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INDEPENDENT W TREK (5 DAYS)

Explore the famous highlights of Torres Del Paine at your own pace!

Overview

The ideal adventure for independent hikers wanting to experience the W Trek without guides, set dates or pre-departure planning. You’ll visit Torres del Paine’s three main highlights: the grandiose Towers, stirring French Valley and bewitching Grey Glacier. We prepare everything: briefing you beforehand, booking all services and providing a secure place to store your luggage.

 

Trip Highlights

• Complete W Trek
• Independent Hike – Enjoy at Your Own Pace!
• Trek to the Three Towers Base Lookout
• See Hanging Glaciers in the French Valley
• Get Close to the Immense Grey Glacier
• OptionalGrey Glacier Ice Hike or Kayaking Excursion on Grey Lake!
• All Logistics & Reservations Organized for You!

DOWNLOAD YOUR MAPS:
TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK MAP
MAGALLANES & ANTARCTIC REGION
PUERTO NATALES

DOWNLOAD YOUR PACK LIST:
W TREK PACK LIST
W TREK LISTA DE COSAS RECOMENDADOS

Trip Map

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Trip length

5 DAYS

Trip Level

3
DEMANDING

From USD

$1.695 per person

Start / End

PUERTO NATALES

Spaces:

NO MIN OR MAX

Season

SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
DECEMBRE
JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH
APRIL

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Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Torres del Paine, Self Guided Round-Trip HIke to the Towers Lookout

  • 2 Hours by Public Bus
  • 30 Miunute Shuttle Transfer
  • 8-9 Hour Round-Trip Hike, 22km / 13.6 mi
  • Night at Camping or Refugio Las Torres (BL-D)

By 6:45AM you must be at the Bus Terminal in Puerto Natales where you will board the 7AM public bus which will take you straight to Torres del Paine National Park.

The route passes grand estancias (ranches) and flat pampas, with many possibilities of spotting ñandus (Patagonian ostrich), guanacos, and a variety of bird species.

At Laguna Amarga, the main entrance to the Park, you will show your QR code park entrance which is included in your program, then board a shuttle bound for your Refugio (Las Torres Sector).

Here, you’ll leave your backpack at your accommodation and take your packed lunch (provided during your trek briefing in Puerto Natales held the day prior).

Now you’re ready to begin the W Trek’s first highlight: the hike to the Towers lookout. A challenging trek – you’ll ascend following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. Here, take a moment to stop and observe the first glimpses of this gorgeous valley, complete with beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls.

Continue uphill before beginning your ascent of the gigantic terminal moraine, 900 meters (2,952 ft.) above sea level. At the top, you’ll be rewarded by the remarkable sight of the three Towers themselves. Rest a while, take photos and have lunch.

Once ready, your descent is along the same path, taking you back to Las Torres where dinner will be served in your refugio and where you will rest your first evening.

This hike is demanding and many parts of the trail are steep. This trek is a minimum of 8 hours along challenging, rugged mountainous terrains. This trek is suitable for travelers with a strong physical stamina.

*Upgrade to a Private Room in Hotel Las Torres (based on availability) – Ask a Trip Specialist to Reserve your Accommodation!

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Day 2

Self Guided Hike to Los Cuernos Lookout through Condor Territory

  • 4-5 Hour Hike, 13 km / 8 mi
  • Night at Camping/Refugio Los Cuernos or Domos Frances, based on availability (B-BL-D)

Enjoy breakfast at your Refugio and request your packed lunch before setting out for the day.

Starting today’s trek, you’ll arrive at Inge Lagoon where chances are you’ll catch condors and other birds of prey circling the skies above you.

The well-marked trail ascends 200 meters (656 ft.) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2,750 m / 9,022 ft.) and crosses the Bader River to today’s destination – Refugio Los Cuernos or Domes Frances (depending on availability).

Here, settle in, enjoy a good meal among fellow travelers, and rest beneath the immense moraine.

