Self Guided W-Trek (Refugios)
Chile Nativo Travel - 5 days
Regular days with
- 0 - 10 km per day
> No guide needed
> See all W-trek highlights
> Start at any date
This trek owes its name to its shape, which seen from above looks like a W. With the most varied and colorful landscapes, this trek is guaranteed to leave you speechless. Along the way you will find hanging glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and granite peaks. The red color given by the lengas in autumn and winter provide you with a dreamlike scenery.
This is a great option for those wanting to hike the complete W trek, starting at any time without having to join a group or hire a guide. The trip is designed so that you visit the three main valleys of the park that make up the W and include the following highlights: hiking to the lookout point to the famous Towers, the rushing French river and the hanging glacier of the French Valley and the magnificent Grey Glacier. Get ready to conquer some of the most austral peaks in the world. Book the W-trek to Torres del Paine now!
* Availability of this trek depends on the availability of accommodation and permits in Torres del Paine National Park. No guarantees are given until your trekking company is able to confirm your trek.
*Note for early bookers: Full payment needs to be made at least 45 days prior to start date.
*The cancellation policy of Bookatrekking.com does not apply. If you are obliged to cancel the trek, you will lose your 15% deposit. Cancelling within 45 days means losing the full payment.
What’s the plan?
Day 1 – Transfer to Torres del Paine – Round trip hike to Las Torres lookout point
Starting from Puerto Natales at 7:00 AM, we drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park. We will drive through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (rare South American ostrich).
The bus arrives at Laguna Amarga, the main entrance to the park where you connect with a shuttle to the Refugio Torre Central. After leaving your backpack at the Refugio, you start the trek with your lunch box to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. The walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests, glaciers, and waterfalls. You’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment.
After being awed by the towers you’ll start the descent, following the same path back to the hut. Dinner will be served in the Refugio.
Duration: 2 hours by public bus, 30 minutes by shuttle, 8-10 hours round-trip, 18 KM
Meals: Lunch, Dinner included
Accommodation: Refugio Torres
Day 2 – One way hike to Los Cuernos lookout point
After breakfast at the Refugio you request your pack lunch and start the hike to Refugio Los Cuernos. As we leave the hut we will arrive at Inge lagoon.
Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. You follow a well marked trail ascending around (200 mts.) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 mts.), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where you will stay overnight, after enjoying a good meal.
Duration: 6 hours hiking, 17 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos
Day 3 – One-way hike to Pehoe Lake, via the French Valley
After a breakfast in the Refugio, and once you request your pack lunch from them; you will start the day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for your first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then you will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes.
Your way back will be the same until you reach the entrance of the valley where you will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoé Lake. Dinner will be served in the Refugio.
Duration: 8-9 hours hiking, 18 KM
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande
Day 4 – One-way hike to Glacier Grey – Optional Ice hike or kayak
You will begin the early morning with the hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200mts up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where you will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. You will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. You will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall.
Duration: 4 hours hiking, 11 KM
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Optional: Ice hike or Kayak
Accommodation: Refugio Grey
Day 5 – One-way hike to Catamaran – Transfer back to Puerto Natales
You return to Paine Grande following the same path with views of Cordon Olguín and Paine Grande. You need to be on time to take the Catamaran to cross the Pehoe Lake. Once you arrived at the other side, a public bus will be waiting to drive back to Puerto Natales.
Duration: 4 hours hiking, 11 KM, 35 minutes by Catamaran, 3 hours by public bus
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Included
REGARDING THE SCHEDULE
The schedules indicated above are subject to change due to weather conditions or unexpected circumstances beyond our control, but we will try our best to keep them unaltered.
√ All the public transportation indicated in the itinerary
The bus from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amarga, (the main entrance to the park) & the bus back to Puerto Natales are included in the price.
√ Shuttle in between Laguna Amarga and Refugio Torres
Also, the Shuttle from the entrance to the park to your Refugio is covered by Chile Nativo.
√ Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
All fees for the National park are covered.
√ Stay the Refugios
All mountain lodges are in strategic places in the park and with fantastic views. There are 6 beds to each room (bunk-bed style) and have shared bathrooms with hot water.
√ Sleeping bags and liners
Sleeping bags and liners are provided.
√ Catamaran to cross the Pehoe Lake
A Catamaran will take you over Pehoe Lake on your last day.
√ All meals indicated in the schedule
All meals are nutritious and will give you the needed energy on your trip.
× Medical expenses & Insurances
Please take care of your own travel & health insurances. Be prepared.
× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.
If you want to use a Guide please have a look at our Guided treks in Torres del Paine.
All mountain lodges used by us for our trips are located in strategic places in the park and with fantastic views. There are 6 beds in each room (bunk-bed style) and have shared bathrooms with hot water.
Night 1: Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Torres Central & North
The Mountain lodges of Torres Central and North are two comfortable refugios located at the base of the hike to the Towers lookout and part of the “W” and “Circuit” walks. They are within walking distance of the Hotel Spa at Las Torres for a variety of services including massage and saunas.
Night 2: Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Los Cuernos
Los Cuernos is found on the shore of lake Nordenskjöld nestled in a Coihue Forest lays Refugio Cuernos with 32 beds. This cozy lodge is located on the “W” circuit walking between the French Valley and the Torres del Paine lookout and base camp area.
Night 2: Cabins Los Cuernos (Optional)
8 cozy cabins for 2 persons each with shared bathrooms and showers exclusively for people who are staying at the cabins. The cabins are located next to the Refugio Los Cuernos and all meals are taken in the Refugio.
