SOUTHERN CHILEAN PATAGONIA

Torres del Paine W Circuit + Penguins

W Circuit Patagonia Tour

Ultimate W Circuit ✧ Glacier Trekking & Kayaking ✧ Penguins ✧ Strait of Magellan

Book Here

14 Total Spots

$6500 per person

OCT 28 – NOV 6, 2024

$850 Deposit required to hold your spot.

Final balance due 90 days before travel (July 28, 2024).

Please view our Booking Terms here.

Trip Information

SOUTHERN CHILEAN PATAGONIA

Oct 28 - Nov 6, 2024

Highlights
  • Explore the Strait of Magellan by boat and coastline
  • Walk amongst thousands of penguins on Isla Magdalena
  • Watch for wildlife including sea lions, dolphins, and whales
  • Visit the iconic Austral Brewery and taste the Calafate from the tap!
  • Trek the entire W Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Sleep cozy in the BEST accommodations the W Circuit has to offer
  • Hike TWO extra valleys seldom experienced along the W
  • Walk into and over ice caves on the majestic Glacier Grey
  • Kayak through icebergs in front of Glacier Grey
  • Tour the farthest reaches of Glacier Grey by boat
OVERVIEW

You asked for a Torres del Paine W Circuit PLUS penguins, and we heard you!

Get ready, because we’ve created a trip with the BEST highlights of Southern Chilean Patagonia – exploring the Strait of Magellan, walking amongst penguins, AND having a complete “Ultimate” W Circuit experience in Torres del Paine. Because no W Circuit is truly complete without immersing yourself in the heartbeat of the park itself: the majestic Glacier Grey.

We’ll start by welcoming you to the very southern end of the American continent, where we’ll explore both the waters and coastline of the Strait of Magellan, enjoying breath-taking views of Tierra del Fuego archipelago to the south, watching for wildlife in and above the waves, standing in the most important historical place in all of Chilean Patagonia, and toasting a beer in the Southernmost brewery in the world (and one of the oldest in Chile).

After saying goodbye to the penguins, we’ll take a little road trip north to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. Our W Circuit begins with a trek up a glacier valley to the iconic Towers and a two-night stay at the site of the original homestead in this area, a place where horses roam during the day and wild animals come to life at night. We continue on to a secret valley that almost no visitors to Torres del Paine even know exist, before arriving to our next accommodations, which will surely become one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever lay your head.

We will complete the entire W Circuit, but it’s not over when we reach the end. Nope, in our “Ultimate” experience, we’ll spend an extra day at Glacier Grey, the heartbeat of Torres del Paine National Park, so we can fully immerse ourselves in its wonder – trekking on the glacier, kayaking through the icebergs, and even hiking to the suspension bridges that boast the most spectacular views from above the glacier.

One final boat ride will take us close to the front of the farthest tongue of the glacier, a sight most visitors don’t get to see. We’ll return to civilization in Puerto Natales for one last evening of celebrating having finished the circuit together before we part ways.

This itinerary (in Jackie’s opinion!) includes the BEST way to experience the highlights of Southern Chilean Patagonia in 10 days. According to her, no W Circuit is truly complete without spending quality time with Glacier Grey.

Incredible. Exceeded all expectations. The guides and people we met made this trip what it was! Great balance of hiking and relaxing, rustic and luxury, quiet time and culture.

  • When you land in Punta Arenas, your guide and driver will pick you up and take you to our hotel downtown. This evening we’ll meet the group for a welcome dinner.

    • Meals: Welcome Dinner
    • Accommodation: Hotel Cabo de Hornos or similar
    • Total Driving Time: Approx. 20 minutes
  • This morning we’ll drive south of Punta Arenas about 52 km to the Parque del Estrecho de Magallanes (Park of the Strait of Magellan) where Fort Bulnes is located. It is a reconstruction of the first settlements in 1843 when the Chilean government decided to take possession of the Strait of Magellan and establish sovereignty (the first stronghold of Chile, and the region). You will be transported back to the 19th century, reliving the efforts and sacrifices of the first settlers who arrived in this inhospitable and wild land.

    In addition to its historical heritage, Parque del Estrecho is located in a breathtaking position along the cliffs and bays of the tip of the South American continent. We will explore two trails along the coast, immersing ourselves in the soul-embracing beauty of the end of the world. From here, you can see the snow-capped mountains of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago rising from the crisp, blue waters to the south, and feel the famous wild winds of Southern Patagonia.

    After our outdoor explorations, we’ll head inside to the park’s café overlooking the cove where the first boat came ashore, perhaps we’ll even see whales from the gorgeous bay windows as we warm up over hot chocolate and a light lunch.

