8. Torres del Paine: W Circuit in Camping (5 days)
Day 1: Arrival at Torres del Paine National Park - Trekking to the Base of the Towers. Distance: 14 miles / Time: 8-10hrs / Difficulty: Demanding / Accommodation: Central sector / Meals: Dinner. After breakfast, request your box lunch and head to the bus terminal to take the 7:00 a.m. bus to Torres del Paine National Park. After registering with CONAF (Park Rangers) at the Laguna Amarga main entrance, take a transfer with "Transporte Las Torres" to the welcome center. Register at Estancia Cerro Paine and walk 5 minutes to the Central Refuge to register for camping. Begin your trek through the Ascencio Valley, passing through forests and a field of rocks until reaching Mirador Base las Torres, where you can see the 3 towers and glacial lake. Enjoy lunch and return to the Torre Central Refuge for dinner. Day 2: Hike to Refugio los Cuerno or French Dome. Distance: 7 or 9 miles depending on accommodation / Time: 4-5 hours / Difficulty: Moderate / Accommodation: Cuernos or Frances sector / Meals: breakfast, box lunch, and dinner. After breakfast and requesting your box lunch, begin your walk to the Cuernos Camp, passing by crystalline streams and bordering the fascinating waters of Lake Nordenskjold. The path is simple and will take you directly to the Cuernos Camp where you will relax for the night. Day 3: Explore the French Valley. Distance: French Lookout 10.5 miles / Time: 6-7hrs / Difficulty: Moderate / Accommodation: Paine Grande sector / Meals: Breakfast, Box lunch, and dinner. Start early and begin your ascent to the French Valley. A few minutes after starting our walk, we will pass by a park ranger shelter, right at the entrance to the valley. Climb up large rocks and continue through the forest until reaching the Plateau (French Viewpoint), where you can see Los Cuernos, turquoise glacial lagoons, and hanging glaciers on Paine Grande Mountain. Continue to the British Lookout and then return to the park ranger shelter and walk to Refugio Paine Grande. Enjoy dinner at the refuge. Day 4: Grey Glacier (Optional suspension bridges). Distance: 6.8 miles / Time: 4-4.5 hrs / Difficulty: Moderate / Accommodation: Grey sector / Meals: Breakfast, Box lunch, and dinner. Hike through a winding valley to Laguna de Los Patos, where you can see parts of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and Lago Grey. Descend through a forest until reaching the Refugio. From here, you continue for 10 minutes until you reach the Grey Glacier Viewpoint and marvel at the blue ice. Optional: Plan extra 3-4 hours (RT) to see Grey Glacier's best viewpoint at hanging bridges past Grey Shelter. See impressive ice, ravines, and ice melting. Day 5: Hike to Paine Grande Refuge + Catamaran + Return to Puerto Natales. Distance: 6.8 miles / Time: 4-4.5 hrs / Difficulty: Moderate / Meals: Breakfast, Box lunch. Enjoy optional activities in the morning before hiking back to Paine Grande Lodge and taking the catamaran to Pudeto, where you'll depart by bus to Puerto Natales.