Patagonia W Trek Hut to Hut
All 2023 W Trek Trips are Confirmed! Let’s Go!
Chilean Patagonia is a hiker’s Fantasia and we’re bringing you the most famous route to play on. Set those out-of-offices and pack your most reliable ugly bras – our 7-day Women’s W Trek Adventure in Torres Del Paine National Park awaits!
Torres del Paine National Park’s W Trek
Blaze the most stunning trails in the MOTHER of all National Parks. Torres Del Paine is the terrain hiking boots dream about. You will hike 40 miles on the W Trek over the course of 5 glorious days in this crown jewel of public land. Here, you will watch the light play on the Towers Base, hike in the French Valley surrounded by hanging glaciers and wind-shaped trees, cross suspension bridges with unparalleled views of the forests and glaciers below, and take in panoramic views of the park from the Lago Toros Overlook. This isn’t a dream! It’s the wild and pristine natural wonderland of Chilean Patagonia.
7 Days at the End of the World
You’ll never think of a puffer jacket again when you hear the name Patagonia. This place is otherworldly, home to black granite peaks, ice-blue lagoons, lush pampas grassland and thick beech forests. We will use our full bodies and whole hearts to drink Patagonia up – clambering over boulders, hiking to remote alpine lakes, spying on glaciers from suspension bridges, and constantly asking one another, “Did you just hear a puma?!”
Glacial Lake Kayaking
It can’t always be legs day. We’ll put our arms to the test while paddling amongst floating giants. Get gorgeous, uninterrupted views of wind-sculpted icebergs, Grey Glacier and the magnificent Paine Massif.
Max Views, Minimal Back Sweat
We’ll be staying in Refugios aka hiking hostels all along Torres del Paine’s trails. These Refugios give us the wildness of a tent with the comfort of a cabin. All the heavy essentials are provided, like bedding and meals (and Chilean wine). Have a remote backcountry experience but with a real beds at night and a much lighter backpack (we recommend 35-40L to carry personal belongings and essentials)
- Hike 40 miles over the course of 5 days on one of the most famed hiking paths in the world: the W Trek
- Hike to the Base of the Towers and watch the how the sunlight plays on the granite spears
- Take in 360° views of Torres del Paine from the Lago Toro Lookout
- Spy Patagonian fauna like guanaco, Andean condors, grey foxes, armadillos, pumas, rheas, and the very rare Huemul deer
- Cross scenic suspension bridges with epic views of Grey Glacier and the forest and rocky gorges below
- Rest your legs while kayaking Grey Lake amongst icebergs
- Trek in the French Valley with views of the bluest glacier lakes, Paine Grande, and French Glacier to the Brittanico Lookout
- Enjoy a boat navigation across Grey Lake and stop for a photo or two in front of the face of the Grey Glacier
- Experience a remote backcountry experience, but with comfy and rustic Refugio lodging, complete with real beds and hot showers
- Explore the fjord-side town of Puerto Natales and stay 2 nights in a boutique hotel.
- Sit back and take in the breathtaking scenery of Chilean Patagonia from the window of our private SHE-nanigan Shuttle
- Relax with a comprehensive itinerary that makes the logistics, transportation, navigation, meal planning, lodging, and everything in-between easy.
- Geek out with encouraging and supportive Explorer Chicks on a private, women-only, small group adventure tour.
DAY 1 – WELCOME TO PATAGONIA
You made it to the ends of the earth! After arriving to Puerto Natales, you’ll be lovingly whisked away to our rendezvous hotel by private transfer. Arrive, rest up and prepare for the Welcome Dinner! Your Explorer Chick guide will greet you and probably compliment your leggings.
Transfer to Hotel: 10 minutes
Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Natales
Day 2 – TOWERS HIKE
After fueling up on breakfast, we’ll make tracks at 7am via our SHE-nanigan Shuttle. The wild and sprawling beauty of Torres del Paine National Park is calling and we are answering more eagerly than a lovesick teen.
Along the way, we’ll pass traditional Patagonia Estancias (huge ranches) and flat pampas grassland. Have your camera ready – ñandu (Patagonian ostrich), Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans are likely to be preening in the grasses and lagoons!
We’ll be staying in Refugio hiking hostels throughout the park, and you’ll have time to drop your pack and take a quick pee break before beginning the W Trek’s first highlight: the journey to the three Towers lookout. Sounds totally Middle-Earthy and we are HERE for it.
The trek begins with an ascent, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley.
After about an hour, we’ll stop to witness the valley’s obscene beauty unfolding into rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Past this lookout point, we continue uphill through lush forests before ascending a gigantic terminal moraine (the ridge formed at a glacier’s end point) where we’ll be rewarded by a frameable view of the three Towers.
