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Description

Discover the famous W Circuit, exploring its three main attractions

The Express W Circuit is the perfect program for those who are lovers of trekking and camping in the wild. You will make the most famous circuit of the Torres del Paine National Park in an express way, in 4 days and 3 nights.

In this trekking circuit, you will pass through the main points of Torres del Paine Park, visiting its most famous attractions. You will get to know the three granite towers, the imposing Grey Glacier and the icebergs that float in the Grey Lake, as well as the beautiful French Valley.

Also, in the Express W Circuit program, you won’t have to worry about bringing a tent and a sleeping bag. Our circuit already includes accommodation in the refuge.

Get to know the base of the Towers, the Grey Glacier sector and the French Valley

Then, on the first day of the Express W Circuit, you will leave Puerto Natales towards the park and do the best-known trekking in the area. The Towers Base Trekking is a trail of approximately 20 km and of medium-high level of difficulty. However, even with the difficulty of a path with climbs, when you reach the viewpoint you will feel that your effort was rewarded.

The next day, you will sail through the beautiful Pehoé Lake to reach the Paine Grande sector. From there the trek begins in the direction of the Grey sector. You will be able to appreciate the view of the Grey Glacier from the well-known hanging bridges.

You will visit the French Valley on the last day of the Express W Circuit. You will walk through forests and moraines of an ancient glacier. Once at the French Valley viewpoint, you will enjoy an incredible view of the Paine Horns along with hanging glaciers and rocks of different colors.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Torres del Paine National Park – Hike to the Towers Base Viewpoint

After breakfast at the hotel, you must request your box lunch to go to the bus terminal to take the 7:00 am bus (we recommend being at least 10 minutes before departure) to go to the Torres del Paine National Park.

You will travel through the beautiful landscapes until you reach the Amarga Lagoon main entrance, where you need to register with CONAF (park rangers). From here you make a transfer with “Transporte Las Torres” which takes you to the welcome center. You register at Estancia Cerro Paine and then walk a very short distance of 5 minutes to the Torre Central Refuge. In this place you have to register either in Refuge or in camping before starting your trekking.

Today’s walk begins through the Ascencio Valley enjoying the extensive forests. During the final ascent, you go through an immense field of giant rocks until you reach one of the most emblematic viewpoints in the world, the famous Towers Base Viewpoint. At a height of 900 meters above sea level, marvel at the 3 towers (north, central and south) of granite and the brilliant turquoise glacial lake at its feet. Take some beautiful photos and enjoy your box lunch before following the same path back to the Torre Central Refuge. After a long day and enjoying the Towers, enjoy a warm dinner at the Torre Central Refuge.

Distance: 22km
Time: 8-10 hrs
Difficulty level: very demanding
Accommodation: Refugio Central
Meals: box lunch and dinner

Day 2: Catamaran – Hike to Grey Refuge

After having breakfast at Torre Central Refuge and asking for your Lunch Box, you must take the bus from Las Torres at 8:30 a.m. that will leave you at Amarga Lagoon, where you must take the South Bus that comes from Puerto Natales, so that it leaves you at the Pudeto Pier. At 11 a.m., you will have to board the Catamaran, which will sail for approximately 35 minutes through Pehoé Lake, arriving directly at the Paine Grande Refuge, from here the walk to the Grey Refuge begins.

The walk begins through a narrow and winding valley that leads to the Los Patos Lagoon. As you continue advancing you will begin to see parts of the immense Southern Patagonian Ice Field, as well as the ice floes of Grey Lake. After passing the sometimes (very) windy viewpoint, the path descends through a mountainous forest until reaching the Refuge. From here, continue for 10 minutes until you reach the Grey Glacier Viewpoint, where you come face to face with one of the arms of the Southern Ice Fields. Dinner will be served at the shelter between 7 and 9 p.m.

