trekking through the mirador base torres in the w trek patagonia
Grey Torres del Paine Lake
Travelers in the W trek patagonia
w trek patagonia in group
torres del paine mountains
trekking along the w trek patagonia
Cuernos del Paine in Torres del Paine
Landscape on the w trek patagonia
group in refugio torre norte in torres del paine
Torre Norte Refugio beds in torres del paine
Travel through the Torres del Paine National Park along the stunning W Trek
room of the refugio torre central in torres del paine
Travel through the Torres del Paine National Park along the stunning W Trek
terrace of the refugio los cuernos in torres del paine
common area of the refugio los cuernos torres del paine
refugio el chileno w trek patagonia
common area of el refugio el chileno in w trek patagonia
1 / 17

Torres del Paine W Trek tour (Patagonia)

Book Torres del Paine W Trek tour with all services included, the most iconic hike in Patagonia

(79 reviews)

Season 2024-25 bookings already available!

Puerto Natales
5 days
Self-guided
Starts: From Puerto Natales bus station at 2:15 p.m.
Ends: To Puerto Natales bus station at 9:30 p.m.
Free cancellation!

Briefing

The W Trek is the most famous route in the iconic Torres del Paine National Park. The W Torres del Paine Circuit tour is a 5-day self-guided trek. The tour includes everything you need to enjoy this experience: transfers in/out from Puerto Natales, 4 nights of lodging in camping, refugio (mountain hostel) or refugio + hotel (according to your choice), fullboard (breakfast, lunch and dinner), entrance ticket to the National Park and even a welcome kit with material for the trek and free drinks in the refugios.

During the W Circuit you will discover the most iconic locations of the park: Base Torres, French & British Lookout and Grey Glacier. The first two nights you will stay in Central Sector or Chileno Campsite (near Base Torres), the third night in Cuernos Sector or French Sector and the last in the Paine Grande Sector.

Below we have detailed the whole itinerary, so that you can fully understand what we offer and book W Trek with confidence 😉

Tour details

Included

  • Park access ticket
  • Transfer by bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (round trip)
  • Catamaran ticket (Paine Grande - Pudeto)
  • 2 nights acommodation in Central Sector or Chileno Sector
  • 1 night acommodation in Fancés Sector or Cuernos Sector
  • 1 night acommodation in Sector Paine Grande
  • Full board (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners)
  • Welcome kit (towel + liner + welcome drinks + refillable bottle + notebook + map)

Not included

  • Day 1 lunch
  • Day 5 dinner
  • Luggage porter (available as extra)
  • Guide (available as extra)

Important information

Lodging options: 

Camping: includes all camping equipment: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent already set up. They are tents with capacity for 2 people and you will be assigned a tent just for you in case you are a single person.

"Refugio": these are 4 oto 6 beds shared dorms at huts (mountain hostel) and includes sheets and blankets or sleeping bags, depending on the "refugio".

Hotel + "refugio": the first two nights you will stay at Las Torres Patagonia hotel in single, double or triple room depending on the number of passengers. The other two nights you will stay at refugio Francés or Cuernos and at Paine Grande.

Cancellation policy

Free cancellation!

If you cancel at least 90 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 100% refund of the amount paid. If you cancel between 89 and 70 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 50% refund of the total cost. If you cancel between 59 and 45 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 50% refund of the total cost. After this time or in case of not doing the activity, no refund will be made and it will not be possible to modify the reservation.

*Reservation modifications are subject to the cancellation policies indicated, applying the corresponding penalty in each case depending on how far in advance the cancellation is requested.

Tour itinerary

TOUR BRIEFING

Torres del Paine W Trek Briefing

We know that a 5-day trekking route requires good planning. In order for you to live the best experience, before you start the tour, we will send you an online briefing with everything you need: access tickets, packing list and detailed information about your daily itinerary.

In addition, we are always available to answer any questions that may arise 😉

Torres del Paine National Park entrance Chile

DAY 1 Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine National Park

Lodging: Central or Chileno Sector

2:15 PM

Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park

The classic 5 days Torres del Paine W Trek starts after lunch. You will have to go to Puerto Natales bus station, where you will take a bus to the park departing at 2:15 PM. Make sure you get there 15 minutes before departute.

