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Description

Self-guided trekking through Circuit O of Torres del Paine Park, full of unforgettable landscapes

Discover the O Circuit in an 8-day journey full of unforgettable landscapes. Go for the ultimate adventure, in the heart of Patagonia, with its wonderful fauna and its impressive lakes and glaciers. The O Circuit in Torres del Paine Park is the perfect experience for lovers of adventure and trekking.

Surely, it is one of the most challenging, safe and beautiful trekking circuits in the world. You will discover natural environments preferred by tourists who seek to immerse themselves in the depths of nature. You will live an extreme adventure with the comfort and security of the preferred destination of adventurers.

Also, with the O Circuit program, you won’t have to worry about bringing a tent and a sleeping bag. Our circuit already includes the tent set up at the campsite, along with a sleeping bag and mat.

Get to know the Los Perros Glacier, the Grey sector and the base of the Towers

On the first day of O Circuit, you will take the bus from the city of Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine Park. On this day, you will do one of the simplest walks in the program. The trail to Serón offers many amazing landscapes on the untamed side of Torres del Paine Park.

On the third day, you will enter the most remote area of the park, in the middle of lush and green vegetation. You will border the Los Perros river, where you will be breathless when you see the wonderful Los Perros Glacier and its greenish-blue lagoon.

You will also get to know the spectacular landscapes of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the icebergs of Lake Grey. You will undertake an ascent hike through a mountainous forest until you reach the sometimes very windy Grey Glacier viewpoint.

On the last day of the O Circuit, you will do the best-known trekking in the area. The Towers Base Trekking is a trail of approximately 20 km and of medium-high level of difficulty. However, even with the difficulty of a path with climbs, when you reach the viewpoint you will feel that your effort was rewarded.

Itinerary

Day 1: Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine Park – Serón Camping

After breakfast at the hotel in Puerto Natales, you must leave for the Torres del Paine National Park, at 07:00 a.m., by regular bus (show up at least 10 minutes before, at the bus terminal).

The journey takes place in the middle of the Patagonian pampas, to reach Amarga Lagoon, the main entrance to the park and the place where the entrance must be registered with Conaf (park ranger). Transfer is made at “Transporte Las Torres” to get to the Welcome Center, where the registration of passengers takes place, in the Cerro Paine Reserve. Then the walk to Serón Camping begins.

Although it is considered one of the days when the walk is one of the easiest in the Circuit, the trail to Serón offers many amazing landscapes of the untamed side of Torres del Paine Park.

You walk through a vibrant green carpet of trees to continue along a pleasant slope that descends towards an endless pasture, in the Patagonian plain.

Continuing the path, relatively flat, towards the Serón campsite, crystal clear streams will be appreciated. After having settled in the campsite, there will be a little time to enjoy the immense size of the land before dinner, which will be served in the small but cozy dining room of Serón.

Distance: 9km
Time: 4-5 hours
Difficulty level: medium
Accommodation: Serón Campsite
Meals: box lunch and dinner

Day 2: Serón Camping – Dickson Refuge

A long walk begins through undulating hills and wet meadows inside the park. Snow-capped mountains, pastel blue lakes and vast expanses of grassland will provide the backdrop as you explore the north side of the park. In addition to the amazing and imposing views of the Dickson Glacier, Cubo Hill and other rugged peaks that mark the border between Chile and Argentina. Once you arrive at the Dickson area, you check in and during the afternoon you can take a walk along the rocky shore of Lake Dickson, all this before dinner at the Refuge.

Distance: 18.5km
Time: 6-7 hours
Difficulty level: demanding
Accommodation: Dickson Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 3: Dickson Refuge – Los Perros Camp

Today the walk will take place in the most remote area of the park, in the midst of lush green vegetation. You will be able to feel the wind blowing through the bushes and listen to the pleasant sound of the Magellanic woodpeckers. Bordering the Los Perros river, you climb a large moraine where you will be breathless as you see another picturesque mountain as a backdrop, the wonderful Los Perros Glacier and its greenish-blue lagoon. You continue along a rocky path before reaching the Los Perros campsite, where you will be staying. It is recommended to rest, the next day will be long.

