This Torres del Paine hiking experience will challenge your inner self. During 5 days, you will hike in a breathtaking environment where you will be overwhelmed by natural wonders. From the shores of Laguna Verde to Grey Glacier, not to mention the three granite Towers that gave the name to Torres del Paine National Park, you will witness the stunning nature of the Patagonian landscape.
Duration: 5 days
Start/End location: Puerto Natales
Day 1: Welcome to Torres del Paine!
Clients leave with their guide in the afternoon from Puerto Natales, the capital of the Ultima Esperanza region of southern Chile. Meet the guide and transfer vehicle for the drive towards the jagged peaks of Torres del Paine situated to the north. On approaching Torres del Paine, our route takes us west for a spectacular drive alongside the turquoise waters of Sarmiento Lake before eventually arriving at our base for the night, the beautifully situated hosteria Mirador del Payne. This very comfortable converted Estancia has, we feel, one of the most beautiful settings of any of the Park hotels. Its position beside the aptly named Green Lake with its incredible mountain views is truly inspirational. In addition, its more remote location ensures a more tranquil feel compared to some of the other park accommodations. The lakeshore is a great place to stroll in the evening spotting the wild geese and ducks bobbing in the water. Dinner will be in the restaurant offering an excellent variety of local foods and wine.
Day 2: Time for a hike along the shores of Laguna Verde
After a filling breakfast, we will be starting our hiking along the shores of Laguna Verde through some ancient southern beech forests and through grassy valleys towards the Sierra del Toro. This is a great introductory hike with fairly flat terrain, soft grassy trails and incredible mountain and lake views at every turn. After a few hours hiking, we will reach the Mirador del Toro where we will enjoy incredible far reaching views across this marvelous southern landscape crammed with more than its fair share of fast flowing rivers, snow-capped granite peaks, and iceberg-choked lakes.
After some time spent here enjoying the views, we will start the steep descent of this scree slope to the pampas below. Lunch will be taken in the valley before a visit to the national park headquarters and visitors center where your guide will further explain the park’s history and show you the relief maps that illustrate the following days hiking. From here it is a short distance to our accommodation in the comfortable Hotel Rio Serrano situated close to the Serrano River and with magnificent views of the Paine Massif. This hotel is fairly new offering comfortable accommodation, a large living/dining area with log fires and a comfortable bar and a good restaurant. For early risers, it also offers some of the best sunrises in all of Patagonia. Comfortable ensuite rooms, fireside bar and restaurant serving a mix of local and international food. *Option to upgrade to Hosteria Lago Grey situated in its enviable position overlooking Grey Glacier with recently refurbished rooms, good restaurant, and bar serving snacks and a selection of wines and beers.
Day 3: Onboard the Grey II to see Grey Glacier
After breakfast, we will transfer across the pampas for the short walk to the amazing Lago Grey Beach. We will walk along the shores of these grey waters and admire the miracles of nature as seemingly turquoise icebergs are seen floating in the lake. The huge mass of white behind the icebergs is Grey Glacier, the largest in the park. After our walk, we will board the new Grey II launch and set off into the iceberg-choked lake towards the walls of this spectacular Glacier. The short boat trip will give us close and personal views of this spectacle as well as stunning views of Paine Grande and surrounding mountains. After our return to the dock, those still with energy can opt for a hike up to a stunning viewpoint of the entire western side of the park with their guide or take the van back to our accommodation at either the Hotel Rio Serrano or Hosteria Lago Grey.
Day 4: A beautiful walk in the heart of Torres del Paine
After breakfast, we will pack our lunches and take the short drive to the start of our ‘up and over’ route across the heart of the park. This is a beautiful walk that sees very few hikers. It cuts through some incredibly diverse scenery including verdant green valleys, ancient beech forests, azure lakes, cascading waterfalls and wide open plains. Condors hover above the nearby mountain peaks while herds of guanaco scatter as we approach. Our views are constantly dominated by the granite peaks of the Paine Massif to our left. After a full day hiking, we will be reunited with our van and driver for the short transfer to the comfortable Estancia Tercera which will be our base for the next night. Situated on the eastern perimeters of the Park this authentic estancia property has some of the most spectacular views in the Park. Intimate, country-style accommodation in the pretty, wooden guest house with all the comforts of home including hot baths, comfortable sofas, and fireside relaxation.
