Tour including lodging in REFUGIO available on the first and third Tuesday of each month. If you want to book other dates, please contact us.
Hiking the O Circuit in Torres del Paine and discovering the wildest Patagonia
Puerto Natales bus station at 6:30 a.m.
Puerto Natales bus station at 10:00 p.m.
The O Circuit is the most complete trek you can do in Torres del Paine National Park. Get ready to cover a total of 79 milles in 8 days in a self-guided way through perfectly marked trails.
Following the O Circuit Patagonia you will also pass through the most iconic points of the W circuit, such as the Base Torres Viewpoint, Los Cuernos, Valle del Francés, or the Grey Glacier. But you will also reach the north side of the Paine Massif, the hidden face of the Park, the less known and less traveled part. The connection with nature is assured with this all-inclusive tour 🌲.
Ready to hike the O circuit Torres del Paine and get lost in the wildest Chilean Patagonia? Prepare your backpack, read on and discover the complete itinerary:
O Circuit Welcome Kit
A few days before the start of your adventure you will receive an e-mail with all the technical information you need to prepare for your trip to Torres del Paine. In addition, our staff will coordinate with you the delivery of your welcome kit and park access tickets when you arrive in Puerto Natales.
And now the Patagonian adventure begins!
Difficulty: Medium - 13 Km (4 - 6 hours)
Cumulative altitude: 250 m
Accommodation: Camping Seron
Puerto Natales - Bus station
On the first day of the circuit you will have to go to the bus station in Puerto Natales to take the bus to Torres del Paine at 7:00 am. This bus will take you to the Laguna Amarga gate, the entrance to the National Park. There you will have to register as a visitor and enter the park.
From the same entrance of the park (the Laguna Amarga gate) you will take a second bus, which in just a few minutes will take you to the Welcome Center of the Cerro Paine Reserve. Get ready to start enjoying the spectacular views of Torres del Paine and the Almirante Nieto Massif from there.
Start of the trek O Circuit Patagonia
That same day you will hike a route of 6 to 8 hours to Camping Serón, remember that it is important to control the times.
A few meters from the Cerro Paine Reserve you wiil find the Refugio Central, there you will have to enter and pick up your lunch-box 🥧 to have lunch that day. Once you have the food, put it in your backpack, and you can start the first trek of the large circuit of Torres del Paine!
Trek to Camping Seron
Shortly after starting the route you will cross a huge lenga forest covered with lichens, also known as "old man's beard". Halfway, you will pass through a spectacular valley covered with daisies 🌼. Be amazed by the views of the Paine River, and ride along it until you reach Camping Serón.
The first night of the circuit you will sleep in a camping site, as there is no shelter in this sector of the park. The campsite is equipped with everything you need and your tent will already be set up upon arrival. You will have access to showers, and dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day are included in the tour.
Difficulty: High - 18 Km (6 - 8 hours)
Cumulative altitude: 200 m.
Accommodation: Camping or Refugio in Sector Dickson
Breakfast Camping Seron
The day starts with a breakfast at the campsite. Breakfast is served between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. every day. Remember that each day at the end of breakfast you have to pick up your lunch-box to eat it throughout the day.
Cerro Paine route
The first part of the route begins by skirting the slopes of Cerro Paine. This section is considered of high difficulty due to the strong winds that can be reached in this area. It will be a route composed of small descents and ascents.
Paine Lake - Paine Massif
The second part of the route begins with a descent to Paine Lake. There you will see a unique landscape, as its waters reflect the surrounding mountains forming a postcard image.
If the day is clear, you will even be able to see the northeast summit of the Paine Massif, along with shapes such as the Indian Head, the Shield, the Cube and Dickson. Will you be able to tell them apart? 🗿
Arrival at Dickson Camp
Finally, you will arrive at the Dickson Sector campground, which has both a camping area and a Refugio. As always, you will be able to shower, dine and rest.
The Dickson camp is located at the foot of the glacial Dickson Lake and next to the Campo de Hielo Sur. And from Howlanders we let you in on a little secret 🤫: this is the camp with the best views of Torres del Paine National Park 🤩.
Difficulty: High - 9 Km (4 - 5 hours)
Cumulative altitude: 360 m
Accommodation: Camping Los Perros
Starts Los Perros Trekking
After breakfast and picking up your lunch-box you will start the trek to Los Perros. This is the shortest and fastest route of the 8 days of the O Circuit Patagonia.
In 5 hours you will have finished the trek, so it is a day to enjoy with more calm and appreciate the landscapes, one of the best in all Chilean Patagonia.
During a section of the route you will border Dickson lake with the glaciers in the background, breaking off small pieces of ice that fall into the lake. Little by little, you will leave the lake behind and enter a huge lenga forest.
Through the forest you will find one of the endemic species of the region, the Magellanic woodpecker. On the way, spend some time enjoying one of the best areas for observation. It is located in a small clearing in the Lengas forest, where you can see all the glaciers that surround the area.You won't regret it!
Camping Los Perros
Little by little you will enter the Los Perros sector, with its imposing glacier in the background. Finally, you will arrive at Los Perros Camp, located in the most isolated area of the park and difficult to access. This sector of the park also has no shelter, so this third night of the circuit you will also sleep in a campsite.
This season there will be no food service in the Perros Sector. Therefore, dinner on day 3 and breakfast and lunch on day 4 are not included in the tour. A mini-market has been set up in the camping area where you can find everything you need to cook, as well as chocolates, energy bars and cookies among other foods.
Difficulty: High - 22 Km (9 - 12 hours)
Initial altitude: 620 m.
Maximum altitude: 1 241 m.
Accommodation: Camping or Refugio in Sector Grey
John Garner Pass - Campo de Hielo Sur
This is the most challenging and spectacular day. The route is the longest of all the O Circuit Patagonia. 22 Km and high difficulty.
We recommend that you calculate your time well and leave early, as the route can take up to 12 hours. The first part of the route is an ascent until you reach John Garner Pass. On this stretch, be prepared to feel the strong Patagonian wind. The best reward? The tongues of the Southern Ice Field melting into the clouds ⛅.
The trek continues with a long descent on rocky terrain. You will skirt the Grey Glacier until you reach its lake and access the area known as "El Paso".
There you will cross the two suspension bridges of more than 50 m long with spectacular views of the glacier itself. Finally, you will arrive at the Grey sector camp, where you will have dinner and rest.
Difficulty: Medium - 11 Km (4-5 hours)
Initial altitude: 620 m.
Maximum altitude: 1 241 m.
Accommodation: Camping or Refugio in Sector Paine Grande
Glacier Grey Kayak
If you are still tired from the previous day, don't worry. This day's route is much shorter and one of the easiest of the O circuit. Our recommendation: take the morning off and enjoy the glacier. You can even do the kayaking activity on the Grey glacier.
👉This activity is not included in the price, if you want to do it you just have to select it as an extra during the booking process.
Paine Grande Trekking
After enjoying the morning on the Grey Glacier it is time to get going for today's route.
The most surprising thing about today's trek is that you will constantly have the imposing Cerro Paine Grande by your side. In addition, you will see the hanging glaciers and the highest peak of the Paine Grande Massif, with an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level.
Lake Pehoé - arrival in Paine Grande sector
During today's route, you will also cross a forest of ñirres, cohigues and notros until you finally arrive at the Paine Grande sector. This sector is located in front of Lake Pehoé and next to the Cuernos del Paine. Get ready to sleep tonight in the largest camp of the circuit in Torres del Paine.
Difficulty: High - 20,5 Km (8 - 9 hours)
Initial altitude: 100 m.
Maximum altitude: 762 m.
Alojamiento: Camping or Refugio in Sector Frances
Route to the Italian Camp
The first part of the route is quite smooth, until you reach the Italian camp. Once there, we recommend you to take advantage of the guarderia (nursery) to leave your backpack and have a lighter climb.
The guarderias (nurseries) in Torres del Paine are located at strategic points along the route and are places where you can leave your backpack so as not to carry it and pick it up on your return, as the trail will pass through the same point again.
Mirador Valle Francés
Crossing the sector Francés makes the trek more challenging. But it will be worth climbing the slope, just for the views that await you in the Mirador Valle Francés. When you arrive, you'll have the privilege of seeing large ice slides from the glacier.
Hike to the Mirador Británico
At this point of the trail you must make a decision.
If you feel up to it and still have hours of sunshine ahead of you (this is very important), we encourage you to continue the ascent to the Mirador Británico. A steep slope awaits you, but with the reward of unimaginable views.
On the other hand, if you are already tired or there is not much time left before the sun goes down, we recommend that you skip this part of the circuit and start the way back.
Return to Sector Frances
Once you start your return and pick up your backpack (if you have left it at the nursery 🎒), you will continue a few kilometers until you reach the French Sector, where you will spend the night in one of the most welcoming shelters of the route.
☝ Sector Frances - Sector Cuernos
In the Frances Sector there are two camping/refugio areas, barely separated by two kilometers: the French Sector and the Cuernos Sector. Both are very similar options and are assigned based on availability.
Difficulty: Medium - 14 Km (4 - 5 hours)
Cumulative altitude: 200 m
Accommodation: camping or Refugio in Sector Central
Cuernos del Paine trek - Nordenskjöld lake
Take it easy on this seventh day of torres del Paine O Circuit. Since it is a shorter and easier trek, you don't have to leave early. Enjoy the flat path and the views of the Cuernos del Paine on one side and Lake Nordenskjöld on the other one.
When you arrive at the Central Sector you will notice that both the campsite and the refuge are bigger, since it is the entrance door to the W trek. We suggest you enjoy the wide common areas of the refuge and have a drink at its bar.
You can also enjoy the spa or the restaurant of the Hotel Las Torres (not included), located very close to the refuge, and where you will have a 20% discount.
Difficulty: High - 19,5 Km (7 - 9 hours)
Inital altitude: 126 m.
Maximum altitude: 870 m.
Ascencio River Valley - Paso de los Viento
Get ready for the most expected trek of all visitors to Torres del Paine National Park, the Mirador Base Torres.
The route begins by crossing the Ascencio River Valley and at a few hundred meters starts a 3 km climb to enjoy a beautiful view of the lakes and valleys offered by Paso de los Vientos.
Lengas forest - La Morrena
From this point you’ll begin the descent, passing through the area of the Refugio Chileno. Where you’ll cross the greenish Lengas Forest until you reach La Morrena.
Again you’ll be able to leave your rucksack in a 'guarderia' so you don’t have to ascend loaded up to the spectacular Mirador Base Torres.
Mirador Base Torres
Climbing the rocky path that reaches the Mirador is the hardest stretch of the day, both for the slope and the final stretch, a path of stones. But don’t worry! When you get there you’ll see that the effort is worth it.
In the Mirador Base Torres you’ll be able to enjoy the views of the famous towers that gave their names to the National Park.
Return to sector Central
After having discovered one of the most impressive landscapes in Patagonia, you’ll return again to the Central Sector by the same route but in descent, which makes it much easier.
When you arrive at the “refugio” you’ll pick up your backpack to take the bus. The transfer leaves at 7:00 p.m. and will take you to Puerto Natales, where you’ll arrive at 10:00 p.m. to put an end to this incredible adventure in Torres del Paine O Circuit.