Hey Owen…it seems you’re a bit late for getting the cheap camping spots as the demand right now is very high. I did join my friend in the dinning hall and just said I was not eating, got me a confused look from the waitress, but no more than that. Thank you for sharing your experience. If you stay inside the park you have all options as you are not tied to the bus times for the transfer to and from Puerto Natales. Also, please let me know if there is anything you would like me to look out for for your blog, it is incredibly helpful to have people like you helping out other trekkers and if there is anything I can do to add to your blog, please don’t hesitate to ask, I’d be happy to contribute to this awesome blog!! So two questions. It’s really a very helpful post. Hi Steve, I can just echo what others have said, that your posts and videos are really amazing! 4. I just updated all info in the main preparation guide – important for you: Chileno got super expensive so you might need to consider an alternative route (camping at Las Torres campground in the valley next to the Hotel Las Torres and doing a day hike up to the towers). You were with us the whole time as I printed out your itinerary/advice for the 5 day/4 night. Therefore, Puerto Natales is the perfect place to meet like-minded people setting off on the W Trek, or over to El Calafate and El Chalten, or even heading as far south as Antarctica. Contact Us. This is one of the most beautiful and famous treks in Patagonia, if not the world, and I have been wanting to do it since the first time my jaw dropped at seeing a photo of this mountainous National Park. Also the tour by car along the road offers some spectacular views. Even Switzerland is cheaper to trek this way…, Thanks Ruud – I took today to update most of my guides on that topic…also other prices have increased which is very sad but a result of the popularity and the still increasing demand. also, the camp torres is closed this season :). at the time you want to do the W it shouldn’t be a problem as the high season is over by then. Warmest, -alan & alison. Use this tool to get a price for the exact time needed: Backpacking in Chile: my Chile Travel Guide   This is a clear and concise book based on my experience from 6 months traveling through Chile. If you are too late and not able to make reservations your only chance is to take part in a guided trekking tour or explore the park with day hikes. We would often ask, “What would Steve do?” ;) I wanted to share a couple of things from our trip: 1. Please plan your trips always regarding to your physical ability and your experience. Go to bed early today as you have to get up very early tomorrow to see the sunrise at the towers. Bus Sur). I might have tried your tip to of only booking 1 person tents, but they probably would notice some people not getting food. A breakdown of the the elevation gain and loss of the W-Trek over a 5 day trip plus some handy route maps. My suggestion would be to sleep in the same tent as much as possible as it is far less obvious. Hiking boots would be better but for most parts of it you should be fine with your Nike if it isn’t raining ;), Hi Steve! Thankyou you so much! My goal was to create a useful documentary to show which options you have exploring the park, what it is like to hike Torres del Paine and what you get to see when doing so. What is the W Trek in Patagonia? You should consider doing the sunrise hike only if you stay at Chileno and calculate 2,5 – 3h to reach the towers. Day 1 get to Paine Grande from Puerto Natales. All free campsites don’t have a shop nor do they provide food – you need to take it with you. After working with them in Peru I highly recommend the tours offered by G Adventures as their philosophy and focus on sustainable travel are in line with my personal values. 5 Days. An alternative would be to go to El Chaltén where you have numerous great hiking options. This blog will explore the similarities and difference between the two treks so that you can choose which one is the best fit for your Patagonian adventure. The highest you’ll get along the W-trek is about 3,600 feet above sea level. Thank you in advance :). Fitz Roy. You made my day, Brian. That might be true for the O trail (think I read something about that while doing my research). Also brittano lookout is a must. The most popular trek in Patagonia, the Torres Del Paine W Trek is fast becoming one of the most well-respected short hikes in the world due to the trails stunning scenery. The Torres del Paine W Trek is considered one of the best treks in Patagonia. When does the website open to allow bookings? If you’re not comfortable with it, I won’t link you, but your blog was so helpful I feel like sharing it with others! It includes travel guides for each region of Chile as well as a complete trekking guide for Torres del Paine, plus route itineraries. It was very useful in planning my trip to the park. October - April . We are planning to hike the W the end of Jan 2017. Bottom line, they are greedy people and deserve to lose as much $ as possible, please do obey all other park rules, no litter, no smoking, stay on the trails, no fires, etc. A first-timer’s guide to trekking in Patagonia. The glacier is a great feature of the park but also the French valley and the Torres are worth the visit, not to mention the lakes and mountains around! The day hike up to the Torres is a tough one but very rewarding. Another option is to book a complete tour – this way you can leave the organization, gear rental, transportation, food and booking of campsites to local experts. So you decided to take it easy and enjoy a day more in this amazing park? > See all W-trek highlights > Start at any date. we hiked 6 days/5 nights staying at Grey, Paine Grande, Italiano, Cuernos, and Torres, making only adjustments to the itinerary above. The ‘W’ and the ‘O’ treks are regarded as the jewel in Patagonia’s crown – and