The bus will take you to Laguna Amarga, the park access point, where park rangers will register you as a visitor.

Access to the w trek patagonia

Central or Chileno Sector

Once inside the park, you will take a transfer to the Welcome Center. After picking up your welcome kit you will start hiking. If you are staying at Central sector, it will take you no more than 10 minutes. In case you are staying at Chileno, you will hike 4 miles (6 km) to the camping.

Upon arrival you will check-in, and your dinner and breakfast schedule will be indicated.

You will have free time until dinner time. Some travelers take the opportunity to stroll around the area, others have a drink on the bar terrace and enjoy the scenery. 

💬 Breakfast and dinner are always served in the dining room of the "refugio", even if you stay in camping.

Common area of the Base Torres Refugio

DAY 2 Base Torres Trekking

Difficulty: Medium - High

Total distance: 13.7 miles (22 km) from Central / 10.5 miles (17 km) from Chileno

Total approximate time: 9 hours

Positive elevation gain: 3,517 ft. (1,072m)

Lodging: Central Sector or Chileno Sector

✨ Highlight: Base Torres Lookout Point

Breakfast at "refugio"

The day starts with breakfast at the time assigned during check-in (between 7:30 - 8:30). After breakfast, you will pick up the lunch-box that you will enjoy during the route. As you will get back to the same location, you will only have to carry your daypack, leaving your backpack at the accomodation.

💬 The lunch-box includes specific food to fuel for the day’s physical activity: nuts, cereal bars, fruit, a sandwich and some sweets.

Breakfast at the Base Torres refugio

Trekking to Base Torres lookout

Today's route is the iconic ascent to the Base Torres viewpoint, 13.7 miles (22 km) consisting of three sectors: initial slope, descent into the Chileno Sector and final ascent. 

You will start the hike flat for 1.2 miles (2 km), crossing the Ascencio River Valley until you reach the first stretch with slope. This will be followed by 1.8 miles (3 km) of trail until you reach the Paso de los Vientos, with views that will make the initial effort worthwhile.

boy taking a picture in Paine windy pass

Lenga Forest - La Morrena - Base Torres Lookout Point

You will continue along a 2.5 miles (4 km) flat stretch, passing through Chileno Sector and you will suddenly enter a totally different ecosystem: a lenga forest.

The third sector of today´s hike is the most complicated. An area of large stones with a steep slope and no marked path. Finally, after 1.5 miles (2.5 km) you will get to Base Torres del Paine lookout. Enjoy!

💬 Many travelers staying at Central Sector stop at Chileno on their way up or down to refill water or have a drink and rest for a while. Obviously, if you stay in Chileno Sector your route will be shorter

Big rocks at Torres del Paine glacier moraine

Views of Torres del Paine

It is time to relax and enjoy. From this viewpoint you will get the best views to the famous granite towers that gives the National Park its name.

Central Sector

Once you are ready, you will start your way back along the same trail, until you reach your accommodation . Upon arrival you will have free time to rest, have a drink at the bar while chatting to other travelers and then have dinner.

💙 Howlanders Tip

For a better hiking experience, we recommend starting the route early in the morning, so you will avoid the large groups that arrive from Puerto Natales to do this hike in a full-day tour.

people at the torres del paine base lookout point

DAY 3 Lake Nordenskjöld Trekking

Difficulty: Medium

Total distance: 8 miles (13.2 km) to Cuernos Sector / 10.5 miles (17 km) to Francés Sector.

Total approximate time: 4:30 hours to Cuernos Sector / 6:30 hours to Francés Sector. 

Positive vertical drop: 1,115 ft. (340 m) up to Cuernos Sector / 1,706 ft. (520 m) up to Francés Sector. 

Lodging: Francés or Cuernos Sector

✨ Highlight: Lake Nordenskjöld

Lake Nordenskjöld

Without a doubt, this is the best day to enjoy the scenery without rushing, as you will walk during 4:30 to 6:30 hours (depending on your accommodation). So you can take it easy and enjoy the views.

