This accessible and most famous of hikes in the Torres del Paine National Park isn’t overly challenging and it doesn’t require backcountry camping. With well-marked trails and stopovers in well-known campsites — and sometimes quite luxurious refugios — you don’t have to be a seasoned adventurer to explore this stunning region of the world.
- Embarking on a W Trek tour, you’ll get to see the iconic landmark that is Las Torres (aka The Towers) soaring over 2,500 meters above sea level.
- Hike alongside the otherworldly blues of Nordenskjold Lake, reflecting the surrounding glaciers and skyscraping mountains like a huge, natural mirror and see if you can’t spot a grazing guanaco on the west side of the lake. We bet you can!
- Trek to the Valle de Frances — or the French Valley — an area filled with pristine forest where the lush greens contrast with the cliffs of dark grey granite that rise like a giant’s castle.
- Get up close and personal with the 6km wide Glacier Grey, located in the west of Torres del Paine National Park, as you make the epic round-trip trek and get unmissable views of the glacier from Mirador Grey.
- Stay at remote, picturesque refugios such as Camp Los Cuernos, where you’ll have an incredible vista of the dramatic and jagged mountains known as Los Cuernos, part of the Paine Massif.
- Want to escape the crowds? How about doing the W Trek tour during the winter months? Though the days are shorter, with a winter hike you might have the view of The Towers all to yourself, instead of sharing it with hundreds of other hikers.
- Book your accommodations way in advance, especially during the high season. During the winter, some of the refugios will be closed, so plan accordingly.
- Thermals and layers are key to making sure you’re never too cold, or boiling in an impractical jacket. Choose lightweight materials, as your backpack will be with you the whole time, and a heavy load on a trek isn’t fun.
- Make a start in Puerto Natales, the gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park, and get a bus to the park, specifically the Rio Serrano entrance; Bus Sur Company and Bus Jose Maria both leave twice per day from the city to the park, and a round-trip will cost you around USD 30*.
Note: Prices are as per November 2019.