This 5 day refugio 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. The name “W” comes from the formation of a perfect W with the coming together of the paths than surround the southern sector of the Macizo del Paine. The principal attractions of the W Circuit are: Base Torres, Francés Valley and Grey Glacier.
*Refugios: Rustic Lodges in the park with shared bunk (dorm style accommodation), 4-6 bunks per room. All bedding and meals included.
Departures: All Days (Dependent on Availability)
Day 1: Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine
2.5 hour drive
We will take the 2:30 pm bus to Torres del Paine National Park. The trip takes about 2.5 hours (112 km).
You will arrive in the afternoon, have dinner, and sleep in the Central Sector.
Day 2: Hike to Las Torres Base Lookout Point
8 to 10 hours hiking
Distance: 19.5 km
Difficulty - Demanding
You will depart early to one of the landmarks of the park, the Las Torres Base Lookout Point.
During the first stretch, you will walk through the pampa, cross the Ascencio River, and then climb 3 km up to Los Vientos Mountain Pass, where you will enjoy amazing views of the valley and lakes. You will continue your journey to the Chileno Mountain Refuge, and then go deep into a lenga beech forest up to La Morrena, where the hardest part of the hike begins. You will follow a rock trail to the spectacular LasTorres Base Lookout Point. Later, you will begin the descent to the Central Sector to have dinner and sleep.
Day 3: Hike Francés Sector
4.5 to 6.5 hours hiking
Distance: 13.5 Km
You will walk about 13.5 km along the shore of Nordenskjöld Lake,Almirante Nieto Hill, and the striking Cuernos del Paine. During the hike, you will enjoy magnificent views of Los Cuernos, hanging glaciers, lakes, and the abundant local vegetation and wildlife.
You will have dinner and sleep in the Francés Sector.
Day 4: Hike Francés Valley
8 to 10 hours hiking
Distance: 20.5 km
The day begins with one of the icons of the circuit, the Francés Valley. You will start early with a light hike to the ItalianoCampsite. From there, you will begin the climb through the woods (about 2 km) up the Francés River Valley. We will continue to the Francés Lookout Point, where you will enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of the circuit, the view to the valley framed by the Hills Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Máscara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburón, and Cuerno del Norte. It will leave you speechless. After this spectacle, you will begin the descent to the Paine Grande Sector.
Day 5: Hike Grey Glacier Sector - Pehoé Lake Navigation - Return to Puerto Natales
8 to 10 hours hiking
Distance: 22 km
On this day, you will reach the third milestone of the circuit, a place that offers one of the most unforgettable sceneries of the park, the magnificent Grey Glacier.
The trail goes around the Paine Grande Hill, the highest peak in the mountain range(3,050 m), with incredible views of its hanging glaciers. Walking amidst Antarctic Beech (ñirre), Dombey's beech (coigüe), and Chilean fire bush (notro), you will reach the first lookout point of Grey Lake, where we will see floating pieces of glacier. We will continue to walk towards the imposing view of Grey Glacier to reach the Grey Mountain Refuge.Then, you will return to the Paine Grande Sector and take the 6:30 pm catamaran that will take you to Pudeto. There you will meet the bus that will take you back to Puerto Natales.
Transport on a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park and back.
2 nights of lodging in Central Sector, 1 night in the Francés Sector and 1 night in the Paine Grande Sector, depending on availability.
Mountain hostels include beds with sleeping bag, except at the Central Mountain hostel (fully-made bed, with sheets).
All meals: breakfast, lunch (box lunch) and dinner.
Box lunch on return day to Puerto Natales. Pehoé Lake Catamaran.
Torres del Paine National Park entrance fees.
Welcome Kit: Includes sleeping-bag liner, microfiber towel, water bottle (stainless steel), a map and a journal notebook. This kit will be given to you at the office in Puerto Natales when you show your voucher.