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Torres del Paine O Circuit

Hiking the O Circuit in Torres del Paine: Discover Patagonia

8 days
From
$1,375
4.5 (13 reviews)
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Summary
Itinerary
What to bring
Reviews
FAQs

Torres del Paine O Circuit tour information

location_onPuerto Natales
timer 8 days
chat Spanish / English

Starts

Puerto Natales bus station at 6:30 a.m.

Ends

Puerto Natales bus station at 10:00 p.m.

Included

  • Access ticket to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Transfer by bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (round trip)
  • 7 nights in accommodation in *campings or "refugio"
  • Meals every day (breakfast + dinner in dining room and lunch in lunchbox)
  • Welcome kit (towel + liner + refillable bottle + notebook + map)
The campsite includes the tent, sleeping bag, mattress and insulation for rain. All this will be ready upon your arrival at the campsite and you won’t have to carry it during the trekking.

Not included

  • Additional activities
  • Drinks in the bar of the “refugios”

error_outlineImportant information


The order of the visits could be altered, but it will not affect the content of the program. The schedules of the tickets and transports could be subject to modifications.
SAFE ADVENTURE – Covid 19
This activity includes the appropriate protection measures to ensure your safety. In addition, our excursions are outdoor and in small groups to reduce the risk of contagion. Remember to follow the instructions of the staff during the development of the excursion.

restoreCancellation policy


Free cancellation! You can cancel this tour and you'll receive 100% refund of the amount paid if you cancel more than 31 days in advance. After this time, or in case you do not show up, no refunds will be given.
bookmark_borderBriefing

The O Circuit is the most complete route to explore all of the Torres del Paine National Park. The O circuit, unlike the W trek, also includes the northern part of the park. The level of difficulty is medium-high during most of the 8 days of the tour. Therefore, we recommend it to travelers with mountain experience.

  • The first 4 days of the Torres del Paine loop you will travel through the northern area, passing through the Dickson Sector and Los Perros sector. In these sectors there is only one refugio, so 2 of the 4 nights will be in camping. During the rest of the O circuit you can choose to stay in camping or refuge in a shared room (recommended).
  • The last 4 days of the O circuit are shared with the W trek. During this second stage you will pass through the Grey sector, French sector, Central sector and Base Torres sector.

The 8-day O Trek Torres del Paine is a self-guided tour. The trail is very well signposted, so it is very easy to follow. This tour includes everything necessary to enjoy this experience: transfers, accommodation, food, access, etc.

Each sector of the park hides unique places with views of the incredible nature of Chilean Patagonia. Among them you will see: the Dickson and Grey glaciers, the French Valley, the Mirador Británico and the Mirador Base Torres... Without a doubt, it is the best option hiking the O Circuit in Torres del Paine.

Are you ready to tour the deepest Chilean Patagonia?

Tour itinerary

todayInformative Briefing - Puerto Natales

Organizational meeting The day before the tour begins, the tour briefing is held at 4:00 p.m. in the Puerto Natales offices. There they will explain you everything you need to enjoy the 8 days of the trek. You will also be given all the tickets, and the welcome kit to Torres del Paine loop.
briefing in puerto natales office to start the Torres del Paine O circuit

todayDAY 1 Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine - Camping Serón

Difficulty: Medium - 13 Km (4 - 6 hours) Cumulative altitude: 250 m Accommodation: Serón camping
Entrance to the Torres del Paine National Park

The day the trek starts, you will have to go to the bus station in Puerto Natales to take a bus at 7:00 a.m.. This bus will take you to the access to Torres del Paine National Park, Laguna Amarga entrance. There you will have to register as a visitor in order to access.

portería amarga register center to torres del paine national park o circuit

From the same entrance to the park you will take a bus for a few minutes to the Cerro Paine Reserve Welcome Center. Get ready to start enjoying the spectacular views of Torres del Paine and the Almirante Nieto massif.

torres del paine views of almirante nieto massif from refugio central

It is important to control the times, since that same day you will have a route of 6 to 8 hours to the Serón camping. A few meters from the Cerro Paine Reserve is the Central Refugio, where you will have to pick up your lunch-box. Once you have the food in your backpack, you can start the first trek of the O Circuit Torres del Paine!

bar in refugio torre centra o circuit with howlanders
First trek to Seron camping

Shortly after starting the trek you will cross a huge lenga forest with lichens called "barba de viejo”(old man's beard). Halfway through, you will pass through a spectacular valley covered with daisies with the Paine River on your right, which you will surround until you reach the Serón camping.

Remember that the campsite is equipped with everything you need. You will have access to the showers and dinner included. Moreover, your tent will be already set up at your arrival.

rio paine views and waterfall in o circuit

todayDAY 2 Trekking to Dickson

Difficulty: High - 18 Km (6 - 8 hours) Cumulative altitude: 200 m Accommodation: Camping or "refugio" in Sector Dickson
Breakfast at en Seron camping

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.

camping seron views in the middle of valley in torres del paine
Cerro Paine route

The first part of the route begins by skirting the slopes of Cerro Paine. This section is a route made up of small descents and ascents, its difficulty lies in the strong winds of the area.

cerro paine views and lake
Paine lake - Paine Massif

The second section of the route begins with a descent to Paine lake. In the lake you will see an incredible landscape, reflecting in its waters the mountains that surround it. If the day is clear, you will be able to see the northeast summit of the Paine Massif, along with shapes like the "Indian Head", "Shield", "Cube" and Dickson.

paine lake and paine massif o circuit views during trekking o circuit in torres del paine
Arrival at Dickson Campsite - Southern Ice Field

Finally, you will arrive at the camp in the Dickson Sector, which has a campsite and shelter. As always, you'll be able to shower, dine and rest.