Distance: 11km
Time: 4-4.5 hrs
Difficulty level: easy-medium
Accommodation: Grey Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Optional: For an unforgettable view of the Grey Glacier, plan an extra 3-4 hours (round trip) spent heading towards the famous hanging bridges. It is by far the best viewpoint of the Glacier. In addition to contemplating the impressive ice, you can see the depths of the ravines formed by the rivers and waterfalls that come from the Olguín cord. If you are lucky, you could see the ice melting from the glacier into the cold waters of the Lake.

Distance: 4 km
Time: 3-4 hrs (round trip)
Difficulty level: medium

Day 3: Grey Refuge to Paine Grande Refuge

Enjoy breakfast in the Grey Refuge dining room and don’t forget to order your box lunch. In case you did not get to visit the suspension bridges the previous afternoon, you can take the morning to go and explore the spectacular panoramic views of the Grey Glacier.

This day, you will follow the same path to go back to Paine Grande Refuge. Rest and enjoy dinner in the Refuge’s dining room.

Distance: 11km
Time: 4-4.5 hrs
Difficulty level: medium
Accommodation: Paine Grande Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 4: Hike to the French Valley – Return to Puerto Natales

Today’s hike will be round trip, starting and ending at Paine Grande Refuge. Travel to the heart of the park along the blue waters of Skottsberg Lake. After approximately 2.5 hours of walking, you will arrive at the Italian Camp (park ranger), where you will begin your journey to the French Valley. Climb up large rocks and then continue through the forest until you reach the Plateau del Francés (French Viewpoint). Here, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the Paine Horns, turquoise glacial lagoons and amazing hanging glaciers that fall down the east face of the Paine Grande mountain (3,050 m.a.s.l.). If you are lucky, you can hear the thunderous noise of the glacier and the falling water, as well as it is very common to witness an avalanche. Enjoy your box lunch and well-deserved rest.

Go down the same trail to the Italian Camp and then to the Paine Grande Refuge.

At 6:30 p.m., you must take the catamaran that will take you back to Pudeto, where you must board the regular bus at 7:00 p.m.

Distance: 19km
Time: 7-8 hrs
Difficulty level: demanding
Meals: breakfast and box lunch

Detail

Included
Transfer:
– Roundtrip transportation by regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park
– Connection from Amarga Lagoon Gate to the welcome center
Refuge accommodation
Meals:
– Breakfast (coffee, tea, milk, bread, eggs, jam, juice and fruits)
– Box lunch (cold sandwich, cereal bar, chocolate bar, nuts and fruit)
– Dinner (menu of the day, with starter, main course, dessert and water)
Tickets:
– Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
– Catamaran crossing Lake Pehoé

 

Not included
Flights to/from Puerto Natales
Tips
Guide
Health insurance
Medical assistance in case of accident
Assistance in evacuation due to climatic causes or force majeure
Travel insurance that covers accidents and cancellations due to force majeure

FAQ

How far in advance should I book the Classic W Circuit?

This circuit has a high demand and there are dates on which quotas are sold out months in advance. Therefore, we recommend that you book as far in advance as possible as places are limited.

What is the difference between the W Circuit with refuge accommodation or camping accommodation?

The program with shelters will sleep in a shared room with bunk beds and a shared bathroom. On the other hand, in camping accommodation you will sleep in a private double tent already set up with a sleeping bag and insulation with a shared bathroom.

What differences are there between the W Express Circuit and the Classic W Circuit?

The difference between both circuits is that the Classi W Circuit covers a distance of 75.5 km, to reach the second viewpoint of the Grey Glacier, closer to the glacier. On the other hand, the 72.5 km Express W Circuit reaches the first viewpoint of the Grey Glacier, further from the glacier.

What is the difference between a guided program and a self-guided program?

In the guided circuit you will go with a professional guide, who will accompany you throughout the walk, in addition to giving you information about the places you will visit during the circuit. On the other hand, doing it autonomously is possible because the park’s trails are duly marked. In addition to receiving an explanatory talk at the beginning of the circuit, where you will be given a map with all the details.