Distance: 9km
Time: 5 hours
Difficulty level: demanding
Accommodation: Los Perros Campsite
Meals: does not include food

There is a store where it is possible to buy prepared dishes and snacks.

Day 4: Los Perros Camping – Grey Refuge

Take a breath and prepare for the most demanding day of the Paine Circuit, but at the same time, very rewarding. After an early morning breakfast at the campsite, you will begin to make your way through gnarled tree roots and large mud puddles, under the green canopy of the trees. You leave the forest and begin to climb through worn and loose rocks (sometimes snow) until you reach the highest point in the Paine Circuit, the famous John Garner Pass (1,200 m.a.s.l.) Wrapped by the strong Patagonian winds while you will be impressed with the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and its marvelous resplendent carpet. The descent is made by the side of a giant wall of ice and the trail continues through El Paso Camping, crossing the exciting suspension bridges before arriving at the Grey Shelter for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Distance: 22km
Time: 10-12 hours
Difficulty level: very demanding
Accommodation: Grey Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 5: Grey Refuge – Paine Grande Refuge

Enjoy breakfast at the Grey Refuge, before beginning to marvel at more spectacular landscapes of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the icebergs of Lake Grey. An ascent hike through a mountainous forest to reach the sometimes (very) windy viewpoint of the Grey Glacier. The walk continues until you reach the De los Patos Lagoon where you begin the descent through a narrow and windy valley that takes you directly to the Paine Grande Refuge.

Distance: 11km
Time: 4 hours
Difficulty level: medium
Accommodation: Paine Grande Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 6: Paine Grande Refuge – French Valley

It starts early in the morning to have a whole day of walking towards the heart of Torres del Paine Park. After breakfast, request the box lunch and get ready for a day of landscapes of the Patagonian mountains. You walk through arid landscapes and along the shore of the wonderful blue waters of Lake Skottsberg. After approximately 2.5 hours of walking, you will arrive at the El Italiano campsite where the ascent towards the Valley begins.

You climb through the immense rocky terrain and follow the edge of the treetops until you reach the French lookout, here you will be rewarded with impressive landscapes of Los Cuernos, turquoise glacial lagoons and wonderful hanging glaciers that fall in the form of waterfalls by the east face of Paine Grande (3,050 meters). If you are lucky you will hear the thunder of water and ice falling, it is a point where avalanches can be observed commonly. Ideal time to take some pictures and enjoy the box lunch, all this before descending to the Italian camp.

We return along the same path to the Italian campsite and then continue towards the French Refuge or the Los Cuernos Refuge. Relax in the afternoon and enjoy a delicious meal at the Refuge

Distance: 17 km – Los Cuernos Refuge and 13 km – French Dome/Refuge
Time: 6-7 hours – Los Cuernos Refuge
Difficulty level: demanding
Accommodation: Los Cuernos Refuge or Francés Refuge (depending on availability)
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 7: Los Cuernos Refuge – Torre Central Refuge

Regardless of where you start the walk, from Los Cuernos Refuge or Francés Refuge, you will make your way through pristine streams, admiring the hanging glaciers of Mount Almirante Nieto (2,670 meters) you will be able to look for condors while skirting the captivating blue-green waters of Lake Nordenskjöld. You will continue along the well-signposted path until you reach the Torre Central Refuge, where you will relax during the afternoon.

Distance: 12 km – from Los Cuernos Refuge and 14.5 km – from Francés Refuge
Time: 4-6 hours (depending on the starting point)
Difficulty level: medium
Accommodation: Torre Central Refuge
Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner

Day 8: Torre Central Refuge – Torres Base – Puerto Natales

Today is the walk through the Ascencio Valley that meanders through windswept hills and huge forests. During the final ascent you will cross an immense rocky terrain until you reach one of the most emblematic landscapes in the world, the Base of the Towers. At a height of 900 m.a.s.l. You’ll marvel at the sheer granite walls of the towers (north, central south) and the brilliant turquoise glacial lagoon. Ideal time to take pictures and eat a box lunch before continuing along the same trail downhill to the Torre Central Refuge and the Welcome Center. At 7:00 pm. You will take the “Las Torres” transfer that goes to Amarga Lagoon to connect with the Regular bus to Puerto Natales.

