Truly a backpacking bucket list destination, trekking in Torres del Paine was one of the best weeks of my life. It’s hard, physically and mentally, but it’s a place where you can spend some quality time in nature, experience one of the most beautiful places on earth, and also make some amazing friends!
There are many ways to experience Torres del Paine, but the most common is completing the W or the O Trek. The rough outline is listed below. From there, the W can be completed either direction (I recommend starting West to East so you end on the Torres), and you can book camping, refugios, guided tours and more! No matter what trek you do, Puerto Natales will be your home base.
While the hiking is strenuous, we saw people of all ages and fitness levels out there trekking! You have a ton of daylight every day, which helps
W and O Treks
The O Trek
Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. Hike to Campamento Seron
Day 2: Hike to Refugio Dickson
Day 3: Hike to Camping los Perros
Day 4: Leave early to cross the John Gardner Pass. Hike to Refugio Grey
Day 5: Morning Kayak at the Glacier (weather permitting). Hike to Refugio Paine Grande
Day 6: Hike to Italiano and Drop off Pack. Hike Mirador Britanico and then continue to Refugio Frances or Cuernos (recommend Cuernos)
Day 7: Hike to Refugio Central
Day 8: Start early to summit Base Las Torres. Catch the bus back to Puerto Natales
The W Trek
(Note, this itinerary is West to East, with a bonus day from most itineraries!)
Day 1: Bus from Puerto Natales to Pudeto. Take the boat to Refugio Paine Grande. Hike around Paine Grande.
Day 2: Hike to Refugio Grey. Set up camp and continue to both suspension bridges and Mirador
Day 3: Morning Kayak at the Glacier (weather permitting). Hike to Refugio Paine Grande
Day 4: Hike to Italiano and Drop off Pack. Hike Mirador Britanico and then continue to Refugio Frances or Cuernos (recommend Cuernos, it’s a little farther but a much nicer refugio)
Day 5: Hike to Refugio Central
Day 6: Start early to summit Base Las Torres. Catch the bus back to Puerto Natales
I could talk for days about trekking Patagonia, but thought I’d cover my top 5 tips here!
- Reserve early – I used a third party website to help confirm all my reservations, otherwise you need to go to multiple companies on your own. Campsites fill up so this isn’t a last minute trip!
- Pack appropriately – check out my packing guide here. Make sure it’s not your first time using ANY of your gear! I met someone who had never used trekking poles before and she looked miserable
- Train – while the hiking is doable for most healthy people, it’s a lot of days with a weighted pack, elevation changes, and unstable terrain. Find a training plan that works for you! I find I need a lot of glute work before a backpacking trip.
- Check the weather – while your there, you should be able to check the weather reports each day at the refugio. This will help you determine what time to start your hikes to get the best chances of cloudless views! We found the weather reports at the refugios to be super accurate
- Enjoy the Hike! – It’s hard, but it’s also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There’s no rush, stop and enjoy the flowers, the plants, the wild weather, the rocks, and the people you’re with!
Want a Complete Guide to Patagonia?
Find my complete 30+ page guide for exploring Patagonia on Etsy! Includes detailed itineraries and insights on trekking Torres del Paine, Backpacking Packing Lists, Hikes in El Chalten, Food Recommendations, safety info, and more!
Follow Along on Instagram
Check Out My Other Adventures
Two Week Patagonia Itinerary – Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier, El Chalten and Mount Fitz Roy
10 Day North Island New Zealand Road Trip
Perfect Girls Weekend in Nashville Tennessee
How to Hike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Camping and Hiking in Yosemite National Park in California
French Riviera Road Trip Monaco, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse
Two Days in Cinque Terre
What to do in Two Days in Milan Italy
Ultimate Guide to 10 Days in Thailand Islands Temples and City
Long Weekend in New Orleans Itinerary