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.
• Hike the challenging French Valley
• Get up close to pristine rivers, glaciers and lakes
• Daily panoramic views
• See wild fauna in their natural habitat
• Boat ride across iceberg-dotted Grey Lake
• Trek to the Towers Base
• Secluded private accommodation far from the crowded refugios
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.
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.
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.
Our own private home base located within Torres del Paine National Park. Perfect for families or groups, ours is a fully-equipped campsite located on the shores of the Serrano River, away from the buzz of crowded Refugios and campsites. It has access to 2 bathrooms (one men’s & one women’s) with hot water, showers, and electrical outlets for charging and operating electronic devices. Meals are abundant, delicious and shared in a dedicated dining lodge with views of the Paine Massif’s changing colors and spacious room to lounge, relax, and enjoy great company!
PRICES FOR SEASON 2020/2021: (valid until April 2020)
2 guests: USD$ 1.595 per person
3 guests: USD$ 1.495 per person
4-8 guests: USD$ 1.395 per person
* We can open a new departure for any other dates not shown below. Please contact us to check availability.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES/SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)
Public bus from/to Punta Arenas USD$ 15
Q: Will we need to carry all of our gear with us during the three day excursion or can we leave it at the lodgings/accommodations?
A: Any items that you won´t need during your program, guests are welcome to leave in our office in Puerto Natales. We will keep everything stored securely until your return back from your excursion and can also deliver this to your accommodation if you will be staying the night in Natales. Any luggage/backpacks that you will need to take into the park during your program, you can leave this in your private accommodation in our Riverside Camp or in the vehicle which will be transporting you each day.
Q: Are there restrooms and showers in the Riverside Camp?
A: Yes – there are 2 restrooms and 2 showers per gender in the bath house located in the camp. Hot water is available during the generator’s schedule which functions 08:00 – 23:00. We recommend that you shower at night since your mornings you will be starting early for your days´ excursion.
Q: What is the Riverside Camp like?
A: Chile Nativo Riverside Campsite is our own private home base located within Torres del Paine National Park. Perfect for families or groups, ours is a fully-equipped campsite located on the shores of the Serrano River, away from the buzz of crowded Refugios and campsites. We run all operations in-house, meaning we’re free to work with our own trusted staff, source local products, select the best creature comforts and control all the moving parts that make up an outdoor travel experience. Our double deluxe tents are located on raised platforms, protected against the bracing Patagonian elements. Inside, you’ll find double-height mattresses, cozy down covers and heaters that can be operated during the evening to ensure a warm night’s rest. Permanent, separate male and female bathrooms with hot showers are just a short walk from the tents (please note that electricity and hot water in the campsite runs from 8 AM to 0:00 hrs). Meals are abundant, delicious and shared in a dedicated dining lodge with views of the Paine Massif’s changing colors and spacious room to lounge, relax, and enjoy great company. Our buffet breakfasts, design-your-own packed lunches and chef-prepared three-course dinners are a nourishing mix of local delicacies and high-energy foods to fuel our days’ adventures. Vegans, vegetarians and guests with other dietary needs are more than catered for with a range of alternative milks, gluten free breads, vegan cheeses and soy products. And of course, beer, Chilean wine and Pisco sours mark the perfect end to a day’s trekking. Our own concierge is always onsite to answer questions and to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. With factors such as generators, mosquitos and chilly nights in the mix, our concierge is there to advise when to close mosquito nets, charge electronic devices, close your deluxe tent and turn on the heaters.
Q: Do the deluxe tents have outlets for charging devices? Are the tents heated?
A: Each private deluxe tent has electrical outlets (C & L 220V sockets) for charging electrical devices during the hours the camp generators are operating (08:00 – 23:00). Each private tent is equipped with a small electric space heater with an auto shut-off security feature. This will allow you to heat your tent for the chilly evenings!
Q: Can we choose to kayak during the Fast Track W during the Grey III Navigation?
