TORRES DEL PAINE: FAST TRACK W – 3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS
From Puerto Natales, Chile
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeAdventure, Camping, Charming, Ecofriendly, Glaciers, GROUP DEPARTURES, Hiking, Ice Trekking, Lake, Mountain, National Park, Navigation, Photograph, Puerto Natales, Trekking
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
A short and sweet, highlights-only Torres del Paine experience. Hike and boat the famous W trail’s three major attractions. On this 3-day trip you’ll trek the French Valley, come close to the icy walls of Grey Glacier and hike to the Base of the famous Towers, while recharging each night in a secluded and intimate riverside camp.
DAY 1: Arrive in Torres del Paine and hike the French Valley
2 HOURS BY PRIVATE TRANSFER / 35 MINUTES BY CATAMARAN EACH WAY / 7-8 HOURS HIKING, 17 KM /30 MINUTES BY PRIVATE TRANSFER
We’ll pick you up in Puerto Natales at 7.00 am and travel to Torres del Paine via unpaved roads and past lagoons and pampas; accompanied at times by the guanacos (relatives of llamas), grey foxes, Chilean flamingos and black-necked swans that call them home. Entering the National Park, we’ll cross Pehoe Lake by catamaran and arrive at the starting point of today’s return trek. Our destination, the French Valley, is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers. At the entrance to the French Valley – a glacial moraine – you’ll scramble over huge boulders and catch the first sight of the hanging glacier atop the valley. From this point, you’ll ascend for an hour through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the French Valley viewpoint (the “Plateau”). Your reward is a heart-stirring bird’s eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers. To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m); while to the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north “horns” of Los Cuernos arch upwards. In the upper section of the Valley, Cerro Catedral and Cerro Fortaleza loom like turrets above the landscape. Take your time to have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies. Our return hike is along the same track. We’ll take the catamaran back across Pehoe Lake, and a 35 minute private transfer will drive us to Chile Native Riverside Domes.
Night at Chile Nativo Riverside Domes (B-BL-D).
DAY 2: Hike to Pingo Valley – Glacier Grey Navigation
30 MINUTES BY PRIVATE TRANSFER / 3 HOURS HIKE, 10KM / 3 HOURS NAVIGATION /30 MINUTES BY PRIVATE TRANSFER
This morning we’ll take a 3-hour hike to Pingo Valley to a viewpoint at “Cascada los Salmones”, a waterfall where salmon are sometimes seen. Be alert as we return – you may see a huemul (Andean deer) hiding nearby! After a picnic lunch on the shores of the Pingo River we’ll make our way through a woodpecker-inhabited beech forest to our boat’s departure point. The hour-long boat trip takes us around blue-hued icebergs and to the immense face of Grey Glacier, where we’ll stay for a while to admire its textures, lines and colors. If we’re lucky, we’ll witness a glacial calving, where chunks of ice break off and plummet spectacularly into the freezing waters. On your return journey you’ll see the wind-sculpted “ice mushrooms” atop the massive peaks of Paine Grande. Later, we’ll drive to the Serrano River area where a gourmet meal and good night’s rest await us at our riverside Domes.
Night at Chile Nativo Riverside Domes (BL-D).
1.5 HOUR TRANSFER / 8-10 HOURS ROUND-TRIP HIKING, 22KM / 2 HOURS BY TRANSFER
Our final day begins with a transfer across the National Park to the starting point for the trek to the three Towers lookout. Your hike begins with an hour’s ascent, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. Here we’ll stop to observe how the valley’s beauty unfolds with rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Past this lookout point, we continue uphill, this time ascending a gigantic terminal moraine (a ridge formed at a glacier’s end point) where we’ll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 meters above sea level, we’ll rest, take photos and have lunch. Our descent follows the same path and a private transfer will take you back to Puerto Natales.
-Regular tour departs from September to April at 07.00 am.
-Private tour departure schedule is coordinated previously with the passenger depending on their availability.
- Pick up and Drop off at your hotel;
- Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park;
- Two nights lodging in riverside Domes Chile Nativo (comfortable domes with 2 inflatable mattresses and shared bathroom/bedding included);
- Catamaran to cross Pehoe Lake (RT);
- Boat at Lake Grey (RT);
- All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, D: dinner)
- English Speakign Guide/Driver;
- Any additional nights;
- Medical expenses;
- Insurance of any kind;
- Personal expenses;