Patagonia Winter Adventures
Winter W Trek
5 Day Multisport
Enjoy the peaceful winter season with this Torres del Paine trekking adventure. Hike to lakes, glaciers, forests and the Park’s spectacular French Valley on this active program at a time when there will be few others enjoying the park
DAY 1, MONDAY - PUNTA ARENAS-PUERTO NATALES
The trip begins with your morning pick up from the Punta Arenas airport or your Punta Arenas hotel, and journey to Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza". Here, we’ll enjoy a hearty local lunch, and afterward you will be driven to your hotel. Your winter journey brings with it the short, intense days of Patagonia’s colder months - which are very different from its longer, lighter summer days. As we know, the south is a land of extremes!
Overnight at Hotel Martin Gusinde
DAY 2, TUESDAY - TREK BASE OF THE TOWERS
Today we depart early in the morning to Torres del Paine National Park and our goal for the day, the base of the Towers!
After leaving our luggage in the Refugio Central, we will walk towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic base-view of the Towers - three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley to the refugio for a well-deserved dinner and to rest for the next day’s adventure.
Overnight at Refugio Central
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY - LOS CUERNOS TRAIL
Today we start the day with a pleasant walk through the Cuernos Trail which leads us alongside the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this walk we will have the opportunity to admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna, as we enjoy the magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. The trek ends at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain refuge located by the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. The evening is free for relaxing and enjoying dinner. Overnight Refugio Cuernos
DAY 4, THURSDAY- THE PAINE MASSIF’S HEART: VALLE FRANCES
After breakfast at Refugio Los Cuernos, we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group's trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley's geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and to relax a while. This day's trek will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande.
N.B. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico may be available weather and time permitting.
Overnight Refugio Paine Grande
DAY 5, FRIDAY, GREY GLACIER
Today we hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. Along the trek we will have different views of this breathtaking glacier, as well as the chance to enjoy perspectives of the Southern Ice Fields.
Once we arrive, those who still want to walk will have the chance to approach the glacier from different lookouts.
Overnight Refugio Grey
DAY 6, SATURDAY, GREY GLACIER
After breakfast we will board the boat that sails right up to the huge, crystalline facade of Grey Glacier, where we will have plenty of time to marvel at the calving glacier. From the southern end of Grey Glacier, we will transfer to Puerto Natales to enjoy a free afternoon.Overnight at Hotel Martin Gusinde
DAY 7, SUNDAY - BACK TO PUNTA ARENAS
We board a morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight.
2017 Dates: May 15th & 29th, 2017, June 12th & 26th, 2017, July 10th & 24th, 2017, August 7th & 21st, 2017
RATES 2017 : (p.p. = per person)
Base rate - with 4 or more people: CLP 1,190,000 p.p
group supplement if only 2 people: CLP 334,000 p.p
group supplement if only 3 people: CLP 130.000 p.p
Hotel Sgl Supp: CLP 36,400
***Please make sure your flight arrives before 11hrs to Punta Arenas airport and leaves after 16 hrs on the last day.
Children 14 years and older are ok, but pay as adults
In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia, transport is in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 people.
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. In addition, the strong marine influence and the effect of the Southern Patagonia Ice field make the weather hard to predict. Winter’s temperature rage is between -2ºC/28ºF and 6ºC/43ºF. June, July and August are the wettest months in Torres del Paine and sub-zero temperatures are common. Nevertheless the winds are relatively mild in winter. Just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become lovely and sunny. So come prepared for all types of weather!
This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. To enjoy this trek, it’s essential to be in good shape before you arrive. It’s not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of physical exercise well before departure.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
Passengers need to be prepared for winter. Essential equipment includes a one day backpack (10 liters - to carry camera, glasses, rain coat, etc), trekking or hiking boots, extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet, warm waterproof jacket, two pairs of woolen socks, fleece jacket or sweater, shorts or comfortable loose pants, sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm and sunscreen) and optional Capilene underwear for the upper and lower body.
The weather in Patagonia can be difficult to deal with at times. We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based on safety/weather considerations.
