Chile

EcoDome - Torres Del Paine W Trek, Patagonia - 7 Days

Experience the luxuries of EcoCamp Patagonia on this amazing 7 day adventure

EcoDome - Torres Del Paine W Trek, Patagonia - 7 Days

Experience the luxuries of EcoCamp Patagonia on this amazing 7 day adventure

The “W” route snaking in-between Torres del Paine’s craggy mountains is often referred to as Patagonia’s best known trek. Scenic views, unparalleled flora & fauna and challenging hikes make this trip an unforgettable experience for any trekker!
EcoCamp not only provides a comfortable oasis in the park where visitors can connect with nature while still enjoying modern amenities and delicious meals, but also has exciting and diverse excursion options for everyone!
Departures: Every Monday
PRICES:
Standard EcoDomes: Starting at $1,950usd Per Person
Superior and Suite Dome upgrades available: Both options have a private bathroom and heat.
*Please inquire as pricing is seasonal
SEASONS:
Low Season
September 30, 2019 - October 14, 2019
April 20, 2020 - April 27, 2020

Shoulder Season
October 21, 2019 - October 28, 2019
April 6, 2020 - April 13, 2020

High Season
November 4, 2019 - December 9, 2019
January 20, 2020 - March 30, 2020

Peak Season
December 16, 2019 - January 13, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Trek Valle Frances
  • The Challenging 'W' Trek
  • Base of the Towers
  • Views of Los Cuernos
  • Boat ride to Grey Glacier
  • Stay at award-winning EcoCamp Patagonia
  • Start in Calafate (Argentina) or Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales (Chile)
  • Cycling excursion (Optional)
BRIEF ITINERARY
Day 1 (Mon): Travel from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate to Torres del Paine NP
Day 2 (Tue): Trek Paso Los Cuernos trail
Day 3 (Wed): Trek Valle del Frances trail
Day 4 (Thu): Trek Pehoe - Grey trail
Day 5 (Fri): Trek to the Towers
Day 6 (Sat): Eastern Lakes
Day 7 (Sun): Drive to Punta Arenas

Trip ITINERARY

Day 1: The Patagonian Adventure starts

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 (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). 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 journey is scenic and highly atmospheric, featuring many wild birds and wonderful Patagonian landscapes. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia (optional), nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and with a prime view of the majestic Torres. Sunset is usually around 11pm during the summer months, meaning that there will still be enough daylight for you to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon once you arrive.


For more details about trek distance and walking time, click here to check out our Trekking Chart below.

  • Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park

Day 2: Los Cuernos

Distance: 12km / 7.5 miles
Elevation: 244m / 800ft
Hiking Time: 4.5- 5 hours

We begin our Patagonian adventure with a pleasant walk through the sinuous Cuernos Trail which leads us alongside the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this warm-up walk we will have the opportunity to admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna, as we enjoy the magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. The trek ends at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain refuge located by the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. Alternatively the trek ends at Domo el Francés, located between Cuernos and Italiano camping sites, with an amazing view of Nordenskjöld lake. The evening is free for relaxing and enjoying dinner.

  • Overnight Refugio Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability), Torres del Paine National Park

Day 3: The Paine Massif’s Heart: Valle Frances

Distance: 36km / 16 miles
Elevation: 686m / 2,250ft
Hiking Time: 10 hours

After breakfast at Refugio Los Cuernos, we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group's trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley's geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day's trek will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande.
N.B. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is also available.

  • Overnight Refugio Paine Grande, Torres del Paine National Park

Day 4: Glacier Grey

Distance: 11km / 7miles
Elevation: 244m / 800ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours

The goal of the penultimate day of our 5-day trek will be to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! We will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic  base-view of the Towers - Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, 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 for a well-deserved dinner.

Day 5: The big challenge: Torres del Paine

Distance: 22km / 14miles
Elevation: 914m / 3,000ft
Hiking Time: 9 hours

The goal of our fifth day of our 7-day Trek will be to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! We will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic  base-view of the Towers - Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, 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 for a well-deserved dinner.

  • Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park

Day 6: Eastern Lakes

Distance: 6km / 4miles
Elevation: 180m / 590ft
Hiking Time: 3 hours

The sixth day will consist of a less strenuous trail in order to counter the exhausting efforts of the previous day. After breakfast, we will take a leisurely car journey towards Laguna Azul,  passing Cañadón Macho, home to many wild guanacos and ñandúes, en route. We will pause occasionally to admire the views of the Patagonian steppe and the towers from a different perspetive. At Laguna Azul, we will hike to the lookout point where we will be treated to a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and granite towers. After lunch, we will drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. As we hike northbound, we will spot an impressive range of Patagonian fauna on the vast plains, including: guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! We will pass the charming Goic lagoon and after approximately 5km of relaxed walking, we will reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we will be picked up and driven back to Ecocamp to celebrate over our farewell dinner.

*Please note that if there are more than 6 travellers in the group there's an option to split into two groups, with one group (or the whole group if everybody's in the mood!) cycling to Laguna Azul!

  • Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park

Day 7: Adios Torres del Paine

We will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Or, alternatively, we board an early morning vehicle to the border to continue our journey to El Calafate.

Dome Categories

EcoCamp Patagonia (Nights 1,4,5,6)

Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, with views of the majestic granite towers. The region’s first sustainable lodge south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers upscale camping in domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants. Advisable minimum age for children: 12 years.

EcoCamp Patagonia Standard Dome
(Shared bathroom, 10m²/108ft²)

EcoCamp Standard domes were the world's first lodge accommodation in geodesic shape. They are resistant to the strong Patagonian winds, and come equipped with two single beds (doubles on request), cozy fleece blankets and feather quilts. There are windows in the ceiling for stargazing. Standard domes include shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

Please consider: Standard domes have NO heating or electricity and bathrooms are shared (gender divided)

EcoCamp Patagonia Superior Dome
(Heating & Private bathroom, 23m²/250ft²)

Spacious, comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, Superior Domes are the optimum choice for trekkers wanting that bit more space and comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. Each Superior Dome has comfortable queen-size or twin beds, a propane heater, skylight windows and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet.

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome

(Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)

Suite domes were designed to further our goal of providing comfort in a natural setting with minimal environmental impact, and also maintain the hotel’s familiar and cozy vibe. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a wood stove and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet. Stargaze through the ceiling windows while falling asleep, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from your private terrace.

EcoCamp's Suite Dome Lofts
(2 floors, Heating & Private bathroom, 37m²/398ft²)

Suite dome lofts are two-story domes which fit up to four people and have comfortable double or twin beds both up and downstairs. These domes, ideal for families or groups of friends, come with a wood stove, a private terrace and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet. Stargaze through the ceiling windows while falling asleep, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from your private terrace.

Refugios (Nights 2,3)

These are typical mountain huts, open to the public visiting Torres del Paine. They have rooms for 4-6 people. The beds are single bunks and we will provide you with a sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner (you don't need to bring a sleeping bag!). The bathrooms are also shared and they have hot water. The refugios are heated and have a very comfortable dining area where plentiful meals are served. If refugios are unavailable, alternative accommodation will be provided in tents with prior notice.

Domes El Francés (Night 2 / Alternative to Refugio)

Geodesic domes, open to the public visiting Torres del Paine. The domes have an amazing view of Nordenskjöld lake, Cuernos del Paine and Paine Grande Mountains and come with a private bathroom for 8 people each (shared bathroom and dome). Accommodation are single bed or bunk beds and we will provide you with a sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner (you don't need to bring a sleeping bag!).

Additional Information

Starting / Finishing Points

The trip starts on Monday and finishes on Sunday with pick ups and drop offs in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or El Calafate. Please visit our Weekly Transfer Board for details of EcoCamp pick up and drop off times from both Chile and Argentina.

