The Trail of the Valleys (Trekking) | 7 Days – 6 Nights
This is the most visited route in the Torres Del Paine National Park, hiking hut to hut the complete W trek, walking six hours daily on average. Navigating on Grey Lake with the option to do an ice hike on the glacier, hiking to the Towers lookout point and enjoying a picnic inside the French Valley are part of this unique experience at the boundaries of the world.
We recommend you take the early flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas (4 hours), flying over the Andes and observing incredible views of the Patagonian Ice Fields. Upon your arrival in Punta Arenas, the most southern city on the continent, a private transfer will be waiting to take you to Puerto Natales. (Pionero Travel will offer a pick-up from the airport at 02:25 PM, corresponding with LAN airline, Flight # LA285, or at 02 PM from your hotel in town). (Flight numbers and times subject to change)
As we leave Punta Arenas we will be able to see the Strait of Magellan and the island Tierra del Fuego. Shortly after leaving the airport, we will stop at the Magellan penguin colony on Otway Sound. Our 3-hour drive will take us through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias) and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (similar to ostrich). We arrive to Puerto Natales, located on the Sound of Last Hope, a typical fishing town surrounded by mountains. After we settle in, we’ll have a welcome dinner with the Chile Nativo guide regarding the program.
(4 hours by private transfer, 45 minutes walk at the Penguin colony) (D) (Night at Hostal Natales)
Early in the morning our transfer takes us along an unpaved road heading to Torres Del Paine. When entering the Park, we will have excellent picture taking opportunities of guanacos (llama family) and Grey foxes, driving alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. We will then drive toward Lago Grey with its impressive glacier of the same name, forming part of the South Patagonian Ice Field, third largest reserve of ice in the world, 350 kms long. Then we go up to the Grey Lake by boat. In order to get to the boat we will walk through a mature beech forest where we might observe woodpeckers. We will navigate about one hour through icebergs of different tones of blue up to the Grey glacier. We stop at the peninsula Grey and stay overnight at Refugio Grey.
(2 hours by private transfer, 30 minutes walk, 1 hour by boat) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Grey)
Today you have the opportunity to take an optional adventure on the Glacier Grey. (The Ice Hike excursion is not included in the price; average cost US$ 140 per person.) The ice hikers will take a zodiac for 20 minutes until arriving on the western side of the glacier, where specialized guides will supply you with the necessary technical equipment (crampons, harness and piolet). You will walk on the glacier, observing unique deep blue cracks, where, weather permitting, will have the opportunity of doing some ice climbing. The way back will be the same until arriving back at the refugio to enjoy lunch. For those in the group who prefer to stay close to camp, we’ll offer a morning hike to a lookout point above the Grey Glacier. In the afternoon we start a walk to the Pehoé Lake to spend the night in Paine Grande lodge.
Morning: Optional Ice Hike Excursion: 1 hour by zodiac (30 minutes each-way), 3-hour ice hike.
Optional Hike to Glacier Grey look out point, 1 hours walk.
Afternoon: 3 hours walk. (B-BL-D) (Night at Lodge Paine Grande)
We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going around the southwest side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the hanging bridge over the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M). Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different undulating path for an hour or so until reaching the Refugio Los Cuernos along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold.
(7 hours hike) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Los Cuernos)
We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the refugio we will follow the path until crossing the Bader River to start ascending around (200 mts.) toward the base of Almirante Nieto mountain (2750 mts.). Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We will arrive at Inge lagoon and keep ascending for one hour (300 mts.) to reach the start of Valle Ascencio. We will descend for half hour until reaching the Refugio Chileno where we will stay overnight.
(6 hours hike) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Chileno)
From the refugio we will start our walk through incredible tall-deciduous beech forests (Nothofagus Pumilio), with views of glaciers and waterfalls to continue ascending through a huge terminal moraine up to a view point (900 mts.) with excellent picture taking opportunities. From here we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (2850 mts.) and a lagoon with slurry waters fed by glacial erosion. We will enjoy lunch in front of this breathtaking scenery. We will descend, following the same path down to the Refugio Las Torres, located at the mountain’s plateau where we will spend the night.
(6 hours hike) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Las Torres)
We will take a private transfer to Punta Arenas. (Clients should take the flight at 03.10 PM, from LAN airline, flight #LA282, arriving to Santiago at 07:30 PM) (Flight numbers and times subject to change), if you decide to stay the night in Punta Arenas; we will drop you at your hotel.
(5 hours by private transfer) (B)
REGARDING THE SCHEDULE
The schedules indicated above are subject to change due to weather conditions or unexpected circumstances beyond our control, but we will try our best to keep them unaltered
-All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
-Entrance fee to Seno Otway Penguin colony
-One night at Hostal Natales or similar in Puerto Natales
(Twin Standard room with private bathroom)
-Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
-Boat to Glacier Grey (One way)
-Five nights lodging in mountain lodges (Refugios) (comfortable rooms with 6 beds and shared bathroom)
-Sleeping bags and liners (when is possible we include a bed with sheets, blankets and a pillow)
-Porter to carry the food and Chile Nativo supplies.
-All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner)
-Guide (English-Spanish languages)
-Flight to Santiago, Chile
-Internal Flight Santiago – Punta Arenas
-Any additional nights
-Insurance of any kind
-Ice Hike on Grey glacier with technical equipment (Cost per person USD $ 140)
-Porters to carry personal belongings (available upon request, cost of USD $70 per day with a maximum of 15K per porter, usually good to share one in between two hikers)
-Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
-Gratuities for guide & driver
Note on departures: Due to some limited availability in the Refugio’s, some departures will use Chile Nativo camp accommodations instead of regularly planned refugios. Our camp sites use North Face VE 25 – 4 season tents (3 people tent, use as a double), and we provide sleeping bags with liners and camping mattresses. The camp has access to modern facilities and hot showers. Unless noted, meals will be taken in the refugios where camping accommodations are added. There is no extra cost associated with this and all equipment necessary will be provided by Chile Nativo, including porters to carry the camping gear. According to our experience, usually the space at the refugios open up when we get close to the departure dates, and we have access to book the night we need. You will be notified upon booking when camping accommodations replace a refugio night.