Torres del Paine Circuit
The Torres Del Paine circuit around the famous craggy mountains that crown the Park is one of the world's classic trekking routes. Breathtaking views together with glaciers, rivers, lakes, forests and abundant wildlife provide the trip with constantly changing sceneries and experiences. This is one of the greatest scenic wonders of the world and one of those places to which all serious mountain-lovers must make a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.
This trek is best done in an anticlockwise direction that saves the hardest sections until later and prevents the walkers from being stopped by strong wind currents. You can also take a full Paine circuit trek with horse-pack support and optional porters for your personal belongs, allowing you to complete this demanding, but exhilarating adventure, carrying only your day pack. The circuit, rated strenuous, covers a distance of approx. 100 kms/60 miles.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 10-DAY TORRES DEL PAINE TREK…
And, experience spectacular views of granite peaks, glacier lakes & wildlife.
Torres Del Paine Circuit
Torres Del Paine, Chile, South America
(10 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
Torres Del Paine Arrive around noon — 12PM. in Pta Arenas with the earliest morning flight from Santiago. Reception at the airport and transfer to Puerto Natales, lunch, and from there transfer (345 km/ 216miles /5hrs) to EcoCamp Las Torres inside the famous Torres del Paine National Park. In summer time, the sun sets around 11 PM giving us plenty of light to admire the landscape en route and the craggy mountains while entering the park. We will make short stops in the township of Puerto Natales, to take a look of the town (you have here the chance to leave in our office in Puerto Natales any luggage that you will not need during the trek), and in the enormous Cueva del Milodon, a giant geological wander that once sheltered a prehistoric sloth.
Overnight – EcoCamp Las Torres – L, D
Day 02 – Hiking Tour (10 km, 8 hrs round-trip)
Valle Ascencio We start our trekking journeys with the celebrate hike to the foot of the impressive granite massif of El Paine. From here admire the most typical sight of the Paine Towers (weather permitting) rising above a green lagoon. The famous Torres Del Paine (2.900m/9.400ft) consists of three gigantic granite monoliths, remains of a great cirque that has been sheared away by the forces of glacial ice.
Overnight – EcoCamp Las Torres – B, L, D
Day 03 – Hiking Tour (30 km, 8 hrs)
Lago Dickson Early transfer to Laguna Azul the day will start trekking through the Lenga forest of the northern side of Laguna Azul Lake which was affected by the Feb. 2004 fire. In this sector you may observe black woodpeckers, typical birds of Patagonia. Once arriving to the Dickson Lake, have a spectacular view on Glacier Dickson and part of the Hielo Patagonico Sur (South Patagonia Ice Field). The trek continues along the eastern bank of the Rio Paine. You will stop at a lookout point with a wonderful panoramic view of Lago Paine below. Descend to the lake level and continue across open grasslands along the Rio Paine to Refugio Dickson. Horse-pack support to carry communal gear AND your personal pack. Showers available. Our stunning campsite will be in the Dickson Valley surrounded by towering snow capped peaks and the pretty waters of Dickson Lake with Mt. Cubo in the distance.
Overnight – Camping (Dickson) Meals – B, L, D
Day 04 – Hiking Tour (10 kms, 6 hrs)
Lago Dickson An easy hike to recover you from the last 2 demanding days. Today we will trek north to Lago Quemado and get close to the beautiful Dickson Glacier and its iceberg-filled lake.
Overnight – Camping Meals – B, L, D
Note – Since next day porters will carry all the communal gear. Optional porters may carry your personal pack for the next days (extra cost showed at "Facts about the trip"; max. weight – 10 kgs/20 pounds)
Day 05 – Hiking Tour (81/2kms, 5 hrs)
Los Perros The trail follows Los Perros river and encounters the wildest and least accessible section of the trek. Virgin beech forests crossed by many water courses lead the way towards the lovely Laguna Los Perris where we set up camp.
Overnight – Camping (Los Perros) Meals – B, L, D
Day 06 – Hiking Tour
Camp Guardas In this section we reach the highest point of the circuit at 1300 mts (4000 ft) with an awe-inspiring view of the of the Ventisquero Grey, an enormous fractured mass of ice choking the valley. The route continues roughly south along forested slopes with occasional landslides. This is a long journey of 8 to 10 hrs hiking.
Overnight – Camp Meals – B, L, D
Day 07 – Hiking Tour (3 hrs)
Camp Grey We continue trekking along forested slopes with a beautiful view of the glacier Grey until arriving at Camp Grey. After lunch, the option is a half-day hike on the Grey Glacier with the use of crampons (this activity is at extra cost and includes gear rental). From the campsite, we board a Zodiac for a 10- minute ride on Lago Grey to the starting point of the hike. Once on the glacier we rope up in teams and receive a thorough instruction on how to walk on the glacier with crampons before we start hiking (this is usually two to three hours; it depends on the weather). This is a great way to see the glacier up close. No previous glacier hiking experience is needed.
Overnight – Camping Meals – B, L, D
Day 08 – Hiking Tour (14 kms, 4 to 5 hrs)
Camp Pehoe The trek continues down alongside Grey Glacier until it calves into the Lake Grey. Then it keeps going by the eastern side of the lake through clearings of Calafate bushes. The view over the lake, with numerous giant icebergs drifting across the waters is very impressive at this point. Finally, the track climbs onto flat ridges and passes a small lake one hour before descending through a shallow dry valley to arrive at Lago Pehoe. We spend the night in our camp by the turquoise lake Pehoe.
Overnight – Camping Meals – B, L, D
Day 09 – Hiking Tour (22 kms, 8 to 10 hrs round trip)
Valle Frances The track makes its way north through undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest, passing two small lakes, and continues by the south-east slopes of Cerro Paine to meet river Frances. From here we follow the river upstream passing Camp Italiano, below Glacier Frances, and keep going until it reaches a small but built by some Britishclimbing expedition. This magnificent setting is surrounded by high peaks on all sides being especially spectacular the Cuernos Del Paine. Once we are back at Camp Italiano we return to Pehoe and take the 6 –30PM boat that crosses the Pehoe Lake and drive back to camp.
Overnight – Camping (Ecocamp) Meals – B, L, D
Day 10 – Depart
Punta Arenas Early in the morning board the vehicle back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight back to Santiago.
Meals – B, L
Make this your holiday
Getting There There are currently no direct flights from major UK airports. Most flights are via Europe, Latin America or US; LAN, Iberia, British Airways and Air France are all options. It’s worth paying attention to the routes used by the different airlines; even the shortest and most convenient ones via Madrid or Buenos Aires entail a total travelling time of over 16 hours. Flying via the US is longer still (though sometimes cheaper).
When to go This best (and most expensive) time to visit Patagonia is between Nov to Feb. March is the period for grape harvest and wine festivals and April is fall. Between September and November is possibly the best time to visit Santiago, the temperatures are pleasant and good value for money. Jun to Aug is winter and the best time to visit ski resorts. Between mid-December to end February and two-middle weeks of July is holiday time for Brazilians and Argentines.