central Massif and completes a full circuit of the Park and hence its name. It is sometimes called the “0” because the path is “circular”. The Circuit Trek has three accommodation stations and must be walked anticlockwise. From Camping Serron in the eastern sector to Refugio Dickson and then Camping Los Perros. The sector after Camping Los Perros is uphill and difficult, but once at the top the view over Glacier Grey and the Southern Ice Filed is spectacular. After this the route is mainly downhill through the woods with Glacier Grey on the right, ending at Refugio Grey – the start of the western side of the W Trek after which comes Refugio Paine Grande, Domos Frances, Refugio or Cabin Cuernos and end at Refugio Chileno or Central to complete the Circuit.
All accommodation on either trek must be pre-booked. On both trails the accommodation is either in tents, refugios or dome tents, with options to also stay at one or two hotels and the ECO Camp.
Alternative W Trek Hotel Accommodation
We can also arrange the W Trek route incorporating overnight stays in HOTELS with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, but this will involve private transfers to get you from one hotel to the next.
Optional W Trek Based at Puerto Natales
It is also possible to go into the Park each day from Puerto Natales to the various trail heads and do the W Trek that way. This will involve some private transfers.
Doing the W Trek Staying in Luxury Accommodation, Enjoy Good Food, Good Wine, Swimming Pools and Spa’s
There are now three top-end luxury-level “World Class” hotels in and around Torres del Paine. These are the Tierra Patagonia, Explora Salto Chico and Awasi Lodge Patagonia. These places offer superb accommodation, great food, guided excursions with educated guides, and in two of the three a wonderful pool and spa facility. Look in both our Featured Hotel sector on this page and offers sector to see more about these properties.
Not Doing the W trek. Full Day Torres del Paine Seeing the Sites
If trekking is not your thing, we can arrange a full day tour of the sights in Torres del Paine either from one of the standard hotels in the park or from Puerto Natales. You will have a private service taking you around to the key sights with an option to include the boat trip to Grey Glacier too.
W Trek Custom Itineraries
We specialise in the creation of custom itineraries and possess unique local knowledge of the Patagonia area, where we have a locally-based office and our staff are on hand to ensure you have support should you need it. We offer to create a customised, self-guided or guided W Trek program for you be it 3, 4, or more nights’ accommodation in refugios (or hotels), with in and out transfers from Puerto Natales and/or El Calafate, and pre and post Torres del Paine accommodation included. We can also add in kayak and/or ice hiking at Grey Glacier into the rest of your Patagonia or full South American Itinerary. Another option is to stay pre and/or post the W trek in one of the luxury lodges in Torres del Paine or Puerto Natales, which, of course, we can also arrange.
View Torres del Paine W Trek Map ↓
FAQ About Torres del Paine W Trek
How fit do I need to be to hike the W Trek?
The full distance of the trekking path is around 55km and daily treks vary from between 4hrs to 10hrs in walking time. Therefore, it is important that you are accustomed to walking long distances and be in good physical shape. The path is a mixture of turns and twists, ups and downs, across and sometimes through streams, through woods, and a few sectors that require a scramble up and over rocks.
Why is it called the W Trek?
The W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park is called so because the path marks out a “W” shape on the map.
How long does the W Trek take?
Typically, the W trek will require 4 nights. It can, however, be done in 3 nights if you cut out one of the ends and it can, of course, be extended to 5 or 6 nights in order to relax and enjoy the beauty and dramatic scenery in the Park.
Why is the Torres del Paine W Trek so sought after?
Why this trekking path is so sought after is simply because it offers the trekker a moderately challenging walk amid one of the most spectacular natural geographically created places on Earth. And, within this marvel of nature are glaciers, forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
What is the Torres Base?
The Torres base is beside a lagoon at the base of the three vertically sided, “needle” towers of the Park. This iconic trail is nick-named “the Torres base trek” starting at Hotel Las Torres, eastern end of the Park and from here it takes 4hrs to get to the base. On the way up the trail passes by Refugio Chileno and from Refugio Chileno it is 2hrs to the base.
What is the French Valley?
The French Valley is a very beautiful valley in the middle of the W Trek and is one of the iconic valleys to enter when walking the Trek. Its entrance is beside the NON-SERVICED camp site called Camp Italiano, halfway between Refugio Paine Grande and Refugio Cuernos. From Camp Italiano it takes about 2.5hrs to get to the end, then, of course it is 2.5hrs back to the entrance.
When is Most Popular Time to Come to Torres del Paine?
The Summer: December, January and February is typically the most popular time for visitors because the weather is warmer and it is the Winter holiday period in the Northern hemisphere.
When is Best Time to Come to Torres del Paine?
To avoid the crowds the best time to visit is before mid November or after March.
When is the Best Month to Come to Torres del Paine?
The opinion of many is that April is the best month to come because usually the wind has died down, there are few people and the weather is often very good.
What are the Torres del Paine W Trek and Circuit Trek Trails?
The W trek is called so because the footpath (or trekking trail) takes the form of a “W” on the map when looked down upon from above. The Circuit Trek is the footpath that includes the W Trek but also goes around the back of the Central Massif, effectively offering a perimeter path from where you can start and end at.
How can I book Accommodation on the W Trek?
There are serviced camp sites, refugios, and in one place: Cuernos, there are also private cabins, all of which you can book through us. You can also stay in hotels, certainly at the eastern end at the Las Torres trail head; and in the western end at Grey. We can also make a program for you based at Puerto Natales with daily excursions into Torres del Paine to the different trail heads. Alternatively, we can book the luxury lodges and you can do the W Trek, or parts of it, from these hotels.
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W Trek Info
Why is it called the
The W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park is called so because the path marks out a “W” shape on the map. The total distance is around 55km.
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