Included

  • All ground transport - private and domestic - as indicated in the itinerary
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate <> Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate (check last section).
  • Boat crossing on Grey Lake* please check day 4 of the itinerary
  • 4 nights accommodation in EcoCamp
  • 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande**
  • 1 night in Refugio Los Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability) **
  • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park
  • One expert English speaking trekking guide
  • Sleeping bag for refugios if needed
  • Transportation for your luggage within the Park: while trekking you will carry just your daypack
  • Meals (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner):

day 1: L, D

day 2: B, BL, D

day 3: B, BL, D

day 4: B, BL, D

day 5: B, BL, D

day 6: B, BL, D

day 7: B, BL

*During Low & Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled, if this is the case we will  offer you a good alternative of excursion within the park.

**If refugios are unavailable, alternative accommodation will be provided in tents or domes with prior notice.

N.B. During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the Towers Trek excursion might be cancelled because of weather conditions and safety considerations.

Excluded

  • 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

GROUP SIZE & GUIDING STAFF

9 travelers is the most typical group size, plus guiding staff. Maximum 12 clients. Guide to passenger ratio: 1:6

TRANSPORTATION

In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia transport is in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 people. Pick up / Drop off times shown in the Weekly Transfer Board are approximate and will be confirmed locally by our operations team. An exclusive toll-free emergency number will be available for anyone needing additional support while they are in Chile.

WEATHER

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. In addition, the strong marine influence and the affect of the Southern Patagonia Ice field make the weather hard to predict. In spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rain and even snow. Even in summer (December to March) you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºCmax, 2ºC min). However, just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become lovely and sunny. So come prepared for all types of weather!

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

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.

CHILDREN

  • Youngsters who are 13 years of age or older are welcome and are considered adults.
  • Children between the ages of 10 and 12 can only participate in this program if their parent or legal guardian hires an independent, private guide to accompany the child during excursions, as well as signs Cascada's legal waiver, which states that the child is prepared for such an intense trekking trip, and includes information about the independently hired guide.
  • Children under 10 years of age cannot participate in this trip.
  • This trip doesn’t offer a special discount for children.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING

Passengers need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once. Essential equipment includes a one day backpack (30 liters - to carry camera, glasses, rain coat, etc), trekking or hiking boots, extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet, waterproof jacket, two pairs of woollen socks, fleece jacket or sweater, shorts or comfortable loose pants, sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm and screen) and optional capilene underwear for the upper and lower body. US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP.

ITINERARY MODIFICATIONS

The weather in Patagonia can be difficult to deal with at times. We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based on safety/weather considerations.

Additional Trip Info

  • All ground transport - private and domestic - as indicated in the itinerary
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate <> Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate.
  • Boat crossing on Grey Lake (1) please check day 4 of the itinerary
  • 4 nights accommodation in EcoCamp (3)
  • 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande (depending on availability) (2)
  • 1 night in Refugio Los Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability) (2) (4)
  • Park fees for Torres del Paine National Park
  • One expert English speaking trekking guide
  • Sleeping bag for refugios if needed
  • Transportation for your luggage within the Park: while trekking you will carry just your daypack
  • Meals (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner):
  • Day 1: L, D
  • Day 2: B, BL, D
  • Day 3: B, BL, D
  • Day 4: B, BL, D
  • Day 5: B, BL, D
  • Day 6: B, BL, D
  • Day 7: B, BL
  • Flight tickets
  • Travel Insurance - We recommend  World Nomads, or Global Rescue (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

*PICK UP & DROP OFF SERVICE >>

Pick up at hotels in Punta Arenas and Drop off at Punta Arenas airport are included in our programs as well as Regular Bus Connection in case you would like to start/depart from El Calafate, Argentina.

For arrivals, we kindly ask you to book a flight arriving to Punta Arenas before 11:00 Hrs if you wish to take the a.m transfer to EcoCamp. For the p.m transfer, please book a flight arriving before 15:00 Hrs.

For departures from Punta Arenas, we kindly request that you book a flight leaving after 15:00 Hrs as our shuttle from EcoCamp departs at 9:00 hrs in the morning and arrives Punta Arenas airport at 14:00Hrs. For flights earlier than 15:00 Hrs an early regular transfer must be requested. In case your flight time changes and do not fit our transfer schedule, a private transfer will be arranged. The early transfer & the private one have both an additional cost involved. Please inquire.

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