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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
cafeteria of the refuge torre central 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
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Torres del Paine W Trek

Travel through the Torres del Paine National Park along the stunning W Trek

(71 reviews)
Puerto Natales
5 days
Spanish / English
Starts: From Puerto Natales Rodoviario bus station at 2:15 PM
Ends: To Puerto Natales Rodoviario bus station at 9:30 PM
Free cancellation!
Briefing

The W Trek is the most famous route in Torres del Paine National Park. The Torres del Paine W Trek tour is a 5-day self-guided tour. A tour that includes everything you need to enjoy this experience: transfers from Puerto Natales, 4 nights lodging, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), access ticket to the National Park and even a welcome kit with material for the tour and complimentary drinks in the lodges. 

During the W Trek you will discover the most iconic sites of the park: the Base Torres Viewpoint, the British Viewpoint, the French Valley, the Grey Glacier and Grey Lake. You will spend the first two nights in the Central or Chileno Sector (near Base Torres), the third night in the Cuernos or Francés Sector and the last night in the Paine Grande Sector. Accommodation for the first 3 nights is assigned according to availability. In addition, you will be able to select the type of accommodation that best suits your needs: camping, lodge, or the combined lodge + hotel option.

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 lodging in Central Sector or Chileno Sector
  • 1 night of lodging in Fancés Sector or Cuernos Sector
  • 1 night of lodging in Sector Paine Grande
  • Full board (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners)
  • Welcome kit (towel + liner + refillable bottle + notebook + map)

Not included

  • Lunch day 1
  • Dinner day 5
  • Beverages
  • Luggage porter
  • Guide

Important information

Accommodation

  • CAMPING accommodation is private in double tents.
  • CAMPING Chileno accomodation has an additional cost.
  • LODGE accommodation is in shared rooms with 4 to 6 beds.
  • HOTEL accommodation is in single, double or triple rooms depending on the number of passengers.. The LODGE + HOTEL option includes 2 nights at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cancellation policy

Free cancellation!

If you cancel at least 60 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 100% refund of the amount paid. If you cancel between 59 and 45 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 50% refund of the amount paid. 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

Torres del Paine W Trek

Welcome Torres del Paine W Trek

We know that a 5-day mountain route needs a good planning, that's why a briefing (explanation of the tour) is done in person or online. 

In addition, a few days before your arrival in Puerto Natales you will receive an email with instructions to pick up your welcome kit (which includes tickets, map, metal bottle...) and solve any last minute doubts you may have.

Torres del Paine National Park entrance Chile

DAY 1 Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine National Park

Lodging: Central Sector or Chileno Sector

2:15 PM

Access to Torres del Paine National Park

The first day of the W Torres del Paine trek starts after lunch, you will have to go to the bus station in Puerto Natales, where you will take a bus to the park departing at 14:15. 

The bus will take you to the Laguna Amarga welcome center, where you will register as a visitor and enter the park.

Access to the w trek patagonia

Central Tower Lodge

Once inside the park, you will take a minibus to the Welcome Center and from there you will walk to your lodge (if it is in the Central Sector you will arrive in a few minutes, if it is in the Chileno Sector you will have to walk for one hour). Upon arrival you will check-in, and you will be given your dinner and breakfast schedules. Breakfast and dinner are always served in the dining room of the lodge, even if you are staying in a camping site. You will be accommodated in the place where you will spend the first two nights, and then, the adventure begins!

Around 6:00 pm you will be settled in, so you can take advantage of this time to take a short walk around the area or just have a complimentary drink at the bar while enjoying the views. 

⭐ The tour includes the first two nights in either the Central Sector or the Chilean Sector. The Chilean Sector is assigned when the Central Sector is full, especially if you are traveling in high season. The Chilean Sector only has camping.

Common area of the Base Torres Refugio

DAY 2 Torres del Paine Base Trekking

Difficulty: Medium - High

Distance: 13,67 mi. (22 km) from Central Sector / 10,5 mi. (17 km) from Chileno Sector

Total approximate time: 9:00 hours

Positive elevation gain: 3517,06 ft. (1.072m)

Lodging: Central Sector or Chileno Sector

Highlights: Base Torres Lookout Point

Breakfast at Refugio Central

The day starts with breakfast at the time assigned during check-in (between 7:30 - 8:30). At the end of the day, you will pick up your lunch-box, which will be your lunch during the route. As you will return to sleep in the Central Sector, you will only have to carry in your backpack what you need for the day.

💬

The lunch-box included in the tour consists of specific foods which will help you fuel for the day’s physical activity: nuts, cereal bars, fruit, a sandwich and some sweets.

