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- Tour details
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O Circuit Patagonia
Hiking the O Circuit in Torres del Paine and discovering the wildest Patagonia
The O Circuit Patagonia is the most complete route you can do in Torres del Paine National Park. Get ready to walk a total of 78.9 mi (127 km) in 8 days in a self-guided way through perfectly marked trails.
Our tour includes everything you need to enjoy this experience: transfers from Puerto Natales, lodging, meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), entrance ticket to the National Park, and even a welcome kit with tour material and complimentary drinks at the lodges.
The southern part of the O Circuit follows the same trails as the W Circuit, so you will reach the most emblematic areas such as the Torres Base Viewpoint, French Valley, or Grey Glacier. In addition, you will also walk on the north side of the Paine Massif, which is the less known and less traveled part of Torres del Paine. The connection with nature is assured with this all-inclusive tour 🌲.
Are you ready to tour the Torres del Paine “Circuito Grande” and get lost in the wildest Chilean Patagonia? Get your backpack ready, read on, and discover the complete itinerary.
- Park access ticket
- Transfer by bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (round trip).
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Serón
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Dickson
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Perros
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Grey
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Paine Grande
- 1 night of lodging in Sector Francés or Cuernos
- 1 night lodging in Central or Chileno Sector
- Full board (7 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners)
- Welcome Kit (refillable bottle + map...)
- Breakfast day 1
- Dinner day 8
- Luggage porter
- Grey Glacier Activities (available as an extra)
- CAMPING accommodation is private in double tents.
- CAMPING Chileno accomodation has an additional cost.
- Lodging in REFUGIO is shared in rooms with 4 to 6 beds.
- The Seron and Perros sectors only have CAMPING facilities.
If you cancel at least 90 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a 100% refund of the amount paid. If you cancel between 89 and 70 days before the start of the tour you will receive a refund of 80% of the amount paid. If you cancel between 69 and 45 days before the start of the tour you will receive a refund of 50% of the amount paid. After this time or in case of not doing the activity, no refund will be made and it will not be possible to modify the reservation.
*Reservation modifications are subject to the cancellation policies indicated, applying the corresponding penalty in each case according to the anticipation with which it is requested.
Welcome Kit - Puerto Natales
Welcome to Circuito O Torres del Paine
We know that a 8 days hike needs a good planning, that's why a tour briefing (explanation of the tour) is held in person or online.
In addition, a few days before your arrival in Puerto Natales you will receive an email with instructions on how to pick up your welcome kit (which includes tickets, map, metal bottle...) and resolve any last minute doubts you may have.
DAY 1 Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine - Camping Serón
Difficulty: Medium - low
Distance: 8,69 mi. (14 km.)
Total approximate time: 4-5 hours
Positive elevation gain: 951,4 ft. (290 m.)
Lodging: Camping Serón
✨ Highlights: Meadows with horses along the Paine river
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, where you will register as a visitor and enter the park.
Welcome Center Torres del Paine
After checking in, you will take a minibus that in just a few minutes will take you to the Welcome Center of the Cerro Paine Reserve. The route begins! Get ready to start enjoying the spectacular views of Torres del Paine and the Almirante Nieto Massif from there.
Beginning of the O Circuit Patagonia
You will pass by the central refuge to pick up your lunchbox and start the 8.70 mi. (14 km.) route to the Serón campsite. The route can be divided into 3 parts: the initial ascent of 820 ft (250 m.) in the first 3.72 mi. (6 km.). This section goes through a huge Lenga Forest covered with lichens, also known as "old man's beard". When you reach the highest part you will have a view of the valley crossed by the Paine River.
You will continue the route downhill for 1.86 mi. (3 km.) until you reach 2.48mi. (4 km). flatland at the bottom of the valley, a huge meadow full of daisies where you will find horses in freedom.
Finally, you will arrive at the Serón Sector, where the only accommodation is the premium campsite, equipped with everything you need so that you can rest directly. The facilities have a shower and a common dining room where dinner and breakfast are served and you can have a drink to celebrate your first day on the road.
DAY 2 Seron to Dickson trekking
Distance: 11,61 mi. (18.7 km.)
Approximate total time: 6-7 hours
Positive elevation gain: 1181 mi. (360 m.)
Lodging: Dickson Sector: premium camping or lodge
✨ Highlights: beach overlooking the Dickson Glacier next to the lodge.
Camping Serón - Paine Lake
The day starts with breakfast around 8:00 am in the dining room, the exact time is always indicated during check-in. You will pick up your lunchbox to eat during the route and start the day.
