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Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine W-Trek (9 Days) - Self Guided


Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine W-Trek (9 Days) - Self Guided

Day 1: El Calafate

Arrival in El Calafate. Airport pick-up and check-in at your accommodation.

Day 2: Perito Moreno Glacier (Full Day Tour)

Enjoy an early breakfast and get ready to be picked up for a full day tour to Perito Moreno Glacier. People from all over the world come to this remote place in Southern Patagonia to be a witness of the Ice Age. This is one of the few moving glaciers on our planet, and a visit is not only worth it, but a MUST. You start from El Calafate early in the morning to enjoy the landscape, nature, fauna and the wide variety of birds (trying to arrive at the glacier before everyone else). Through the gateways you visit the north face of the Perito Moreno Glacier in different viewpoints and altitudes. The Perito Moreno Glacier has the size of the Buenos Aires city and is between 40 and 50 meters high. Due to the falling angle, it receives more ice than the ice that melts, so it advances, grows and breaks every now and then. Quite a unique thing to witness! We'll take you back to your accommodation around 16-17:00.

Day 3: El Calafate - Puerto Natales

Breakfast. Make your own way to the bus station and take the morning bus (about 07:30-08:00) to Puerto Natales in Chile. Arrival and make your own way to accommodation. Check in. Take your time to study the route and the detail of the trek using the information provided by Las Torres.

Day 4: Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine (Regular Bus)

Find your own way to the bus station. Registration time at Rodoviario (Bus Station): 14:00.
Departure: 14:30 / Arrival to Portería Laguna Amarga: 16:30.
Transfer in a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours (112 Km.), passing through Cerro Castillo (a small border town situated along the route to the park and 54 Km. from Puerto Natales).

Upon arrival to Laguna Amarga, all travelers must get off of the bus and visit the CONAF Administration Office where they will follow all necessary paperwok to enter the park; the park entrance fee is included in the cost of the program. Having finished the paperwork, travelers will board the transfer vehicles that belong to Transportes Las Torres and which will take them to the sector surrounding the Cerro Paine Ranch and then on to The Welcome Centre of their first accommodation site.

Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central

Day 5: W-Trek Base Torres Lookout

The recommended time to begin the 13-km trek is 09:00 as it takes about 7-8 hours to the next pitstop.

The first stage includes an ascent for about 1,5 hours, with beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and Mount Almirante Nieto’s hanging glacier at 2670 metres, until arriving at Refugio El Chileno. Here, you will go through check-in, recharge your energies and leave your main luggage before initiating the climb with a small rucksack. From here, and for about an hour, you will cross a millennium-old forest of lenga trees before arriving to the base of the Morrena. At this point, you will ascend for about 45 minutes in order to arrive at one of the site’s most magnificent areas, Base Torres Lookout, from where the imposing Torre Sur (2850 m), Torre Central (2800 m), Torre Norte (2600 m), Nido de Condor and Glacier Torre can all be appreciated. You will hike back to Sector Central using the same trail.

Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central.
Level of difficulty: High

Day 6: W-Trek - Refugio Torre Central - Refugio Los Cuernos or Refugio Frances

The recommended time to begin the 11-km trek is 09:00 as it takes about 5-6 hours to the next pitstop.

Today you'll do a moderate trek around the Macizo Paine, circling the base of Mount Almirante Nieto. From Refugio El Chileno, and after half an hour’s walk, you will arrive at the Atajo, a path on the right that continues towards Refugio Los Cuernos. Along the journey you can take pictures in the incredible sites of Lake Nordenskjöld, the hanging glaciers and local flora, including the ciruelillo or notro trees, which delight in displaying their characteristic red flowers from December onwards. After a 4-5 hours' walk, you will reach the area of Los Cuernos, which is considered by many as one of the most welcoming spots along the entire circuit. If your booking is in Frances, walk a bit more and rest in the welcoming Domes.

Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos or Refugio Frances
Level of difficulty: Medium

Day 7: W-Trek - Francés Valley - Paine Grande

The recommended time to begin the 25.3-km trek is 08:00 as it takes about 11-12 hours to the next pitstop.