*Upgrade to a Private Cabin in Los Cuernos (based on availability) – Ask a Trip Specialist to Reserve Your Accommodation!

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Day 3

Self Guided Trek of the Dramatic French Valley & Pehoe Lake

  • 8-9 Hour Hike, 18 km / 11.2 mi
  • Night at Camping or Refugio Paine Grande (B-BL-D)

Today’s hike is a challenging trek to heart of the Paine massif. The French Valley is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers.

After breakfast, request your packed lunch at the refugio and set off on a 2-hour hike through a winding path to the French River (one hour if your accommodation was at the French Domes).

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 (3,050 m / 10,006 ft.); 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.

If time and energy levels allow, you can continue hiking for an additional hour through the Valley to the British Camp for yet another spectacular cirque (amphitheater-like formation) of mountains.

You’ll descend via the same path until you reach the valley’s entrance, at which point you’ll continue around the south-west side of Paine Grande, Torres del Paine’s highest peak.

This final leg passes through native firebush and evergreen beech forests to the shores of Pehoe Lake. Dinner will be served at Refugio Paine Grande where you will spend your third evening.

This hike is demanding and many parts of the trail are steep. This trek is a minimum of 8 hours along challenging, rugged mountainous terrains. This trek is suitable for travelers with a strong physical stamina.

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Day 4

Trek to Grey Glacier, *Optional Kayak on Grey Lake (must book in advance)

  • 4 Hours Hike, 11 km / 6.8 mi
  • Night at Refugio Grey (B-BL-D)

Set out early after breakfast, ascending 200 meters through the narrow winding path to Laguna Los Patos.

Here, you’ll see sections of the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a geological phenomenon that still hides many unclimbed mountains.

From here you’ll continue to Grey Glacier’s lookout point, passing forests and rivers, with possible sightings of the spectacled and flightless steamer ducks that call them home.

Pass by your Refugio beforehand, so you can drop off your backpack and head to the lookout to eat your packed lunches with the mammoth Grey Glacier at your feet.

In the afternoon you will have the option to take part in a 2.5 hour kayak excursion on Grey Lake (advance booking required).

Dinner will be served at the Refugio followed by an evening of rest in this spectacular area.

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Day 5

*Optional Morning Ice Hike or Kayak (must book in advance) or Trek to Bridges – Hike to Paine Grande – Catamaran – Public Bus to Puerto Natales

  • 4 Hour Hike, 11 km / 6.8 mi
  • 35 Minute Catamaran
  • 3 Hours by Public Bus (B-BL)

This morning is yours to enjoy at leisure! Options include a 5 hour ice trek on Grey Glacier (USD$ 240 per person), 2.5 hour kayak excursion in Grey Lake (USD$ 180 per person) or an additional hike (8 km / 5 mi, about 3 hours return) to the hanging bridges for a magnificent view of Grey Glacier (independent hikers without guides are only permitted to go to the second hanging bridge).

Please remember that you must book your optional excursion in advance with one of our travel specialists. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll later walk back along the same path to Paine Grande to catch the last catamaran across Pehoe Lake (check catamaran and walking times with Refugio staff in the morning to ensure you arrive in time).

While hiking, take in views of Paine Grande and the powerful, almost muscular granite walls of Cordon Olguín. At the other side of Pehoe Lake, a public bus will be waiting to drive you to Puerto Natales.

Since you will be arriving in town around 22:00 hrs (10:00PM) you should consider spending the night in Puerto Natales.

