9 days
Days
3/5- Moderate
Difficulty

Experience one of the most beautiful and intense treks on Earth: the Paine Trek! Circle the immense Paine Massif for nine days of epic views and endurance, all led by our expert guides who help escort you on this unbelievable adventure through the heart of this vast and untamed wilderness.

Also known as simply “The ‘O’ ” this trek brings a sense of challenge and achievement to the stunning Torres del Paine National Park. Taking in the main highlights from the ‘W Trek’, this extended trek completes a loop of the entire massif, as you trek up and over the John Gardner pass before following glaciers, skirting lakes and climbing ridges to complete this epic circuit.

Highlights

  • Superb and remote trekking
  • John Gardner Pass
  • Grey and Dickson Glaciers
  • Kayaking around the Grey Glacier (Optional)
  • Complete Paine Massif Round
  • Torres del Paine Towers
  • Start in Calafate, Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales

Objectives

  • Complete a circuit of the Torres del Paine Massif
  • Reach vantage points at the French Valley and Torres base
  • Experience the unique flora and fauna of this incredible region

 

At a Glance

DESTINATION  Chile
TRIP START POINT Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate Airports – transfer to Torres del Paine NP
DURATION 9 Days, 7 days trekking
TRIP TYPE  Camping trek
SEASON  November to March
CHALLENGE LEVEL  3/5 – Multiday trekkng with some long days
MAX ALTITUDE  n/a
INCLUDED
Transport as indicated in the itinerary One expert English speaking trekking guide – Ratio 1:6
Porter support Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park
8 nights camping*, including all equipment EXCEPT mat and sleeping bag.(optional upgrade to EcoCamp) Meals: All included
24hr UK and in-country backup and support As members of 1% for the planet, we donate 1% of the total trip cost to an environmental cause.
NOT INCLUDED
International Flights (unless booking flight-inclusive package) Single room/tent accommodation (available on request)
Personal travel insurance, visas and vaccinations Tips / gratuities
Beverages such as soft drinks, alcohol etc. Personal Expenses (Laundry etc.) and other items of a personal nature
FLIGHT COST £1000

Request a Trip Dossier

1

Arrival to Torres del Paine

  Meals: B, BL, D

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively, you can start your trip in Calafate. En route we make a couple of stops – First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of “Seno de Ultima Esperanza”, where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The journey is scenic and highly atmospheric, featuring many wild birds and wonderful Patagonian landscapes. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia (optional), nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and with a prime view of the majestic Torres. Sunset is usually around 11pm during the summer months, meaning that there will still be enough daylight for you to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon once you arrive.

2

Ecocamp to Dickson

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 3/5
Distance: 29 km/18 mi, 11hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 300m/984ft
Overnight: Camp Dickson

The day will start at EcoCamp as you prepare for your hike to Dickson Lake. The trail will leads you northwards along the eastern bank of the Rio Paine. We will stop at a natural lookout point which will afford us a stunning panoramic view of the Lago Paine below, before we descend and continue west across open grasslands towards Refugio Dickson. Our campsite will be situated in the Dickson Valley, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and the crystalline waters of Lake Dickson. The stunning Dickson Glacier and parts of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field can be spotted in the distance from the campsite, where we will spend the night complete with a nutritious dinner and soothing hot shower.

3

Dickson to Los Perros

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 3/5
Distance: 9km/5mi, 5hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 500m/1640ft
Overnight: Camp Los Perros

We will continue our trail along the Los Perros river in what will be the wildest and most remote grounds that we will cover on the trek. We will pass under the Los Perros Glacier, which merges into a small lake, and cross a virgin beech forest before reaching the beautiful Laguna Los Perros. Here, we will set up camp at Camping Los Perros and enjoy the tranquil evening.

4

Los Perros to Grey

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 5/5
Distance: 22km/14mi, 12hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 1200m/3937ft
Overnight: Camp Grey

This day marks our ascent to the highest point of the circuit as we reach altitudes of around 1,300 mts (4,000 ft) from which we will be able to feast our eyes on an awe-inspiring view of Grey glacier, an enormous fractured mass of ice with towers in the valley. The John Gardner pass is one of the most famous sectors of Torres del Paine and a must-do for any serious trekker. We will then continue south along forested slopes with beautiful views of the enormous Grey Glacier (more than 28 km in length) before spending the night camping at Grey Campground on the shores of Lake Grey.

5

Grey to Pehoé Lake

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 3/5
Distance: 11km/7mi, 5hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 400m/1312ft
Overnight: Paine Grande Camp

During the morning, we will take some time to rest, replenish and revel in Lake Grey’s surroundings before making our way along the eastern side of Lake Grey through clearings of gorgeous Calafate bushes. The view over the lake, with numerous giant icebergs drifting across the waters, is a true wonder to behold. The trail after this point becomes flatter as we descend through a shallow dry valley headed towards the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoe, where we will set-up camp and rest for the night.

*Optional Kayaking around Glacier Grey: This excursion starts at 9:00 and lasts 2,5 hours where you will discover the amazing glacier and kayak around huge floating icebergs, towards the east side of the glacier to get closer to the giant ice wall. Min. age is 15 years old / Max. age is 65 years old. (Note: Kayaking option is only available until March 19th).

