Patagonia: Torres del Paine Classic W Trek

Trip Code: GPXW

Why we love it

Immerse yourself in the sheer majesty of Chilean Patagonia – one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth with its vast mountain ranges, glacial lakes, grasslands and beech forests., Explore French Valley, Lake Grey and the famous Towers of Blue (Torres del Paine) on an actioned-packed multi-day hiking trip. This part of the world is widely considered one of the best for hiking., Witness this raw, untamed landscape on a low-altitude trek that takes you through a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Keep your eye out for Andean condors, flamingos and guanacos., Stay in Refugios with fully serviced kitchens and bathrooms, comfortable beds and all meals taken care of – so you don’t need to worry about anything other than the experience., Hike the W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park West to East, saving the crown jewel (the three peaks of Torres del Paine) for last. What a way to cap off the perfect hiking trip!

Is this trip right for me?

This is a hiking trip, so it does require a good level of fitness, but no previous experience is needed. The longest day will see you hiking for 24 km with 1100 m of elevation gain.

Please read the packing list carefully and come prepared, as you may not have a chance to buy any missing parts of equipment or trekking clothing.

You will need to carry your luggage on the trek as porter services is not included. Your fully packed trekking backpack should not exceed 12kg total weight.

This trip is new to our range this year. Despite rigorous planning and research, new itineraries can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a welcome surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Important information

1. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance fees to Torres del Paine National Parks.
2. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1.
3. Tour leader is also a qualified Trekking Guide and will join the group for Welcome Meting and then on the morning of Day 2 for the start of the trek.
4. A single supplement is available to add on, this will be included on Days 1 and 5 (Hotel) only and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
5. All overnight stays in Torres del Paine are booked in authentic refuges, with shared facilities and mixed gender dorm style rooms. Occasionally we are not able to reserve one or more nights in the Refugios, in which case accommodations will be in tents that are provided and set up by the Refugios. In these cases, we will still have access to the Refugios for meals, relaxation and showers. The price of the trip remains the same and all camping equipment is provided.
6. You will need to carry your luggage on the trek (porter services is not included), so please read a packing list and our recommendations carefully. Your fully packed trekking backpack should not exceed 12kg total weight. Excess luggage can be stored in our hotel in Puerto Natales for the duration of the trip.
7. A porter service can be pre booked (subject to availability) at an extra cost to carry up to 15kg weight, contact your booking agent for more details. 

What to bring/pack

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in any public transport we use on this tour. However, on our Patagonia trips it is best to take a backpack rather than a standard suitcase.

Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. In terms of weight, Aerolineas Argentinas (domestic airline in Argentina) allows a maximum of 15kg for check in luggage.

On this trip you will need a backpack to carry all your essentials on the trek, change of clothes, and all other items we list below. We recommend you bring at least 40litres backpack and leave all other non-essential non-trekking items/clothing in our hotel in Puerto Natales. Your backpack for the trek should not exceed a 12kg weight total.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIALS
- Day pack: for carrying essentials during activities
- Trekking clothing: A mixture covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers is recommended. Your activities will take place in the outdoors, where weather may change quickly. Lightweight, comfortable, and quick drying clothes for the activities are best. Laundry facilities may not be available on every day basis, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Hiking boots with a good grip, ankle support and waterproof membrane that are comfortable to walk for an entire day
- Walking Poles for support on steep uphill sections and longer descents
- Comfortable shoes for shorter walks or evenings spend around accommodation
- Sport sandals
- Light jacket, fleece and base layers
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Breathable, non-cotton hiking t-shirts
- Long hiking pants or zip-offs
- Nylon hiking shorts
- Water bottle or bladder: you will need water during activities and it’s best to avoid buying unnecessary plastic.
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat or bandana
- Torch/flashlight/headtorch
- Toiletries

RECOMMENDED
- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, antihistamine tablets and any personal medication you may need
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items daily
- Travel eco-friendly wipes/hand sanitizer

OPTIONAL
- Swimwear
- A good book, a journal and music player

VALUABLES
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

LAUNDRY
Laundry tends to be more expensive than other parts of South America in this part of the world. It's best to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. Please expect to pay anywhere from ARS1500 to ARS3500 (USD10 - USD25) for a 2kg bag.

Physical rating

4

You’re in for a hiking trip and a good level of fitness is essential. We don't ask travellers to complete a physical participation form for this trip however we do ask you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is the right trip for you. You must be comfortable hiking up to 8-9 hours a day, with many steep uphill sections, uneven, rocky terrain and in unpredictable weather.

If you’re already a regular exerciser, it might be an idea to up your game a little. Run those extra laps, or take few longer walks, ideally with a day pack on your back. If you’re not exercising so regularly (2-3 times a week), it’s important to start in the weeks leading up to your departure (4-6 weeks prior at least). Your best choice would be to start walking regularly 2-3 times a week including at least one longer walk (up to 15 km). It’s important to not only walk on flat surface, so if you cannot access a hilly terrain easily, walking up and down the stairs is a good replacement. Top that up with some general fitness exercises and any other cardio related classes and you will see a huge progress in your fitness levels.

Joining your group

Hotel Big Sur Puerto Natales, Manuel Bulnes 69, Puerto Natales, 6160000, CHILE, Phone: +56 964863994

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

If you are arriving to Puerto Natales airport, you can take a taxi into town for approximately 25,000 CLP (38 USD). As there are only a few flights per week to Puerto Natales, you may find it more convenient to arrive to Punta Arenas airport, which is 3 hours away from Puerto Natales but has daily flights.

A taxi from Punta Arenas is approximately 190.000 CLP/240 USD (3 hours travel time). There are also public transport options. Bus Sur has 7 buses from the airport per day and travel time is 3.5 hours. Bus tickets cost about 10.000 CLP/13 USD per person and operate between 7am and 7pm, some days there is a later bus at 9pm as well.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Big Sur Puerto Natales, Manuel Bulnes 69, Puerto Natales, 6160000, CHILE, Phone: +56 964863994

Alternate Finish Point


If you are departing from Puerto Natales airport, you can take a taxi to the airport for approximately 25,000 CLP (38 USD). As there are only a few flights per week out of Puerto Natales, you may find it more convenient to depart from Punta Arenas airport, which is 3 hours away from Puerto Natales but has daily flights.

A taxi to Punta Arenas is approximately 190.000 CLP/240 USD (3 hours travel time). There are also public transport options. Bus Sur has 7 buses to the airport per day and travel time is 3.5 hours. Bus tickets cost about 10.000 CLP/13 USD per person and operate between 7am and 7pm.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 5

Lunches included: 4

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

In Torres del Paine National Park all meals will be included. Meals will be prepared on the spot; hearty breakfast before you head out for a hike, packed lunch and hot dinner. Please advise your leader of any allergies and food intolerances.

Climate & seasonal information

The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate between 0 and 30 degrees celcius (32 to 86 fahrenheit) within a tour or even over the course of a day! Please make sure you have packed appropriate clothing that can be layered up to accommodate these temperatures.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +569 2754 7405, +569 7108 1365

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

On this trip we will stay in Refugios, hiking hotels dotted along Torres del Paine’s trails. Refugios provide all bedding and meals, shared dorm rooms with shared facilities (bathrooms and shower blocks are separated by sex) and spectacular views of the mountains and lakes that make the park famous.

Transportation