Distance: 22km
Time: 8-10 hrs
Difficulty level: very demanding
Meals: breakfast and box lunch

Detail

Included
Transfers:
– Roundtrip transportation by regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park
– Connection transportation by bus from Portería Laguna Amarga to the Welcome Center
Refuge accommodation
Meals:
– Breakfast (coffee, tea, milk, bread, eggs, jam, juice and fruits)
– Box lunch (cold sandwich, cereal bar, chocolate bar, nuts and fruit)
– Dinner (menu of the day, with starter, main course, dessert and water)
Entrance ticket to Torres del Paine National Park

Not included
Flights to/from Puerto Natales
Tips
Accommodation in Puerto Natales
Health insurance
Medical assistance in case of accident
Assistance in evacuation due to climatic causes
Travel insurance that covers accidents and cancellations due to force majeure

FAQ

How far in advance should I reserve O Circuit?

This circuit has a high demand and there are dates on which quotas are sold out months in advance.
Therefore, we recommend that you book as far in advance as possible as places are limited.

What is the difference between a guided program and a self-guided program?

In the guided circuit you will go with a professional guide, who will accompany you throughout the walk, in addition to giving you information about the places you will visit during the circuit.
On the other hand, doing it autonomously is possible because the park’s trails are duly marked. In addition to receiving an explanatory talk at the beginning of the circuit, where you will be given a map with all the details.

From what age can they do the O Circuit?

The minimum age is 16 years old, it must be considered that it is a trek of several days, with medium-high physical demand, which is not advisable for minors.

Is it necessary to bring water?

It is not necessary to carry water since there are drinking water sources available along the way, either in the refuges and camps or natural water sources, during the walks.

Is there WiFi and plugs?

Yes, there is WiFi service in the shelters but it is not included in the price, it is paid directly in each refuge. The price may vary according to time and speed.
You can use the sockets available in the common areas of the refuges. However, we recommend that you carry charged external batteries.

Can I leave part of my luggage in some of the refuges while I do the circuit?

If you can leave your large backpack in the Chilean and Italian camps, and pick it up on the way back.

What are the transportation options to get to Puerto Natales from Punta Arenas and El Calafate?

The companies Bus-Sur, Buses Pacheco and Buses Fernández offer the regular bus transportation service from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, while the companies Bus-Sur, Turismo Zaahj and Cootra provide the regular bus transportation service from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. To know prices, availability and frequency of these services you should review the information published on the websites of the indicated companies.

What to bring?

  • 40 liter backpack to carry all things and 25 liter backpack for day hikes to Towers Base and French Valley
  • Waterproof jacket and pants, fleece-type outerwear, thermal clothing (first layer), short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts
  • Trekking shoes, slippers and sandals for showers and rest
  • Hat and gloves for the cold, hat for the sun, sunscreen, sunglasses, earplugs, towel
  • Rechargeable battery for the mobile, flashlight, padlock, bags to store your garbage, trekking poles, travel insurance that covers accidents, insurance for cancellations due to force majeure

Conditions

Check the contracting terms of the O Circuit (refuge – self-guided) program.

O Circuit (refuge - self-guided)

from

$1.384

Start of the activity: Day 1 at 06:45 a.m. in Terminal Rodoviario de Puerto Natales.
End of the activity: Day 8 at 10:00 p.m. in Terminal Rodoviario de Puerto Natales.

Rate table
1 passenger: CLP$988,000
2 passengers: CLP$1,976,000
3 passengers: CLP$2,964,000
4 passengers: CLP$3,952,000
5 passengers: CLP$4,940,000
6 passengers: CLP$5,928,000

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