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INCLUDED

  • All Public Transportation Indicated in Schedule
  • Shuttle in Between Laguna Amarga & Refugio Las Torres
  • Entrance Fee to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Four Nights Accommodation in Mountain Refugios or Camping
  • Sleeping Bag for Refugio Accommodations / Sleeping Bag, Mat, & Tent for Camping Accommodations
  • Catamaran to Cross the Pehoe Lake
  • All Meals Indicated in Schedule (B: Breakfast, BL: Box Lunch, D: Dinner)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Any Additional Nights
  • Kayak or Ice Hike Excursion at Grey
  • Medical Expenses
  • Insurance of Any Kind
  • Any Personal Expenses
  • Dinner on Day 5 in Puerto Natales
  • Any Alcoholic and/or Non-Alcoholic Drinks at the Refugios Except for the Drinks Included in the Menu
  • Guide or Porters

Trip length

5 DAYS

Trip Level

3
DEMANDING

From USD

$1.695 per person

Start / End

PUERTO NATALES

Spaces:

NO MIN OR MAX

Season

SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
DECEMBRE
JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH
APRIL

Lodgings

Camping Central

Located at the beginning of the W Circuit in Las Torres sector 250 meters from Refugio Torre Central. Camping features shared bathroom facilities with hot water and shampoo/conditioner dispensers are available. Towels are not provided. Guests sleep in 4 season tents. Guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping liner.

Camping Paine Grande

Located on the edge of Lake Pehoé, with beautiful views to Cuernos del Paine and Paine Grande Mountain, Camping Paine Grande is the starting or ending point for Glacier Grey and French Valley trails, as well as part of the W Circuit and Paine Massif Circuit. Guests sleep in 4 season tents. Shared bathrooms with hot showers are available. Towels are not provided. Guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping liner.

Camping Los Cuernos

Next the the main refugio, sector Los Cuernos is equipped with 50 camp sites with shared bathrooms exclusive use for campers only with 24 hour hot water service. Towels are not provided. Campsites come with a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat. Guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping liner. Meals are served at the Refugio just a short walk from the campsites.

Camping Grey

Just outside of the Refugio is a designated camp are surrounded by Lenga trees.Camping Grey is also part of the W Circuit and Paine Massif Circuit. Shared bathrooms with hot shower and shampoo/conditioner dispensers are available. Guests sleep in MSR or Hilleberg 4-season tents with a sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Towels are not provided and guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping liner.

Hotel Las Torres

Ideally located at the base of the trails leading to the viewing point of the Towers peaks, Valle del Silencio, and “W” hikes, this former estancia turned Hotel, offers 57 comfortable rooms with central heating and telephone and a the only full service spa available in the park. The excellent quality of both service and food is the main characteristic of this Hotel.

Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Torres Central & North

The Mountain lodges of Torres Central and North are two comfortable refugios located at the base of the hike to the Towers lookout and part of the “W” and “Circuit” walks. They are within walking distance to the Hotel Spa at Las Torres for a variety of services including massage and saunas. There are 6 beds to each room (bunk-bed style) with shared bathrooms and hot water.

Cabins Los Cuernos (Optional)

8 cozy cabins for 2 persons each with shared bathrooms and showers exclusively for people who are staying at the cabins. The cabins are located next to the Refugio Los Cuernos and all meals are taken in the Refugio.

Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Los Cuernos

On the shore of lake Nordenskjöld nestled in a Coihue Forest lays Refugio Los Cuernos with 32 beds. This cozy lodge is located on the “W” circuit walking between the French Valley and the Torres del Paine lookout and base camp area. There are 6 beds to each room (bunk-bed style) and have a shared bathrooms with hot water.

Domo Frances

Located 1 hour trekking from Los Cuernos sector to the West (between Cuernos and Italiano camping sites), with an amazing view of Nordenskjöld lake, Cuernos del Paine and Paine Grande Mountain. There are 3 domes that sleep 8 people each bunk-bed style. Each dome has a private shared bathroom with hot water. Towels are not included. Beds include a sleeping bag and guests are encourage to bring their own sleeping liner.

Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Paine Grande

Paine Grande is a large and modern refugio set on the banks of the Lake Pehoe, including internet connection and full service bar. It’s the jump off point for the catamaran crossing Lake Pehoe and the walks to the French and Grey Valleys. There are 6 beds to each room (bunk-bed style) and have shared bathrooms with hot water. Towels are not provided and guests are recommended to bring their own sleeping liner.

Mountain Lodge (Refugio) Grey

Ideally situated on the edge of Grey Lake, this refugio is in a forest of Lenga trees. Small and cozy, with access to the Grey Glacier this refugio is part of the “W” and “Circuit” hikes. Rooms have 6 beds (bunk-bed style) and sleeping bags are provided. Shared bathrooms with hot water and shampoo/conditioner dispensers are available. Towels are not provided and guests should bring a sleeping liner.

Dates & Prices

PRICES FOR SEASON 24/25 (valid until April 2025)

Nightly Accommodation in Camping
1 Guest: USD$ 1.795
2 Guests or more: USD$ 1.695

Nightly Accommodation in Refugio
USD$ 1.795 per person

Deluxe UpgradeFirst Night in Hotel Las Torres, Private Transfer In & Out of Park, & Grey Glacier Navigation Day 5.

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FAQ's

Q: Where do I keep my luggage that I won’t need during my trek while I am hiking in the park?
A: The majority of the hotels and hostels will store luggage for their guests who are staying with them prior to and after their travels in the park. If not, we will happily store your luggage securely in our office until you arrive back from your trek and will deliver this to your hotel where you will be staying in Puerto Natales. We ask that you come to our office between the hours of 09:00 – 13:00 or 15:00 – 19:00 to drop these off.

Q: If I’m reserved in the campsites, do I need to travel with my own sleeping bag and tent?
A: In the case that campsites are the only available accommodation for you during 1 or more nights of your W Trek, your tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat are all included in your reservation. These will be setup upon your arrival to each refugio and there is no need to bring your own camping gear along your trek! All guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping liner whether they are staying in camping or refugio accommodations.

Q: If I’m doing this on my own, how do I get my park & reservation passes?
A: Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We will provide you with your detailed program itinerary through a digital travel app where all your transfer vouchers, reservation & confirmation codes, and park passes will be uploaded. This information – such as the travel app and your personal login information will be sent to you prior to your trip by our guest service team. We will also have your box lunch for your first day which will be delivered to your hotel or accommodation the evening before your program starts.

Q: Can I upgrade to a private accommodation each night along the W Trek?
A: You may upgrade to a private accommodation in Hotel Las Torres on night 1 for an additional charge. You may also upgrade to a private cabin in Los Cuernos on the second night of the W Trek for an additional per person charge. Both upgrades are based on availability at the time of your request. The last 2 nights of the W Trek will be spent in shared refugio accommodations or a 2-person tent in the campsite.

Q: Is there water available along the trails?
A: Yes! Each day you will have the opportunity to fill up your reusable water bottle prior to departing the refugios. The first day you will have the opportunity to fill your water bottle at Refugio Chileno in route to the base of the towers. On day 2, be sure to fill up your water bottle prior to leaving for Los Cuernos as there are no other refugios along the way. On the third day’s hike of the French Valley, be sure to have plenty of water ready for your trek of the French Valley and can also re-fill at Frances in route along the way. Day 4 you can fill up at Refugio Paine Grande before setting out for your short trek to Refugio Grey. Only drink from natural water sources that you know are safe.

Q: What time will I finish my trek on the last day and arrive back to Puerto Natales?
A: After hiking back to Refugio Paine Grande from Refugio Grey on the last day of your program, you will take the 35 minute catamaran across Lake Pehoe to Pudeto where you will then connect on the public bus which will bring you back to Puerto Natales (bus terminal). Trekkers who take the last catamaran and bus from the park will arrive back to Puerto Natales around 22:00hrs. If you wish to upgrade to the Grey Glacier Navigation which leaves directly from Refugio Grey, you may reserve this in advance. Upon completing the Grey III Navigation – a highlight experience in Torres Del Paine – a private transfer awaits you to bring you back to Puerto Natales, arriving around 18:00hrs.