6

French Valley

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 3/5
Distance: 25km/15mi, 8hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 686m/2250ft
Overnight: Camp Francés

After breakfast at Lake Pehoe, we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley\’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day\’s trek will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to camp Frances.

N.B. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is also available.

7

Los Cuernos

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 3/5
Distance: 16km/10mi, 7hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 244m/800ft
Overnight: Torre Central Camp

Once we have finished breakfast, we will begin our day\’s trek to EcoCamp Patagonia through the Cuernos trail, which will take us along the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. Today\’s walk is less strenuous yet richer in the diversity of terrain that we will cover. It will therefore be the perfect opportunity to take in the park’s charming flora and fauna and learn more about the vast variety of species along the way. We will pause throughout the walk in order to have a box-lunch, rest our legs and admire the stunning surroundings.The trek ends as we arrive at EcoCamp where we will enjoy a hearty meal and prepare for tomorrow’s big challenge.

8

Base Torres Trek

Activity: Trekking
Difficulty: 4/5
Distance: 21km/13mi, 10hrs
Meals: B, BL, D
Max. Altitude: 914m/3000ft
Overnight: Torre Central Camp

The goal of our penultimate day of the Paine Circuit will be to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! We will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower\’s eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic base-view of the Towers – Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp for a well-deserved dinner (optional).

9

Departure

Drop-off in Punta Arenas or El Calafate
Meals: B, BL

We will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight to Santiago.

If the dates and prices fail to load above, please go to My Grand Adventure, where you will be able to see all available departures.

Other booking options

Alternative Dates

Want to join one of our open-group adventures, but don’t see any suitable dates that work for you? For most of our trips, you can request new dates and we will set up a new open adventure.

Private Bookings

Want to book this trip as a private departure? Select your own dates and travel in your own group.

Ask an Expert

Still not sure or need more information? Get in touch and we can answer your questions or talk you through any of our adventures.

Trip Specifics

ACCOMMODATION

Tents & Campsites (Nights 1-8)
Typical mountain tents are used with enough room for 2 people overnight in comfortable conditions. We provide all the camping gear. But you should bring your own mat and sleeping bag. Our team will set up the tents in the camping site. On nights 1, 7 & 8 at Las Torres you enjoy dinner and breakfast at EcoCamp (600m away from the campsite, a short walk up the hill). On nights 4, 5, 6 at Grey, Pehoe and Francés, you enjoy dinner and breakfast in the refugios. On nights 2 and 3 there will be a comfortable dining tent for dinners and breakfasts. Additionally, the camping sites along the trek will have mountain bathroom facilities in good condition. On nights 1, 7 & 8 all Circuit hikers are welcome to join evening activities in EcoCamp’s bar and Yoga Dome before returning to their campsite to sleep!

EcoCamp Patagonia (optional upgrade – Nights 1,7,8)
Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, with views of the majestic granite towers. The region’s first sustainable lodge south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers upscale camping in domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants.

 Standard Dome (Shared bathroom, 10m²/108ft²)
EcoCamp Standard domes were the world’s first lodge accommodation in geodesic shape. They are resistant to the strong Patagonian winds, and come equipped with two single beds (doubles on request), cozy fleece blankets and feather quilts. There are windows in the ceiling for stargazing. Standard domes include shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

Suite Dome (Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)
Suite domes were designed to further our goal of providing comfort in a natural setting with minimal environmental impact, and also maintain the hotel’s familiar and cozy vibe. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a wood stove and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet. Stargaze through the ceiling windows while falling asleep, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from your private terrace.

Suite Dome Lofts (2 floors, Heating & Private bathroom, 37m²/398ft²)
Suite dome lofts are two-storey domes which fit up to four people and have comfortable double or twin beds both up and downstairs. These domes, ideal for families or groups of friends, come with a wood stove, a private terrace and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet. Stargaze through the ceiling windows while falling asleep, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from your private terrace.

Superior Dome (Heating & Private bathroom, 23m²/250ft²)
Spacious, comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, Superior Domes are the optimum choice for trekkers wanting that bit more space and comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. Each Superior Dome has comfortable queen-size or twin beds, a propane heater, skylight windows and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet.

FOOD

All meals are included on this itinerary. When camping at the Las Torres or near to one of the many refugios along the way your will enjoy your meals in the communal dining hall in true mountain hut style!

For nights 2 and 3 you will be camping in a more remote setting, there will be a comfortable dining tent for dinners and breakfasts.

You will be given a packed lunch each day.

Nights 1,7 & 8: Las Torres/EcoCamp
Nights 2 & 3: Camping
Nights 4, 5 & 6: Refugios

GROUP & LEADER

A fully qualified, English speaking local leader will accompany all groups. On this trip you will be joined by walkers from the UK and other nationalities who have booked with other agencies.

WEATHER

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. In addition, the strong marine influence and the affect of the Southern Patagonia Ice field make the weather hard to predict. In spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rain and even snow. Even in summer (December to March) you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC (24ºCmax, 2ºC min). However, just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become lovely and sunny. So come prepared for all types of weather!

