National parks are places where you get to see a lot of exotic flora and fauna. Tours are generally held throughout the world to showcase these natural heritages that define the true magic of nature. The Torres del Paine National Park located in the region of Patagonia in Chile is one of the best national parks that you can encounter in your life. The park has everything from glaciers to lofty mountains and from grasslands that are full of animals to gorgeous views. To show off its beauty and to provide an adventure to the tourists, the park has several hiking trails that you can embark on as well. The W Circuit is regarded as one of the best among them. Wondering why? Well, here’s a really short pocket guide that’ll help you know all about it so that the next time you’re in Chile, you make sure to visit the famous W Circuit!
About The W Circuit
The W Circuit is present in the Torres del Paine National Park and the design of the route is the main cause behind the name. The long trek takes you through the Cuernos del Paine, Francés Valley, and the Grey Glacier. These scenic places are extremely eye soothing and photogenic to every person that visits it. The trek lasts for more than 100 KM, so people need to brace themselves before they embark on this tour. People generally start at Puerto Natales and then follow towards Paine Grande so that they can set out for the trek to Glacier grey. After that, they will generally set out for the other trails that they may cover. This includes a visit to the spectacular Paso, Mirador Frances, Campamento Chileno all of which are great places. People do go back to Puerto Natales once their hike is over. The hike seems possible for anyone who has had prior experience of hiking. But they do need to remember that a lot of their day will be spent on hiking when they are exploring the W Circuit. Tourism companies also organize tours where they provide a basic itinerary for the tourists. People can also book them if they are in need of a guided tour of the circuit.
Best Time To Hike
When you are going to be a part of a hike or a trek you need to find out about the right season. The same thing applies to the W circuit as you may not find it throughout the year. Being a part of the Torres del Paine national park, the best time you may visit it is during the summer season. It lasts from December to March. This is the time when the sun is bright and the days are long. You can actually enjoy activities like hiking and kayaking at this time of the year. If you want to see the flowers, then you may visit the place during springtime. The winter season is a time that everyone should avoid as the weather becomes harsh and also the huts remain closed. So, you wouldn’t really have the best experience if you end up in such bad conditions. Check the internet to read more about the park and also to see the w circuit map.
Cost & Duration Of Trail
We hope that you are planning to visit the national park as a whole because W circuit is just a part of it. So, you are already making some plans and budgets that will include a lot of the park. If we consider only the part of the W circuit, then we will have the cost in terms of accommodation, permit, food and other necessities. A lot of the cost will depend on the number of days you spend in the circuit. It is a long one so you will need at least 5 to 6 days on the trail. In that case, your expenses can be anywhere around 140 CLP. But we cannot strictly tell about the cost as it differs from person to person.
Duration of a trail is pretty important to keep a track of the budget. But in a mountainous area, you can never guess the exact duration. For exploring the W Circuit Torres Del Paine in a nice way one needs to spend at least 5 days and 4 nights on the trail. This will provide them with the leisure to hike for hours but also rest adequately. People may also utilize the time to include some bonus places into their hike. While deciding on the duration one needs to remember that the natural conditions and weather may change anytime. So, do proper research and then book the accommodations.
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Things To See While Hiking
While you are going through the beautiful place you will come across several destinations that you may want to explore and spend more time at. Just like that in the W circuit, you will be amazed to see the natural beauty that is present all over the trail. The beautiful glaciers and the mountains are unique to your experience and they will last with you for a long time. Here are some things that you see:
1. Grey Glacier
This is an iconic glacier that is important to the world. It is the third largest mass of ice present in the world. You can also separately hike to the glacier or even be a part of a kayaking tour. So, choose accordingly and enjoy this place.
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2. French Valley
This valley is present in the middle stretch of the ‘W’. It is an optional place to visit but we wouldn’t recommend you to leave it. It can be a little challenging because of the slipperiness of the snow but it is worthy of it. The valley is extremely beautiful. Mirador is an attraction at this place.
What to Pack For A Trip To W Circuit
When you are going to a place you need to make yourself ready so that you can reach on time and have everything that you may need. On a hiking tour, it is very important to pack well. So, here we will give you a little list of things that you should carry:
- Have a pair of sturdy hiking shoes along with a pair of slippers.
- A few pairs of socks that do not slip easily or retains moisture.
- Clothes that fit your well and are comfortable. Warm clothes to keep you warm during your hike and also at night.
- Do pack hats to keep away from the cold as well as the sun.
- Water bottle and dry foods.
- Toiletries, first aid kit, and medicines that you will need.
- Portable USB charger to charge your phone.
- Take cash as the park doesn’t have ATMs.
Tips For Visiting W Circuit
- We recommend you to take trekking poles along with you as you will trek for a long time. Make sure that they are of good quality.
- Do not compromise your meals as they are your sole source of energy. Do take them on time and eat well throughout the tour.
- Make sure to be safe while on the trek.
- Check for any hostel in W Circuit on the internet to book the accommodations in due time.
So, here is everything that you needed to know about the W circuit. We hope that you have a nice time when you decide to take part in this hike as it is extremely beautiful and we are sure that you’ll have one kick-ass international trip!
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