Day 1, Arrival
Upon arrival at Punta Arenas airport you will be met by a representative and driven to your hotel in the city. After a chance to leave your luggage and freshen up you’ll be taken on an afternoon city tour to see the highlights of Punta Arenas including the central square and its monuments, the panoramic viewpoint at the top of Cross Hill and the famous cemetery. The evening is free for you do continue exploring at your own leisure or try the hotel's swimming pool with a view over the Magellan Strait. Overnight at Hotel Cabo de Hornos 4* (1st option) in Punta Arenas
Day 2, Kayaking
Today’s an early start and after breakfast at your hotel you head off on an exciting kayak adventure! Leaving at 7am you’ll be driven 65 km south of Punta Arenas (approximately one hour’s journey) to the San Isidro cape, a beautiful pristine area home to marine fauna and evergreen forest landscapes lining the sea shore. After preparing the equipment (everything is provided for you) and a short safety briefing off you go! Hopefully you’ll see schools of dolphins swimming through the water as you kayak past and sea birds roaming the skies overhead. The excursion will be accompanied at a distance by a zodiac boat which will carry lunch and also serve in case of emergency. After two hours you’ll arrive at the San isidro lighthouse where you’ll do a short walk and visit the lighthouse before enjoying a tasty lunch and some relax time in a sheltered area. After lunch it’s time to paddle back to the starting point then celebrate the 20 km and approximately 6 hours paddling kayak adventure with a group beer before heading back to Punta Arenas. We arrive back at the hotel at approximately 9pm.
Day 3, Trek to Dorotea Mountain
After breakfast you start the scenic journey to Puerto Natales, enjoying panoramic views of the Patagonian steppe and the wild animals roaming through the plains including Ñandú (similar to ostrich) and guanacos (lama family). Upon arrival in Puerto Natales you’ll have time to look around and explore this European immigrant hub, founded in the early 20th century as a sheep farming port. After lunch warm up your legs for your hike on Cerro Dorotea, a small mountain overlooking Puerto Natales. Here you’ll find the best lookout of the city, and be made to feel small by the immensity of the fjords and surrounding peaks. A top idea is to start the hike from a local estancia, and take a moment to get insight into the life of a Patagonian baqueano (farmer). No need to come packed down with technical climbing equipment. With a 700m ascent and 4-5 hour duration, hiking Cerro Dorotea is relatively easy: let your feet do the guiding as you pass diverse landscapes, from lush green old lenga forest to vast pampa. Once you arrive at the lookout, reward yourself with an energizing lunch and take time to relax, and breathe in the view. But keep your eyes peeled: If luck is on your side, you may be paid a visit from the famous condor! Overnight at Hotel Costa Australis 4* (1st option) in Puerto Natales
Day 4, Torres del Paine
Today’s the big adventure as you head to the famous Torres del Paine national park! After a 2 hour scenic drive to the park, covering 130 km of open Patagonian land, you will be greeted by the long anticipated majestic view of the Torres themselves - 3 dominating granite peaks formed by the remains of glacial ice erosion. First though, there are a few stops en route. Shortly after leaving Puerto Natales you’ll stop at Milodon cave, a prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. A replica of the ground sloth can be found in the cave. After a further 30 minutes journey you’ll arrive at the 2nd stop, Cerro castillo, a tiny border town between Chile and Argentina with a little cafe to enjoy a tea or coffee.
Next stop Torres del Paine! You’ll arrive at the Laguna Amarga sector and enjoy views of the grandiose Paine massif with its snow capped peaks and sharply contrasted rock colours. It’s highly probable you’ll see Andean Condors and small foxes. You’ll drive along the shores of Nordenskjold and Pehoé lakes, enjoying views of guanaco herds and ñandús, and feel the strong winds in the park as you disembark from the vehicle to do a short walk to the beautiful Salto Grande waterfall with its cascading white water. The view of the Cuernos (horns) is incredible from this point. In the afternoon you continue westwards towards Grey lake where you do an hour and a half walk to a viewpoint over the brilliantly blue icebergs which have floated down the lake from the glacier. The walk itself is stunning, a winter wonderland of Lenga forests, frosty leaves and glacial views. After this spectacular sight you begin the drive back to Puerto Natales.Overnight at Hotel Costa Australis 4* (1st option) in Puerto Natales
Day 5, Departure
After breakfast you’ll check out of your hotel and be driven to the airport to catch your return flight. Adios Patagonia!
Regular Departures: Every day on request.
Prices per person in Chilean pesos, valid from 1st of May, 2016 to 31st of August 2016
Starting / Finishing Points
The trip starts at the Airport of Punta Arenas.