A: Guests do have the option to kayak on the second day of the program for an additional charge. In order to take part in the kayak excursion at Refugio Grey, guests will disembark at the refugio without their guide and complete the 2.5 hour kayak excursion. For guests who choose to kayak, they will miss the guided hike of the Pingo Valley as the guide and other group members will continue this excursion as normal. After guests complete the kayak excursion, they will return back to the meeting point via the Grey III Navigation to return back to the Riverside Camp as a group.
Q: What time will we finish the trek and arrive back to Puerto Natales on the last day?
A: After completing the last hike to the base of the torres which is a long and vigorous trek, your chauffeur will transfer you all back to Puerto Natales arriving around 18:30hrs. This will allow you time to travel to take a bus Punta Arenas if needed!
Q: Should I tip my guide? If so – how much is appropriate?
A: Tipping can be a delicate subject and many different nationalities have different tipping cultures. Tips or ´propinas´ in Chile, are viewed as a reward for good service. When tipping your guide/s, they should be in Chilean pesos. If you do leave tips in US dollars – make sure the bills are unmarked and undamaged. A good guide who does the job well, has good English and provides a great service, can expect CLP 10,000 to 15,000 a day in total per day from the group. For a good assistant guide, each should get about half that of the guide per day, CLP 5,000 to 8,000 per day. It is usual to leave your driver or chauffeur a tip too. Normally around CLP 2,000 to CLP 3,000 per person. These amounts are merely a source to help you or give you a general idea of what is normal or typical. Of course, tipping is always at the discretion of the group members as to what they deem appropriate for the service they received.
The overall experience we had on the W-Trek tour exceeded our expectations and was the highlight of our 2-week trip! We thoroughly enjoyed the trip itinerary, hiking the various trails and getting to do different things (going on a boat, seeing glaciers, and seeing various wildlife). The camping experience was amazing! We enjoyed the comforts of heated yurts, warm showers, and restaurant quality food! The cooking staff was excellent, very entertaining and personable, great hospitality! The appetizers they prepared were some of our favorite dishes over our entire 2 week trip. The little touches like outlets, lotions, bed warmers, and staff friendliness made for a great stay! We would highly recommend this tour for someone interested in getting the full Patagonia experience. Great accommodations, great food, great people, and a once in a lifetime experience!
Every detail of the trip was seamless! Every transfer was on time, courteous and informative. The accommodations were perfect. The Fast Track domes were SO comfortable and the food amazing.
We have booked several trips in preparation of our holiday in Argentina an d Chile. Without any doubt your organisation is the most professional and empathic experience we had! World top !! They (guides) helped the less experienced hikers (myself) to surpass the harder parts. They were very well informed about the region. They kept a perfect balance between involving in conversations and keeping privacy. The little details (i.e. hot tea on a hike) were very much appreciated, those things help to make the difference. The free beer after a hike was great. If we plan to hike again in Patagonia you will be our first choice! An experience to remember for many years to come!
The trip was simply amazing with special thanks to our wonderful guides Chalo and Vale. I would highly recommend these two incredible people. I really liked the quick response on questions via mail.
A superb and highly memorable trek. Everything was well organised. Itinerary was great. Food was excellent. “Challo” was the prefect guide. From the moment we first met him he was welcoming, enthusiastic and positive. Throughout the trek, he was very helpful, informative and always looked after the group. Huge thanks to Challo for making the trek such a superb experience. All went well pre-trip and Alicia’s communications were excellent and helpful!
Patagonia is an expensive destination and we believe that the fast track W with Chile Nativo was great value for money. Rodrigo, our guide made our trip unforgettable. He is knowledgable, very professional and approachable. He ensured that the trip went smoothly at every stage. We cannot thank him enough for this wonderful experience. Nativo did not disappoint; we received excellent service at every stage of the booking process and during our trip.
It was a great way to see as much of Torres as possible in a short amount of time. The sequencing of the activities was just right. Jorge, our guide handled everything with tact and patience. The man is a professional. He’s funny and kind and knowledgable. Top notch guide.