Q: Can I do the route in reverse – from West to East?
A: Absolutely! We are able to organize the west to east route for you if you wish and based on availability in the refugios for the respected nights necessary.

Add-Ons & Upgrades

PRIVATE DEPARTURES AVAILABLE – PLEASE CONTACT A TRIP SPECIALIST TO PLAN YOUR TREK!

OPTIONAL SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)

– Private Transfer to/from Punta Arenas Airport/Puerto Natales: *Price depends on total number of guests

– Public Bus Punta Arenas to/from Puerto Natales: USD$ 25 per guest, per way

– Private transfer to Torres del Paine Day 1 USD$320 (1 guest); USD$160 per person (2 guests); USD$105 per person (3 guests)

– Private Porter Service for 4 Days: USD$ 720 *If you want to avoid carrying too much weight you can pay for a private porter. Our porters carry a maximum of 15 kilos in a dry bag which we provide to you. This service is usually good to share between 2 – 3 people and must be booked for 4 days (Day 2 to 5).

UPGRADES: (must be booked in advance)

Day 1: Upgrade Private Transfer IN: 1 person USD$ 320 per person; 2 people USD$ 160 per person. To continue our commitment to sustainability, we will minimize our carbon footprint when possible. Therefore, in some cases, the possibility exists to share the private transfer with other Chile Nativo clients who have the same start date for their Independent W Trek. We will try our best to communicate the instances when a private transfer will be shared with other Chile Nativo clients.

Day 4 in the Afternoon: Kayak on Grey Lake USD$175 per person.

Day 5 in the Morning: Ice Hike on Glacier Grey or Kayak on Grey Lake USD$238 per person for Ice Hike or USD$ 175 per person for Kayak

Day 5: Upgrade Grey Navigation + Private Transfer to Puerto Natales: 1 person USD$ 405 per person; 2 people USD$ 335 per person. To continue our commitment to sustainability, we will minimize our carbon footprint when possible. Therefore, in some cases, the possibility exists to share the private transfer with other Chile Nativo clients who have the same finish date for their Independent W Trek. We will try our best to communicate the instances when a private transfer will be shared with other Chile Nativo clients.

Any Independent W Trek reservation which includes the night of the 24th or 31st of December will include an additional USD$ 50 per person fee for the Christmas/New Year’s dinner which is included in the refugio.  

Reviews

It was a very nice trip and everything run smoothly. Especially considering the current situation, we were very lucky to still enjoy it. It was very easy to do the reservation and it saved us a lot of time and headache.

Independent W Trek, Solvejg, Norway

Our trip was fantastic. We booked later than our friends and the representatives at Chile Nativo were excellent in their efforts to make sure our trip was able to match with our friend’s as close as possible. Very helpful. We had a wonderful night at Los Cuernos where our cabin was amazing. Great meal and we met some lovely people. What we enjoyed was – meeting so many different people on our journey and meeting up again and again during the hostel stays and our trek,

Independent W Trek, Gillian H., United Kingdom

Great experience and really took the stress out of planning!

Independent W Trek, Phil M., USA

Trip was very well planned and the briefing had me well prepared. Booking (really short term) was easy and Chile Nativo staff was very helpful (e.g. providing offers on how to make it work with time restrictions I had).

Independent W Trek, Julian W., Germany

Very smooth with bus vouchers and vouchers for the Refugio’s and park fees. All went very smooth and hazel free.For people who like to travel & hike independently this is a wonderful way to go with Chile Nativo. Not speaking Spanish it would have been difficult to arrange the logistics of this trek ourselves.