Breakfast at the Base Torres refuge

Trekking to the Torres del Paine base viewpoint

Today's route is the iconic ascent to the Base Torres viewpoint. 22 km of route divided in 3 parts: initial slope, descent into the Chileno Sector and final ascent. 

You will start the hike flat for 2 km, crossing the Ascencio River Valley until you reach the first stretch with slope. This will be followed by 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 the windy pass

Lenga Forest - La Morrena - Base Torres Lookout Point

You will continue along a 4 km flat stretch, passing through the Chileno Sector area and you will suddenly enter a totally different ecosystem: the trail will take you to a lenga forest which ends at the beginning of the third stretch. Many travelers take advantage of this place to stop and refill their water bottles before facing the final stretch.

The trail becomes blurry in this area, and for almost 2 km you will find your own path through this area full of large rocks. The slope is considerable but the prize is even better: The viewpoint Base Torres del Paine.

views of the moraine

Views of Torres del Paine

It is time to relax and enjoy. From this viewpoint you can enjoy views of the famous granite towers that give the national park its name and the Torres del Paine Lake. 

Central Sector

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

💬

Please note that the Chileno Sector is located 5 km from the Central Sector, so if you stay in the Chileno Sector on day 1 or 2, your route will be shorter

💙

Howlanders Tip

To avoid the large groups that arrive from Puerto Natales to do this route in one day, we advise you to start walking early as you will find the trail much quieter

people at the torres del paine base lookout point

DAY 3Francés Sector Trekking

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 8 mi. (13.2 km) to Cuernos Sector / 10,5 mi. (17 km) to Francés Sector.

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

Positive vertical drop: 1115,49 ft. (340 m.) up to Cuernos Sector / 1706 ft. (520 m.) up to Francés Sector. 

Lodging: Francés Sector or Cuernos Sector

✨ Highlights: Lake Nordenskjöld

Lake Nordenskjöld

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. During this day you will walk along the Nordenskjöld lake, cross a small river and walk some stretches along the beaches that form next to the lake.

Almirante Nieto Mountain - Cuernos del Paine

During most of the route the background scenery is Cerro Almirante Nieto and the Cuernos del Paine. Patagonia in all its splendor as a backdrop.

Lake Nordenskjöld

Francés Sector in Torres del Paine

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

Both the Francés and Cuernos Sectors have the smallest and coziest lodges and campsites. 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 walk less kilometers the next day, while others prefer to enjoy the Cuernos Sector, our favorite one because of the atmosphere in the lodge area (and let's be honest, it has the best cuisine 😉).

💬

Please note that if you stayed in the Chileno Sector the night before you have to add 5 km to the route.

The W Torres del Paine Trek tour includes the third night of lodging in the Francés Sector or Cuernos Sector depending on availability. Both are good options. If you have a preference, please let us know when you make your reservation and we will do our best to adapt your program.

dining room refugio cuernos in torres del paine

DAY 4 French Valley Trekking

Difficulty: Medium-High

Distance: 16,7 mi. (27 km) from Cuernos Sector / 14 mi (23 km) from Francés Sector.

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

Positive elevation gain: 3215,22 ft. (980 m.) from Cuernos Sector / 2624 ft. (800 m.) from Francés Sector. 

Lodging: Paine Grande Sector

✨ Highlights: French Lookout + British Lookout.

*This information takes into consideration the complete route from the Cuernos Sector to the British viewpoint. Many travelers choose not to reach the top and only visit the French viewpoint, making the route 7 km shorter and 250m less elevated.

Italian Camp - French Lookout

The penultimate day of the W Trek is one of the most demanding if you want to visit the French and British viewpoints, but you can skip it and go directly to the Paine Grande Sector, where you will stay that night. In that case the route will be 13 km shorter and it will have practically no elevation gain.

The first section between the Cuernos and Francés Sectors are a flat 4 km. It is followed by a 1.4 Km stretch to the intersection where the trail splits. From there, one trail ascends to the French and British lookout and the other continues to Paine Grande. If you decide to visit the viewpoint, you will walk 1 km to "Campamento Italiano". This camp is for the exclusive use of CONAF park rangers and offers a "nursery" service, where many travelers leave their large backpacks, so as not to carry it during the climb to the viewpoints, and carry only a small backpack with water, warm clothes and snacks. The hike to the French lookout begins, a 2.5 km walk with 300 meters of elevation gain. 

views of the french valley torres del paine

British Viewpoint Torres del Paine

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

british viewpoint w circuit torres del paine

Skottsberg Lake

To finish the route, you will return along the same path and pick up the backpack from the "nursery". Afterwards, you will continue walking the remaining 9 km to the lodge with a slight negative slope that your legs will appreciate. You will then cross a sector that suffered a fire a few years ago, where the tree trunks create a somewhat gloomy landscape. 

