W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

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Last updated Nov 21, 2023

Planning the W Trek in Torres del Paine can take a long time. Figuring out where to stay, what’s available, and how to book accommodations can be very confusing. We recently completed the trek and wanted to share our experience.

This post is a list of refugios available along the W Trek and all the information needed to make the best decision about your stay. Refugios are listed from East to West, starting with the towers and finishing at Glacier Grey.

General Information

Other than Hotel Las Torres, there are no private rooms in the refugios on the W Trek. Refugio rooms accommodate groups of 4, 6, or 8. Camping is available at all locations. Refugio Curenos does have mountain cabins that can be rented out for 2 or 3 people.

When it comes to camping you can rent only the camping space and bring your gear or rent the gear as well and not have to carry it with you. You will see cost differences below.

All the refugios in the Torres del Paine National Park are operated by two different companies:

  • Refugios Central, Chileno, Cuernos, Frances and Hotel Las Torres are operated by Las Torres.
  • Refugios Paine Grande and Grey are operated by Vertice Travel.

The cost of the stay for all the Las Torres operator refugios is the same. Vertice Travel operated refugios were a little different in cost. All the bookings can be done at the two websites above.

When checking into your accommodation it is mandatory to have your passport and PDI form with you.

Breakfast and dinner are usually served in shifts 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, and 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm.

Wi-Fi at the refugios can be purchased on an hourly basis with a maximum of 10 hrs. for about $20. The Wi-Fi can be shared with others but only one person can use it at a time.

Hot showers are available at all the refugios, some of them do have time limits when power and hot water are available.

Torres Sector Refugios

This is the sector of the towers. It is either the beginning or the end of the W-Trek.

Refugio Torre Central

We stayed at the Refugio Central after the Day 1 hike on the W. This refugio sleeps six people per room, and the rooms are pretty small, so it feels very tight. There is some storage space in the room which makes the room feel even smaller.

Shared bathroom/shower facilities are clean and hot water is available. Electricity is available at the refugios.

Dinner is served buffet style and had the best options from all the refugios we stayed in. However, when we were there, it was Christmas Eve which may be a reason for a little better dinner quality. Because of the Christmas Eve celebration, the staff wanted to have, the kitchen and the bar were closed at 9 pm.

Breakfast and box lunch are the same across all the refugios. For breakfast, you will be served bread, butter, cheese, ham, scrambled eggs, and cereal. The lunch box usually has a sandwich, granola bar, mixed nuts, and candy.

Camping is available at this location. Additional services offered at Central were towel rental for 3000 CLP (~$3.50)and bag storage for 3000 CLP (~$3.50). The mini market has some camping supplies and snacks but minimal.

The view from the refugio is the towers, the best view on the trek.

W Trek
Refugio Torre Central | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

w Trek Accommodation Cost

Campsite

  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 1 person): $82
  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 2 people): $140
  • Campsite Rental (for 1 person): $37
  • Campsite Rental (for 2 people): $50

Lodging Rates

  • Refugio Single Bed in a shared room: $125

Meal Plans

  • Full Board: $88
  • Half Board: $62

During Christmas and New Year

  • Full board (breakfast, box lunch and dinner): USD $124.
  • Half board (breakfast and dinner): USD $97.

Individual Meals

  • Breakfast: USD $24
  • Box Lunch (Lunch to go): USD $29
  • Lunch: USD $44
  • Dinner: USD $44
  • Christmas and New Year dinner: USD $78



Las Torres Hotel

Las Torres Hotel is the only luxury option on the W Trek, and it is very expensive. The hotel location is great for starting the W circuit or for different day hikes and adventures.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and has a high-quality restaurant, spa, outdoor clothing store, and other amenities typical of the hotel anywhere else. Some of the rooms offer great views.

The room cost is between $400 and $730 per night.

Refugio Chileno

Refugio Chileno is located 3 miles into the trail to the towers. This was our first day hike, and Chileno is considered a half point. We did not spend a night here, only refilled our water, bought some snacks, and used the bathroom.

The cost of food and stay is the same as Refugio Torre Central.

Torres del Paine
Refugio Chileno | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

Cuernos Sector

The cuernos sector is the first horizontal part of the W. There are three accommodation options in this sector both camping and refugio as well as mountain cabins.

Refugio Cuernos

We did not stay at Cuernos Refugio, only filled up on water and used their spotless restrooms. During the Cuernos Sector, we stayed at the Frances 2 miles from Cuernos.

The cost of the accommodation and food is the same as Central and Chileno however, Cuernos has 2-3 person mountain cabins for rent. The cost of the cabin is $200 per person.

Frances Refugio

Frances Refugio had the most hospitable staff. Unlike any other refugio, they happily explained everything and helped out wherever needed.

The Frances offers dome accommodations that sleep 8 people per dome, but domes are spacious and it does not feel crowded. Or camping where you can rent a tent or rent the space for your tent.

Torres del Paine
Frances Refugio | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

The downside to the dome accommodations is that for 8 people there is one bathroom and shower for the ladies and one bathroom and shower for the men. Since leaving Frances if going to Britanico needs to start as early as possible, try to be the first one up.