Kathryn Hobbs/Craig Aldworth, USA

Everything was perfect. The trek is amazing, and certainly is one of the best things I’ve done in my life. As for Chile Nativo, they were also very professionals, since the begging when I was planning my trips. Took out all my doubts about the trail, things to take there, itinerary… Everything. I’m really pleased I’ve chosen Chile Nativo to schedule my trip.

Alexandre C., Brazil

Chile Nativo is an excellent company. Friendly and helpful and communicative, they provided excellent arrangements for our family to complete the W Trek by essentially just showing up. I highly recommend Chile Nativo!

Kristin Wagner, USA

Completing the W was a wonderful experience. Chile Nativo was there supporting us during the preparation and most importantly during the trek after my wife got hurt. We could have not done without Chile Nativo support.

Maurizio Gianola, USA

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  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
SY Joyce Kan
SY Joyce Kan
2023-03-07
Amazing trip! We joined the Torres Del Paine 7 day O trek tour - note that this tour is not a complete O Trek but skipping the part from Camp Frances to Las Torres, which worked in our favour as our holiday is limited and we won’t miss much. Our guide, Debbie was knowledgeable and amicable, and very passionate about hiking. Unfortunately I fell sick during the hike and wished to leave a day earlier than planned. Debbie and Chile Nativo quickly rearranged transportation for us and was very helpful. Throughout the whole process Chile Nativo was very responsive. We had a memorable journey and I would highly recommend Chile Nativo.
Jim Garvin
Jim Garvin
2023-03-02
Fantastic experience! We were booked with Chile Nativo via Swoop and had a wonderful experience. Our guides, Tim & Lucile, were awesome. We really enjoyed their company. They were very knowledgeable about the region (the history, animals, landscape, etc). Highly recommend.
Olivia Evans
Olivia Evans
2023-02-15
I booked the independent, self-guided Torres Del Paine trek with Chile Nativo’s help and was so glad I did. When I looked to book on my own, everything was all reserved in Torres Del Paine and Chile Nativo was the only agency that could help me find a spot still. To still be able to go on the trip when I wanted to go, to not have to spend so much time planning all the logistics, to get a local’s recommendations on the best way to do the trek…but STILL get to do the trek on my own was amazing and worth every penny. In particular Paolina at the agency was incredibly helpful. I would recommend this agency to anyone looking to hike in Torres del Paine.
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
2023-02-10
Serious, professional, and friendly Tour Agency in Puerto Natales that will cater your needs in Patagonia and Torres del Paine.
Kevin Jobst
Kevin Jobst
2023-01-27
Hiking in Torres with Pepa is like walking with your smartest and wisest friend. She has an incredible depth of knowledge in everything from mycology to government, from geology to history. She is fiercely passionate about conservation and our planet and has dedicated her life to making our world a better place. Our two porters Filipe and Bastian were both incredibly strong and highly professional. Always in the know on where to set up the tent, they picked the best spot in every site we were at. Also, they were an absolute blast to hang out with after the long days hiking. I cannot recommend this particular team highly enough and if you are passionate about the environment, making the world a better place, learning everything there is to know about glaciers, mushrooms, Patagonia, the history of Chile, magma intrusions and edible berries request them by name. Thank you to all three of you for making our experience so special and I hope our paths cross again.
Brad Smith
Brad Smith
2023-01-15
Our Torres Del Paine Plus trip was fantastic! A great crew of newly-made friends, guided by Izabella “La Professora”, on a journey beyond expectations. What a great time, a balance of hiking and touring. DO NOT miss the pumas!!! I will definitely go with the Chile Nativo team again, and thanks to Nestor & Juan too!
Senga Simpson
Senga Simpson
2023-01-09
Excellent service. Thank you Vicky
Lukas Winegarner
Lukas Winegarner
2022-11-28
Camilo is ledged! Chile Nativo is extremely experienced and knowledgeable - I would highly recommend booking directly through them. We were a group of 8 doing the O 7 day hike and everything was great! Thanks to Camilo & Tomas and all of our porters!

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