From what age can they do the W Circuit?

The minimum age is 14 years old, it must be considered that it is a trek of several days, with medium-high physical demand, which is not advisable for minors.

Is it necessary to bring water?

It is not necessary to carry water since there are drinking water sources available along the way, either in the refuges and camps or natural water sources, during the walks.

Is there WiFi and plugs?

Yes, there is WiFi service in the shelters but it is not included in the price, it is paid directly in each refuge. The price may vary according to time and speed. You can use the sockets available in the common areas of the refuges. However, we recommend that you carry charged external batteries.

Can I leave part of my luggage in some of the refuges while I do the circuit?

If you can leave your large backpack in the Chilean and Italian camps, and pick it up on the way back.

What are the transportation options to get to Puerto Natales from Punta Arenas and El Calafate?

The companies Bus-Sur, Buses Pacheco and Buses Fernández offer the regular bus transportation service from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, while the companies Bus-Sur, Turismo Zaahj and Cootra provide the regular bus transportation service from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. To know prices, availability and frequency of these services you should review the information published on the websites of the indicated companies.

What to bring?

  • 40 liter backpack to carry all things and 25 liter backpack for day hikes to Towers Base and French Valley
  • Waterproof jacket and pants, fleece-type outerwear, thermal clothing (first layer), short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts
  • Trekking shoes, slippers and sandals for showers and rest
  • Hat and gloves for the cold, hat for the sun, sunscreen, sunglasses, earplugs, towel
  • Rechargeable battery for the mobile, flashlight, padlock, bags to store your garbage, trekking poles, travel insurance that covers accidents, insurance for cancellations due to force majeure

 

Conditions

Check the contracting terms of the Express W Circuit program (refuge – self-guided).

Express W Circuit (refuge - self-guided)

from

$761

From Puerto Natales Bus Terminal
4 days / 3 nights
Start at 07:00 a.m. (first day) – End at 10:30 p.m. (last day)

Rates table
1 passenger: CLP$543.000
2 passengers: CLP$1.086.000
3 passengers: CLP$1.629.000
4 passengers: CLP$2.172.000
5 passengers: CLP$2.715.000
6 passengers: CLP$3.258.000

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Medios de Pago

Description

Discover the famous W Circuit, exploring its three main attractions

The Express W Circuit is the perfect program for those who are lovers of trekking and camping in the wild. You will make the most famous circuit of the Torres del Paine National Park in an express way, in 4 days and 3 nights.

In this trekking circuit, you will pass through the main points of Torres del Paine Park, visiting its most famous attractions. You will get to know the three granite towers, the imposing Grey Glacier and the icebergs that float in the Grey Lake, as well as the beautiful French Valley.

Also, in the Express W Circuit program, you won’t have to worry about bringing a tent and a sleeping bag. Our circuit already includes accommodation in the refuge.

Get to know the base of the Towers, the Grey Glacier sector and the French Valley

Then, on the first day of the Express W Circuit, you will leave Puerto Natales towards the park and do the best-known trekking in the area. The Towers Base Trekking is a trail of approximately 20 km and of medium-high level of difficulty. However, even with the difficulty of a path with climbs, when you reach the viewpoint you will feel that your effort was rewarded.

The next day, you will sail through the beautiful Pehoé Lake to reach the Paine Grande sector. From there the trek begins in the direction of the Grey sector. You will be able to appreciate the view of the Grey Glacier from the well-known hanging bridges.

You will visit the French Valley on the last day of the Express W Circuit. You will walk through forests and moraines of an ancient glacier. Once at the French Valley viewpoint, you will enjoy an incredible view of the Paine Horns along with hanging glaciers and rocks of different colors.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Torres del Paine National Park – Hike to the Towers Base Viewpoint

After breakfast at the hotel, you must request your box lunch to go to the bus terminal to take the 7:00 am bus (we recommend being at least 10 minutes before departure) to go to the Torres del Paine National Park.