    Next up – beer time! This afternoon we’ll head to the famous Austral Brewery, which was founded in 1896 by José Fischer, a German master brewer, who arrived in Punta Arenas with the goal of establishing the country’s first brewery. With this dream in mind, José founded “Cervecería La Patagona”, currently known as Cervecería Austral, the southernmost brewery in the world.

    The brewery has been located in the same place since its founding year, however, the city grew and grew around it, placing it in the middle of Punta Arenas and marking Austral as a symbol for the city and the region. We’ll taste a variety of their beers, such as: Lager, Calafate, Patagona 508, Yagán, Rhubarb, and Torres del Paine, which was awarded by the World Beer Awards as the best beer in its Helles Bock category. Salud!

    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner (Lunch at the cafe is up to your appetite for this first day!)
    • Accommodation: Hotel Cabo de Hornos or similar
    • Total Driving Time: Approx. 2 hours
  • Today we head out early, because we can’t wait any longer to see penguins! Our private transfer will take us north of Punta Arenas about 25 km, and there we will get on a boat (along with other groups) bound for Magdalena and Marta Islands.

    Magdalena Island welcomes more than 60,000 penguins every year, and Marta Island is home to more than 1,500 sea lions. We start this unique adventure at Bahía Laredo where we’ll board our speedboat. The ride to Magdalena Island takes about 45 minutes, and there we disembark for a 1-hour walk around the island. Our guide along with our boat guides join us for this walk among the natural habitat of the Magellanic Penguins. This is one of the largest colonies in South America. After getting up close and personal with penguins all along our walk, we then go back to the boat and continue our journey to Marta Island to see Sea Lions (weather permitting), imperial cormorants, and hundreds of southern seagulls. If we’re lucky, we may even spot an Elephant Seal, Southern Dolphins, Overas Dolphins, and Sei Whales!

    At the end of the boat tour, we’ll head back to the dock and load up in our private transfer to begin our journey north to Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way, we’ll pass through Puerto Natales, located on the Ultima Esperanza Sound, before heading the rest of the way to the park where our cozy hotel and dinner awaits.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres
    • Total Driving Time: Approx. 5 hours
  • We’ll start our trek with the most iconic hike of the park – to the base of the Towers. Our hike begins with a steep ascent underneath the hanging glacier of Almirante Nieto (8,700 ft) with beautiful views of lake Nordenskjöld. After about an hour and a half we reach Refugio El Chileno, where we will have access to bathrooms. We will be able to refill water bottles along the trail, which continues through a beech forest (1 hour) to the base of the moraine, where we’ll find one more challenging ascent (45 min) to the base of the towers. This lookout “Mirador Base Torres” or “Base of Torres del Paine” is one of the most impressive in the park. From here we can see Torre Sur (9,350 ft), Torre Central (9,200 ft), Torre Norte (8,530 ft), Cerro Nido de Cóndor, and the glacial lake that lies below. We will return the same way we came up and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

    • Activity: 9 hours of hiking – 18 km/12 miles – elevation gain: 800 m/ 2625 ft
    • Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres
  • Today we get to hike through a valley that few people even know exist within the park: Bader Valley. To fully experience the beauty of Bader Valley, we must begin our hike early in the morning from Hotel Las Torres. This hidden gem of a valley is situated parallel to the well-known French Valley, within the Torres del Paine W Circuit, yet tucked away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist spots.

    Bader Valley offers a breathtaking amphitheater of towering granite peaks nestled between the majestic Los Cuernos and Almirante Nieto mountains. As we hike, the immense vertical walls surrounding us will make us feel small in comparison. We begin this adventure by following a trail along the shores of Nordenskjöld lake. After approximately four hours of trekking towards Los Cuernos Mountain Lodge, we will veer to the north and begin a steep ascent, granting us stunning views of the turquoise southern lakes of Torres del Paine. After about an hour and a half, we will arrive at a wooded area near the Bader stream, offering close-up views of the Eastern Horn (Cuerno Este) and panoramic sights of Mount Balmaceda, Chacabuco Range, Sierra del Toro, and the vibrant Sarmiento, Toro, Nordenskjöld, and Pehoe lakes.

    After a nice lunch stop to soak in all the views, we will hike back to Nordenskjöld Lake and make our way once again towards our destination for the evening: Los Cuernos, concluding an unforgettable journey through the rugged beauty of Bader Valley. The perfect place to rest awaits us tonight – cozy cabins set on the mountainside, just beneath the famous Cuernos “horns” and right next to a waterfall.

