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W Trek Patagonia Chile

An adventure-seekers dream along Chile’s famed W trek route through Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

Overview

During this incredible 12-day adventure, you will have the chance to discover some of the most spectacular highlights of Chilean Patagonia, a region known for awe-inspiring landscapes and natural wonders. Hike the W-Trek Patagonia Chile, take the Torres del Paine route, trek the remote landscapes of Los Glaciares National Park, and sea kayak on Reloncavi Fjord. Be inspired and exhilarated, while enjoying mind-blowing scenery on private treks with expert, local, private guides. All excursions can be tailored in accordance with your personal wishes. Perfect for fit and active couples and groups of friends.

Santiago de Chile

Your adventure begins with a tour of the historical and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. Start at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace. Walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, and visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. From there, continue to Santa Lucia Hill, which is a great vantage point for viewing the city.

Stroll around the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Bellavista, and take the aerial tramway to San Cristóbal Hill for panoramic views of the city. Finally, visit Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings.

Yerba Loca Nature Sanctuary

Your first hike takes you through the glorious scenery of the Yerba Loca, with its phenomenal views of the Andes Mountain Range and its snow tipped peaks, ending at an incredible glacier. Expect to see many species of hardy and robust animals and plants along the route.

Torres del Paine National Park

Your next four days will be spent trekking through the marvelous Torres del Paine National Park, starting with Puerto Pudeto, an area that encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. Hiking to Grey Glacier in Torres Del Paine is for many a bucket list adventure; this mighty glacier forks like a snake tongue as it reaches the edge of the magnificent Grey Lake.

Cross the lake by catamaran and set out on a relatively easy four-hour hike through beautiful landscape towards the immense Grey Glacier. The next day’s trek takes you to Pehoé Lake and the site of your overnight accommodation. From there, take an amazing trek to the Valle Francés to see the dramatic hanging glacier, Glaciar Francés, to watch ice “calving” from its face. Finally, head off on a dazzling hike to the imposing towers of the Paine Massif and on to the Refugio El Chileno.

Patagonia’s Lake District

Transfer to Puerto Natales and Patagonia’s Lake District and trek the ominously named Sendero Desolación or Desolation Pass. See the native forests and black volcanic plains beneath Mt. Osorno’s resplendent peak. Ascend a mountain pass through a barren basalt landscape that gradually transforms into lush woodland and finally unveils an astonishing view of Lago Todos Los Santos and the surrounding areas including the Tronador Volcano.

After a picnic lunch, descend through prehistoric flora towards Playa Larga, a long stretch of shoreline, which is perfect for a refreshing dip in the lake. On your final day, head to Ralun Bay in the Reloncaví Estuary for an exciting kayaking adventure. Navigate the waters and marvel at the jaw-dropping views of the Yates and Hornopiren Volcanos.

Itinerary & Prices

12 Day - W Trek Patagonia Chile
itinerary map

Arrival & City Tour Santiago

Upon arrival in Chile, you will be picked up at the airport and taken on today’s excursion, we explore the historical and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. We start our trip at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace, where we will learn about the historical and contemporary role it plays in Chilean life.

From there we take a walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, where the main commercial activity of the city is concentrated. Afterward, we visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, around which are several important historical buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral. From there we continue our trip on to Santa Lucia hill, the mount upon which the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. It is a lone steep rock, covered in vegetation and a great vantage point for viewing the city.

Moving on, we cross the Mapocho River to get to Bellavista, the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Santiago and home to many artists, actors, and young bohemian people. Bellavista lies at the foot of the San Cristóbal Hill, the highest in town, situated in the middle of the Metropolitan Park. We venture up the hill to explore the surrounding areas all the while enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the city. Finally, we visit Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings. After this amazing tour, we will call it a day and return to the hotel.

Meals (x)

Santiago Chile Blue Skies
Location
Santiago
Day
1 / 12

A Hike Through Yerba Loca

Our first morning in Chile and we start straight away with our first hike, and what a fantastic hike it is!

The Yerba Loca Nature Sanctuary is a well-kept secret for all but those locals in the know and is located just about an hour outside of Santiago. Yerba Loca extends over 11,300 hectares with an altitude of anywhere between 2,400 to 5,250 meters above sea level depending on which part of the park you are in. A real “outdoor-lovers” haven, the various treks and trails all offer spectacular views, but we will be taking the main one which ends in an incredible glacier.

The trek should take us around six to seven hours in total and all the way we are greeted by phenomenal views of the Andes Mountain Rage and its snow and glacier tipped peaks. Along the way our guide will talk us through some amazing facts about the area and keep his/her eyes open for local flora and fauna, with many species of hardy and robust animals and plants to be seen along the route. We head back to our hotel afterwards to relax.

Meals (B, L)

Hiking Yierba Loca
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 12

To Chilean Patagonia

After breakfast we transfer you to the airport in Santiago  and your flight on to Punta Arenas and your subsequent stay at Puerto Natales.

Punta Arenas is one of the most southerly cities in the continent. The first European to visit the area where the city is located was Juan Ladrillero, a Spanish explorer who was looking for the Strait of Magellan’s western passage in 1557. A host of European settlers followed from countries such as Germany, Britain, Croatia, Greece, Italy and of course Spain.

We don’t spend much time here, unfortunately, as we are driven almost immediately in the direction of Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park.

Meals (B)

quadriped chilean patagonia
Location
Santiago to Puerto Natales
Day
3 / 12

Lakes & Grey Glacier

After a hearty breakfast we board our private transfer and head toward Puerto Pudeto in Torres del Paine, an official National Park of Chile.

The area encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine, a range of rugged mountain peaks that stretch out into the crisp cool air is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes and is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales.

We cross the lake by catamaran towards Paine Grande. This lake crossing offers impressive views of the wide-open wilderness and beautiful panoramas of the lake and surrounding mountains. Once we arrive, we continue on with a relatively easy hike on the eastern shoreline of the lake through beautiful landscape and towards the immense Grey Glacier. Here you will arrive at a lookout point where you will be able to see the vast glacier wall and vibrant blue icebergs from close up. The trek lasts around 4 hours at a standard pace.

Meals (B, D)

Trekking to a Glacier Grey
Location
Hike Torres Del Paine
Day
4 / 12

Alpine Lakes and Vistas

Today marks one of our most exciting and full days. We continue our trek to Grey Glacier for an even more up-close-and-personal experience. We dedicate a fair amount of time to trekking and exploring this mighty glacier, and really coming to terms with its enormous scale. Located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, just west of the Cordillera del Paine, its primary flow is southward into the lake of the same name. The glacier is 6 kilometers wide and over 30 meters high, so we have plenty to pique our interest!

In the afternoon, we begin our descent towards Pehoé Lake and the site of our overnight accommodation.  Lake Pehoé is a beautiful blue watered lake set against the glacial mountains of the national park and owes its existence from the water fed mainly by Paine River which passes first through the Nordenskjöld Lake, but it also counts upon the waters of the outlet of Skottsberg Lake as a tributary. We stay the night at the Paine Grande Lodge, right on the shores of this outstandingly beautiful body of water. We highly recommend getting up early to watch the sunrise over the mountain backdrop.

Meals (B, L, D)

Hiking Paine Grande Ecolodge
Location
Hike Torres Del Paine
Day
5 / 12

Through French Valley

Once you have had breakfast you will start your amazing trek to one of the most beautiful valleys of the park, the Valle Francés or French Valley.

Valle Francés is a deep valley cut between the mountains of Torres del Paine, and is one of the main hiking attractions in the whole of South America. Particlarly well known for its dramatic hanging glacier, the appropriately named Glaciar Francés.

The hike there is one of the best approach hikes in the whole of Chile as we cross through beech forests and pass by the Rio Francés. It takes roughly 2 hours to trek into the valley before you get your first glimpse of the glacier, and you can hear the rumble of small avalanches in the distance and get to actually watch ice “calving” from its face. We head onward through the park ant toward Lake Nordenskjöld Lake which is located below the impressive stone walls of the Paine Massif.

Meals (B, L, D)

Hiking River Frances Valley
Location
Hike Torres Del Paine
Day
6 / 12

Base La Torre

Today marks the longest day in our trip, as we are on the trail for 12 hours in total, so an early start is necessary.

Having said that, we take advantage of the extended daylight hours due to our position so far south of the equator and enjoy the whole hike in broad daylight. We head off on a spectacular hike to the imposing towers of the Paine Massif which jut out in a steep rise towards the heavens.

Against the backdrop of the Cordillera Paine and still within the national park we continue on to our final destination of the Refugio El Chileno and the closest we come to being real-life mountaineers! Paine means “blue” in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay, and on this trip we get to experience this untouched wilderness as the indigenous population have for thousands of years.

Meals (B, L, D)

Base Las Torres Park
Location
Hike Torres Del Paine
Day
7 / 12

Return to Puerto Natales

We pick you up from Las Torres de Paine to begin the next leg of our trip. This involves a transfer of around two and a half hours to the town of Puerto Natales. Located on the Eastern side of the National Park where we can see how the terrain varies from that which we have already experienced, and one particular place of interest is Lago Sarmiento.

Lake Sarmiento is home to a rare phenomenon known as Thrombolites. These are fossilized bacteria, which group together to look like fossilized algae or volcanic pumice and are one of the few things that can survive in the alkaline waters of Lake Sarmiento. As you leave the park you will be able to see some of the large plots of land where gauchos (the traditional South American version of a cowboy) have their sheep graze.

Meals (B)

Puerto Natales Chile View
Location
Puerto Natales
Day
8 / 12

From Patagonia to the Lake District

After breakfast in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel, you will be picked up by our representative and taken to Punta Arenas airport in an air-conditioned private vehicle. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and we cover a distance of around 194km.

Along the way, we will be able to see the Patagonian steppe and the wonderful geological formations that the fold mountains of this area have created. This area is also known for its extensive sheep farms, a traditional form of income for the area. Please note that the suggested pick-up time will be to allow the hour and a half that most airlines require for baggage drop.

Meals (B)

Pucon Chile City with Volcano Behind
Location
Puerto Natales to Puerto Varas
Day
9 / 12

Trekking Desolation Pass

Early in the morning we take a private transfer from our hotel in Puerto Varas to an area about an hour away where our trekking adventure will begin in earnest. Our destination today: We are headed to the ominously named Sendero Desolación or Desolation Pass.

We begin our hike heading up the skirt of the Osorno Volcano and along the way our guide will teach you about how the vegetation changes significantly as the soil and climate differ, meaning a dramatic change in the scenery as we head upwards. Once higher up we will be able to observe panoramic views of the Todos los Santos Lake and the surrounding areas including the Tronador Volcano.

During our excursion we will stop for a well-deserved box lunch in order to reenergize ourselves. As always, our expert guide knows the exact place to stop for a rest both in terms of timing and getting the best views! Our break will take place in a wonderfully serene spot surrounded by mountains and an amazing natural landscape. After our pause, we will start descending through prehistoric flora towards Playa Larga; a long stretch of shoreline perfect for a refreshing dip in the lake before heading to Petrohué where our excursion ends.

Meals (B, L)

Trekking Desolation Pass
Location
Puerto Varas
Day
10 / 12

Kayak the Day Away

This exciting day starts as you circumnavigate the beautiful Llanquihue Lake until we arrive at the town of Ensenada. Here is where we will gear up and head on with our guide to Ralun Bay in the Reloncaví Estuary for an exciting kayaking adventure.

Several national parks and registered wilderness areas cross over this area making it the perfect place for an up-close experience with the region. As you navigate the waters you will witness amazing views of the Yates and Hornopiren Volcanos.

After some time exploring your surroundings you will make your way to a local residence in the nearby countryside where you will be met and greeted for a wonderful traditional lunch. To digest our lunch we allow you some time to take a relaxing walk and enjoy the open air. Subsequently you will once again board your kayak and continue your journey across the fjord to the town of Cochamo. There next to the lighthouse and old wooden church, in-between the Andes and the Pacific your return transportation will be waiting to escort you back to the hotel.

Meals (B, L)

Kayaking south Chile Lake Districts
Location
Puerto Varas
Day
11 / 12

Farewell to Chile's Lake District

After breakfast, we say our goodbyes to Chile and her beautiful Lake District. We are transferred to the airport for our flight home, or on to our next destinations.

Meals (B)

Puerto Varas & Return Home
Location
Return Home
Day
12 / 12
1 / 12

Accommodations

Hotel Options

Boutique

Casa Bueras

Santiago
Boutique

Noi Indigo

Puerto Natales
Boutique

Cumbres

Puerto Varas