You will travel through the beautiful landscapes until you reach the Amarga Lagoon main entrance, where you need to register with CONAF (park rangers). From here you make a transfer with “Transporte Las Torres” which takes you to the welcome center. You register at Estancia Cerro Paine and then walk a very short distance of 5 minutes to the Torre Central Refuge. In this place you have to register either in Refuge or in camping before starting your trekking.

Today’s walk begins through the Ascencio Valley enjoying the extensive forests. During the final ascent, you go through an immense field of giant rocks until you reach one of the most emblematic viewpoints in the world, the famous Towers Base Viewpoint. At a height of 900 meters above sea level, marvel at the 3 towers (north, central and south) of granite and the brilliant turquoise glacial lake at its feet. Take some beautiful photos and enjoy your box lunch before following the same path back to the Torre Central Refuge. After a long day and enjoying the Towers, enjoy a warm dinner at the Torre Central Refuge.

Distance: 22km
Time: 8-10 hrs
Difficulty level: very demanding
Accommodation: Refugio Central
Meals: box lunch and dinner

Day 2: Catamaran – Hike to Grey Refuge

After having breakfast at Torre Central Refuge and asking for your Lunch Box, you must take the bus from Las Torres at 8:30 a.m. that will leave you at Amarga Lagoon, where you must take the South Bus that comes from Puerto Natales, so that it leaves you at the Pudeto Pier. At 11 a.m., you will have to board the Catamaran, which will sail for approximately 35 minutes through Pehoé Lake, arriving directly at the Paine Grande Refuge, from here the walk to the Grey Refuge begins.

The walk begins through a narrow and winding valley that leads to the Los Patos Lagoon. As you continue advancing you will begin to see parts of the immense Southern Patagonian Ice Field, as well as the ice floes of Grey Lake. After passing the sometimes (very) windy viewpoint, the path descends through a mountainous forest until reaching the Refuge. From here, continue for 10 minutes until you reach the Grey Glacier Viewpoint, where you come face to face with one of the arms of the Southern Ice Fields. Dinner will be served at the shelter between 7 and 9 p.m.

Distance: 11km
Time: 4-4.5 hrs
Difficulty level: easy-medium
Accommodation: Grey Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Optional: For an unforgettable view of the Grey Glacier, plan an extra 3-4 hours (round trip) spent heading towards the famous hanging bridges. It is by far the best viewpoint of the Glacier. In addition to contemplating the impressive ice, you can see the depths of the ravines formed by the rivers and waterfalls that come from the Olguín cord. If you are lucky, you could see the ice melting from the glacier into the cold waters of the Lake.

Distance: 4 km
Time: 3-4 hrs (round trip)
Difficulty level: medium

Day 3: Grey Refuge to Paine Grande Refuge

Enjoy breakfast in the Grey Refuge dining room and don’t forget to order your box lunch. In case you did not get to visit the suspension bridges the previous afternoon, you can take the morning to go and explore the spectacular panoramic views of the Grey Glacier.

This day, you will follow the same path to go back to Paine Grande Refuge. Rest and enjoy dinner in the Refuge’s dining room.

Distance: 11km
Time: 4-4.5 hrs
Difficulty level: medium
Accommodation: Paine Grande Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 4: Hike to the French Valley – Return to Puerto Natales

Today’s hike will be round trip, starting and ending at Paine Grande Refuge. Travel to the heart of the park along the blue waters of Skottsberg Lake. After approximately 2.5 hours of walking, you will arrive at the Italian Camp (park ranger), where you will begin your journey to the French Valley. Climb up large rocks and then continue through the forest until you reach the Plateau del Francés (French Viewpoint). Here, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the Paine Horns, turquoise glacial lagoons and amazing hanging glaciers that fall down the east face of the Paine Grande mountain (3,050 m.a.s.l.). If you are lucky, you can hear the thunderous noise of the glacier and the falling water, as well as it is very common to witness an avalanche. Enjoy your box lunch and well-deserved rest.

