Day 1: Visit burrowing penguins. Late morning collection from Punta Arenas airport. Drive to see the burrowing Magellanic Penguins at Otway Sound. Continue across the Patagonian Steppe to see some of its unusual plant and animal life. Then we will head on to Puerto Natales, beside the beautiful Last Hope sound. The town is the gateway to Torres del Paine. Here we can wander along the waterfront and dine in one of the town's fine restaurants. The night will be spent at Hotel Weskar. Just a short walk from Puerto Natales, this wooden-built hotel has gorgeous views of Last Hope Sound and, in the distance, the Serrano Glaciar. Rooms are light and airy. Laundry and internet are on site. Dinner included, excluding wine and drinks.
Day 2: Zodiac to Torres del Paine via Bernardo o'Higgins. After breakfast we walk to the Natales pier, where we board a cutter for our amazing cruise up the fjord to Mount Balmaceda and its magnificent hanging glacier, which spills down into the fjord. A short hike takes us up close to the Serrano Glacier, which tumbles down into a lake full of floating icebergs. After lunch we cruise on zodiacs up the Serrano River and into Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, passing the massive Tyndall glacier and ending up in Torres del Paine National Park. Our first night camping is on the bank of the tranquil Serrano River with views across the pampas towards the jagged Paine Massif. Take a stroll or enjoy a glass of wine while dinner is prepared. Facilities include some shelter, bathrooms with hot showers and fire pits. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 3: Cruise to face of Glacier and trek to French Valley. We pack our lunches and transfer to Lago Grey where we will walk along the shores of its grey waters and admire its floating turquoise icebergs. The huge mass of white behind them is Grey Glacier. At 28km long, it is the largest in Torres del Paine. After our walk we will board the new Grey II launch and set off into the iceberg-laden lake towards the calving icewall of the Glacier. The short boat trip will give us up close and personal views of this spectacle as well as stunning views of Paine Grande.
We will then disembark and start the famous Torres del Paine W trek in earnest, continuing on foot along the shores of Grey Lake to the Mirador (look out).One of the classic Torres del Paine treks, this climb out of the valley offers views of Grey glacier, the Patagonian Ice Field and countless mountains. We continue to the vivid blue Lake Pehoe to our campsite close to the lake. Facilities include nearby refugio with bathrooms, hot showers, bar and shop selling beer and snacks. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 4: Trek to French Valley and back. Today we trek up into the French Valley and then along the shore of Lake Nordjenskold. A full day's trekking we will enjoy fantastic views of the granite peaks that make up this enclosed valley as well as the waterscapes below including lakes Pehoe, Scottsburg, Toro, and Nordenskjold. Second night camping at Camping Pehoe. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 5: Trek to camp beneath the Towers. Today we hike through the foothills of the Paine Massif with the milky blue shores of Lake Nordjenskold to our right. The hardy can to swim in its chilly waters as we trek towards the granite spires after which Torres del Paine is named, the Towers of Paine (Las Torres del Paine). We camp in their shadow in an well-equipped camp with full facilities including bathrooms, hot showers, fire pits, nearby refugio and hosteria with bar and small shop. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 6: Trek to the Towers and back to Camp. Today's trekking is the most difficult - and rewarding - as we climb to the Towers themselves. This is a roundtrip trek which takes us into the Ascending Valley and through old beech forests to a moraine field. A steep climb over and around these giant boulders reward us with one of the most amazing views in Torres del Paine. Weather permitting, we will eat our last lunch at this incredible viewpoint. Return to camp for our last night under canvas enjoying a fireside dinner. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 7: Transfer to Punta Arenas. Pack up camp for our transfer back to Punta Arenas airport to arrive early afternoon. Time permitting we will make a short shopping stop in Puerto Natales. Clients will be dropped at the airport for onward flights. Includes: (B).
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