This route is divided into two sections. It begins with a flat 1.86 mi. (3 km.) along the Paine River accompanied by a stretch of 2.48 mi. (4 km). in which you ascend and descend 656 ft (200 m.) up and down the slopes of Mount Paine right on the stretch that borders Paine Lake. This will give you a panoramic view of the lake with its light blue color typical of glacial lakes and the Paine Massif in the background.
Paine Lake - Dickson
The second part of the route begins, practically flat with small ups and downs. Shortly after descending from the slopes of Cerro Paine, you will find a CONAF (park ranger) post and a restroom, which are not usually abundant on the route.
This second part of the route runs close to the Paine River and is usually a very hot and humid area, so you will likely encounter many mosquitoes. You will cross a stretch of walkways installed to prevent erosion of some wetland areas. Finally, you will arrive at the Dickson Sector, equipped with camping and a lodge with a small dining room, cozy rooms, and very good showers.
💙 Howlanders Tip
When you get to the Dickson Sector we recommend you go to the beach a few meters away. This is a glacier beach next to the lake with the Dickson Glacier in the background. It is usually a very quiet area and perfect for relaxing.
DAY 3 Trekking from Dickson to Los Perros
Distance: 7,76 mi (12.5 km)
Total approximate time: 4-5 hours
Positive elevation gain: 1410,76 ft. (430 m.)
Lodging: Los Perros Sector: camping
✨ Highlights: Los Perros glacier overlook
Beginning of the Los Perros Trek
Breakfast, lunchbox and start the day. This is one of the quietest routes of the entire O circuit, with just over 7.76 mi (12.5 km) and no major slopes. Little by little you will ascend to Los Perros campsite. After a small initial ascent, you will find yourself immersed in the Lenga Forest, which you will be crossing for almost the entire route. The density of the forest prevents the sun from entering with all its splendor, creating a shady environment that makes it the perfect habitat for countless birds.
Take the day easy, the route is short and undemanding, so enjoy the stops and if you like bird watching this is the perfect day for you. In some sections the route approaches the slopes next to the river, where some viewpoints are formed that all travelers take advantage of to relax, since inside the forest there are usually mosquitoes.
Los Perros Glacier
In the final section of the route we cross a couple of wooden bridges and make a small ascent of 330 ft (100 m) up the moraine of the glacial lake until we reach the Los Perros glacier.
This is one of the best moments of the route since you are ascending and because of the slope, you do not see what is in front of you until suddenly you reach the top and before you find the lake with the glacier hanging in the background. A magical moment!
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 Lenga Forest, where you can see all the glaciers that surround the area. You won't regret it!
Camping Los Perros
A few more minutes walk and you will arrive at Los Perros campsite. This is the most isolated and difficult-to-access campsite, so there is no lodge. The showers are cold water and the food is more basic.
DAY 4 Los Perros - Grey Trekking
Distance: 10,68 mi. (17.2 km.)
Approximate total time: 9-10 hours
Positive elevation gain: 2919,95 ft. (890 m.)
Lodging: Grey Sector: camping or lodge
✨ Highlights: Views of Grey Glacier and southern ice field.
Southern Ice Field
We recommend you start the day early, as it is going to be a long day and it is very important to calculate well the walking times. In fact, at the Los Perros camp itself, they will tell you that the latest departure time is 8 in the morning. This is undoubtedly the most challenging route of the O Torres del Paine Circuit and our favorite. Every effort has its reward and on this route, you will experience it firsthand.
The route is divided into 3 parts. In the first part, you will leave the Lenga Forest where Los Perros is located, and ascend to the John Gardner pass: 3.10 mi. (5 km.) with a drop of 562 meters. It is very common to find areas of snow on the part, which is why some travelers decide to wear gaiters. In addition, it is also very common that the clouds accompany you in the high part: keep your raincoat handy.
John Garner Pass
Little by little you will ascend and suddenly you will be at the top of the John Gardner Pass. You will have in front of you what for us are the best views of the whole circuit: the South Patagonian ice field, the different glacier tongues, the Grey glacier, and likely a rainbow over it. We can only say one thing: enjoy!
The second part of this stage begins with the descent from Gardner Pass to the trail that runs near the glacier. This section is especially difficult both for the slope and the type of terrain: stone and a lot of aerial roots that slow you down and force you to be very aware of the path.
This second part ends with the arrival at a CONAF camp known as "El Paso" where many travelers take the opportunity to eat a lunch box.