After breakfast, the third day of the Torres del Paine W Trek begins. This is the least demanding stage, as there is very little elevation gain and the trail is in very good condition. You will surround the Nordenskjöld lake, hiking on trail through the forest, crossing small rivers and even walking along the beaches of the lake. And all this, with views of the Almirante Nieto mountain and the Cuernos del Paine. Patagonia in all its splendor as a backdrop!

Lake Nordenskjöld

Francés Sector in Torres del Paine

Francés and Cuernos Sectors are the coziest sectors of the W Trek, as many travelers do not reach them because they are not accessible by boat or bus.

Some travelers prefer to stay in Francés Sector in order to hike 3 miles (5 km) less on the next day. Others prefer to enjoy the Cuernos Sector, as its atmosphere is as great as its cuisine.

dining room refugio cuernos in torres del paine

DAY 4 Francés Valley trekking: Francés and Británico Lookouts

Difficulty: Medium-High

Total distance: 16,7 miles (27 km) from Cuernos Sector / 14 miles (23 km) from Francés Sector.

Total approximate time: 10 hours from Cuernos Sector / 8 hours from Francés Sector. 

Positive elevation gain: 3215 ft. (980 m) from Cuernos Sector / 2624 ft. (800 m) from Francés Sector. 

Lodging: Paine Grande Sector

✨ Highlight: French Lookout + British Lookout.

Francés Lookout

Day 4 is one of the most demanding if you hike to French (Francés) and British (Británico) lookouts.

If you have stayed in Cuernos, you will have to get to Francés, a 2.5 miles (4 km) flat trail.

From Francés Sector there are 0.9 miles (1.4 Km) until reaching the intersection where the trail splits. From there, one trail ascends to the French valley, and the other continues to Paine Grande.

If you decide to hike along the French Valley, you will walk 0.6 miles (1 km) to "Campamento Italiano". This camp is used by the park rangers (CONAF) and offers luggage storage service. You can leave your backpack and take with you a smaller daypack, so you hike lighter. The hike to French Lookout takes 1.5 miles (2,5 km) per way, including 985 ft (300 m) elevation gain. 

💬 The distance and difficulty of today's route can be adapted. You can skip the hike along the Frances Valley and go directly to the Paine Grande Sector. In this case, the route will be 8 miles (13 km) shorter and mostly flat. Other option is to hike just to Francés lookout.

views of the french valley torres del paine

Británico Lookout

Once at the French viewpoint you can continue to the British viewpoint, 1.9 miles (3 km) long with 920ft (280 m) elevation gain. When you reach the viewpoint you will find a rocky area where you can climb to enjoy the best views and take the best picture of British viewpoint.

Afterwards, you will return along the same trail, to the park rangers' campsite, where you will have left your backpack.

british viewpoint w circuit torres del paine

Arrival at Paine Grande Sector

The last part of the route are 5.6 miles (9 km), with slight negative slope that your legs will appreciate. You will cross an area that suffered a fire a few years ago, where the tree trunks create a somewhat gloomy landscape. 

Welcome to Paine Grande Sector! The largest "refugio" in Torres del Paine, with a unique location in front of Lake Pehoé, and with the majestic Cerro Paine in the background.

Skottsberg Lake

DAY 5 Grey Glacier Trekking - Puerto Natales

Difficulty: Medium-High

Total distance: 13.7 miles (22 km) to "refugio" Grey.

Approximate time: 9 hours

Positive elevation gain: 2296 ft. (700 m.) 

Lodging: not included (return to Puerto Natales)

✨ Highlight: Grey glacier viewpoint and suspension bridges.

*This information takes into consideration the route to the Grey lodge, there are travelers who decide to continue 2.5 kilometers longer (each way) to reach the first suspension bridge.

Cerro Paine Grande

The route of the last day is an ascent in the direction of the Grey Glacier. You will hike having Lake Grey on one side and Cerro Paine Grande on the other. The route length depends on you, the more you hike, the closer to the glacier you get. Some travelers reach the Grey Glacier viewpoint, others continue further up to the Grey "refugio", and some even to reach the first suspension bridge.

