Torres del Paine - The W Trek
Here’s a quick six-day trip that’s simply perfect as an add-on to other Patagonian adventures. Torres del Paine’s W Trek is celebrated by active travellers globally as one of the most scenic treks anywhere. Spend four days walking through stunning landscapes surrounding Grey Glacier, French Valley, and the imposing three towers. While the trek alone is challenging enough, the real contest comes in needing to take your camera out so frequently.
Torres del Paine National Park camping excursion with porters (3 nts). W Trek. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Trek the spectacular W Trek, snap a photo of the famous three peaks of Torres, marvel at the lakes and glaciers en route
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This tour hikes the full circuit of Torres del Paine, staying at different campsites each night. As such, all travellers will need to carry backpacks with personal items with them for the duration of the hike. You will have porters to carry camping equipment and food. You will also have extra porters to carry a total of 5 kg of personal items per passenger, included within this 5kg is your sleeping bag which weighs 2.5 kg. The porters will give you a bag to store these items.
You will need to carry your daypack everyday which will be approximately 5 -10kg. Items you will need to carry in your day pack include: water, lunch for the day, an extra layer of clothing and any other personal items over the 2.5 kg carried by the porters. Porters can be hired to assist with the carrying of belongings. Porters can carry a maximum of 15kg and the cost is $850 USD for the duration of the trek. Please advise us at the time of booking if you would like to arrange extra porters for your hike.
Please note altitude sickness is not a concern on this trek, the W Trek is under 1000m (3000 ft).
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.
For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Van, ferry, hiking.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (2 nts), camping (3 nts).
My Own Room Exceptions
NIghts 2-4: only the nights in Puerto Natales will be in a single room.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
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 115,000 CLP / 175 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. Buses Pacheco also have a couple of buses per day. Tickets cost about 8000 CLP/ 12 USD per person and operate between 7am and 7pm, some days there is a later bus at 9pm as well. (http://bussur.com/?lang=en)
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 2150 2581
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 2150 2581
After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 15 3425 0380
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
Although the tour finishes in Puerto Natales, you might find more convenient international flight options from Punta Arenas or El Calafate.
If you are flying out of Punta Arenas at the end of your trip, your CEO can help you with booking transport from Puerto Natales back to Punta Arenas. A taxi should cost approximately 115,000 CLP / 175 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. Buses Pacheco also have a couple of buses per day. Tickets cost about 8000 CLP/ 12 USD per person and operate between 7am and 7pm, some days there is a later bus at 9pm as well. (http://bussur.com/?lang=en)
You could also consider flying from El Calafate in Argentina. If flying from El Calafate, please bear in mind that there are normally only public buses leaving early in the morning from Puerto Natales. The journey takes about 6 hours and involves a border crossing, so we would recommend booking a flight after 4pm.
What to Take
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in Patagonia the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever you find easiest to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.
Camping equipment for the “W” trek is provided and included in the cost of your trip. A sleeping bag and mat are also provided. You may leave the bulk of your gear stored in Puerto Natales. While hiking you will only need to carry your daypack with supplies for the duration of each day
Available for Rent:
• Walking poles (3000 CLP per day)
• Windproof rain jacket (4000 CLP per day)
• Windproof rain pants (2000 CLP per day)
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Day pack (30 litres is a good size)
• Pack liners to waterproof bags
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet (sleeping bag and sleeping mat are provided on the trip)
• Windproof rain gear
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a light fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof layer.
Note: All other camping equipment for the Torres del Paine trek is provided and included in the cost of your trip. Porters will carry 2.5kg of your personal gear for you while on the hike. You will be required to carry only what you need for the day in your day pack. Any luggage not required for the hike will be left at the hotel in Puerto Natales.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
ARGENTINA’S “RECIPROCITY FEE”:
Effective January 7, 2013 all Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.
ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 92USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and in the case of Argentina, more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
No optional activities
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Please note: You should be especially careful when wandering about the capital city on your own, particularly at night. Tourists are easy prey for individual pickpockets or groups of two or more people, working as a team, on the streets. Pay particular attention to anyone who “accidentally” spills anything on your clothes or belongings (mustard, etc.), then apologizes and offers to help clean up. They will clean you out instead! Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you won’t be using immediately within the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Porteños are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
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G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist mountain guides in Torres del Paine, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: SCWT, ID: 24501
Day 1 Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales is the entrance way to Torres del Paine National Park. During the day, explore the town, eat a hearty meal for energy, and rest well for the 4-day hike ahead. Get any last-minute shopping done in Puerto Natales, and rent all equipment needed for the hike. Any extra gear not needed for the Paine hike will be stored.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Puerto Natales/Serrano Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Embark on a 4-day excursion within Torres del Paine NP, hiking the famous W Trek. Start the 62km (38.5 mi) route by trekking to the base of Las Torres to see the dramatic three towers and turquoise lagoon below.
W Trek – Day 1
Day 3 Serrano Camp/Paine Grande Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Wake up surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, enjoy a scenic drive and a picturesque ferry ride on Lake Pehoé. Hike to Grey Lake and the lookout point for Grey Glacier and admire the scale of this immense glacier.
W Trek – Day 2
Boat (0.75 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Paine Grande Camp/Cuernos Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Hike to the French Valley lookout and take in the awe-inspiring views of the mountain range spreading across the national park. Marvel at the dramatic, contrasting greens and greys of the landscape.
W Trek – Day 3
Day 5 Cuernos Camp/Puerto Natales (1B, 1L)
Enjoy the final day of the W Trek. Wake up to the amazing views of the Cuernos del Paine (the Horns of Paine) and continue trekking to Las Torres Campsite. Finish by snapping a photo of the mountains reflecting in the Lake Nordenskjöld and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
W Trek – Day 4
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 6 Puerto Natales (1B)
Depart at any time.
The airport in Puerto Natales is small with limited flight connections. Most onward flight connections will be through Punta Arenas in Chile or El Calafate in Argentina which would involve taking a public bus or transfer.