The visually stunning 7 Day W Trek highlights the best of Torres del Paine including the Grey Glacier, French Valley, and the Tower base – a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Team up with Ecocamp Patagonia’s highly experienced and knowledgeable guides and head off on one of the most famous treks in the world, ending each day with spectacular sights, delicious meals, and comfortable nighttime accommodations.
- Trek the beautiful French Valley
- Take on the challenging Tower Base trek
- Take in the views of Los Cuernos
- Boat ride to Grey Glacier
- Stay 4 nights at EcoCamp Patagonia
- Stay 2 nights at mountain refugios along the trail
Day 1: The Patagonian Adventure Starts
Let’s begin the trip of a lifetime! The adventure will start with a morning pick-up from your hotel or the airport in Punta Arenas and drive to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Depending on where you are coming from, you could also choose to start your trip from El Calafate. On the way to EcoCamp, the group will make a stop in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of Last Hope Sound (Ultima Esperanza) where lunch with local food will be enjoyed. This scenic journey ends with the group’s arrival at Ecocamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park with a prime view of the majestic Paine Towers. Overnight at Ecocamp Patagonia.
Day 2: Los Cuernos Trek
The group will dive into the Patagonian adventure with a pleasant walk along the Cuernos Trail which leads to the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this warm-up walk, the opportunity to admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna and take in the views of the horn-like peaks of the slate that sit atop the gray granite of the Paine Massif will be possible. The trek may end at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain guesthouse located on the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. Or it will end at Domo el Francés, located between Cuernos and Italiano camping sites, with an amazing view of Nordenskjöld Lake. The evening is at your leisure. Overnight at Refugio Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability)
Day 3: The Paine Massif’s Heart: Valle Frances
Get your boots ready for today’s challenging, yet rewarding trek. After breakfast at Refugio Los Cuernos, the adventure will begin with hiking along a steep trail leading into the very heart of the Paine Massif – the famed French Valley. How far the group goes depends on the trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead the group to the French River’s hanging bridge, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif. The group will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley 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 the upward trek, there will be a pause for a tasty picnic and relaxation for a while. The day’s trek will end with a descent through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest to Refugio Paine Grande. Overnight at Refugio Paine Grande. (depending on availability)(Please note: An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is also available.)
Day 4: Glacier Grey
On the fourth day, the group will hike from the Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern side of Lake Grey. The adventurers will feast on a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the huge, crystalline facade of Glacier Grey. From the southern end of Glacier Grey, there will be a transfer to Ecocamp. Due to the temperamental weather of the region, boat trips across the lake may occasionally be canceled or if the required minimum of 15 passengers is not reached. If this is the case, the group will trek up to the sightseeing point to enjoy wonderful, panoramic views of Grey Glacier instead. Afterward, it is time to return on foot to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to the dock, where the group will be picked up and driven to Ecocamp. Overnight at Ecocamp Patagonia.
Day 5: The Big Challenge: Trek to the Towers Base
This is the big day – the walk to the base of the famous Paine Towers. Adventurers 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. The big challenge is the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders that lead to that iconic base of the Towers, the three gigantic granite monoliths that are the remains of a great cirque sheared away by glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before the group with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view, the group backtracks along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and returns to EcoCamp for a well-deserved dinner and some tasty Chilean wine. Overnight at Ecocamp Patagonia.
Day 6: Eastern Lakes
On the sixth day, the group will opt for a less strenuous trial in order to counter Ecocamp’s exhausting efforts of the previous day. After breakfast, the adventurers will take a leisurely car journey towards Laguna Azul, home to many wild guanacos and ñandús. The group will pause occasionally to admire the views of the Patagonian steppe and the Towers from its many perspectives. At Laguna Azul, the group will hike to the lookout point where you will be treated to a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and the granite towers. After lunch, the group will drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. As the adventurers hike northbound, an impressive range of Patagonian fauna on the vast plains, and maybe even the occasional puma print can be seen! The group will pass the charming Goic lagoon and, after approximately 5 km of relaxed walking, the Laguna Amarga ranger station will be reached where the group will be picked up and driven back to Ecocamp to celebrate with a farewell dinner. Overnight at Ecocamp Patagonia. (Please note: if there are more than 6 travelers in the group, there is an option to split into two groups, with one group (or the whole group if everybody’s in the mood!) cycling to Laguna Azul!)
Day 7: Adiós Torres del Paine!
On to the next adventure! Today the group will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch an evening flight onwards. If you are heading to Argentina, you can board an early morning vehicle to the border to continue the journey to El Calafate.
During the Low and Shoulder Season (October and April), the boat trip to Glacier Grey and the Towers Trek excursion may be canceled due to weather conditions and safety concerns, if this is the case Ecocamp Patagonia will offer you a comparable alternative within the park.
The weather in Patagonia can be difficult to plan around at times. Ecocamp Patagonia reserves 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 upon these safety/weather considerations.
- 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
- 4 nights accommodation in Ecocamp
- 1-night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande (depending on availability)
- 1 night in Refugio Los Cuernos or Domo El Francés (depending on availability)
- Park fees for Torres del Paine National Park
- One expert English speaking trekking guide
- 9 travelers are the most typical group size, plus guiding staff. The maximum number of travelers is 12. Guide to passenger ratio: 1:6
- Sleeping bag for refugios if needed
- Transportation for your luggage within the park (while trekking you will carry just your day pack)
- 6 Breakfasts
- 7 Lunches/Box Lunches
- 6 Dinners
- Flight tickets
- Insurance (appropriate insurance is mandatory for this trip)
- Voluntary tipping to guides and staff
- Soft drinks or snacks are not served with the meals at the Ecocamp. Bring cash to buy extra drinks, snacks, or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park.
- Personal items
What you need to bring
Passengers need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once.
- A day backpack (30 liters – to carry a camera, glasses, raincoat, etc)
- Trekking or hiking boots
- Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet
- Waterproof jacket
- 2 pairs of wool 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
- Cash to buy extra drinks, snacks, or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park.
Every Monday from October to April.
Starting / Finishing Point
This trip starts on Monday and finishes on Sunday with pickups and drop-offs in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, or El Calafate.
This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. During this trek, you will walk a total of 77kms /48,5mi.
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.
Those aged 13 years or above are welcome and are considered adults.
Children between 10 and 12 might be accepted into this program if their legal guardian sends a formal letter stating that the child is prepared for such an intense trekking trip and authorizes Ecocamp Patagonia to hire a private guide in case the child cannot perform well during the trek.
Children under 10 years of age cannot participate in this trip.
This trip doesn’t offer a special discount for children.
In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia transport is in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 people. Pick-up/ off times will be confirmed locally by Ecocamp Patagonia’s operations team. An exclusive toll-free emergency number will be available for anyone needing additional support while they are in Chile.
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the winds that circle the Antarctic landmass, making the weather hard to predict. Fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning; even in summer (December to March), you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. Summer’s average temperature is 11ºC (52ºF), ranging between 2 to 24ºC (35 to 75ºF).
If refugios are unavailable, alternative accommodation will be provided in tents or domes with prior notice.
Accommodation in the refugio will be provided either in dormitories or in comfortable tents or domes, including a mat, sleeping bag, and a polar fleece liner; Ecocamp Patagonia will set up and dismantle all these. The campsite provides satisfactory bathroom facilities. Meals will be served inside the refugio.
If you choose a Standard Dome and you are traveling alone, you can share the dome with another person of the same gender and pay the double base price. If you want the dome to yourself, you need to pay a Single Supplement. (Please note: If you are traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will only be able to stay in a dome alone or with people from your reservation party).