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Exploring Chile

W Trek

The W Trek is one of the most famous, and arguably beautiful, of South America. It normally takes 5 days/4 nights and it is easily done self-guided. The most economical option is camping, and it is the one we are proposing in the featured itinerary (the cheaper option). If you prefer a guided version of the trek with more comfortable lodging, then this starts from £2,005.00 per person for a 10 days/9 nights trip (2 nights in Santiago and 7 in Torres del Paine).

The W trek can be trekked all year round although winter will present extra challenges due to the weather conditions that here in Patagonia can be extremely unpredictable. Bear in mind that in winter it is compulsory to have a guide, and rightly so.

During the high season between mid-November to February it can be quite busy so we suggest travelling to Torres del Paine in the shoulder seasons if you want less hikers and tourists.

No matter when or how you decide to do it, the W Trek is a wonderful achievement and a beautiful hike amongst some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Bienvenidos a Santiago!

Welcome to Santiago in Chile! Santiago is a fast-growing city located in the central valley of Chile between the Andes mountains range to the east and the Cordillera of the Coast to the west. Santiago has been cataloged as surprising, cosmopolitan, energetic, sophisticated and worldly, a city of cultural currents, expansive museums and top-flight restaurants. It is a wonderful place for strolling, and each neighborhood has its unique flavor and tone. A private transfer will pick you up to take you from Santiago’s Airport to your selected Hotel. Please be aware of the sign with your name on it.

Day 2 - Fly to Punta Arenas and bus to Puerto Natales

After breakfast, get ready to leave Santiago. A transfer will take you to the Airport for you to fly to Punta Arenas (domestic flight included). Upon your arrival to Punta Arenas Airport, a guide will assist you. Now you will take a public bus to reach Puerto Natales city. Which is 3 hours driving from the airport. Enjoy this first scenery and landscapes and get ready for the best to come in the next few days!

A formerly modest fishing port on Seno Última Esperanza, Puerto Natales has blossomed into a Gore-Tex mecca. The gateway to Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, this town feeds off tourism, an all-you-can-eat feast with unwavering demand. Boutique beers and wine tastings have overtaken tea time, and gear shops have replaced the yarn sellers. While there are growing services that cater to international tastes, there’s appeal in Natales’ corrugated-tin houses strung shoulder to shoulder and cozy granny-style lodgings. Most notably, in spite of a near-constant swarm of visitors, the town still maintains the glacial pace of living endemic to Patagonia.

Day 3` - Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine

Today you will enjoy a free morning in the Puerto Natales and a transfer will pick you up from your hotel to take you to the bus station where you will board the 14.30 coach service to Torres del Paine. Transfer time is around 3 hours. Once arrived, you will have dinner and spend the night in the Central Sector. Remember, with the camping option we are offering in this itinerary, you will receive all the equipment you need in each campsite.

Day 4 - Hike to Base Las Torres

You will walk through the pampas, cross the Ascencio River and then climb 3kms. up to Los Vientos Mountain Pass, where you will enjoy amazing views of the valley and lakes. You will continue your hike to the Chileno Mountain hostel and then pass through a lenga beech forest up to La Morrena, where the hardest part of the hike begins. After a short stop you will follow a rock trail to the spectacular Las Torres Base Lookout Point. Later, you will begin the descent to the Central Sector to have dinner and spend the night.

Hiking time: 8 to 10 hours. (19,5 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 120 mt.

Highest altitude: 870 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Central Camping site.

Day 5 - French Sector Hike

You will walk about 13.5kms. along the shore of Nordenskjöld Lake and beneath Almirante Nieto Hill as well as the striking Cuernos del Paine. During the hike you will enjoy magnificent views of Los Cuernos of the Paine Massif, hanging glaciers, lakes and abundant vegetation and wildlife. You will have dinner and spend the night in the Francés Sector.

Hiking time: 4,5 to 6,5 hours. (13,5 km)

Difficulty: Medium

Elevation gain: 200 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and box dinner.

Accommodation: Francés Camping site.

Day 6 - Hike the French Valley

The day begins with one of the icons of the circuit, the Francés Valley. You will start early with a light hike to the Italiano Campsite. From there, you will begin the climb through the woods (about 2kms.) 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 Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Máscara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburón and Cuerno del Norte mountains. The beauty of the landscape will take your breath away. After a short stop you will begin the descent to the Paine Grande Sector.

Hiking time: 8 to 10 hours. (20,5 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 120 mt.

Highest altitude: 762 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Paine Grande camping site.

Day 7 - Hike Grey Glacier sector and return to Puerto Natales


Today, you will reach the third milestone on the circuit, the magnificent Grey Glacier. The trail goes around Paine Grande, the highest peak in the mountain range (3,050 mts.), with incredible views of its hanging glaciers. Walking amidst Antarctic beech trees (ñirre), Dombey’s beech (coigüe) and Chilean firebush (notro), you will reach the first lookout point over Grey Lake, where we will see pieces of floating glacier. We will continue walking in the direction of the imposing Grey Glacier until we reach the Grey Mountain Refuge. After a short stop we will return to the Paine Grande Sector and take the 6:30pm catamaran to Pudeto. You will be met by the bus that will take you to Puerto Natales. Upon your arrival to Puerto Natales bus station, a transfer will be waiting for you to take you back to the hotel.

Hiking time: 8 to 10 hours. (22 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 43 mt.

Highest altitude: 313 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast and box lunch

Day 8 - Punta Arenas to Santiago

After breakfast, we will pick you up on time for you to take the public bus, back to Punta Arenas Airport. Remember to mention that you will get off at the airport. From here, you will have time to connect with a flight to Santiago and home.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £1,460 per person
  • 3 nights in 3*+ hotels B&B basis
  • Private and shared transfers
  • All domestic flights within Chile in Economy
  • 4 nights self-guided W Trek in a tent with Full Board
  • All entrance fees
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered

PLEASE NOTE: The O Trek is available from November to March 2021. Departures without guide are available every day.

IMPORTANT: Self-guided trek – Remember to visit Fantástico Sur office, located at Avenida España 1455, Puerto Natales. You must take your briefing before getting into Torres del Paine national park. (Open until 18:30 hrs.) They will also give you the vouchers needed and a welcome kit. Here you will receive full instructions of what to do during your trekking trail. The briefing is mandatory. 

All prices correct at the time of writing.  Give us a call or email us at to discuss your requirements and get a confirmed price.

Please remember this is a sample itinerary and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans.  We can add or remove days and look at different places to stay.

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The Atacama Desert will surely not disappoint you if you are looking for out of this world landscapes! San Pedro de Atacama is the gateway town to this world wonder, and with plenty of desert lodges for all budgets, 3 nights or more in the region are a must!

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Do you fancy having a chat about W Trek? Personally, it's one of our favourite things to talk about.

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