All the facilities were clean and hot water was available for showers.

Dinner was chicken and rice with tomato soup and a spring salad. The snacks for purchase were minimal as this is one of the hardest sections to get to.

The cost of food and stay is the same as Refugio Torre Central.

Torres del Paine
View from the Frances Refugio | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

Italiano Refugio

Refugio Italiano is managed by the National Park services and only offers campsites with rather disgusting facilities. Booking Patagonia is a website through which you can book all the campsites but I haven’t had much luck getting it to work for me.

This refugio is used by most to drop their bags off when hiking up to Viewpoint Britanico. The drop-off location is just a couple of shelves that are really not monitored by anyone, but it is very unlikely that anyone will touch your stuff, hikers’ pact.



Paine Grande Sector

The Paine Grande sector is the middle and the second horizontal part of the W. The only accommodation at the end of this sector is Paine Grande refugio and camping. This is also where the Lake Pehoe ferry leaves from.

Paine Grande Refugio

The only accommodations here are Paine Grande refugio or the campsite. We stayed in the refugio, which accommodated six people per room. The room felt a little more spacious than Refugio Central.

Torres del Paine
Paine Grande Refugio | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

The refugio Paine Grande is by the Lago Pehoe, where the ferry comes in and its mini market was pretty well stocked with food, snacks, and camping supplies.

This was a big complex in comparison to other refugios, and there were some common areas, where groups could hang out, play board games or gather around the furnace.

The dinner was buffet style and had more options than Frances and Grey.

The floor we were staying on had 15-20 rooms and only one bathroom with three stalls and three showers, the same for the opposite sex. The facilities were not the cleanest.

Torres del Paine
Showers at Paine Grande | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

At Paine Grande hot water was available between 1 pm and midnight and power was one between 6 am and midnight.

They also offer to store your big backpack if you want to make it to Grey with only day pack.

W Trek Accommodation Cost

Campsite

  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 1 person): $76
  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 2 people): $120
  • Campsite Rental (for 1 person): $12
  • Campsite Rental (for 2 people): $24

Lodging Rates

  • Refugio Single Bed no bedding in a shared room: $59
  • Refugio Single Bed with bedding in a shared room: $92

Meal Plans

  • Full Board: $61

During Christmas and New Year

  • Full board (breakfast, box lunch and dinner): USD $94.

Individual Meals

  • Breakfast: USD $19
  • Lunch or Box Lunch (Lunch to go): USD $19
  • Dinner: USD $32
  • Christmas and New Year dinner: USD $71



Grey Sector

The grey sector is either the end or the beginning of the W Trek, depending on the direction you are going in. And closest location to the Glacier Grey.

Refugio Grey

Glacier Grey
Refugio Grey | W Trek Accommodations – How to Book and How Much It Costs

Grey is the same as Paine Grande, the only accommodation in town with both refugio and camping accommodations. The refugio rooms accommodate four people per room.

This was a much smaller operation than Paine Grande but still pretty well stocked and only limited shared space area.

The dinner was mashed potatoes and pork with tomato soup.

At Grey hot water and power were available between 6 am and midnight. Grey had the cleanest facilities of all the refugios we stayed at.

W Trek Accommodation Cost

Campsite

  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 1 person): $74
  • Fully Equipped Campsite (for 2 people): $116
  • Campsite Rental (for 1 person): $10
  • Campsite Rental (for 2 people): $20

Lodging Rates

  • Refugio Single Bed no bedding in a shared room: $40
  • Refugio Single Bed with bedding in a shared room: $92

Meal Plans

  • Full Board: $61

During Christmas and New Year

  • Full board (breakfast, box lunch and dinner): USD $94.

Individual Meals

  • Breakfast: USD $19
  • Lunch or Box Lunch (Lunch to go): USD $19
  • Dinner: USD $32
  • Christmas and New Year dinner: USD $71



Overall Cost

For one person to stay at the refugios for 4 nights (including the bedding) and a full board meal plan it costs $732.

For one person to stay at the fully equipped campsites for 4 nights and a full board meal plan, it costs $612. Without the meal plan $314.

For one person to just rent a campsite at 4 different refugios, it costs $96.

Since we started planning our trip a little too late and couldn’t make the refugios work on our own we used a tour company, Chile Tour Patagonia. The Classic W-Trek is $1670 a person. This included the night before and night after the tour accommodation in Puerto Natales, all the refugios, full board, and all the transportation (shuttle, bus and ferry).

Overall Experience

Frances Domos were the coolest and most spacious accommodations. The staff here was the most welcoming and eager to help.

Refugio Torre Central had the best dinner options.

Paine Grande had the best hang-out space.

Refugio Grey was the cleanest.

All the refugios have great views on a clear day. The view enjoyed clear days in Central and Frances with the views of the Towers and Nordenskjöld Lake.

Other helpful posts…

5-Day W-Trek Guide
13-Day Chile Itinerary
16-Day Argentina Itinerary
Things to Do in El Calafate
Wine Road Trip in Chile

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