💙 Howlanders Tip:

In order to get closer to Grey Glacier, we recommend that you leave your backpack at Paine Grande and hike with a daypack. Time it well, as you have to be back in time to not miss the catamaran leaving the park.

Views of the Cerro Paine Grande from the refuge
  • Grey Glacier Lookout

The first stop is the Grey Lake viewpoint, located 3.7 miles (6 km) away from Paine Grande. From here you can see the Grey Glacier and some litle icebergs fallen from Glacier Grey wall.

  • Grey "refugio"

To get to the Refugio you will hike almost 7 miles (11 km), therefore the total lenght will be 13.8 miles (22.2 km) and some travelers end their ascent here.

  • First suspension bridge:

Although the experience of crossing this bridge is as good as its views, we only recommend reaching this point to the most experienced hikers. In total it takes 16.6 miles (26.8 km). Do it only if you leave early, the weather conditions are good and you calculate your time very well to ensure you can get back on time to take the catamaran.

walt to the grey lake in w trek patagonia

Catamaran on Lake Pehoé

The way back to the Paine Grande Sector is downhill, so it is much easier. It is important to keep an eye on the time on this route, because at 6:30 PM you will have to take the catamaran that will take you back to Pudeto. You will sail across Lake Pehoé to Pudeto and once there, a bus will take you back to Puerto Natales, where you will arrive around 9:30 PM, ending this epic adventure in Chilean Patagonia.

catamaran from Paine Grande Sector to Pudeto

What to bring to Torres del Paine W Trek tour (Patagonia)

The weather in Patagonia is very changeable. It is said that you can experience all four seasons in one day. Also, during the summer (when the tour takes place), strong winds are very common. Therefore, we advise you to bring clothing for different climates, ideally the 3-layer system. We recommend that the weight of your backpack does not exceed 10% of your body weight and below is a guideline list, but you know better than anyone what your needs are in the mountains.

  • Passport
  • PDI: Migratory card (foreign travelers not residing in Chile)
  • Accommodation reservation ticket
  • Hiking pants: thin or short.
  • Long hiking pants for extra warmth
  • First layer: thermal T-shirt
  • Middle layer: fleece or similar
  • Outer layer: waterproof jacket
  • Warm jacket or fleece
  • Cap or hat
  • Mountain footwear (if possible waterproof boots)
  • Resting slippers
  • Sandals (for showers)
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Flashlight and battery (especially useful in campgrounds)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking sticks
  • Cash (USD or CLP)
  • Medium trekking backpack (40 liters approx.)
  • Small trekking backpack (15 liters) for use in the sections with return to the same sector.
  • Long/short sleeve T-shirts

Where does the tour Torres del Paine W Trek tour (Patagonia) start

The tour starts in the city of Puerto Natales. If you are traveling from Santiago de Chile the best option is to fly directly to Puerto Natales or take a flight to Punta Arenas, and from there you can take a bus that in only 3:15 hours will take you to the bus station in Puerto Natales or hire a private transportation service with us.

If you are traveling from El Calafate (Argentina), there are buses that connect directly to Puerto Natales in a 5 hour trip or you can book with us the transfer from El Calafate to Puerto Natales or the direct transfer between El Calafate and Torres del Paine.

Questions & Answers

  • My dates are not available, is there an alternative?

    Yes, Howlanders will do everything possible to help you to do this route, offering you different dates, itinerary modifications, etc... do not hesitate and contact us.

  • Can I do the W Circuit in the opposite direction?

    Yes, it is possible to start in Paine Grande and the Grey Glacier area and finish in Base Torres, just contact us to request this modification.

  • What are the shelters in Torres del Paine National Park like?

    The lodges are very well equipped, with large common areas to rest and have a drink. All of them have a large dining room that is also used by travelers staying at the campsite. They also have a bar where travelers meet to chat and have a drink. Finally, the showers in the refuges are better and do not have schedules, as the showers in the campsites have a schedule of use. We have created a post for you to get to know the different shelters in the park: https://blog.howlanders.com/en/torres-del-paine-lodging/

  • Do I have a private room in the shelters?