WHAT YOU'LL CARRY

This trek is fully supported, your main luggage will be transported between camps. You will only need to carry a light daypack at the very most. A 35l rucksack is a useful size to comfortably fit in essential items such as water bottle, camera, wet-weather gear and extra layers etc.

TIPPING

Tipping at meals and in hotels is normal practice. It is also customary to tip the local trekking staff and guides.

For this trip we suggest allowing around $50 for tips. Detailed tipping guidance will be sent in your pre-departure information

LANGUAGE & TIMEZONE

Language: Spanish is the official language in Chile and Argentina but it is quite different to the European version, using slightly different sounds and often spoken much faster. Your guide and many hoteliers and restaurant owners will also speak English.

To brush up on your Spanish before departing why not try the free duolingo app at: https://www.duolingo.com/.

Local Time: GMT-3 hours.

ALTITUDE & FITNESS

Altitude – Does not travel to high altitude

One joy about trekking here is you get the experience of being among big mountains, but without the altitude. The highest you go to is less than 1400 metres, where you will not experience any affects of altitude – other than perhaps the cold!

Fitness – Challenging trek

This is a challenging trek with several long days in a row. You should be in good general fitness and well used to hiking consecutive long days in the UK hills, or equivalent, with a light pack. E.g. A weekend walking in the Lake District, taking in some high points and peaks with minimal discomfort.

HEALTH

Country specific information and advice is published by Fit For Travel, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and wateraccidentssun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

We recommend taking your trip itinerary with you to this appointment and highlighting remoteness of trek and level and type of activity, as this may affect the recommendations. e.g. Rabies risk is higher in remote areas where access to appropriate treatment may be delayed, so it is strongly recommended to discuss rabies vaccination with your medical practitioner for all of our trips.

 

Patagonia Specifics

Fit for travel Chile

Notes:

ZIKA – There have been cases of ZIKA virus reported in Chile and Argentina. ZIKA is most commonly spread by mosquitoes, so strict mosquito bite avoidance measures are recommended (more information provided in your pre-departure information).

  • Pregnant women are advised to postpone non-essential travel to countries or areas with High risk of ZIKV transmission.
  • Pregnant women are advised to consider postponing non-essential travel to countries or areas with Moderate risk of ZIKV transmission.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Chile

If you are a British passport holder visiting Chile for less than 90 days, you do not need a visa. If you wish to stay longer, you should consult the nearest Chilean Embassy.  On arrival in Chile the immigration authorities will issue you with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo – Tourist Card’, an A5 sized white form. You must retain this document and present it to immigration when you leave.

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/chile/entry-requirements.

Customers of different nationalities need to check with their own embassy.

Argentina

You don’t need a visa to enter Argentina as a tourist unless you’re travelling on an Emergency Travel Document. On presentation of a valid British passport you will normally be granted a 90-day stay in the country.

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/argentina/entry-requirements.

Customers of different nationalities need to check with their own embassy.

Nationalities including but not limited to Canada and Australia are required to pay a reciprocity fee when entering. Argentina. For nationalities affected and up to date fees please consult the Argentinian national immigration office.

 

CURRENCY

The currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP) and in Argentina the Peso (ARS). The US Dollar (USD) is also widely accepted in both countries. ATM’s are only available at the airport and in the main towns. We suggest you bring USD cash with you, ensuring you have some small denomination notes.

FLIGHTS & ARRIVAL

The starting point of this itinerary is either Punta Arenas domestic airport (PUT) OR El Calafate domestic airport (FTE), from which a transfer will take you to the National Park. International flights will usually connect via Santiago and Buenos Aires respectively. If flying via Buenos Aires you will usually need to transfer between the international and domestic airports.

International flights from North America and Europe will most likely arrive / depart Santiago or Buenos Aires in the early morning or late evening. The safest and most comfortable connection is a morning flight to Punta Arenas the day after arriving in Chile, and evening departure to your home country leaving the day after your return flight from Punta Arenas.

If you book a LAND ONLY package you will need to get to either airport, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

If you book a FLIGHT INCLUSIVE package we will book your flights for you. We will contact you to confirm the best departure airport, timings and final price of your flight. Please note flight prices are dependent on availability and any price listed on our website is an estimate of the flight cost from London. You will be advised of the final flight cost before committing to pay for it. Most flights are non-refundable and need to be paid for upfront before they can be booked (due to the flight terms of the airlines).

Please do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements or flight bookings until your booking has been confirmed (by email from us) and your trip is guaranteed to run. Note: the automated booking response does not constitute these confirmations.

IT FOR ME?

This is an epic trek and our most challenging experience in Patagonia. You’re sure to be rewarded for the long days with awesome views and an amazing sense of journey as you complete a giant loop around the National Park.

Good fitness and resilience to potential poor weather, strong winds and multiple days camping in a row is needed to fully enjoy this trek.

If looking for an easier option to see the main highlights of Torres del Paine why not consider the 7 day W Trek?

Torres del Paine bridge
Torres del Paine - Glacier Grey looking back
Torres del Paine - Glacier Grey
Torres del Paine bridge
torres del paine - hike to the towers