You don't need tons of time to tackle one of Patagonia's most famous trekking experiences—with this whirlwind itinerary, you'll complete a scenic four-day portion of Torres del Paine's W Trek at a relaxed pace. After a good night's sleep in Puerto Natales, head into the park and hit the trail. By day you'll skirt ancient forests, glacier lakes, and lofty peaks, while evenings are based in cozy "refugio" camps. The adventure ends with a cruise across Lago Grey and a horseback ride around Laguna Sofia.


  • Tackle a scenic portion of Torres del Paine National Park's famed W Trek
  • Hike up Monte Almirante Nieto to reach the iconic lookout, Mirador Base Torres
  • Take in the view of hanging glaciers at Mirador Frances 
  • Walk along the azure shores of Lago Nordenskjöld
  • Take a break from trekking with a cruise across Lago Grey

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Puerto Natales, Gateway to Torres del Paine National Park Puerto Natales
Day 2 Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park, W Trek: Monte Almirante Nieto Torres del Paine
Day 3 W Trek: Lago Nordenskjöld & Refugio Cuernos Torres del Paine
Day 4 W Trek: Mirador Frances & Camp at Refugio Paine Grande Torres del Paine
Day 5 W Trek: Grey Glacier & Boat Cruise, Transfer to Puerto Natales Puerto Natales
Day 6 Horseback Riding at Laguna Sofia, Depart Puerto Natales  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Natales, Gateway to Torres del Paine National Park

Walk along the colorful waterfront of Puerto Natales

Welcome to the port city of Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park on the Chilean side of Patagonia. Meet your driver outside Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport, then head 10 minutes into the city center to your hotel. After settling in, you'll prep for your upcoming adventures with a 30-minute trip briefing. You'll discuss the itinerary for the next five days, collect any tickets or vouchers you need, and have the opportunity to ask any last-minute questions.

Once that's settled, you can return to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow's first day of trekking or stretch your legs as you explore the city on your own. Walk along the waterfront to admire the colorful buildings and reflections of the surrounding mountains. Pop into one of the many artisanal markets and shop for handcrafted souvenirs, such as textiles or jewelry. When night falls, appreciate Puerto Natale's clear night skies free of light pollution with some stargazing. End your first day in Patagonia with dinner and a drink at one of the many waterfront restaurants. 

Day 2: Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park, W Trek: Monte Almirante Nieto

Hike to Mirador Base Torres for famous views of the granite mountain peaks

Leave the city behind this morning as you transfer two hours into Torres del Paine National Park to embark on a scenic portion of the W Trek, a legendary  46-mile (74 km) hiking route through the park named for its distinctive shape. On the way, stop at the village of Cerro Castillo to stretch your legs and pick up any last-minute supplies you may need. Look out the windows as you continue the drive to catch glimpses of the iconic three granite peaks of the Paine mountain range.

When you arrive at the Laguna Amarga main entrance, register at the office, then jump on a shuttle to the Las Torres sector of the park to start today's 11.2-mile (18 km) hike. Ascend to the formidable peak of Monte Almirante Nieto through dense forests and alpine meadows. As you walk, enjoy stunning views of the Valle Asencio and Lago Nordenskjöld below. After two hours of hiking, you'll reach Refugio & Camping Chileno, where you can rest and enjoy your lunch before continuing up the mountain. Hike for another hour through an ancient lenga forest until you arrive at a rocky moraine.

Take a quick break, as the next part of the trek is a challenging steep ascent for 45 minutes to the top of the mountain, known as Mirador Base Torres. You'll be rewarded for your efforts with a breathtaking view of the park's many peaks looming over a green lagoon. After fully appreciating the view, head back down the mountain to Refugio Central to rest for the evening. 

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Day 3: W Trek: Lago Nordenskjöld & Refugio Cuernos

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the shores of Lago Nordenskjöld
After a nourishing breakfast, start today's four-hour hike to Refugio Cuernos or Refugio Domos Frances, depending on their availability for the night. Walk along the azure shores of Lago Nordenskjöld, admiring the view of the imposing granite peaks surrounding the turquoise waters. The soothing sounds of lapping water will accompany you on this relatively easy, flat hike as you cross over rivers and through open meadows. After walking 6.8 miles (11 km), you'll arrive at the campsite sitting at the foot of the Cuernos del Paine mountains for a well-deserved rest.

Day 4: W Trek: Mirador Frances & Camp at Refugio Paine Grande

Trek through the windy Valle del Francés 

Begin your third day of trekking with a 2.5-hour hike to Campamento Italiano (Italian Camp). Start with a hike across a windy beach before you can escape into the protected valley, where the landscape transforms into rugged and dramatic terrain. When you reach the camp, leave your large backpack and continue into the Valle del Francés (French Valley) with a small daypack. Having that weight off your shoulders will make the challenging ascent into the valley much easier, especially on a windy day.

After an hour of hiking up the rocky, slippery trail, you'll reach Mirador del Francés, where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of Lago Pehoé and the hanging French Glacier clinging to the mountainside. Listen to the rumble of the ice breaking away and watch as small waterfalls form from the melting ice. Head back down the mountain to grab your large pack and continue another 2.5 hours to Refugio Paine Grande on the shores of Lago Pehoé. You've earned a delicious dinner and much-needed rest after today's 10.7-mile (17.3 km) hike.

Day 5: W Trek: Grey Glacier & Boat Cruise, Transfer to Puerto Natales

Cruise across Lago Grey to see the Grey Glacier up close

Begin your final day on the W Trek with a hike through a forest, carrying just a small day pack to reach the glacial Lago Grey. Hold on tight to your belongings, as the openness of the landscape often makes for strong winds. After two hours of hiking along the lake, you'll catch your first glimpse of Grey Glacier, a massive ice field emanating from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Admire the blue hues of the glacier and listen to the sounds of cracking ice before boarding the Grey III Navigation, a catamaran that'll take you up close to the icy giant for some impressive views and photos.

Continue the cruise around the lake and disembark at Grey Beach to start a short hike through the forest to a parking lot, where you can catch a bus back to Puerto Natales. The bus ride can be long, as it makes multiple stops throughout the park, so you can always opt for a private transfer for an additional cost. Say goodbye to the park as you leave the incredible landscapes of Torres del Paine behind you.

Day 6: Horseback Riding at Laguna Sofia, Depart Puerto Natales

Unwind with a horseback ride around Laguna Sofia

If you're not too tired from your four-day trek, you can head 30 minutes out of the city to go horseback riding around Laguna Sofia this morning. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by the sight of pristine shores and the sounds of birds flying above, creating a peaceful ambience. Meet a local gaúcho, your horseback riding guide, and get to know your new four-legged friends for the day. After a safety briefing and an introduction to riding, mount your horse and head out for a 2.5-hour ride.

Pass through ancient forests, admire the mountainous view, and keep an eye out for some endemic wildlife, such as the magnificent Andean condor. After the leisurely ride, return to your hotel in Puerto Natales to pack your bags. When you're ready, meet your driver outside to transfer to Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport for your flight home. Buen viaje!

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Map of Quick W Trek Adventure in Patagonia - 6 Days
Map of Quick W Trek Adventure in Patagonia - 6 Days