it’s immediately obviously why. I’d like to know what you think about going from Italiano to Torres in 1 day. However, Fantastico Sur only books campsites at Paine Grande and Los Cuernos that include full board, making the price per night for a campsite very expensive, around $90 US Dollars per night! One question, if bringing our own tents and planning to stay at campsites, do we need to reserve the campsites in advance? I did the W in early December 2008 and this blog would have been really helpful – great attention to detail! I don’t want to have to have to carry a tent around so will it be better for me to just organize something once I arrive there? Difficulty level of the W-trek. Also, thank you for this incredible blog. The schedule of the catamaran can be found on the website which i linked above. ERRATIC ROCK is a hostal & travel advice/camping rental, etc.is outstanding. Thanks for your help, Nik. 426 Columbus Ave. New York NY 10024. p: (917) 441-0011. Waking up at Campamento Italiano made the day hike to Valle del Frances way more enjoyable. Hi! Click here to learn more >>. The W in Torres del Paine is the perfect destination for the adventurous traveller. The downside: it's uphill and adds more km to your trek today (on top of the mentioned 19 km). Day 3 Paine Grande to Mirrador Frances to Refugio Chileno Day 4 Refugio Chileno to Base of the towers to Las Torres (catch bus to El Calafate). Just wondering how easy / difficult it is to navigate the routes. We went to bed with rain and woke at 3:45 AM to a starry sky and a picture perfect sunrise unveiling the towers. WATER . Hey Steve, A great article and I thank you for writing it. Thank you for this! Hi Steve, Really great work and description. I leave on Saturday to join up with my son, who lives in Colombia. though, it should be noted in the strongest terms: RESERVATIONS ARE MANDATORY, for campsites or whatever, at all locations mentioned (including Italiano, and particularly at Torres and Cuernos). The W vs The O: Comly and I opted to hike the W during our 5 days and 4 nights in Torres Del Paine, but you could do this trek in 4 days and 3 nights as well. In curenos, the tents that I saw were on platorms, so sneaking would be difficult and obvious (unless there was an area for tents on the ground that I didn’t notice). This guide is designed to save you a lot of time & will make your trip much easier. One question I have – when I attempted to book camping at the Los Cuernos refugio campsite (on the fantastico sur website), the only options available are camping + full board, which works out to be around $180 USD per person, per night! We will buy a map but just wanted to know if it is quite straightforward to find the various routes. Have fun hiking there. ChileTour also manages Garden Domes and Tiny House Torres del Paine. Please consider that I only provide information here but I’m not affiliated with any of the mentioned companies nor CONAF. After your arrival in Paine Grande leave your stuff at the camp and just take a daypack to hike up to the Refugio Grey – the path goes uphill, along the Lago Grey with some lookouts on the way. The ultimate trekking Patagonia experience -Torres del Paine O Trek and Q Trek. 4 of us from Canada booked to go to Patagonia in Aug 2016 and from all the information available there was no requirement to reserve camping sites in the park however we now find out that the rules changes on 16 Oct 2016 (start of the season) and you now need to have reservations. It also says you can’t cook there. Alternatively you make it a short (and much cheaper) day by spending the night at Campamento Francés (13.000 CLP). Should I consider staying in the Refugio’s or just booking something when I turn up to p natales? I think you recommend West to East route, do you have any suggestions on how I can make the best of the East to West route. I’m currently planning our trip to TDP at the end of March next year and wanted to do the W trek in 5 days as you have described it. I published all information needed to plan your trip to Chile in one clear and concise guide book based on my experience. This trek owes its name to its shape, which seen from above looks like a W. With the most varied and colorful landscapes, this trek is guaranteed to leave you speechless. I ended having to get a bed in Curenos as Italiano, Frances, Cuernos were all booked up. well im not admin, so I dont know that it’s my place to say. Use the waiting time to visit the waterfall nearby (ask for the time of the boat before leaving). Seems both are pretty popular areas and I may be able to wait and buy a bus ticket when I’m in Puerto Natales. Trek Patagonia. Unlike the shorter W-Trek, the O-Trek can be worth 7 days of hiking. After 2,5 hours you'll reach the Mirador and have lunch (12:30 pm.m.). I appreciate you help here – cheers my friend X, Hi – I’d suggest to check every now and then…from my experience the booking system for the free campsite takes bookings starting 6 months before your travel dates. I was going to hike 1 ½ hours to a viewpoint over Glacier Grey then return to the refugio along the same path and then take the path going back to Paine Grande. Any other suggestions on dealing with harsh weather conditions. Stay tuned. Start from the beginning of our Patagonian adventure. Alternatively, you can also opt for the O-Trek. After a ton of research online, I realized we don't need a guided tour for this hike. Local authorities should really do something about Fantastico Sur group though, as they have monopoly in the eastern part of the park and their outrageous prices really aren’t justified. On your last full day you have a nice hike ahead – starting flat and going up at the end to the base of the Torres. Torres del Paine's two most famous trekking routes are the W Trek and the O, or Full Circuit, both incorporating the Grey Lake, French Valley and Ascensio Valley. 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