Go down the same trail to the Italian Camp and then to the Paine Grande Refuge.

At 6:30 p.m., you must take the catamaran that will take you back to Pudeto, where you must board the regular bus at 7:00 p.m.

Distance: 19km
Time: 7-8 hrs
Difficulty level: demanding
Meals: breakfast and box lunch

Detail

Included
Transfer:
– Roundtrip transportation by regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park
– Connection from Amarga Lagoon Gate to the welcome center
Refuge accommodation
Meals:
– Breakfast (coffee, tea, milk, bread, eggs, jam, juice and fruits)
– Box lunch (cold sandwich, cereal bar, chocolate bar, nuts and fruit)
– Dinner (menu of the day, with starter, main course, dessert and water)
Tickets:
– Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
– Catamaran crossing Lake Pehoé

 

Not included
Flights to/from Puerto Natales
Tips
Guide
Health insurance
Medical assistance in case of accident
Assistance in evacuation due to climatic causes or force majeure
Travel insurance that covers accidents and cancellations due to force majeure

FAQ

How far in advance should I book the Classic W Circuit?

This circuit has a high demand and there are dates on which quotas are sold out months in advance. Therefore, we recommend that you book as far in advance as possible as places are limited.

What is the difference between the W Circuit with refuge accommodation or camping accommodation?

The program with shelters will sleep in a shared room with bunk beds and a shared bathroom. On the other hand, in camping accommodation you will sleep in a private double tent already set up with a sleeping bag and insulation with a shared bathroom.

What differences are there between the W Express Circuit and the Classic W Circuit?

The difference between both circuits is that the Classi W Circuit covers a distance of 75.5 km, to reach the second viewpoint of the Grey Glacier, closer to the glacier. On the other hand, the 72.5 km Express W Circuit reaches the first viewpoint of the Grey Glacier, further from the glacier.

What is the difference between a guided program and a self-guided program?

In the guided circuit you will go with a professional guide, who will accompany you throughout the walk, in addition to giving you information about the places you will visit during the circuit. On the other hand, doing it autonomously is possible because the park’s trails are duly marked. In addition to receiving an explanatory talk at the beginning of the circuit, where you will be given a map with all the details.

From what age can they do the W Circuit?

The minimum age is 14 years old, it must be considered that it is a trek of several days, with medium-high physical demand, which is not advisable for minors.

Is it necessary to bring water?

It is not necessary to carry water since there are drinking water sources available along the way, either in the refuges and camps or natural water sources, during the walks.

Is there WiFi and plugs?

Yes, there is WiFi service in the shelters but it is not included in the price, it is paid directly in each refuge. The price may vary according to time and speed. You can use the sockets available in the common areas of the refuges. However, we recommend that you carry charged external batteries.

Can I leave part of my luggage in some of the refuges while I do the circuit?

If you can leave your large backpack in the Chilean and Italian camps, and pick it up on the way back.

What are the transportation options to get to Puerto Natales from Punta Arenas and El Calafate?

The companies Bus-Sur, Buses Pacheco and Buses Fernández offer the regular bus transportation service from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, while the companies Bus-Sur, Turismo Zaahj and Cootra provide the regular bus transportation service from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. To know prices, availability and frequency of these services you should review the information published on the websites of the indicated companies.

What to bring?

  • 40 liter backpack to carry all things and 25 liter backpack for day hikes to Towers Base and French Valley
  • Waterproof jacket and pants, fleece-type outerwear, thermal clothing (first layer), short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts
  • Trekking shoes, slippers and sandals for showers and rest
  • Hat and gloves for the cold, hat for the sun, sunscreen, sunglasses, earplugs, towel
  • Rechargeable battery for the mobile, flashlight, padlock, bags to store your garbage, trekking poles, travel insurance that covers accidents, insurance for cancellations due to force majeure

 

Conditions

Check the contracting terms of the Express W Circuit program (refuge – self-guided).

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