Arrival to Puerto Natales and make your own way to accommodation. Check in. You will have an important briefing at the W-Trek office to tell you about the National Park, basic security, itineraries and all you need for your trek. If you arrive at night, you may attend the briefing in the morning of the same day you depart to Torres del Paine.
Find your own way to the bus station. Registration time at Rodoviario (Bus Station) is at 14:00. Departure is at 14:30 with arrival at Portería Laguna Amarga 16:30. Transfer in a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours (112 Km.), passing through Cerro Castillo (a small border town situated along the route to the park and 54 Km. from Puerto Natales).
Upon arrival at Laguna Amarga, all travelers must get off of the bus and visit the CONAF Administration Office where they will follow all necessary paperwok to enter the park; the park entrance fee is included in the cost of the program. Having finished the paperwork, travelers will board the transfer vehicles which will take them to the sector surrounding the Cerro Paine Ranch and then on to the Welcome Centre of their first accommodation site.
Night 1 of W-Trek: Refugio Torre Central
Recommended time to begin the trek is at 09:00. The first stage includes an ascent for about 1½ hours, with beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and Mount Almirante Nieto’s hanging glacier (2.670 m.a.s.l.), until arriving at Refugio El Chileno. Here, you will go through check-in, recharge energies and leave your main luggage before initiating the climb with a small rucksack. From here, and for about an hour, you will cross a millennium-old forest of lenga trees before arriving to the base of the “Morrena”. At this point, you will ascend for about 45 minutes in order to arrive to one of the site’s most magnificent areas, "Base Torres Lookout", from where the imposing Torre Sur (2.850 m a.s.l.), Torre Central (2.800 m a.s.l.), Torre Norte (2.600 m a.s.l.), Nido de Condor and Glacier Torre can all be appreciated.
Level of difficulty: High
Night 2 of W-Trek: Refugio El Chileno / If there are no beds available at this shelter, the alternative is to return to Torre Central (2 hours additional walking time)
Recommended time to begin the trek is at 09:00. A moderate trek around the Macizo Paine, circling the base of Mount Almirante Nieto. From Refugio El Chileno, and after half an hour’s walk, you will arrive to the “Atajo”, a path on the right that continues towards Refugio Los Cuernos. Along the journey, you can take pictures of the incredible sites of Lake Nordenskjöld: the hanging glaciers and local flora, including the “ciruelillo” or “notro” trees, which display their characteristic red flowers from December onwards. After a four or five-hour walk, you will arrive at the area entitled Los Cuernos, which is considered by many as one of the most welcoming spots along the entire circuit. If Los Cuernos is not available, Domo Frances is an excellent alternative.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Night 3 of W-Trek: Refugio Los Cuernos (or Domo Frances)
Recommended time to begin the trek is at 08:00. The first two hours are fairly easy, with views of Lake Nordenskjöld until arriving to “Camp Italiano”. At this point, we recommend that you contact CONAF staff and make arrangements for leaving backpacks at the camp before beginning the ascent with just a small rucksack containing water, food and warm clothing. The climb begins from the valley of River Francés and continues all the way up to the Francés Glacier Lookout (1½ hrs). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving to the area called “Británico” and the “Británico Lookout”, which offers one of the national park’s most impressive landscape views. The peaks that can be appreciated from this lookout are Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Máscara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburón and Cuerno Norte. The return trek follows the same path down to “Camp Italiano” and then onwards to the sector known as Pehoé, where Paine Grande shelter is located.
Level of difficulty: High
Night 4 of W-Trek: Paine Grande Lodge
Recommended time to begin the trek is at 09:00. Roundtrip to the Grey Glacier Lookout. After about 1½ hours, you will reach the first lookout, where it’s possible to observe the glacier at a distance. From there, you will follow a path that circles the west bank of Lake Grey. After about 1½ - 2 hours, you'll reach the main lookout with spectacular views of Grey Glacier, Cordón Olguín and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path, arriving to the sector known as Pehoé. At the pier, you will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Pehoé, disembarking at the sector known as Pudeto from which point a bus will be waiting to take you back to Puerto Natales. You have to make your way from the bus station to your accommodation in Puerto Natales.
Level of difficulty: Medium
Ferry Itinerary PM / AM:
- Registration time at the pier: 18:00 / Departure: 18:30/ Approximate arrival time to Rodoviario Natales: 22:00
- It is possible that due to physical and climate conditions you prefer to return on the first ferry. In this instance, the walk will only reach the first lookout (three hours approximate roundtrip). If taking advantage of this option, registration time at the pier is: 11:00/ Departure: 11:30/ Approximate arrival time to Rodoviario Natales: 16:30
- It’s important that on this day you effectively calculate walking times in order to be on time for the ferry departures.
- When walking to the glacier, backpacks can be safely left at Paine Grande Lodge (a free service for travelers who are staying at this place)
Breakfast and check out. End of services. From Puerto Natales you could continue your trip to Punta Arenas to take a flight or to cross to Ushuaia. You could go to El Calafate by bus, or you could embark in the Navimag Ferry to Puerto Montt.
2 nights Accommodation in Puerto Natales at selected room with breakfast (pre and post W trek)
W Trek Circuit 5 days 4 nights (self-guided) in Refugio Dorm or in Tent room, including:
* Entrance fee to National Park
* Bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine and shuttle to Sector Central
* 4 nights accommodation in Refugio or Tent
* Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch Box, Dinner)
* Boat Trip Lake Pehoe
* Bus from Port of Lake Pehoe to Puerto Natales