    • Activity: 12 hours of hiking – 22 km/14 miles – elevation gain: 600 m/ 2100 ft
    • Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Cabañas Los Cuernos (2-bed cabins)
  • This is a big day, as we set out for the beautiful French Valley. Our route today takes us deep inside the heart of the Paine Massif (the middle of the “W”), on an out and back trail into the Valle Francés (French Valley) and the incredibly impressive Británico viewpoint (weather permitting). In this natural basin ringed by the black slate “horns” of the Cuernos del Paine, we walk beneath the glacier-covered slopes of Cerro Paine Grande (9,364 ft), the highest summit in the range, and take in panoramic vistas of this extraordinary range.

    Two different hiking options are available (weather permitting): we can hike to the first plateau and enjoy spectacular views of the Paine Grande west face with its hanging glacier, or we can continue up to the mirador (viewpoint) above Camp Británico—another 3-hour roundtrip hike—for one of the most impressive views of the W! This lookout is considered by many as one of the most incredible spots in the park. At Mirador Británico, you can see Paine Grande, Cerro Hoja, Cerro Máscara, Cerro Catedral, Cerro Aleta de Tiburón, Cuerno Norte, and more.

    Before we do the out and back, we will leave our big packs at Italian Camp and only take what we need to complete the trail into French Valley. We will return back to Italian Camp to collect our packs and continue on to our accommodations for the night: Refugio Paine Grande, the biggest refugio on the Circuit, at the shore of the emerald-colored Pehoe Lake.

    • Activity: (Option 1: 10 miles hiking, 8 hours, 1,200 ft elevation gain; Option 2: 15 miles, 10-12 hours, 2,500 ft elevation gain)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande (in 2-4 bed shared dorm)
  • Today we officially finish the famous W Circuit as we hike from Refugio Paine Grande north towards Grey Lake, getting our first glimpses of the incredible Glacier Grey. We’ll descend towards Lago Grey, viewing icebergs from above and the Andes range beyond, eventually arriving to the cozy Refugio Grey, our home for the next two nights. But before we cozy up, we’ll get to experience the other-worldly ice hike at Glacier Grey. This activity lasts approximately 5 hours. The excursion begins with a short boat ride with our glacier guides towards the glacier. Once ashore near the glacier, we will don our crampons and hike to the ice. This route, which changes each season depending on which access to the ice is best, could be uphill in rocky terrain with medium difficulty. Once on the ice, we will explore the glacier and all its marvelous contours for about an hour and a half. We’ll return by the same route back to Refugio Grey for dinner.

    • Activity: 4 hours of hiking – 12 km /8 miles – elevation gain: 300 m/ 1000 ft // 5-hour ice hike excursion
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Refugio Grey (in 4-bed shared dorm)
  • In this ideal spot between glaciers, mountains, and forests, we have a day to continue immersing ourselves in the raw and powerful beauty of Glacier Grey. In the morning, we’ll suit up for kayaking and hit the waters, navigating icebergs and enjoying views from the bay directly in front of the glacier.

    In the afternoon, we’ll have an opportunity to hike to two of the suspension bridges high above Glacier Grey,  with some of the most spectacular views of the glacier. This trail is part of the O Circuit and is rarely frequented by W hikers. The bridges and the trail to them are an adventure in themselves!

    • Activity: Kayaking 2.5 hours, Hiking to the suspension bridges 4 hours, 7 km/4.5 miles, 1,000 ft elevation gain
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Refugio Grey (in 4-bed shared dorm)
  • On our last morning in the park, we will have the morning to relax and pack up before heading once again to the shores of Lago Grey for our boat. This boat ride gives us the opportunity to see Glacier Grey one last time, to the far reaching tongues of the glacier that few travelers get to experience, before taking us the length of the lake to the shores of Hotel Grey. Upon reaching Grey Beach, we will walk for about 30 minutes to the parking lot where we will reunite with our driver who will take us to the town of Puerto Natales for the night.

    As this is our last evening together as a group, we’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner.

    • Total travel time: Boat 1.5 hours, Driving 2 hours
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Accommodation: Hotel The Veat or similar
  • After breakfast, we will depart the hotel together and drive directly to the PUQ airport in Punta Arenas (or Puerto Natales for anyone departing from PNT) for your onward travels.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Transport: 3 hours to Punta Arenas airport, arriving by noon. (Return/Onward flights can be safely booked for 2pm onward).

WOW!!! Where do I even begin… Torres del Paine was stunning and the trip was expertly planned. Our team was able to complete both the O and W circuit and had some of the top guides in the area, if not *the best* guides in the area. Every day the trip had small surprises that increased the enjoyment of the trip and kept me excited and wondering “what’s next”? Each evening our group was given priority in many of the refugios and we were able to take advantage of all that the trail had to offer. I will definitely recommend Jackie and Jump Adventures to other adventurers and I hope to do more Jump trips too! I have no suggestions for improvement at all, the trip was fantastic and more fun in all ways than I was anticipating. Do this trip!