Paine Grande Lodge

You will skirt part of the lake until you finally reach the Paine Grande Sector, the largest lodge in Torres del Paine, with a unique location in front of Lake Pehoé.

💬

Please note that if you stayed in the Francés Sector the night before, the route will be 3,8 km shorter.

Skottsberg Lake

DAY 5 Grey Glacier Trekking - Puerto Natales

Difficulty: Medium-High

Distance: 13,67 mi. (22 km.)

Approximate time: 9 hours

Positive elevation gain: 2296,59 ft. (700 m.) 

Lodging: not included (return to Puerto Natales)

Highlights: 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 last day of the W Circuit through Torres del Paine is an out-and-back route along the same path, with a medium-high difficulty due to the slope, although the fact that you can leave your backpack in the lodge makes it less demanding.

The travel distance depends on each traveler as you will have to return to the departure point, so you decide how far you want to go and when to return. If you feel like it, you can leave early to get as close as possible to the glacier, always taking into account the departure time of the ship. 

Along the ascent route you will have Grey Lake on your left hand and the majestic Cerro Paine Grande on your right, which is already impressive from the Paine Grande Sector.

Views of the Cerro Paine Grande from the refuge

Grey Lake Viewpoint - Grey Glacier

The first stop is the Grey Lake viewpoint, over which you can see numerous pieces of glacier floating from Glacier Grey. Some travelers end their ascent here. Others continue to the Grey Hut, from where you can see the Grey Glacier closely, some travel even further to the first suspension bridge. It's up to you!

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 21:30, putting an end to this magical adventure in Chilean Patagonia.

catamaran from Paine Grande Sector to Pudeto

What to bring to Torres del Paine W Trek

  • 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 start

The tour starts in the city of Puerto Natales. If you are traveling from Santiago de Chile the best option is to 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

Torres del Paine W Trek tour reviews with Howlanders

Nicholas
This was a wonderful experience. The itinerary for the self guided tour was excellent. The refugios on the W Trek were clean, the service was excellent and the food was very good. Howlanders was very responsive through the whole process, start to finish. I would definitely use them again for another...
February 22, 2024
Traveled with friends
Age: 35 - 50
Erin
Well organised, made the whole thing very easy.
February 15, 2024
Solo traveler
Age: 25 - 35
Paulik
Alles war gut organisiert. Schnelle Antworten von Howlanders bei Buchungsfragen. Reibungsloser Ablauf vor Ort. Wir hatten ein tolles Erlebnis (und Muskelkater inklusive 😀).
January 30, 2024
Traveled with family
Susanne
Alle Fahrten, Übernachtungen und Verpflegung waren super organisiert und wir waren überall schon eingebucht. Gerne hätten wir noch bessere Information zu den Busfahrten gehabt, aber in Summe eine super Organisation.
January 16, 2024
Traveled with family
Mikayla
The W trek was incredible and it was very nice to not need to plan food and lodging along the way. Dinner was fantastic, lunch was too much food, breakfast was a small amount of food. Overall the process was great. We loved our raised tents, the camaraderie with other travelers doing the same route ...
January 9, 2024
Traveled with family
Ngoc
Howlanders did a great job setting up our trip on the W trek, made it easy to just go on the trip and not worry about packing camp gear as that was all included as well as not having to worry about meals. Very easy travel experience. Thank you!
January 8, 2024
Traveled in couple
Age: 25 - 35
Lukas
The W-Trek is great. I can totally recommend doing it. We started the tour on 30th December an were really lucky with the weather. The problem with that is, that the sleeping bags have a comfort zone of -3 degrees Celsius. The temperature at night was maybe around 8 - 10 degrees Celsius and I was sw...
January 4, 2024
Traveled in couple
Age: 25 - 35
Heather
I had an amazing experience doing the W trek with Howlanders. Everything was well planned and laid out for me on arrival. I was given clear instructions and at any point that I had questions they were very responsive. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
December 4, 2023
Traveled with friends
Age: 35 - 50
Samantha
I booked a 5 day W circuit camping trek along with one friend through Howlanders, and we had an amazing experience. It can be confusing and unwieldy to book everything correctly on your own to do this trek, especially if you are coming without a sleeping bag or tent as we were. Howlanders took all o...
December 1, 2023
Traveled with friends
Age: 25 - 35
Marta
Trekking in the National Park of Torres del Paine has been a dream come true. We had a great experience with Howlanders organizing and taking care of the reservations for the W-circuit, the service provided by this agency has been excellent. Their team quickly answered our questions and supported us...
November 7, 2023
Traveled in couple
Age: 35 - 50

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