Do you plan to hike W-Trek in Torres del Paine and need help you with your preparations?
We have compiled a list with the answers to the most frequently asked questions that come up when planning to travel to Patagonia and hike the W-Trek in Torres de Paine.
1. When Is the Best Time to Hike the W-Trek?
Patagonia’s weather is famous for producing four seasons in one day and there is no “perfect time” to visit Torres del Paine. The park’s main season is from October to April but you can visit Torres del Paine all year round. The summer months (December to February) are the busiest and this is the period with the warmest temperatures. Autumn (March to May) is especially popular for photographers as leaves start to change their colors and landscapes look particularly beautiful. For those who want to avoid the crowds hiking the W-Trek during winter season (June to August) is a great and more adventurous option. During Spring (September to November) Torres del Paine’s flowers begin to bloom and animals are in the mating period.
2. How Is the Weather in Torres del Paine?
Patagonia weather is characterized by unpredictable temperatures and changeable wind, sun, rain and snow conditions all year round. During the summer months (Oct-April) temperatures vary between highs of 18-20 °C (67-74 °F) to night-time lows of 8-12 °C (45-55 °F). During the winter months, winds die down and the weather is generally more stable, despite cooler temperatures and higher chances of snowfall. Average high temperatures in winter range from highs of 14-16 °C (55-60 °F) to lows of 3-4 °C (35-40 °F).
3. What Do I Need to Bring for the W-Trek?
When packing for a trip to Patagonia you should prepare to experience all 4 seasons in one day. Expect rain, sun, wind, snow, heat and cold. It is recommended to dress in layers to be able to adapt easily for changing climate conditions during the day. Clothing should be wind resistant and generally quick-dry clothing is recommend instead of using cotton. To avoid blisters and walk comfortably recently bought hiking boots should be broken-in beforehand. For more details check our packing list.
4. How Long Does It Take to Hike the W-Trek?
The total length of the W-Trek is roughly 64 km / 40 miles and you can complete the W-Trek in four or five days, however the most common time is 5 days.
Hiking distances per day are as follows:
Day 1: 8-10 hours, 22 km / 13.7 miles
Day 2: 4-5 hours, 13 km / 8 miles
Day 3: 8-9 hours, 18 km / 11.2 miles
Day 4: 4 hours, 11 km / 6.8 mikes
5. How Difficult Is the W-Trek?
The W-Trek is not a difficult or technical hike, but it requires some spirit of adventure. You need to be reasonably fit and used to hike around 8-10 hours and up to 22 km / 13.7 km per day. There is no need to worry about altitude in Patagonia as the highest you will get along the W-trek is about 915 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level.
6. Where Will I Overnight During the W-Trek? Where Will I Eat?
Along the route of the W-Trek you can overnight at refugios or campsites. Our treks usually include overnights at refugios which are comfortable mountain huts with shared bunk-bed style rooms. Bathrooms are shared and have hot water showers. When refugios are not available anymore, we offer alternative accommodation in cabins or camping and in the latter case all camping equipment will be provided for you. You don’t have to bring any camping gear nor carry heavy equipment. While in the park, breakfast and dinner will be served in the refugios and each day you will be provided a box-lunch to take on the trail.
7. Where Can I Leave Luggage I Don't Need During the W-Trek?
If hiking the W-Trek is part of a longer trip, you will probably travel with lot of luggage you won’t need during the trek. If organizing your trek with us, you can safely store everything you don’t need during your trek at our partner’s office in Puerto Natales.
8. Is the W-Trek the Right Choice? I Am Also Considering Doing the "O".
Both the W-Trek as well as the O-Circuit cover amazing trails and landscapes. The O-Circuit actually is a loop that includes the W-Trek’s trails plus hiking around the northern part of the Paine Massif where you will encounter less fellow hikers. Due to its longer duration, the O-Circuit is more demanding than the W-Trek and accommodation will be in camping instead of refugios. We have put together a guide that compares the main characteristics of the W-Trek and the O-Circuit and helps you find out which is the better fit for you!
9. Should I Take a Guided W-Trek?
The most popular way to hike the W-Trek is in the company of an English-Speaking Expert Guide who knows the Patagonian climate and Torres del Paine’s trails by heart. Your guide will take care of your well-being during the trek and point out the amazing Patagonian flora and fauna along the trail. With their trained eye guides will often spot wildlife you won’t notice if hiking alone. We believe that hiking with a guide enhances your experience in Torres del Paine, however if traveling in a group is not your thing a Self-Guided Trek is a great alternative.
10. Will I Be Fine Hiking the W-Trek as a Solo Traveler?
No need to worry if you do not have a travel companion. Solo travel in Patagonia is safe and easy! Around half of the bookings and request we receive come from hikers traveling solo. Solo travelers can join a group tour and explore Torres del Paine with other like-minded hikers and for more independent hikers self-guided trips are a convenient alternative. Here you find a list of 3 trekking packages we especially recommend to solo travelers who are planning to visit Torres del Paine.