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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 people 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.

*Premium Options with Poles & Baggage Custody or Delivery
*Daily Options from hotel in Puerto Natales

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 people 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.

*Premium Options with Poles & Baggage Custody or Delivery
*Daily Options from hotel in Puerto Natales

About The W Trek

About 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).

Check W Trek Season Availability…

Arrivals & Transfers

What transport is there for Torres del Paine?

ExperienceChile.Org will include in the itinerary regular bus transfers and private local transfers. We can also arrange rent a car and private long-distance transfers.

What are the transfer routes for Torres del Paine?

Regular Buses and Private Transfers
El Calafate to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to El Calafate
El Calafate to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to El Calafate
Puerto Natales to el Calafate / El Calafate to Puerto Natales
Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales / Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas
Private Transfer
For those with a higher budget, or for private groups travelling together, a private transfer between cities and / or in to and out of Torres del Paine is the way to go. A private transfer will go at the times you want and take you door to door.

Can I rent a car for Torres del Paine?

For those who wish to have total independence having your own car use is the ultimate winner. You can go where you want when you want. Remember that if you want to take the car across the border a permit is required and this requires about a week’s notice.

How to get to Torres del Paine

What are the principal entry points to Torres del Paine?

Punta Arenas
Most commercial flights will land at Punta Arenas some 3.000km south from Santiago. Note: There are NO commercial flights from Buenos Aires nor El Calafate to Punta Arenas. The direct flight will take just under 4hrs and the one that stops off at Puerto Montt en-route will take around 4.5hrs.

From the airport you would then either be met by a private transfer service (if you have contracted one with ExperienceChile.Org), take the regular bus from Punta Arenas city centre to Puerto Natales and change to another bus to get to TDP, have asked ExperienceChile.Org to pre-arrange a regular bus pick-up at the airport, or have arranged for your own car rental. Note that a permit is required to take any car across the border in to Argentina.

El Calafate
You need to fly to El Calafate in Argentina from Buenos Aires or Ushuaia. Here you can stay overnight with an option to go to El Chalten (3hrs away by road) and / or visit Perito Moreno glacier the following day and then the next day come over to TDP. From El Calafate you can take the regular bus across the border (departs 08:00hrs) to Puerto Natales (arrives 13:00hrs approx) and change to the regular bus that then goes to TDP departing around 14:00hrs, or arrange a private transfer service or a car rental. Also from El Calafate ExperienceChile.Org can organise a direct bus transfer to TDP (Laguna Amarga) departing El Calafate at 05:30hrs, which takes 6hrs.

NOTE: No fruit, raw meat, raw vegetables, seeds or cheese is allowed over the border in either direction. If you try to do so you WILL be fined. There is a cafeteria at the Chile border where you can buy snacks as well as at the mini-markets on the W-Trek in TDP.

Puerto Natales
Navimag operates a commercial ferry ship, which also takes passengers, from Puerto Montt. This ship arrives to Puerto Natales and offers a good-value cruise that passes through the channels and fiords in the area en-route to Puerto Natales (the cruise is available from Puerto Natales too) and ExperienceChile.Org can arrange the reservations. From Puerto Natales you either take the regular bus to TDP, have a pre-arranged private transfer meet you or organise a rent a car.

Location Distances
Punta Arenas to Laguna Amarga in Torres del Paine (TDP) – 370km (5hrs drive)
Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales – 250km (3hrs drive)

Puerto Natales to TDP Laguna Amarga – 120km (2hrs to drive)
Puerto Natales to TDP Rio Serrano (newest route via Milodon-Cave road) – 80km (1hr to drive)

Climate & Weather

Clothes to Wear

CLOTHES TO WEAR
Try to bring LAYERS of breathable clothes that can be taken off or put on easily to adapt to any change in weather and as you heat up and cool down on a trek. Cotton undershirts are NOT recommended – see below.

Ideally clothes such as:

Over your body skin: an under vest (long sleeved if possible) made, ideally, from synthetic fibres so it dries quickly. If very cold weather (ie early spring, winter months or autumn) then thermal underwear made from synthetic fibres. The reason for synthetic fibres is because when you are walking several hours you will build up a sweat and your under garments will get wet, this then gets cold when you stop and will make you cold unless the wet material dries quickly. Cotton does not dry quickly, whereas synthetic material will dry more quickly.

Over your under vest: a breathable top such as a fleece.

Over your fleece: a waterproof windbreaker over jacket.

For your legs: trekking pants, resistant to rain and wind, but made from a breathable material otherwise you will sweat. Jeans are NOT good as they can get wet and not dry.

Over your trekking pants: waterproof shell pants to go over your trekking pants in the event of heavy rain.

For your feet: wool or synthetic socks. Waterproof trekking boots with ankle support and none-slip sole. If new make sure you break them in prior to using them on a trek.

For your hands: gloves. Close to glaciers it can be very cold.

For your head: a warm hat (not a jockey cap), sunglasses and sun-protection cream and a headband to keep your ears warm when not using the hat.

For your personal use: a back pack for food, water and clothes.

For your safety: a battery-operated torch for when power is out or if you are arriving to a refugio in the dark. Take with you during the trek extra water and snacks. Prepare for all weather conditions and dress for the outdoors. Do NOT go off the trail because if you have the slightest incident such as twisting an ankle, you may not be found.

Average Temperatures in TDP during the year
Summer (Dec – Jan – Feb) Max + 23.5°c / Min + 0.8°c.

Today & 5 Day Forecast (C°)

Torres del Paine National Park

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.

W Trek Map

If you would like for us to create a custom-built itinerary for you, email us…

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

If you would like for us to create a custom-built itinerary for you, email us…

W Trek Itineraries

W Trek Itineraries

Classic Self-Guided W Trek

with Puerto Natales

Classic Self-Guided W Trek

with El Calafate

Self-Guided "O" Circuit

Anticlockwise

W Trek Offer – Free Night in Santiago (Min. 2 People per Room)

* W Trek Prices include: Transportation from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine and back |Accommodation |Breakfast at Hotels | Bedding at accommodation on the W trek | Towels at accommodation on the W trek |All meals (full board) at refugios or alternative accommodation on the W trek route.

W Trek Offer – Free Night in Santiago (Min. 2 People per Room)

* W Trek Prices include: Transportation from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine and back |Accommodation |Breakfast at Hotels | Bedding at accommodation on the W trek | Towels at accommodation on the W trek |All meals (full board) at refugios or alternative accommodation on the W trek route.

For custom-built W Trek itineraries, email us…

Premium Itineraries

Premium Itineraries

Tierra Patagonia Itinerary

Premium W Trek Itinerary

Explora Hotel Itinerary

If you would like for us to create a custom-built premium itinerary for you, email us…

Torres del Paine

W Trek Info

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. The total distance is around 55km.

Full Circuit Trek

W Trekking Route

W Trek & Circuit Treks

Types of Accommodation

Full Circuit Trek

W Trekking Route

W Trek & Circuit Treks

Types of Accommodation

We Also Offer

Chile | Argentina | Patagonia
Easter Island
Foz de Iguazu | Peru
Machu Picchu

South America Custom Itineraries

Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

Please fill out form below:

Do You Need First Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

Do You Need Last Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

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Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

Please fill out form below:

Do You Need First Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

Do You Need Last Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

5 + 13 =