Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most pristine and remote wilderness areas the world. The W-Trek is the most iconic trekking route in the Park, and it is for great reason! The dramatic granite towers and spires will draw you in, and in you shall go! The W-trek will take you along the shores of stunning glacial lakes encompassing electric blue icebergs. You will experience sheer rock spires as tall as the sky and the magnificent, southern Patagonian ice cap. Additionally, you have the opportunity to walk on prehistoric glaciers and kayak around icebergs in a glacial lake!
The beauty of this raw and dramatic landscape will help you understand why the park is designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Wildland International is an active partner of the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, which helps educate local children, is creating a local recycling program, conducts W-trail restoration and much more. Keep your cameras ready and get ready for an unforgettable adventure with Wildland International. Here’s details from Wildland Trekking:
DAY 1 Arrive at airports in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile. We pick you up, and shuttle you to Puerto Natales. Hotel check in, group orientation meeting to become acquainted with the tour’s itinerary. Overnight here.
DAY 2 Drive to Torres Del Paine National Park, begin your exploration! Your guides brief you on effective trekking techniques, and give overview of the natural and cultural history of the area. Begin trekking up the Ascencio Valley, with views of the Ascencio River. Arrive at Refugio Chileno and stop for water and snacks. Then continue through a beautiful forest of native lenga (beech) trees; then hiking until we reach a glacial moraine (a ridge made from earth pushed by the glacier).
From the moraine, we trek one more hour till we reach the most amazing view of the Torres del Paine rock towers! The views of the granite towers and glacial lake are breathtaking. Later head back to our refugio for dinner and the night. Today you trek about 12 miles (about 19 km) at an elevation gain-loss of 2,430 feet, for approx. 7 hours.
DAY 3 Trek along Lake Nordenskjold (named after a Swedish geologist who contributed significantly to the study of glaciology). Great views of the hanging glaciers above on Mount Almirante Nieto. Stop for lunch, then continue to trek until we reach our refugio. Today you trek about 8.1 miles at an elevation gain-loss of 750-900 feet, for approx. 5-6 hours.
DAY 4 Trek to the French Valley, one of most picturesque valleys in Torres del Paine National Park. Unique for its hanging glaciers and amazing granite walls and spires and glacial lakes. People often witness glaciers calving (dropping giant icebergs), and you can hear this natural symphony in the granite amphitheater well. Continue trekking until we reach Lodge Paine Grande, where we have incredible views of the Paine Grande and Los Cuernos. Today you trek about 13-15 miles (about 7-9 miles) at an elevation gain-loss of 2,200-2,350 feet, for approx. 8 hours.
DAY 5 Trek along and kayaking on the enchanting Grey Lake, with views of electric-blue icebergs and the magnificent Grey glacier. Hike to the northeast coast of Lake Grey, where our adventure really starts! Our guides will introduce us to kayaking equipment and provide a safety talk for our paddle through the floating icebergs of Lake Grey. We kayak near Grey glacier to get an amazing view of the river of ice. After our kayak adventure, we hike to the new Grey lodge, with some free time till dinner is served. (Note: this day’s activities are good-weather-dependent.) Today you trek about 7 miles (about 11 km) at an elevation gain-loss of 670 feet, for approx. 4 hours.
DAY 6 Explore west side of Grey glacier. Upon arrival, disembark on the land in between the ice (“nunatak”) and walk on it until we reach the ice. Our guides will brief the group on safety aspects, and teach proper techniques and correct use of equipment. After the brief, begin our exploration of Grey glacier, for about three hours. Observe crevasses, rivers, lagoons and tunnels in different tones of blue. Return to zodiac and ride back to the docking point for lunch. After lunch, board a larger and more comfortable boat and explore perimeter of Lake Grey to get up close with the icebergs. Later, we depart for Puerto Natales, where you overnight in a lodge and enjoy a last dinner together.
DAY 7 Drive to airports in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. OR, choose to remain in either city and Wildland Trekking know who can help arrange extra activities in Patagonia.
- World-famous national park
- Comfortable backcountry lodges
- Ice hike across an ancient glacier
- Kayak on a glacial lake
- Phone: 800.715.4453. More contact info here.
- SM: @WildlandTrekking
- Length: 7 days/72-km/45-mile trek
- Departs: Contact operator for info on dates for 2021 and 2022.
- Accommodations: hotels; mostly a refugio-to-refugio trek. From operator: “Refugios are inviting backcountry huts/lodges with beds, kitchens, chefs and staff, dining rooms, bathrooms/showers, dorm-style with communal, coed bedrooms that contain 6-8 beds. Bathrooms are gender-separated with hot water, showers and flush toilets,” though operator adds “these exact accommodations not guaranteed.”
- Price: $3,800 USD [includes all in-country expenses, gear, meals, lodgings, transportation; but not international flights]
- Difficulty: please discuss with operator.
- Who is Wildland Trekking?