If you’re an outdoor lover, no doubt you’ve heard of the W Trek in Chile’s Patagonia region.
This famous hike is most commonly completed over four to five days and is so named because the route makes the shape of a ‘W’.
The trail has no shortage of photo opportunities, taking you past snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and glaciers as you negotiate pretty streams, suspension bridges and rocky paths.
Here’s 10 reasons why you should add the W Trek to your travel bucket list.
1. The terrain is incredibly diverse
You’ll never get bored on the W Trek as you traverse 70km of epic landscapes.
There’s mountains, lakes, streams, glaciers and waterfalls. Team these up with suspension bridges, log crossings, and 360 degree views and you have one amazing hike.
The weather is also incredibly diverse so from hour to hour, you’re not sure what you’ll be facing. It could be a perfectly sunny day without a cloud, or it could be cold rain freezing you to the bone as the wind tries to blow you over.
No doubt it will be an experience you will never forget and it’s definitely character building!
2. You get to hike past snow-capped mountains the whole trek
Get your camera ready – there’s a photo opportunity at every turn on the W Trek. Snow capped mountains surround you throughout the trail – and you’ll get up close and personal to lots of them.
Even in the summer months, these mountain retain their snowy features.
3. You’ll meet like-minded travellers
Even if you start the hike solo, you’re sure to meet many like-minded travellers on the trail, or in the refugios as you wind down after your day of hiking.
There’s lots of independent hikers so you’re sure to find someone to strike up a conversation with and gain a new friend or two.
I guarantee you won’t finish the hike alone!
4. You get to see lots of waterfalls
In the summer, the snow melt creates lots of waterfalls throughout the W Trek.
You can even drink the water from these waterfalls to rehydrate during the hike.
5. It doesn’t even feel like exercise when you’re somewhere so beautiful
70km on the trails doesn’t feel as bad as it sounds when you are surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Exercise never seemed so easy – and plus you’re allowed to eat those chocolate bars without any regrets on the W Trek.
6. You’ll get up close to glaciers
There’s not just one but two glaciers that you’ll get up close and personal to while on the W Trek. Grey Glacier and Frances Glacier have to be seen with your own eyes – photos just don’t do them justice.
Frances Glacier can be seen from Mirador Frances, about an hour’s journey from Campamento Italiano.
Glacier Grey can be seen from the mirador about a 15 minute walk from Refugio Grey.
7. All your friends will be envious when you post those beautiful photos
You’ll have loads of photos to share from your trip – each as beautiful as the next.
Your friends will be soon adding this trek to their bucket list.
8. You can stay in rustic and cosy refugios
A roaring fire, wooden cabin, epic views, hearty food and a wine in hand – what more could you want after a hard day of hiking.
Each refugio has a wood stove burning away to keep you warm – and you can buy wine and beer at the refugio bar.
During the peak season, it’s daylight until about 10pm so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy the mountain views after you finish your hiking for the day.
If you’d rather get closer to nature, you can stay in your own tent or tents provided by the refugios. But you can still take advantage of the meals, drinks and warmth of the refugios before bedtime.
9. You’ll wake up to stunning views every day
Every day I woke up to incredible mountain views – and I didn’t even have to set foot outside! The refugios are surrounded by priceless views on every side.
Roll out of bed and you’ll be hit with a postcard perfect view.
10. You’ll feel a sense of achievement after hiking 75km
You’ll feel pretty chuffed with yourself for hiking the mammoth 75km in not so easy conditions.
No doubt you battled fierce winds and unrelenting rain, and you’ll feel pretty happy with yourself comparing trail stories with your newfound hiking buddies.