The first two hours are fairly light with views of Lake Nordenskjöld until arriving at Camp Italiano. At this point, we recommend that you contact CONAF staff and make arrangements for leaving your backpacks at the camp before beginning the ascent with just a small rucksack containing water, food and warm clothing. The climb begins from the valley of River Francés and continues all the way up to the Francés Glacier Lookout (1.5 hours). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving at the area called Británico and the Británico lookout, which offers one of the national park’s most impressive landscape views. The peaks that can be appreciated from this lookout are Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, Máscara, Espada, Aleta de Tiburón and Cuerno Norte. The return trek follows the same path down to Camp Italiano and then onwards to the sector known as Pehoé, where the lodge is located.

Accommodation: Paine Grande Lodge
Level of difficulty: High

Day 8: W-Trek - Grey Glacier Torres del Paine - Puerto Natales

The recommended time to begin the 22-km trek is 09:00 as it takes about 8-9 hours to complete the Grey Glacier lookout roundtrip.

After about one and a half hours of trekking you will reach the first lookout, where it’s possible to observe the glacier at a distance. From there you will follow a path that circles the west bank of Lake Grey. After about 1.5-2 hours you will reach the main lookout with spectacular views of Grey Glacier, Cordón Olguín and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path, arriving at the sector known as Pehoé. At the pier you will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Pehoé, disembarking at the sector known as Pudeto from which point a transfer will be waiting to take you back to Puerto Natales. You have to make your way from the bus station to your accommodation in Puerto Natales.

Level of difficulty: Medium

Ferry Itinerary:
Registration time at the pier: 18:00. Departure: 18:30. Approximate arrival time in Rodoviario Natales: 22:00.

It is possible that due to the physical and climate conditions you prefer to return on an earlier ferry. In this instance, the walk will only reach the first lookout (approximately 3 hours for the roundtrip). If going for this option, the registration time at the pier is: 11:00. Departure: 11:30. Approximate arrival time in Rodoviario Natales: 16:30.

It’s important that on this day you effectively calculate the trekking times in order to be on time for your selected ferry departure.
When walking to the glacier, backpacks can be safely left at Paine Grande Lodge (a free service for travellers who are staying at this place).

Day 9: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas Airport

Breakfast and check-out. Make our own way to the bus station to catch the public bus to Punta Arenas Airport (or Punta Arenas city if you are not flying out).

Bus departure times: 07:00 / 10:00 / 12:30 / 15:00 / 17:15 / 19:00 / 21:00

What's Included

El Calafate airport pick-up
2 nights' accommodation with breakfast in El Calafate
Full day Perito Moreno Glacier tour
Bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales
2 nights accomodation with breakfast in Puerto Natales
Self-guided 5-day W-Trek Circuit including:
* 4 nights' shared accommodation in a refugio
* Entrance fee to National Park
* Bus from Puerto Natales to Paine and shuttle to Sector Central
* Full board (breakfast, lunch box, dinner)
* Boat trip Lake Pehoe
* Bus from Port of Lake Pehoe to Puerto Natales
Regular bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport/city

What’s included?

Extra expenses at the destination
Entrance fee to Perito Moreno Glacier National Park (approx. 23 USD per person; paid in local currency)


Choose between a dorm or a private (single/double) room in El Calafate and Puerto Natales. Please note that towels are not included when staying in the hostel dorm. Accommodation during the W-Trek is in shared dorms in refugios (basic cabins) with shared facilities.

Local transport

Included Transportation
El Calafate airport pick-up
Bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales
Transportation on the W-Trek Circuit:
* Bus from Puerto Natales to Paine and shuttle to Sector Central
* Boat trip Lake Pehoe
* Bus from Port of Lake Pehoe to Puerto Natales
Regular bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport/city


Breakfast at hostel/hotel in El Calafate and Puerto Natales. Full board during the W-Trek (breakfast, lunch box, dinner).

Additional info

Bring your own personal trekking items like a backpack, sleeping bag, boots and warm clothes.

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