The world-renowned W Circuit is known as one of the most beautiful walking tracks in the world. Located in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile; the 'W' trek is given the name because of the shape of the route as it curves in and out of the Paine massif. Interlinking the 3 Granite Paine Towers, the French Valley, and the Grey Glacier. Witness breath-taking landscapes of towering glaciers, ice bergs, vast valleys, immense mountains and many more of nature’s wonders along the way.
Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring sections of the Patagonia region and the southern Andes. The national park is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and one of the most visited in Chile.
The unique sensation of being in one of the world’s most remote and undisturbed areas of the world is a truly incredible experience.
The W Circuit is best suited for physically-fit adventurers or experienced hikers due to the quick changing terrain and demanding conditions.
W Circuit Itinerary
The W Circuit (62km) takes approximately 5 days to complete, spending each night in a different pre-booked hut. Starting on the east side of the national park, you will witness the vertical granite peaks of Las Torre, enjoy the views of the Cuernos from a multitude of angles as you pass glacial lakes, wild flower meadows and hanging glaciers.
Day 1: Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park
Bus time: 2.5 hours
Hop on the bus from Puerto Natales Bus Station to the Torres del Paine National Park (Laguna Amarga Main Entrance). Along the journey enjoy the spectacular views, with a brief stop at the quaint Cerro Castillo Village along the way to stretch your legs.
Once entered into the national park grounds, catch the short shuttle to the Las Torres sector where you will spend the night at Refugio Las Torres. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views from the nature-immersed lodge, ready to begin the 4 day hike the following morning.
Day 2: Trek to Las Torres Base
Walking Distance: 11 km
Wake up bright and early to being the first day of the spectacular hike. For the first section of the hike enjoy a leisurely walk alongside the banks of Lake Nordenskjöld with the immense Mount Almirante Nieto (2,670 m) in the background.
The trail leads to a steep incline reaching beautiful native lenga forests towards the base of Moraine. Take on another challenging incline to reach one of the most breath-taking vantage points in the entire Torres del Paine National Park.
Take your time to soak in the unbeatable scenery; with the mountains of Torre Sur (2,850 m), Torre Central (2,800 m), Torre Norte (2,600 m), and Cerro Nido de Cóndor (2,352 m) covering the distance.
Day 3: Las Torres Base to Los Cuernos Refuge
Walking Distance: 11 km
The track resumes by cutting through the base of Mount Almirante Nieto, part of the Paine Massif, witnessing spectacular views of Lake Nordenskjöld along the way.
During this section of the trail, hike through hanging glaciers, local flora and rugged mountain landscapes. Witness the stark contrast of the light blue lakes sitting against the deep green forest. Arriving at the base of Los Cuernos, spend the night relaxing in one of the park's most serene locations.
Day 4: Cuernos Refuge to French Valley
Walking Distance: 25.3 km
Wake up surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes and continue hiking along the W Trek. This section holds the most challenging hikes of the circuit. Beginning with a number of intense ascents and descents near Lake Nordenskjöld. Every step will be worth it when you reach the breath-taking viewpoint offering incredible panoramic views of the hanging glaciers, and occasionally witness minor avalanches!
Continue along the trail to reach yet another spectacular vantage point, known to be the most jaw-dropping in the entire circuit. Admire the immense peaks and glaciers of Paine Grande, Cerro Hoja, Cerro Máscara, Cerro Catedral, Cerro Aleta de Tiburón, and Cuerno Norte.
Day 5: French Valley to Grey Glacier and return to Puerto Natales
Walking Distance: 22 km
The final leg of the W Circuit is a 22km walk to Grey Glacier before returning back to Puerto Natales, marking the end of the world’s greatest multi-day hikes.
Witness see one of the largest and most iconic glaciers in the park's ice fields, Grey Glacier. Follow the trail along the western side of the Paine Massif, catching stunning glimpses of Grey Lake, home to the immense glacier, along the way. Take in the astounding panoramas of floating icebergs and expanding jagged ice formations that stretch out for miles.
Continue along the main track towards Pehoé Lake catching a scenic Catamaran ride to reach the bus stop that will return you to Puerto Natales.
If you have the time, add a further few days to tick off other iconic hikes in the area, including the spectacular trek to the base of the granite towers after which the national park is named.
For more information on holidays to Chile and the W Circuit please use our enquiry form and a member of our dedicated team will get back to you.