The third part of this stage will follow, always with the Grey glacier on your right, giving you spectacular views. In addition to the views and the fact that it is flat, what you will enjoy most in this section are the 3 suspension bridges that you will cross to finally reach the Grey Sector. The perfect moment to have a drink at the large bar or terrace.
DAY 5 Trekking to the Paine Grande Sector
Difficulty: medium - low
Distance: 6,83 mi. (11 km.)
Approximate total time: 3-4 hours
Positive elevation gain: 1082,68 ft. (330 m.)
Lodging: Paine Grande Sector: camping or lodge
✨ Highlights: Grey activities (extra) and Grey lookout point
Activity on Grey Glacier
As always happens in the great circuit of Torres del Paine, after a difficult stage comes a much easier one. The route between the Grey and Paine Grande Sectors is especially easy, in fact, many travelers take the opportunity to do one of the two optional activities that can be done on the glacier: kayaking or hiking on the ice.
These activities are done during the morning, as the route that day will only take you between 3 and 4 hours, so you will have time for everything. It is an impressive experience to be able to kayak near the glacier, surrounded by small icebergs, or walk with crampons on the Grey Glacier itself.
👉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.
Trekking in the Paine Grande Sector
The route itself will be short, only 6.83 mi. (11 km.) It will start with a flat stretch and will be gradually followed by a climb of about 656 feet (200 m) of elevation gain in which the forest will open up. It will end with a descent to reach the Paine Grande Sector.
The most beautiful thing about this day will be that the views are incredible on both sides. On your right, you will be accompanied by Lake Grey with the glacier in the background, from which you will gradually move away. To your left, you will have the Paine Massif with the Cerro Paine Grande, the highest peak with more than 9185 feet (2800 m) of altitude.
Lake Pehoé - Paine Grande Sector
In the last stretch, already downhill, the trail will separate from Grey Lake and head towards the Paine Grande Sector, located right in front of Pehoé Lake. This sector is one of the largest in the park. It has a large, well-equipped refuge and a bar that is usually one of the liveliest.
DAY 6 Trekking French Sector - Cuernos
Difficulty: medium - high
Distance: 14,29 mi. (23 km.) to Francés Sector / 16,7 mi. (27 km.) to Cuernos Sector.
Approximate total time: 8 hours to Francés Sector / 10 hours to Cuernos Sector
Positive vertical drop: 2624,67 ft. (800 m.) to the Francés Sector / 3215,22 (980 m.) to the Cuernos sector.
Lodging: Francés Sector or Cuernos Sector: premium camping or lodge
✨ Highlights: French Viewpoint + British Viewpoint
To be taken into account
To understand this route we must clarify that there is a part of it that is optional. The section that ascends to the French or British viewpoints can not be done if you do not consider it appropriate and go straight to your accommodation, subtracting 8 mi (13 km.) from the route and almost all the slope.
On the other hand, the assigned accommodation can be located in Francés Sector in Cuernos, which is 2.48 mi. (4 km.) away from each other. Now, let's get started!
Route to Campamento Italiano
This route can be divided into 3 parts. The first will be a 5.59 mi. (9 km.) stretch of almost no slope until you reach a CONAF camp (park rangers) known as the Italian camp. Shortly before arriving, you will find the intersection that takes you directly to Francés or Cuernos. However, it is worth the effort to climb at least to the French viewpoint. If you take the road up to the viewpoints you will soon arrive at Campamento Italiano, where we recommend you take advantage of the nursery to leave your backpack, take only a small backpack for water, snacks, and something warm, and thus climb lighter.
💬 Nursery “Guarderia”
The nurseries or guarderias 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 since the road will pass through the same point again.
French and Birtanic viewpoints
The second part of this stage begins, crossing the French valley to reach in just 1.55 mi. (2.5 km.), with 984 ft. (300 m.) of elevation gain, to its viewpoint overlooking Mount Paine Grande and its hanging glaciers. If you are lucky, you will even hear some cracking of the ice as it breaks off.
This second stage continues with the ascent to the British viewpoint: 2.48 mi. (4 km.) with 918 ft. (280 m) of elevation gain. Finally reaching the viewpoint, where large rocks crowded together serve as a lookout with a panoramic view of 360 degrees. Just look at the photo, it speaks for itself...
Return to Francés Sector - Cuernos
You will start your descent along the same path. When you arrive at the Italian hut to pick up your backpack, you will see that the travelers who have not had lunch at the viewpoints do it in this place. From here you will continue about 1.55 mi. (2.5 km.) to the Francés Sector and 2.48 mi. (4 km.) more, walking along the Nordenskjold Nordenskjöld Lake and even its beaches, if your assigned accommodation is Cuernos.
