Chile's Most Iconic Trek
The W Route in Torres del Paine: 10-day holiday for £1895pp
From north to south, Chile offers some fantastic trekking opportunities, but arguably the best of them all is the iconic 'W' trek in the Torres del Paine National Park
Why "W"? Well, quite simply, when you plot the route on a map, that's what it looks like! But it could also just stand for "Wow!". This trek offers some of the most spectacular high-mountain scenery in the world: from colossal glaciers and turquoise mountain lakes, to the snow-capped granite columns of the Torres del Paine themselves.
And because you stay in hostel-like refuges at night, you don't even need to camp, and there's even a hot meal waiting for you at the end of every day. So don't be afraid... Everyone can do the W!
- Day One: Arrival in Santiago de Chile
- Day Two: Flight to Patagonia
- Day Three: Boat trip into Torres del Paine
- Day Four: Start the 'W' Trek
- Day Five: Lake Pehoe
- Day Six: Valle Frances
- Day Seven: The Torres del Paine
- Day Eight: Down to Puerto Natales
- Day Nine: Back to Santiago
- Day Ten: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of your Holidays to Chile
Your holidays to Chile will begin this morning as you touch down in Santiago de Chile, and we will be there to meet you and take you straight to your hotel in the upmarket Providencia area of the city. You will then have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy one of South America’s most sophisticated capital cities.
- Most international flight arrive early in the morning, so if you’re not too jetlagged you could do a tour of the city this afternoon, just ask us for more information.
- Or if you're feeling particularly energetic, how about making it a cycling tour...?
Day Two - Fly to Patagonia
After breakfast today we will pick you up and take you to the airport for a flight south along Chile’s long Pacific coast and down into Patagonia. This icy landscape is a total contrast to what we have seen before and really
shows you the differences between these two sides of Chile. You will land this afternoon in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the country, and from here you will be driven north to the small town of Puerto Natales, the jumping point for visits to the beautiful Torres del Paine National Park. (Breakfast included)
Day Three - Fjords and Glaciers
This morning we will take you down to the harbour in Puerto Natales to begin a full day boat trip exploring the fjords and glaciers of the Patagonian coast. We will begin by sailing up the Ultima Esperanza fjord to the foot of the Balmaceda Glacier, enjoying beautiful views of mountains and waterfalls along the way, as well as hopefully encountering the many seabirds which make their home here. Continuing on, we will land and have a short hike to the Serrano Glacier, before enjoying lunch at the Hosteria Monte Balmaceda. After lunch we will continue on in our Zodiacs up the Rio Serrano, where we can enjoy some spectacular views of the Southern Ice Field before we arrive in Pueblito Serrano, just on the edge of the Torres del Paine National Park. Here we’ll meet you and walk the very short distance to the Hosteria Rio Serrano, where you’ll be staying tonight. (B)
Day Four - Start of the W
This morning we will meet you at your hotel and take you up to the foot of Lake Grey where you’ll board the ferry which takes you out onto the water, heading for the huge Grey glacier which dominates the northern shore of the lake. After cruising right along the front ‘wall’ of the glacier, we will stop at the Refugio Grey on the eastern shore to stretch and you will disembark. If you wish, you should have some time to stretch your legs a little with a walk north from the refuge, alongside the eastern expanse of the Grey glacier, before returning to the refuge for the evening meal. (B/D)
Day Five – On to Lake Pehoe
This morning you will begin your trek as you head south from the Grey refuge. Trekking up above the eastern shore of Lago Grey you can enjoy some fabulous views over the lake, and across to Lago Pungo and the Zapata glacier beyond. Towards the end of the day, you will come away from the lake and cross over a headland to the shores of Lake Pehoe, where you will stay tonight at the Paine Grande refuge. (B/L/D)
Day Six - Valle Frances and the Cuernos del Paine
After breakfast this morning you will start trekking east away from Paine Grande along the northern shore of Lake Skottberg. After a couple of hours you will arrive at the base of one of the National Park’s most beautiful valleys, Valle Frances. As you trek up the valley, you find yourself surrounded by the high peaks of the Cuernos del Paine, huge granite cliffs, and the hanging glacier of Ventisquero. After reaching the Frances lookout point, you will head back down the valley and follow the path along the north shore of Lake Nordenskjol to the Los Cuernos refuge, where you will stay tonight. (B)
Day Seven - The Torres del Paine
Today will be the longest day of your trek, but all worthwhile as it’s also possibly the most spectacular. Continuing along the shores of Lake Nordenskjol, you are rewarded with beautiful views across the water to the south of the park and the Sierra del Toro before coming up onto higher ground and entering the Ascencio Valley. Here you will turn north and follow the valley right up to the base of the Torres del Paine themselves. It’s hard to exaggerate the incredible beauty of these snow-capped granite towers, and at sunset they are at their most imposing... after resting and getting some amazing photos, you will stay tonight at the Chileno refuge on your final night here in Torres del Paine. (B/L/D)
Day Eight - End of the W Trek
After an early breakfast this morning you will continue back to the base of the Ascencio valley and continue east along a lovely trail which leads to the Las Torres Lodge. Here we will meet you and drive you back down to Puerto Natales. (B)
Day Nine - Goodbye to Patagonia
After breakfast this morning, we'll drive you back to the airport in Punta Arenas to catch a late afternoon flight back to Santiago. On arrival back in the capital, we’ll be there to meet you and take you back to your Providencia hotel so you can freshen up and head out to enjoy a meal in one of the city’s fantastic restaurants – we’d say you’ve earned it! (B)
Day Ten - Last Day of Your Trekking Holiday to Chile
Sadly, today will be the last day of your trekking holidays in Chile. You will have some free time this morning soak up some last minute sun before we head back to Calama for your flight back to Santiago, where you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check-in for your international flight home. (B)
Options for our Holidays to Chile
La Campana National Park - from £175pp
If you'd like to explore some of Chile's most lovely natural scenery, easily accessible in a day trip from Santiago, why not take a trip into the gorgeous La Campana National Park? Ideal for walking and trekking, with paths that are accessible all year round, you can enjoy seeing waterfalls and palm trees, wildcats, skunks, eagles and chinchillas before driving back to Santiago in the evening.
Easter Island Tour - 4 days from £1250pp
The enigmatic Moai statues make Easter Island one of the most mysterious holiday destinations in the world, but happily its mysteries are within relatively easy reach of Santiago so adding on a tour of Easter Island to this Chile holiday is fairly straightforward. This four-day package will allow you plenty of time to relax and enjoy all the highlights of Easter Island.
Atacama Desert - 4 days from £995pp
The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, and also one of the strangest. This four-day extension to your holidays in Chile will take you out deep into the Atacama desert to experience the other-worldly landscape of giant red volcanoes, bizarrely-coloured mineral lakes, and the resident wildlife: speedy chinchillas and elegant pink flamingoes. At times it can be a bit like being in a real-life Dali painting!
Similar Holidays to South America
Our standard price for these holidays to Chile is £1895 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes all meals on the 'W' trek, and breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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