TRIP COST: $6500 per person

WHAT’S INCLUDED
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Meals as stated
  • All accommodations as stated. Refugio beds include linens.
  • Private group transport roundtrip to/from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park/Puerto Natales
  • Safe extra luggage storage during hike
  • Excursion to Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta to see Penguins
  • Austral Brewery Tour
  • Torres del Paine Park entrance
  • Ice trek at Glacier Grey
  • Kayaking at Glacier Grey
  • Water during vehicle transport (clean drinking water will be available through the entire hike – bring your reusable water bottles)
  • First aid kit & radio for emergencies
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights, baggage fees, delay costs
  • Public transportation outside of itinerary
  • Travel insurance, medical insurance including Covid-19, immunizations, visas, passports
  • Single rooms are NOT available on this itinerary due to remote accommodations
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Alcohol, beverages and meals not included in the standard menu
  • Personal expenses and equipment

All I can say about Chile and Patagonia is….breathtaking beyond words, but also complicated logistically if you don’t understand how things work, especially if you don’t speak the language and have a complicated itinerary. Even though I don’t tend to gravitate towards anything with groups, especially travel, this changed my perspective completely. The ease of travel because of preparations by Jackie and camaraderie of the group enhanced this trip tremendously!

  • Arrival AND Departure airport for this itinerary: Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ).

    Airfare is not included. You can fly with Sky Airlines or LATAM from Santiago (SCL) to Punta Arenas (PUQ) if you choose to purchase your in-country flights separately.

    We are happy to review your potential flight schedule for you to make sure you’re getting the right times, dates, and airports!

  • Deposits are non-refundable. Please click here to view our Booking Terms & Conditions. Each participant is highly encouraged to purchase CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason insurance) as soon as you book your trip, to protect your travel investment as well as have personal luggage and medical coverage, not to mention peace of mind! Click here to get quotes from our trusted travel insurance partner.

  • Please see Chile’s Official Travel Website for all things Covid in Chile. 

    Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for all questions and concerns regarding cancellations. Deposits are non-refundable, which is why we highly recommend purchasing CFAR travel insurance as soon as you book your trip.

  • We will hike approximately 60 miles during our 10-day trip. This is a big deal and will be a huge accomplishment! On top of hiking, you will also carry your own pack while trekking in Torres del Paine.

    A proficient hiking level and physical fitness is crucial for this trip. We recommend training – getting some good hikes in beforehand and possibly some long runs or workouts to prepare for this amount of trekking.

    It’s also a great idea to practice hiking in the shoes or boots you plan to wear, as you will be in them for a majority of the time. It’s worth being in great shape so you can recover quickly and feel your best every day on the trail, and so we can keep the group together with a good pace.

    We specifically recommend nuun tablets for electrolyte replacement and hydration during the days, compression socks to wear each evening for improved blood flow and fast recovery, and emergen-C packets to start each day with a boost of energy. These are in addition to physical fitness, they do NOT replace your training!

  • We’re proud to be working with the same dependable guides we’ve been working with since the beginning of our group adventures in Patagonia. Our guides are the best in the business, with the highest level of certification, including Wilderness First Responder, and all are graduates of the Chilean and Argentine Mountain Guides Association. They are experts in regional flora and fauna, and they can provide a deep understanding of the geological forces that created the magnificent landscapes that make up Patagonia. They are also are enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable, well-connected, and a lot of fun to spend time with.

    You are in the BEST hands!

    JUMP Trip Leader to be announced.

  • We will be carrying all of our own gear during the entirety of the trek, so be prepared to pack ultra light! Packing list will be provided to registered participants.

    • Trail Safety: Rescues are extremely difficult in Patagonia. Take your time, with steady steps, and take care of each other out there.
    • WiFi/Cell Service: WiFi is available most nights at our accommodations, although it comes with fees and limited access inside the park. Cell service is hard to come by in Patagonia. Be ready to be off grid during most of the trip.
    • Outlets: Chile uses plug types C and L (two and three round-pronged outlets). You will need an adapter similar to the one you use in Europe. We also recommend bringing a fully-charged mobile power bank as access to outlets will be very limited.
    • Water: Drinkable water will be available throughout the entire trip. We’re proud to pledge to Travelers Against Plastic, and you are invited to join us as we give the planet a break by bringing reusable water bottles to avoid using single-use plastic bottles at all costs.
  • Click here to read our Booking Terms & Conditions.

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