    Normally all rooms in the lodges are shared with approximately 6 people, have good beds, reading light and plug next to the bed. Although there are some private options in some sectors, such as the cabins in Sector Cuernos.
  • How are the campsites in Torres del Paine National Park?

    There are two types of camping depending on the sector. In some sectors they are tents mounted on wooden structures, in others they are "glamping", a large tent raised off the ground, very similar to those used in safaris to install on top of the 4x4. In addition, all campsites have their own toilets and showers (with limited opening hours) and a common kitchen, which you will not have to use, as the tour includes all meals served in the dining room of the lodge. You can see the different types of camping in the pictures of the tour, also in the following link you can see the campsites in each sector.

  • Is lunch included and where do you eat at lunchtime?

    Yes, the tour includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are served at the lodge, even if you are staying at a campsite. A "lunchbox" is provided for lunch that you will pick up at breakfast time and that you will be able to enjoy along the tour.
  • What food is included in the lunch-box?

    The lunchbox consists of specific foods for physical activity: nuts, cereal bars, fruit, a sandwich and some sweets.
  • To make a reservation as a Chilean traveler or foreigner residing in Chile, what documentation do I need to present?

    The reservation can be processed normally and then you will be asked to present a valid passport or identity document proving nationality or residence. If this documentation is not presented, it will be necessary to pay the difference in price with the non-resident foreign traveler rate in Chile.
  • What documentation do I need to bring to access Torres del Paine National Park?

    To access Torres del Paine National Park, you must present your valid passport, as well as the park entrance ticket and the documentation to reserve lodging in the different sectors, which will be given to you the day before at the Puerto Natales office, and if you are a foreign traveler not residing in Chile, you must present the immigration card that is given to you when you enter Chile at each lodging.
  • Do I have to carry all my luggage to Torres del Paine?

    No, from Howlanders we recommend you to take only what you need to do the trek for 5 days and leave the rest of the luggage in the luggage room of your accommodation in Puerto Natales.
  • Do I have to carry my backpack for the entire tour?

    During most of the route you must carry your backpack, except in the 3 areas where you return by the same route: ascent to Torres base, ascent to British/French viewpoints and ascent to Grey glacier.
  • Where do I leave my luggage in that case?

    You can leave your luggage either in your accommodation or in the "nurseries", which despite not being guarded are considered safe because travelers are respectful and there are no security problems or theft. However, we recommend that you take your valuables with you.
  • Can I do the W Circuit with a guide or porter?

    Yes, if you want to walk the W circuit trails with a private professional mountain guide (exclusively for your group) or a porter to help you carry your backpack, just contact us.
  • Is the porter service only offered for 2 days?

    Yes, since no more is needed. On days 1 and 2 you will be in Central, during days 3 and 4 is when it is necessary to move your luggage between the Central and Paine Grande sectors, and on day 5 your luggage remains in Paine Grande while you make the route to Grey.

  • What is a self-guided tour?

    It is a route in which you do not have a guide and you will walk at your own pace. This self-guided tour is very easy to follow, since the paths are very well indicated and a map is provided explaining both the route and the areas where it takes place.
  • Where does the bus to Torres del Paine National Park leave from?

    The bus leaves from Puerto Natales station, which is known as 'Terminal Rodoviario'. Puerto Natales is a small town, so you can walk there in less than 20 minutes or take a cab.
  • Do I have to carry a lot of water?

    No, just make sure you bring a refillable bottle, the one provided in the welcome kit, for example. Drinking water is available at the refuges and campsites and during the tour you can refill your bottle directly from the rivers, as it is drinkable and cool 😊.
  • Do I have to carry my camping equipment during the tour?

    No, the tents are set up at the campsites, and upon arrival, you will be told which tent you have been assigned, which will already be set up and equipped with a mat and sleeping bag.

Torres del Paine W Trek tour (Patagonia) tour reviews with Howlanders

Loading...

Other tours that might interest you from Chile

Other travelers also booked

from ‌