Torres del Paine 5 Day Short W Trek
Chile, 5 Days From $ 1,785 per person Themes
Eco Wildlife & Nature
This short version of the W trek takes you along trails reaching glaciers, lakes, forests and the mighty Paine Towers, feeding your trekking-hungry soul every step of the way!
Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.
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Day 1, The Patagonian Adventure starts
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in Calafate. En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890's. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
Day 2, The Paine Massif's Heart: Valle Frances
Torres del Paine NP, Patagonia, Chile
After breakfast, we start our day driving towards Pudeto dock, located by the shores of Pehoe Lake. Once there we board the catamaran that takes us to the northern west sector of the Lake from where we'll start the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups' rhythm. An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif. From this point there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail until reaching the upper section of the valley. The entire group of geological formations of the high valley can be admired here: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark's Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). It's time to have a picnic and recover from the walk. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well. Next, we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. Here we organise our luggage and enjoy a replenishing dinner.
*The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe: From October 1st to November 15th and from March 16th through April the navigation operates only once a day, therefore the hike will be limited and only reach Italian campsite. (From November 16th to March 15th the excursion operates on a regular basis)
Day 3, Glacier Grey
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Today we hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. We enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the blue face of Glacier Grey. There's lots of time to marvel at this calving glacier during the boat ride across this lake, with its floating pieces of ice. From Lake Grey's southern end we transfer to EcoCamp.
Occasionally the weather may not permit us to sail across the lake, or during Shoulder Season (October and April) the sailing might be cancelled if the required minimum of 10 passengers isn't reached. In this case we will get up early and trek about two hours along the Grey trail until reaching a sightseeing point offering a spectacular view of the Glacier. Then we return to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to Pudeto's dock, from where we're driven back to Ecocamp.
Day 4, The big challenge: Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Time for a big breakfast and lots of enthusiasm - Our goal today is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine NP! We walk from the camp site towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.
*During Shoulder Season (October and April) the Towers Trek excursion might be cancelled because of weather conditions and safety considerations.
Day 5, Adios Torres del Paine!
Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile
We board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight.
- Flight tickets
- Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
- Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
- Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is recommended
- Items of a personal nature
- All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
- Regular bus tickets Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate - check last section
- One expert English/Spanish speaking trekking guide
- Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine NP fees
- 3 nights accommodation in EcoCamp standard domes (shared basis)
- 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande* (shared basis)
- Boat crossing over Lake Pehoe** and Lake Grey***
- Sleeping bag for the mountain refuges if needed
- Luggage transport: while trekking you will carry just your daypack
- day 1: L, D
- day 2: B, BL, D
- day 3: B, BL, D
- day 4: B, BL, D
- day 5: B, BL
B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: lunch, D: dinner.
* Either in refugio or refugio's camping area
** Lake Pehoe - The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe:
From October 1st to November 15th and from March 16th through April the navigation operates only once a day, therefore the hike will be limited and only reach Italian campsite. (From November 16th to March 15th the excursion operates on a regular basis)
*** During Shoulder Season (October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.
N.B. During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the Towers Trek excursion might be cancelled because of weather conditions and safety considerations.
Seasonal Pricing Information
- High Season is November - March
- Shoulder Season is October & April
- Closed for Season May - September
Other Necessary Information
This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. To enjoy this trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of conditioning well before departure.
- Youngsters who are 14 years of age or older are welcome and are considered adults.
- Children between 12 and 13 might be accepted in this program if their legal guardian sends a formal letter stating that the child is prepared for such an intense trekking trip and authorizes us to hire a private guide in case the child cannot perform well during the trek.
- Children under 12 years of age cannot participate in this trip.
- This trip doesn't offer a special discount for children.
On 13 Jan 2013, Molly A. wrote:
On 20 Dec 2012, Ted S. wrote: