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Torres del Paine Circuit: Half Self-Guided & Half Guided 8 Day Trek

Complete the stunning 'O' circuit of Torres del Paine in this 8 day trip, and take in majestic views of lakes, glaciers and the stunning 'Towers' of the National Park themselves. Trek on your own for a few days on a planned route before joining up with our expert guide who will help you navigate the harder trails towards the end of the circuit.

5.00 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)
USD $1,898.00USD $2,530.00

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8 Day Trek of the Full Torres del Paine O Circuit

This stunning alternative to a fully-guided or solo trek of a Torres del Paine circuit in Patagonia allows you to explore the incredible national park on your own at the start of the trip, following routes marked out by our expert guides. Then, for the last half of the trip, a guide will meet you and help you navigate the more difficult parts of the route toward the end. You will be completing a full circuit of Torres del Paine, the famous ‘O’ trek, and will take in the most beloved sights from the Towers of Torres del Paine themselves, to stunning glaciers, lakes, and mighty mountain ranges.

Traveling Solo? This tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run. Please contact us and we’ll see if you can join another group!

The price of this tour can change substantially depending on many factors, such as the number of travelers, or if you’d prefer a different type of lodging and other start and end points. Please contact us through the chat, or email us at info@keteka.com, and we will get you quotes on a customized experience, based on your preferences.

Highlights

On this Torres del Paine circuit you will:

  • Visit the majestic Torres del Paine in the stunning National Park of Patagonia!
  • Have the freedom of hiking part of the trail on your own, but join up with our expert guide towards the end where the navigation gets more complicated
  • Complete the famous ‘O Circuit’ of Torres del Paine, visiting stunning lakes, glaciers, and mountains along the way!

Itinerary

Day 1: Visit the Famous Towers!
Early in the morning you will depart on a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres Del Paine. The trip to the park entrance at Laguna Amarga is approximately two hours. After arriving to and registering yourself in the park and dropping your belongings off at your campsite, you will begin to hike up Almirante Nieto, a mountain with incredible views of Lake Nordenskjold and the Asencio Valley.

After two hours of hiking steadily upward you will arrive to Refugio Camp; Camping Chileno where you will be able to enjoy your lunch before continuing onto the Las Torres lookout. You will hike about an hour through a dense Lenga forest. Once you leave the forest you will approach a moraine and climb to see the granite peaks known as the Torres. After admiring the view you will return to Camping Central where you will have dinner and sleep.

– Hike: Hotel Las Torres – Las Torres Lookout – Hotel Las Torres
– Total Distance: 18 kilometers / 11.2 miles
– Average Time: 8 hours
– Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2: Hike alongside the Paine River
Today you will meet your guide and begin with a four-hour hike along a fairly flat trail. As you wind along Paine River, you will admire the deep blue waters of Laguna Azul and the picturesque view of Encantado Valley (a valley surrounded by rock formations created by centuries of wind). When you reach Dome Camp; Camping Seron, an old Baqueano (Patagonia cowboy) post, the land will stretch out before you. This lovely day will end with dinner, after which you will fall asleep under the brightly shining stars.

– Hike: Hotel Las Torres – Seron
– Total Distance: 13 kilometers / 8.1 miles
– Average Time: 4 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Enjoy Glacier Dickson and Lake Paine
Today’s seven-hour hike will begin with a steady walk up a hill and past a small lagoon, where you will reach a lookout with an incredible view of Lake Paine. As you descend the hill, breathtaking views will surround you. You will be able to see the mountains that separate Chile and Argentina, along with the
mountains located on the northern side of the park’s Paine Massif.

As you continue to hike, you will cross a marsh on boardwalks that park rangers have created. After traversing the marsh, you will begin crossing ancient moraine valleys and you will notice the imposing glacier tongue of the Southern Ice Field. You will continue to Camping Dickson where you will spend the evening.

– Hike: Refugio Seron – Refugio Dickson
– Total Distance: 18 kilometers / 11.2 miles
– Average Time: 6 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Feel small in an old forest!
After breakfast, you will begin hiking for the day. Today, the trek is approximately four hours long and it will take you through one of the oldest forests in the park. The trail will lead you past Lengas and Coigues (both of which grew shortly after the glaciers receded). Finally, you will reach a moraine at the foot of Glacier Los Perros. Here you will set up camp.

– Hike: Refugio Dickson – Campamento Los Perros
– Total Distance: 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles
– Average Time: 4.5 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Cross the John Gardner Pass!
You will wake up and have breakfast in a beautiful forest. In the morning, you will start climbing a slow but steady hill for approximately 200 meters. The trail is very moist and the beautiful Lenga and Coigue trees cover this portion of the trail. After an hour and fifteen minutes, you will reach the end of the forest and you will finally begin trekking up rockslides towards the John Gardner Pass.

After forty more minutes of hiking, you will reach smaller patches of trees all the while gaining a bit of elevation. From this part of the trail, you will be able to see Glaciar Amistad, Cerro Blanco Sur, Punta Puma and – finally – the John Gardner Pass. From here, you will begin  climbing until you reach 1,200 meters. You will have an astonishing view of Glacier Grey and Patagonia’s Southern Ice Field.

After catching this breath-taking view, you will begin hiking downhill for about two hours until you reach Campamento Paso for a short rest. From here you will continue hiking for four more hours along an undulating trail with views of Glacier Grey, Lake Grey, and Ferrier Hill. Before reaching Campamento Grey you will cross several of the parks famous suspension bridges, ultimately bringing you to some close-up views of Glacier Grey. Once you reach Grey you will have time to shower and rest before enjoying a nice hot meal in the Refugio.

– Hike: Campamento Los Perros – Refugio Grey
– Total Distance: 22 kilometers / 13.7 miles
– Average Time: 11 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Hike to Lake Pehoe
After a restful night and an energizing breakfast you will be ready to hike again. Your guide will be leaving you early today to catch the first bus back to Puerto Natales. Today you will have a four-hour hike along Lake Grey and then through a small forest. Most days this section of the park is very windy due to the openness provided by Lake Grey, Glacier Grey and the Southern Ice Field. In the afternoon you will arrive to Camping Paine Grande on the shore of the beautiful Lake Pehoe.

– Hike: Refugio Grey – Refugio Paine Grande
– Total Distance: 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles
– Average Time: 3.5 – 4 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Explore the French Valley!
This spectacular day will begin with a leisurely hike in the energizing mountain air to the entrance of the French Valley. As you walk along the border of Lake Skottsberg, you will admire the tremendous peaks towering in front of you – Los Cuernos! After about 2.5 hours, you will arrive to Campamento Italiano where you can rest for a bit before continuing your journey.

As you ascend into the valley, the views in every direction — of Lake Nordenskjold, Los Cuernos, and the French Glacier — are absolutely stunning. In the back of the valley you can see various peaks. After soaking up the view, you will hike back down to Campamento Italiano to continue alongside rolling hills as you follow the coastline of Lake Nordenskjold. You will continue on for another two hours until you reach your camp, located on the lake. After a relaxing afternoon and a filling dinner, you will go to bed for a deserving night’s sleep.

– Hike: Refugio Paine Grande — French Valley Lookout —Refugio Los Cuernos
– Total Distance: 17.3 kilometers / 10.7 miles
– Average Time: 7 hours
– Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Say good-bye to Torres del Paine National Park!
In the morning, you will have breakfast and prepare to hike again. You will leave the monstrous Cuernos and begin hiking back to entrance of the park. The walk is about four hours in duration and you will arrive at Las Torres in time to take a shuttle back to Laguna Amarga. From there you will take another bus all the way back to Puerto Natales. You will arrive back to Puerto Natales in the evening – just in time for dinner and a cozy night ́s sleep in a warm bed.

– Hike: Refugio Cuernos – Hotel Las Torres
– Total Distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles
– Average Time: 4.5 hours
– Meals: Breakfast and lunch

What’s Included

• 7 Nights of camping in Torres del Paine National Park (tent + sleeping mat included)
• 4.5 Guided days of hiking in Torres del Paine National Park
• 1 Porter for 5 days of hiking (carry food, cooking gear and camping gear)
• Trip briefing with guide day before trip starts (18:00)
• Bus to and from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park
• Shuttle to and from Laguna Amarga to Las Torres area
• Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park

What’s Not Included

• Accommodation not listed above
• Meals not listed above
• Land transportation not listed above
• Airline tickets
• Travel insurance
• Personal trekking gear
• Drinks during lunch or dinner
• Tips for staff or at dinners
• Sleeping bag

Optional Extras

• Ice hike on Glacier Grey for 110.000 CLP extra per person
• Kayak excursion on Lago Grey for 75.000 CLP extra per person
• Bus between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales for 10.000 CLP extra per person
• Bus between El Calafate and Puerto Natales for 22.000 CLP extra per person
• Lodging in Puerto Natales
o B&B for 30.000 CLP extra per person
o Boutique Hotel for 50.000 CLP extra per person
o Luxury Hotel for 70.000 CLP extra per person
• Please note that private transfers to and from the park are also available on request

Important Notes About the Torres del Paine W Trek

Please note that in order to reserve this tour, we need to pay the operator immediately, so all bookings are final. If you have any questions before booking or want to confirm a certain date, please email us at info@keteka.com.

How far ahead should I book my trip?
Due to the popularity of Patagonia, we recommend booking your Torres del Paine W Trek 4 months in advance during the peak travel months (Dec-Feb). If you want to travel in November or March we recommend booking travel 2 months in advance.

Upon arrival to Patagonia
If you have booked a guided trip your guide will meet you in Puerto Natales, which is about a 3-hour drive from Punta Arenas. Depending on what time your plane arrives, you will have the entire day or just a few hours to explore or rest-up in the small town of Puerto Natales. Your guide meet you shortly after dinner to discuss trip details, answer questions, and make sure that you have all the appropriate gear for the next few days (the hotel will allow you to leave any unnecessary luggage with them).

Patagonian weather
Most of the time, there is no way to know what to expect. What you need to know is that it is fast changing and one can witness the wind, sun, rain and snow all in a matter of hours while in Patagonian wilderness. However, in the cities it is slightly more predictable, you can check www.accuweather.com.

What to pack
During the Torres del Paine W Trek, you need to have a backpack (renting a backpack is possible) with just enough room to carry your clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bag (during the Torres del Paine W Trek, renting a sleeping bag is also possible). Shared equipment like tents, stoves, pots, and food will be brought and transferred by the tour operator staff.

Personal equipment and clothing should be chosen to allow comfort while hiking. Select clothes to keep you dry in the rain, protected from the wind, and cool enough for warmer moments. It is essential that you are prepared to experience all four seasons in one day. Scroll down to see a full packing list!

Tour insurance
It is very important that every visitor has international insurance against accidents. Make sure you have arranged for this insurance before paying for the trip. It is worth considering that some aspects of nature are unpredictable and that you must be prepared for any inconvenient circumstances.

Tour meals
Three meals a day during your program are included. Drinks are not included while in cities or snacks during the day. When staying in cities you will eat in restaurants, however during the days you are in the wilderness your guide will prepare your food. Food is purchased at local stores and the operator chooses your meals according to the preference sheet you fill out.

Food can include, but is not limited to, assorted vegetables, beef, chicken and fish. They will also provide energy rich carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or potatoes. To top things off and excite your taste buds they also bring some of the following: wine, beer, cookies, cheese, crackers, and fruits.  Your meals are carried and, most of the time, prepared by your guide.

Changes in itinerary
Although the operator will do their very best to adhere to the schedule agreed upon, the itinerary for the Torres del Paine W Trek is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.

Cancellations
30% of the trip payment is immediately non-refundable, as we need to pay it to the national park in order to reserve spaces (they only make reservations upon payment, and do not issue refunds). The rest of the payment is fully refundable until 29 prior to the start of the tour, at which point it is not refundable. If the tour operator cancels the tour for whatever reason, you will receive a refund.

Map

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Torres Del Paine

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Torres Del Paine -51.050028, -73.089294

 

Packing List

Upper body:

  • Shirts/Jacket
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket, such as Gore Tex or similar
  • Fleece or pile coat
  • Quick-dry long sleeve t-shirt
  • Quick-dry short sleeve t-shirt
  • Winter hat
  • Light gloves

Lower body:

  • Quick-dry hiking socks
  • Quick-dry, light weight long underwear bottoms
  • Quick-dry/breathable windproof pants
  • Waterproof rain pants
  • Quick-dry/breathable shorts
  • Light trekking boots or gym shoes

Other necessary items:

  • Pajamas
  • Sleeping bag (-5°C for Nov. – Mar. trips, -15°C for Apr. – Oct. trips)
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle (1.000cc)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick with sunscreen
  • Sports watch
  • Insect repellent
  • Backpack (big enough for all your personal things)
  • Shower shoes
  • Earplugs
  • Head lamp and/or flashlight
  • Camera
  • Basic first aid kit (self-guided trips)

Kyle Wiggins

David

If you take this tour you will probably be greeted by David. He was born in Santiago, where he developed a passion for the mountain. He took his first steps in the ‘Andinismo’ in the beautiful Peaks of the central Andes Region, just outside of the capital city.

David has been a certified guide since 2004, when he decided to move to the south and start his own business. He often tells us that making his passion his job was the best decision he ever made. He believes that when people follow their dreams, they have the ability to truly make a positive impact on the world. He is committed to empowering local guides and communities to truly benefit from tourism, and share their incredible experience and perspective.

*Please note that this tour may be guided by another local guide, always providing a genuine approach to the local culture.

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I trekked the complete Torres del Paine circuit with a group of friends in January 2007 led by David. It was a truly unbelievable experience and one I would recommend to anyone. The Torres del Paine National Park feels truly unspoilt and for the entire trek we saw no form of motorised transport not even planes in the sky! The scenery is breathtaking and different every day. We trekked through forests, beside glaciers, over moraine fields and through shrub land full of calafate bushes. We camped in designated campsites each night where you could (usually) get a welcome beer!
    There is no doubt that the thing that really made the trek was David´s leadership. He knows the park inside out and was full of fascinating information. He was always ready to point out interesting local plants and animals and explain the geological processes that produced the unique geography of the region. In addition he was fully attentive to our whole group despite the fact that we were a large group with a considerable variation in fitness and ability levels. So despite some interesting weather conditions we always felt we were in very good hands.
    Most of all he is simply an extremely nice guy and we struck up a friendship during the trek which we have maintained over the many thousand miles between Patagonia and Scotland.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I hiked the Paine circuit with David in March 2009. As things turned out, that was a really fortunate decision on my part. David absolutely knows the territory and is knowledgeable and capable in the craft of guiding. He introduced me to the flora and fauna of the area, much of which was totally unfamiliar, and was a very pleasant companion on the trail. Also, when special arrangements needed to be made in the course of the hike, he handled them very efficiently. His 11-day Paine Circuit trip hits all the high spots, offers flexibility in handling the most difficult stretch of the trip (between Camp Perros and the Gray refugio), and also features a don’t-miss-it half-day ice hike on the Gray Glacier.
    Those considering a “W” trip should really take a few extra days and do the entire Paine circuit. The circuit is so much more than the peaks you see from the front side — it’s the forests and glaciers and Montana-like valleys and the relatively uncrowded trails of the back side. Plus, the view of the Gray Glacier from John Gardner Pass is truly special.
    David also offers planning and logistics services for those who don’t necessarily want to do a pre-scheduled trip but who need help putting the pieces together from a distance to create their own custom self-guided trip. I think this would be an extremely valuable service for self-directed adventurers, especially those looking at a Paine Circuit hike or other hike within the Torres del Paine park, given the relatively confusing and incomplete nature of the public information sources which have to do with lodging in the park. Drawing on David’s knowledge and connections, I’m sure you’d end up profiting from the service and saving a lot of hassles in the process. Again, thanks for a wonderful hike.
    Rick

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    (Translated from German)
    … a must for all hikers and nature lovers! I decided to take part in the Circuito because of the sporting challenge and, on the other hand, not only to check out Torres, Cuernos and Gray tourist attractions, but also to explore the remote part of the park. What is more suitable for this than a trekking organizer who attaches importance to small groups and individual care? On a recommendation from a friend I contacted David and learned from the beginning by email his willingness to help. During the trek, David took care not only of the organization, but also enriched my trip with his incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna, history, politics, culture … Chile in general and Patagonia in particular. In addition, I was lucky enough to have the whole 10 days of trekking nice weather – all in all a great experience I will remember for a long time.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    Thank you so much for the great arrangements in Patagonia. I have been on a lot of hikes all over the world and the arrangements here were among the very best. The guide, Nico, was really great. He was knowledgeable, agreeable, and sensitive to our limits. It was also evident that he is extremely proud of the work he is doing and of the landscape of Patagonia.
    He gave us a great experience. The food was good, always fresh and welcome at the end of the day. Outside of the hike itself the arrangements were also very nice. We really liked the lodgings you selected for us. We could not have asked for a better experience. Even the weather conspired to give us a perfect hike.
    Thank you very much.
    Tom

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    Laura and David made us feel very welcome in Puerto Natales when we arrived and set us up in a wonderful hostel in town. We felt very well taken care of and David did a great job coming up with a Plan B itinerary at the last moment when there was an unexpected weather forecast (tons of snow!). When my brother got sick on the first two days of the trip, Nico, help create a “Plan C” on the fly that accommodated my brother and still kept in line with what type of trip we wanted. We couldn’t have been happier. If you’re looking for fantastic backpacking conditions – go to Torres del Paine. No bugs, perfect temperature, no bears or other worrisome animals, and you don’t even have to treat your water! Having backpacked a lot, I was amazed at the perfect conditions for hiking and camping in the park. I just loved it. Leaving from Puerto Natales is also wonderful – it’s a really fun, welcoming town in which to stay on either side of your trip with backpackers from all over the world! Patrick and I can’t thank you enough – Luke, Chloe, Laura, David & Nico – for helping organize a trip of a lifetime!

    Amanda and Patrick Corbett

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    What. An. Amazing. Trip! Really appreciate all of the work that went into making this trip run smoothly and how everything was organized and efficient from the moment we arrived in Puerto Natales. We (my roommate and I) booked this trip hoping for a great experience, and it definitely delivered.

    We were met at the beautiful hostel in PN by wonderful staff members who had our room ready and offered great advice on things to do that night. The next day, we met up with Laura, owner of the tour company, at their office and were provided with all of the passes, maps, information and tips you could ever need for the O-Circuit hike. We met our guide, Carlos, who has over 9 years of experience hiking in Patagonia. He answered all of our questions and made us feel ready for the trip. The next day, we took the bus to the park entrance and then the ferry to the first campsite. The hike is BREATHTAKING, and worth every blister, ache or sore you might experience during the hike.

    I would definitely recommend the O-Circuit, as it gives you the full experience of how large Patagonia is. It was a perfect mix of hiking on our own for the first 4 days at our own pace, and then having the guide to lead us on the north side of the circuit, which is definitely not as well marked and has harsher climates and hikes. During the whole trip, all of our lodging, entrance fees, campsite fees and logistics were handled and delivered smoothly. All we had to do was hike our gear from one site to the next, show our passes and passports, and drink some delicious Austral.

    This was a trip of a lifetime, and definitely worth it to have all of the logistics, including all of your food on the hike, already taken care of and planned out for you. We’re very thankful to Keteka for helping organize all of this, and would recommend this trip to anyone!
    -Benjamin and Zack

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