We’ll pause here, 2950 feet above sea level, resting, photo-snapping, giggling and downing our lunch. We descend along the same path to return to our Refugio where dinner, hot chocolate and ice-cold beer await.
Transfer Time from Puerto Natales to TDP: 2 hours
Hiking: 13 miles. 3,330’ gain. 8-9 hours
Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3 – HIKE TO LOS CUERNOS LOOKOUT THROUGH CONDOR TERRITORY
If it pleases the weather gods, we’ll wake to the rich oranges and pinks of a Patagonian dawn. Today we’re hiking to Los Cuernos lookout, where black twin granite peaks curve into the sky like horns. Go Toros!
We’ll make our way via Inge Lagoon, crunching earth below soaring condors and other birds of prey. Every moment we pump our legs and swing our arms is a reminder we are very much alive and very much guests of this wild, wild place.
Our trail ascends 600′ from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (9000′) and crosses the Bader River to Refugio Los Cuernos. Home sweet home for the night. Time to reward our bellies and rest our muscles as we play Never Have I Ever.
Hiking: 7 miles. 820′ gain. 4-5 hours
Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 4 – HIKE PEHOE LAKE VIA THE DRAMATIC FRENCH VALLEY
It’s mega legs day, Explorer Chick! We’ll depart our Refugio to ascend for an hour through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the French Valley viewpoint aka the “Plateau”. Our reward is a heart-stirring Condor’s view of MORE granite peaks and hanging glaciers. To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m). To the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north “horns” of Los Cuernos arching into the sky.
There are so many summits to spy here, it feels like attendance day in homeroom. Cerro Catedral? Here! Cerro Fortaleza? Here! These peaks loom like turrets above the landscape, and you’ll start to wonder if all the GOOD tectonic plates decided to migrate here.
We’ll scarf our lunches at the viewpoint, surrounded by imposing peaks and open sky. Depending on the weather conditions and group vibe, we can continue to the Britanico Lookout which offers impressive 360 degree views.
We return the same way we came to tuck into a well-deserved dinner at our cozy Refugio.
Hiking: 10 miles. 1,900’ gain. 8-9 hours
Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5 – HIKE TO GLACIER GREY
We’re early-birding it today to crush an ascent over the winding path that takes us to Laguna Negra. Here, we’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that is home to many unexplored peaks. YOU’RE GOING WHERE FEW HAVE GONE BEFORE!
The first hour of our hike starts easy and intensifies as we continue to scramble up and down constant elevation changes. We continue on to Grey Glacier’s lookout point, passing lush forests and rivers that are home to curious foxes and spectacled steamer ducks.
We’ll have lunch at the lookout with the mammoth Grey Glacier at our feet. Keep your phones handy – glacial ice could calve at any moment and drop into the freezing waters.
After arriving at the Refugio, we’ll do a leg assessment. Tired but willing? Your endurance will be rewarded with a spectacular hike to 2 suspension bridges that hang over a rocky gorge. If we time it right, we could catch the sun setting behind Grey Glacier as we stand suspended above the world, surrounded by forest. Not even Virgin River has views like these, Amiga.
We’ll head back the way we came to our last Refugio stay and enjoy a Pisco sour and a hot shower before crashing for the night.
Hiking: 9 miles. 900’ gain. 6-7 hours
Accommodation: Refugio Grey
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6 – GREY LAKE KAYAKING AND BOAT ADVENTURE
Today starts easy with a free morning to stretch, relax and listen to our fave true crime podcasts. After blessing our bellies with delicious breakfast, we will head out for kayaking on Grey Lake.
Awaken new strength in your arms as you paddle through floes of ice that have descended from Glacier Grey, the namesake of these waters. These icebergs are scattered throughout the lake and have been sculpted into incredible shapes by the wind and sun, before being pushed to the shores of the lake.
After our paddle session, we’ll set off by boat across Grey Lake to the massive facade of Grey Glacier. We’ll stay here for a while to observe the wall’s textures, lines and colors while watching for ice calving. We will also feast on our lunches – no hangry glacier viewing allowed. On our return journey we’ll see the wind-sculpted “ice mushrooms” atop the massive peaks of Paine Grande as we sail past blue-hued icebergs. Once we step onto dry land, we’ll hike 20 minutes along Grey Beach to meet our private transfer which takes us back to Puerto Natales where our Farewell Dinner is waiting. We’re not crying, someone is just chopping onions.
Kayaking: 3 hours
Boat Ride: 2 hours
Private Transfer from Grey Lake to Puerto Natales: 2 hours
Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Natales
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7 – DEPART AND UGLY CRIES
Enjoy one last breakfast together before parting ways. We will provide a final chauffeur in the SHE-nanigan Shuttle to either the Puerto Natales Airport or Bus Station because we just can’t let go.