Day 5: The most challenging hike – going to the Towers
Today we will rise early and we will transfer (1 hour approx) to begin our most challenging hike to the base of the Towers themselves. A challenging hike crossing mountain trails, rivers, and valleys and finally a clamber up the glacial moraine, the rewards are truly spectacular. Lunch (for those who make it to the top) can be enjoyed in the shadow of these enormous granite peaks whilst watching the icebergs drift across a glacial pool of water. A memorable lunch spot and a highlight of every visitor’s itinerary. After our long day’s hike, we can pop into the nearby hotel bar for a pisco sour before hopping into the van for the transfer to Puerto Natales (1.5 hours).
Other necessary items
How far ahead should I book my trip?
Due to the popularity of Patagonia, we recommend booking your trip 4 months in advance during the peak travel months (Dec-Feb). If you want to travel in November or March we recommend booking travel 2 months in advance.
Upon arrival to Patagonia
If you have booked a guided trip your guide will meet you in Puerto Natales, which is about a 3-hour drive from Punta Arenas. Depending on what time your plane arrives, you will have the entire day or just a few hours to explore or rest-up in the small town of Puerto Natales. Your guide will meet you shortly after dinner to discuss trip details, answer questions, and make sure that you have all the appropriate gear for the next few days (the hotel will allow you to leave any unnecessary luggage with them).
Most of the time, there is no way to know what to expect. What you need to know is that it is fast changing and one can witness the wind, sun, rain, and snow all in a matter of hours while in Patagonian wilderness. However, in the cities it is slightly more predictable, normally www.accuweather.com and www.undergroundweather.com are correct.
What to pack
During the Torres del Paine W Trek, you need to have a backpack (renting a backpack is possible) with just enough room to carry your clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bag (during the Torres del Paine W Trek, renting a sleeping bag is also possible). Shared equipment like tents, stoves, pots, and food will be brought and transferred by the tour operator staff.
Personal equipment and clothing should be chosen to allow comfort while hiking. Select clothes to keep you dry in the rain, protected from the wind, and cool enough for warmer moments. It is essential that you are prepared to experience all four seasons in one day. Scroll up to see the full packing list!
It is very important that every visitor has international insurance against accidents. Make sure you have arranged for this insurance before paying for the trip. It is worth considering that some aspects of nature are unpredictable and that we must be prepared for any inconvenient circumstances.
Three meals a day during your program are included. We do not include drinks while in cities or snacks during the day. When staying in cities, you will eat in restaurants, however, during the days we are in the wilderness, your guide will prepare your food. Food is purchased at local stores and we choose your meals according to the preference sheet you fill out. Food can include but is not limited to, assorted vegetables, beef, chicken, and fish. We will also provide energy-rich carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or potatoes. To top things off and excite your taste buds, we also bring some of the following: wine, beer, cookies, cheese, crackers, and fruits. Your meals are carried and, most of the time, prepared by your guide.
Changes in itinerary
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule agreed upon, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.
If you take this tour you will probably be greeted by David. He was born in Santiago, where he developed a passion for the mountain. He took his first steps in the ‘Andinismo’ in the beautiful Peaks of the central Andes Region, just outside of the capital city.
David has been a certified guide since 2004, when he decided to move to the south and start his own business. He often tells us that making his passion his job was the best decision he ever made. He believes that when people follow their dreams, they have the ability to truly make a positive impact on the world. He is committed to empowering local guides and communities to truly benefit from tourism, and share their incredible experience and perspective.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.