On Patagonia's famous W route, you'll hike deep in the remote wilderness of southern Chile and experience the wondrous landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park. In just seven days, you'll explore the spectacular French Valley, see the blue-hued icebergs of majestic Glacier Grey, and be moved by mighty granite spires-soaring 8,000 feet above the surrounding grasslands. The huge expanse of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field is an inspiring wonderland for adventure trekkers looking to enjoy one of the world's top bucket-list routes.
Trek 40 miles on the W circuit on this achievable one-week itinerary
Hike along the enormous Grey Glacier, 4 miles across and 17 miles long
See icebergs calving into Lago Grey — a truly spectacular experience
Arrive at the airport in Punta Arenas, Chile, and meet your group leader to transfer to the hotel. In the early evening, gather with the group for a briefing on the adventure ahead. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.
After breakfast, travel across the Patagonian plains to the quiet fishing town of Puerto Natales on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). Stretch your legs a bit and have lunch before continuing on to Torres del Paine National Park and taking in your first spectacular views of the Paine Massif (weather permitting). There is also a very good chance of seeing guanacos - small cousins to the camel and llama - on the way to the park.
Get an early start for an all-day hike to the Torres del Paine lookout. Follow the Asencio River over a low pass into the Ascencio Valley, passing through beautiful beech forests, talus-covered slopes, and boulders. Arrive at a spectacular viewpoint that is one of the most scenic spots in the world, where the towers rise majestically before you and a glacial lake is visible below. Enjoy a packed lunch en route before hiking back to the hotel.
Begin your trek deep into the park, hiking at a relaxed pace along the north shore of Lago Nordenskjold to Los Cuernos, following the Paso Los Cuernos trail beneath the jagged Cuernos del Paine. The views are magnificent, including your first sighting of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. Stay in cozy cabins right next to a waterfall on the most isolated spot of our journey - an excellent staging area for tomorrow's hike to the French Valley.
Hike into the French Valley, one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. Walk below the glaciers that descend from the massif's highest summit and marvel at the gray granite peaks of the Cuernos del Paine, topped with fantastical black slate "horns." Two hiking options are available today, weather permitting: We can take an 11-mile hike back to camp, or continue up to the mirador (viewpoint) above Camp Británico for one of the most impressive views in the park.
Arise early and hike along the Paine Grande Mountain towards the face of stunning Grey Glacier, at the southern end of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. Enjoy a packed lunch en route before boarding a catamaran that takes us close to the front of the glacier and then down to the southern shore of the Lago Grey (Grey Lake), where our hotel for the night is located.
After an early breakfast, return to Punta Arenas by private van to meet with your afternoon flight to Santiago and continue to your next destination.
MT Sobek has been hiking in Patagonia since we pioneered the route in the 1980s.
Experience the "W" route in comfort, with cozy lodges and no camping.
Our leaders are Patagonia experts who will take you on a truly exhilarating wilderness adventure where other hikers seldom venture.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderate to strenuous hiking with up to 15 miles over 12 hours in a day on varied, mountainous terrain.
A range of lodging, from scenic mountain huts with dormitories, to comfortable hotels with modern amenities.
Expect extreme weather conditions that can change from one moment to the other. Be prepared for everything, especially strong winds and sun.
Your trip leader or another MT Sobek representative will wait for you in the airport arrival area then take you to your hotel.
It is not recommend that you hike in low-ankle shoes. The terrain is varied and uneven. You will appreciate your hiking boots with ankle support.
Only the very essentials. They will not carry any electronic devices (consider not bringing these), glass, books, personal documents or money.
You will have access to Wi-Fi and telephones while in the city. While on the move during the day you will not have access at all. There is very limited access at the hotels.
Yes, but please consider that while in Torres del Paine provisions can be scarce. Please let us know about your dietary restrictions prior to the trip departure.
As the weather changes so fast, it is advisable to dress in layers. Evenings can be chilly and a good wind/waterproof jacket is a must.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"MT Sobek has created a marvelous experience into the heart of Patagonia, exposing the hiker to all the wonderful scenery, people and history this incredibly beautiful place has to offer."
MT Sobek Guest
"Thank you MT Sobek for the trip of my lifetime! The Patagonia adventure exceeded my expectations in all respects and has renewed my spirit and filled my heart with joy!"
MT Sobek Guest