You can schedule your departure anytime today.
Transfer Time: 10 mins
*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your adventure leader as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, safety, or other unforeseen incidents. If an activity must be canceled due to conditions and cannot be rescheduled, your Explorer Chick guide will work to find alternatives or modifications to ensure the best value for your trip.
- 4 Nights in Refugios. There are several dorm-style bunk rooms with 6 bunks each in each Refugio. You will have your own bed. Bunk Rooms are mixed gender. Rooms are modest with bed linens provided. Bathrooms and showers are shared. Communal socializing and dining areas, along with cash bar and limited Wi-Fi for purchase.
- 2 Nights in a boutique Puerto Natales Hotel. Shared 2 Explorer Chicks per room. Newly remodeled hotel with on-site plant-based restaurant. Rooms equipped with private bathrooms and Wi-Fi.
- Guided Patagonia hiking throughout with an expert local guide and an Explorer Chick guide.
- Guided Kayaking of Gray Lake including all necessary gear.
- Scenic boat crossing of Gray Lake, past the Gray Glacier for epic photo ops.
- Entrance and permit fees to the National Park
- Airport Transfers on Day 1 and Day 7
- All meals as indicated in itinerary: B: 6 L: 5 D:6
- All tips for included meals and tours.
- A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt.
- Private Explorer Chick land-transportation throughout itinerary
- A detailed Travel Guide with everything you need to know for your trip
- The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
- Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 12 women
*Packages do NOT include your rendezvous hotel, departure hotel, airfare, airport transportation, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, meals exclusive of itinerary, or costs for additional activities.
*Does NOT include your Explorer Chick Guide’s Tips – Tipping your Explorer Chick Guide(s) is optional, but customary. If you wish to recognize your Explorer Chick Guide for exceptional service we recommend you tip them 10-25% of your trip costs.
You will receive a Travel Guide with all the rendezvous hotel, transportation recommendations, and additional information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!
Your adventure begins and ends in Puerto Natales (PNT)
Day 1: Arrival. We will rendezvous as a group at 6pm on Day 1. It is highly recommended to arrive the day before.
Depending on your travel arrangements, you will be picked up at the Puerto Natales Airport (PNT) or Bus Station upon arrival and transferred to our Rendezvous Hotel. You are responsible for booking your pre-tour hotel.
Day 7: Departure. Plan to depart Puerto Natales anytime on Day 7. We will have one transfer to the Puerto Natales airport and Bus Station today. You are responsible for booking your post-tour hotel
Optional Add-Ons: Pre and Post tour rooms at our Rendezvous Hotel in Puerto Natales are available at booking.
We require a minimum of 4 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking airfare.
DAILY PATAGONIA HIKING:
During your Patagonia W-Trek, you will hike one of the most famed hiking routes in the world. Hiking in Patagonia can be very rugged, and the windy weather and variable weather conditions (“4 seasons in a Day!) add to the challenge. We will be starting our most of our hikes around sea level, so although the hiking is rugged, we won’t have to contend with acclimatization in Patagonia.
Trekking & Backpack: You will need to carry all of your personal belongings on the Trek. (Clothing, toiletries, etc). We recommend bringing a 35-40L backpack for these items. This is not a portered trek.
- Day 2: Base of Towers Hike. 13 miles. 3,330′ elevation gain. 8-9 hours. Challenging.
- Day 3: French Valley Hike. 10 miles. 1,950′ elevation gain. Moderate-Challenging
- Day 4: Los Cuernos. 8 miles. 820′ elevation gain. Moderate.
- Day 5: Grey Lake. 7 miles + 2-3 miles to overlooks and suspension bridges. Moderate
- Day 6: Kayaking 2-3 hours in morning. Easy/Moderate.
We highly recommend training prior to your adventure. The itinerary is packed full of hiking and active adventures. You should be comfortable with hiking up to 13 miles in a day carrying a light day pack with elevations gains up to 3,330 feet.
You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not perfectly paved sidewalks. Also, find steps, a hill, or the StairMaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you.
Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Don’t let it happen to you!
Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?
We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.
- Remember How it Feels to Play
- You are NOT Alone
- The Power of Explorer Chick
- What Does an Explorer Chick Look Like?
- We are ALL IN
- We Do Dumb Stuff
- The Explorer Chick Purpose
- The Traveler vs. the Tourist
- 6 Benefits to Booking with a Tour Company
You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com
To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.
Save $300 with Early Bird Pricing!
Non-Refundable Deposit: $300 due at booking to secure your spot
- Pre Tour Hotel Stay
- $179/night/Single Room
- Post Tour Hotel Stay
- $179/night/Single Room
Payment Plans Available: Email email@example.com after booking to set up your monthly payment plan.