Travel Type: Active
Duration: 5 Days
- Tour Description
To get to the park, you will take the convenient public bus running from Puerto Natales to the park entrance at Laguna Amarga. Upon your arrival at the national park you will acquire your entrance ticket, and then board one of the waiting shuttles to transport you to the Las Torres sector, where your Refugio is located.
Day 2 – Trekking to the “Base Las Torres” viewpoint
During the first couple of hours of today’s hike you will climb upwards into the Asencio Valley, stopping occasionally to admire the marvellous views of Lake Nordenskjöld and Almirante Nieto Mountain (2,670 m.) behind you. After resting at Refugio El Chileno, you will continue along the trail for about an hour and a half, passing through an age-old Lenga (Beech) forest and crossing plunging streams, to the Campamento Torres. Here, you will turn sharply and climb steeply for about an hour up the side of the valley, through a rock-covered glacial moraine, to the «Base Las Torres» viewpoint. This magnificent spot rewards you with memorable views of the Torre Sur, at 2,850 m., the Torre Central (2,800 m.), the Torre Norte (2,600 m.), and the Cerro Nido de Cóndor. After plenty of time for pictures, you will descend back down to the Refugio El Chileno to spend the night.
Difficulty: demanding, 6-8 hours
Day 3 – Trekking from El Chileno to Los Cuernos Refugio
You will depart the Refugio El Chileno heading south-southeast, retracing the previous morning’s path; but after about 30 minutes’ walk you will see the marker for the shortcut that leads southwest toward the Refugio Los Cuernos. This trail will take you around the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain, part of the Paine Massif, with great views of Lake Nordenskjöld. Beginning in December, on these hillsides thousands of flowers bloom in different colours, especially the Ciruelillo or «Fire Bush,» which takes its name from the deep red of its flowers. After about a 4.5-hour moderate hike, you will arrive at the foot of the Cuernos («Horns»), where your Refugio is located. This is one of the most charming sites in the whole park, a perfect spot to rest and recover your energy for the next day’s challenging trek up the «French Valley.»
Difficulty: at the beginning easy, later medium, 4-5 hours
Day 4 – Trekking up the French Valley
During the first 2 hours, your path will take you westward, with Lake Nordenskjöld below to your left and the Cuernos soaring up on your right. Upon reaching the Campamento Italiano, we recommend that you contact the CONAF park rangers so you may leave your large backpack with them and take only a smaller day-pack along on the demanding next part of your trek. This hike will take you northward, up the valley of the Río del Francés, with scenery to rival that of anywhere in the world. After a 90-minute walk over difficult terrain, you will reach the Paine Grande lookout, where you’ll be able to gaze up at the mountain’s «hanging» glacier and, as the day’s sun warms the ice, occasional small avalanches. From here, you have the option of returning back down the valley; but if you continue onward for another 90 minutes, shortly after the Campamento Británico you’ll reach the lookout considered by many to be the most overwhelming location in the park: the Mirador Valle del Francés. This spot affords jaw-dropping views of the Paine Grande, the Cerro Hoja, the Cerro Máscara, the Cerro Catedral, the Cerro Aleta de Tiburón, the Cuerno Norte, and others. After returning down the valley to the Campamento Italiano, and collecting your pack, you will turn soutwestward for a much easier 2-hour hike to the Refugio Paine Grande, overlooking Lake Pehoé.
Difficulty: demanding, 10-12 hours
Day 5 – Trekking to Grey Glacier
The trail to the Grey Glacier Viewpoint takes you around the western side of the Paine Massif with views of Grey Lake and mountains beyond. After an hour and a half of moderate (but often windy!) hiking, you will reach the first lookout point, where you’ll see the massive Grey Glacier in the distance, spawning icebergs into Grey Lake. You’ll continue northward for another 90 minutes through a Lenga forest until reaching the main lookout, just across the lake from the glacier. From this spot, you’ll have a good chance to appreciate the glacier’s 20-metre-high, blue-grey terminus, marking one of the edges of the great Southern Ice Field. On your return, you will retrace your steps back to Lake Pehoé, in time for the 18:30h. catamaran trip across the lake to the Pudeto park entrance, where your bus will be waiting to take you back to Puerto Natales.
Difficulty: medium, 8-9 hours
Half board, breakfast only or bed only also available.
The program can be booked with or without bilingual trekking guide.
You can book a bed including sheets/sleeping bag or bring your own sleeping bag.
October to end of March.
The tour can be done starting at Refugio Paine Grande and Ending at Refugio Las Torres as well.
The last part of the video shows an optional excursion (ice-hiking), which is not included in the W-Trekking.
If you are interested in adding it, we will be happy to help you.