☝ Accommodations Francés Sector - Cuernos Sector
Both Francés and Cuernos are sectors with the smallest and coziest accommodations in the park, as they are not easily accessible. The Chileno Sector is assigned when the Francés Sector is full, especially if you are traveling in high season. The Chileno Sector only has camping and has an additional cost.
DAY 7 Central Sector Trekking
Difficulty: medium - low
Distance: 10,56 mi. (17 km.) from the Francés Sector / 8 mi. (13 km.) from the Cuernos Sector
Total approximate time: 6:00 hours from Francés Sector / 4:30 hours to Cuernos Sector.
Positive elevation gain: 1706 ft. (520 m.) from Francés Sector / 1115,49 ft. (340 m.) from Cuernos Sector
Lodging: Central Sector: premium camping or lodge
✨ Highlights: Route along Lake Nordenskjöld.
Francés Sector - Cuernos
As we have already said, after a hard day comes a softer day. So you can take this day easy. It is an easy route, with only a small initial slope of 655 ft. (200 m) when leaving the Cuernos Sector.
The rest of the day is very flat until you reach the small descent that takes you to the Central Sector. Enjoy the day and the views of the Cuernos del Paine on one side and the Nordenskjöld Lake on the other.
When you reach the Central Sector you will notice that both the campsite and the refuge are larger, similar to the Paine Grande Sector. Both sectors are the entrance gates to the park. You will have the chance to meet many travelers, enjoy the large common areas, and of course, once again, one of the liveliest bars on the route.
DAY 8 Base Torres Trekking
Difficulty: medium - high
Distance: 13,67 mi. (22 km.)
Approximate total time: 9-10 hours
Positive elevation gain: 3517 ft. (1,072 m.)
Lodging: not included (return to Puerto Natales)
✨ Highlights: Torres base viewpoint
Ascencio River Valley - Paso de los Vientos
This is undoubtedly the most popular route in Torres del Paine. We divide it into 3 sections. During the first 1.25 miles (2km) you will walk with little elevation gain, and cross the river valley. During the next 1.86 mi. (3 km.) you will ascend along a path without the lodge of trees to the Paso de los Vientos and its panoramic views.
Lenga Forest - La Morrena
The next 2.48 mi. (4 km.) will be a stretch with very little slope, you will pass in front of the Chileno Sector and little by little you will enter the Lenga Forest until you reach the Moraine. An area of large boulders that we consider the beginning of the third section and the most difficult and technical of the day.
Base Torres Viewpoint
For almost 1.24 mi. (2 km.) you will have to find your way between the large blocks of rock that are on the slope, a stretch with quite a slope that will take you to the reward: The Base Torres viewpoint. Its glacier lake is crowned by the three granite towers that give the park its name. Relax, take a few pictures, have lunch with the best views, and of course, enjoy!
Return to Central Sector
Start your way back by walking along the same trail that has led you to the most iconic views of the park. When you arrive at your lodging in Sector Central or Chileno, you will take your backpack to the Welcome Center. Here, you will take the minibus that will take you to the park entrance, Portería Laguna Amarga. From there, you will take the bus to Puerto Natales at approximately 21:30, ending this incredible adventure in the O Circuit Patagonia.
What to bring to O Circuit Patagonia
• PDI: Migratory Card (foreign travelers not residing in Chile)
• Lodging reservation ticket
• Thin hiking pants or shorts.
• Warm/waterproof hiking pants.
• Long/short sleeve T-shirts
• Sport or trekking socks
• First layer: thermal T-shirt
• Middle layer: fleece lining or similar
• Outer layer: waterproof jacket
• Cap or hat
• Hiking shoes (if possible waterproof boots)
• Resting shoes
• Sandals (for showers)
• Personal hygiene products
• Flashlight and battery (especially useful in campsites)
• Walking sticks
• Cash (USD or CLP)
• Medium trekking backpack (40 liters approx.)
• Small trekking backpack (15 liters) to use in the sections with return to the same sector.
• Gaiters for the John Gardner pass
• Water bottle
Where does the tour O Circuit Patagonia start
The tour starts in the city of Puerto Natales. If you are traveling from Santiago de Chile the best option is to take a flight to Punta Arenas, and from there you can take a bus that in only 3:15 hours will take you to the bus station in Puerto Natales or hire a private transportation service with us.
If you are traveling from El Calafate (Argentina), there are buses that connect directly to Puerto Natales in a 5 hour trip or you can book with us the transfer from El Calafate to Puerto Natales or the direct transfer between El Calafate and Torres del Paine.