Patagonia W Trek Chile
Trekking one of the world's best trails
How to Get There
From Puerto Natales
The Western end of the W is at Paine Grande Mountain Mountain Lodge (formerly Refugio Pehoe) in Torres del Paine. Get there by either taking a bus from Puerto Natales (7-8am, 2.30pm) to the Catamaran Dock at Pudeto (3 hrs 15 mins) and then the Catamaran to Paine Grande (30 mins, 9am 12pm, 6pm). Or, take the bus all the way to the Conaf Administration Center (4hrs 15mins), and then hike to Paine Grande Mountain Lodge (5hrs, 14km).
Punta Arenas - Windy City About Six Hours From Torres del Paine National Park
Punta Arenas is en route to Torres del Paine, and well worth a visit.
Torres del Paine W Distance and Trekking Time
About 75km (46 miles). In all, about 28 hours of hiking, depending on your fitness. The W Trek can be completed in three days at a push, but most people take five. Allowing for bad weather is a good idea.
Camping and Refugios
From West to East Campsites and refugios on the W are as follows:
1 Paine Grande Mountain Lodge
2 Camp Italiano
3 Camp Britannico
4 Refugio Los Cuernos
5 Refugios Torres Central and Norte
6 Refugio Chileno
7 Camp Torres
There are no hotels on the W, but Hosteria Lago Grey is the closest to it, with Hosteria Pehoe and the Explora Hotel, Salto Chico, on the way to the start of the W if you travel there by Catamaran.
Booking Campsites and Refugios
Book refugios and campsites (essential in summer) with FantasticoSur and Vertice Patagonia, or via a tour operator in Puerto Natales.
The Paine Massif - a collection of astonishing multicolored jagged peaks.
The Towers (Las Torres) after which Torres del Paine is named, are three granite spires - the tallest is Torre d'Agonsti at some 2800 metres.
Luminous Lakes - Torres del Paine's lakes are intense shades of turquoise, jade and blue
Grey Glacier - a 40 metre wall of ice, which calves massive icebergs into Grey Lake
French Valley - hidden glacier-clad valley
Of Torres del Paine's Treks the W is not the most difficult. There is really only one really steep climb - to The Towers. The biggest challenge is the weather, which may include high winds, sideways rain and snow.
Torres del Paine in Patagonia is famous for having four seasons in a day. Layers with a windproof, waterproof outer layer are the way to go. Summer temperatures range from 41F (5C) to 68F (20C), but high winds are common and sometimes incessant. It may snow at higher elevations even in summer.
The Torres del Paine W is the best choice if you you're pressed for time and don't want to camp. It takes in just about all the highlights of Torres del Paine except the John Gardner Pass, which flanks the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. The Pass is on the Torres del Paine Circuit, a longer and more challenging trek.
Maps of Torres del Paine
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