Night 3: Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Paine Grande
Paine Grande is a large and modern refugio set on the banks of the Lake Pehoe, including internet connection and full service bar. It’s the jump off point for the catamaran crossing Lake Pehoe and the walks to the French and Grey Valleys part of the “W” and “Circuit” hikes.
Night 4: Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Grey
Ideally situated on the edge of Lake Grey, this refugio is in a forest of Lenga trees. A small and cozy hut, with a privileged access to the Grey Glacier and is part of the “W” and “Circuit” hikes.
Due to some limited availability in the Refugios, some departures will use Chile Nativo´s camp accommodations instead of regularly planned refugios. Our camp sites use North Face VE 25 – 4 season tents (3 people tent, use as a double), and we provide sleeping bags with liners and camping mattresses. The camp has access to modern facilities and hot showers. Unless noted, meals will be taken in the refugios where camping accommodations are added. There is no extra cost associated with this and all equipment necessary will be provided by Chile Nativo, including porters to carry the camping gear. According to our experience, the space at the refugios usually open up when we get close to the departure dates, and we have access to book the night we need. You will be notified upon booking when camping accommodations replace a refugio night.
How to get there?
As your trekking starts early in the morning you need to get to Puerto Natales one day before the start of your trek. You need to fly on Puntus Arenas (Airport code: PUQ). From there you can take the bus to Puerto Natales. It’s advisable to arrange this up front. We recommend either Bus-Sur or Buses Fernandez. These are the departure times:
Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales
8:00 9:00 11:00 13:00 14:30 16:00 17:00 18:30 19:15 20:00 21:00
Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas
7:00 7:15 9:00 11:00 13:00 14:30 17:00 18:30 19:15 20:00 21:00
What time am I back in Puerto Natales?
The earliest you will be back in Puerto Natales will be 15:00. This is because of the Catamaran, which takes you over Lake Pehoe, leaves at 11 in the morning or at 5 in the afternoon. Take this into consideration when planning your next adventure.
What’s the best season for trekking in Torres del Paine?
You want nice weather when trekking in Torres del Paine National Park. At the park is situated in the Southern Hemisphere, one has to be mindful of the seasons there. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is actually summer in the deep South. Hence, the best trekking season for Torres del Paine National Park is during the summer months: From November to early March. However, Spring (September-November) are and Autumn (March-May) are also favorable trekking and hiking seasons, as the crowds are fewer and the natural scenery is colorful. Think fresh colors in Spring and stunning brown colors in the Fall months. Winter lasts from June to August and it is then that Torres del Paine National Park and the rest of Patagonia is quiet. At this time of the year, most attractions are closed for maintenance. Regardless of your choice in trekking season, make sure you bring enough layers for during your hike.
Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.
Do you like walking, have you done trekking at an altitude more often and do you sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in Patagonia.
Is this the first time that you are trekking in the mountains? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s walk twice a week. Read this blog post and get fit for trekking in Patagonia
This trek is perfectly suited for those travelers ready to start an adventure on their own but who don’t want to worry about the details of reservation and logistics. Chile Nativo takes care of all the details, including a briefing in their office before you head to the park, reservation of all the services and a secure place to store your extra luggage in our office in Puerto Natales.
The day before the trek you will get an extensive briefing in the Chile Nativo office and you will get all your tickets for the buses, entrance for the Torres National Park and for your Catamaran crossing over the Pehoe Lake. You will be provided by a detailed map of the National Park and route description. Also, safety aspects and emergency numbers will be provided for you. Let your adventure begin!
Trekking in Patagonia requires decent gear. Especially the basics like an 80-90l backpack and quality trekking socks. Read an extensive blog here about what to bring with you.
– Regular synthetic underwear
– Long thermal underwear bottoms
– Full length hiking pants
– Hiking shorts
– Long thermal underwear top
– Long-sleeved synthetic top
– Short-sleeved synthetic t-shirts
– Medium-weight fleece jacket
– Sun hat with brim
– Woolly hat
– Water and windproof parka jacket
– Waterproof gloves
– Synthetic hiking socks
– Sturdy and supportive waterproof trekking boots
– Waterproof pants
– Fleece pants for camp
– Athletics socks for camp and town
– Casual city clothes
– Casual shoes
– Combined shampoo/conditioner
– Sunblock (SPF 15 or higher)
– High factor sunblock lip balm
– Insect repellent
– Travel towel
– Deodorant spray or wipes
– Camera with spare memory
– Camera charger
– Phone charger
– Electrical adapter
– Mini sewing kit
– Pack of playing cards
Chile Nativo is an expedition/excursion operator with an intimate family of staff that is both native and expert in the Patagonian region of Chile. The team deeply enjoys sharing the Chilean culture and traditions with its travelers as well as educating all about the overwhelming array of nature provided by the region.
At Chile Nativo each guide is a respectful teacher of the surroundings with special focus on the community, preservation of natural resources and playing attention to every detail to make it truly an experience, not only a trip.
We have small group departures (maximum 8 members) and a high level of individualized service. We have several set departure dates for our various activities and we can also tailor make a trip to your client’s preferences. The company is very proud that it has been stated in the National Geo Traveller and Outside Magazine. Chile Nativo has received the certificate of quality by the Chilean Tourism Bureau: Sello Q
How to book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
The cancellation policy of Bookatrekking.com does not apply. Cancellation only possible up to 45 days prior to start date.
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