For the Howlanders team, we have to admit that this is the camp with the best views of Torres del Paine National Park. Camping Dickson is located at the foot of the Dickson, of glacial origin and next to the Southern Ice Field.

o circuit camping dickson with howlanders in dickson sector

todayDAY 3 Trekking Los Perros

Difficulty: High - 9 Km (4 - 5 hours) Cumulative altitude: 360 m Accommodation: Los Perros camping
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 Torres del Paine O Circuit.

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.

lake views in trreking los perros oc circuit
Views to Dickson lake

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.

torres del paine dickson glacier
Lengas 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!

green lengas forest during o circuit torres del paine
Los Perros campsite

Little by little you will enter Los Perros sector, with its imposing glacier in the background.

Finally, you will arrive at Los Perros Campsite, located in the most isolated area of the park and with difficult access. This campsite does not have a refuge, nor a kitchen, it only has a campsite. Therefore, dinner will be more basic.

O circuit camping los perros with howlanders in the middle of lengas forest

todayDAY 4 Trekking to Grey Sector

Difficulty: High - 22 Km (9 - 12 hours) Initial altitude: 620 masl Maximum altitude: 1 241 masl Accommodation: Camping or "refugio" in Sector Grey
John Garner Pass and Southern Ice Field

This is the most challenging but spectacular day. The route is the longest of all, 22 km of high difficulty. So you have to calculate the times well and leave early, as the route can take up to 12 hours.

The first part of the route is an ascent through a swampy terrain until you reach John Garner Pass.

On this stretch get ready to feel the strong Patagonian wind. The best reward? The Huge tongues of the Southern Ice Field that melt in the horizon with the clouds.

southern ice field views in torres del paine national park
El Paso of Glaciar Grey

The route continues with a long descent on rocky terrain. You will bordering the Grey glacier until you reach its lake and access an area called "El Paso". There you will cross 2 hanging bridges over 50 m long with spectacular views of the glacier itself. Finally you will arrive at the campsite in Sector Grey, where you will have dinner and rest.

grey glacier with a traveler standing in front of the glacier in torres del paine o circuit

todayDAY 5 Trekking to Paine Grande sector

Difficulty: Medium - 11 Km (4-5 hours) Initial altitude: 620 masl Maximum altitude: 1 241 masl Accommodation: Camping or “refugio” in Sector Paine Grande
Kayak in Grey Glacier

If you're still tired from the day before, don't worry. This day's route is much shorter and one of the easiest on the Torres del Paine O circuit. Our recommendation is to take the morning off to enjoy the Grey glacier. You can even do the kayak activity on the 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.

kayak in glacier grey torres del paine activity
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.

paine grande trekking in torres del paine o circuit
Paine Grande sector - Pehoe lake

During today's trekking, you’ll cross a forest of ñirres, cohigues and notros until you finally arrive at Sector Paine Grande.

This sector is located in front of Pehoe lake and next to the Cuernos del Paine. Get ready to sleep tonight in the largest camping and refuge area of the entire Torres del Paine loop.

woman standing in front of pehoe lake in torres del paine national park

todayDAY 6 French Valley

Difficulty: High - 20,5 Km (8 - 9 hours) Initial altitude: 100 masl Maximum altitude: 762 masl Alojamiento: Camping or “refugio” in Sector Francés
Trek to the Italian Campsite

The route starts softly until you reach the Italian camp. Once there, we recommend you take advantage of the ‘guardería’ to leave your backpack and have a lighter climb.

italian campsite in torres del paine national park during the o circuit
Mirador del 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.

lanke and french valley views in torres del paine o circuit
Hike to the Mirador Británico

At this point on the route you must make a decision. If you are feeling strong and still have hours of sun ahead of you, we encourage you to continue the trekking to the Mirador Britanico. A hard route, but with the reward of an unimaginable sight of Torres del Paine O Circuit.

On the contrary, do not feel obliged to force yourself if you are tired or if the sun is just about to set. In that case, it's time to start the journey back.

mirador britanico views during the o circuit torres del paine
Return to sector Francés campsite

Once you start the return journey and pick up your rucksack, you will continue a few kilometres to the French sector, where you will spend the night in one of the most welcoming refuges on the route.

It should be noted that in the French sector there are two camping/refuge areas, separated by two kilometers (French and Cuernos), they are very similar options and are assigned based on availability.

frances camping during the o circuit torres del paine with howlanders

todayDAY 7 Sector Central

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.

Nordenskjöld lake and cuernos del paine in o circuit
Sector Central

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.

camping sector central in torres del paine

todayDAY 8 Trekking to Base Torres

Difficulty: High - 19,5 Km (7 - 9 hours) Inital altitude: 126 masl Maximum altitude: 870 masl
Ascencio River Valley - Paso de los Vientos

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.

Ascencio River Valley - Paso de los Vientos in o circuit torres del paine to mirador base torres
Lengas forest - La Morrena

From this point you’ll begin the descent, passing through the area of the Chilean Refugio. 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.

lengas forest in torres del paine o circuit travelers doing trekking
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.

mirador base torres o circuit with a man enjoying the views
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.

puerto natales views returning of o circuit torres de paine tour

What to bring to Torres del Paine O Circuit

The climate in Torres del Paine changes a lot, the seasons when you can do this trek are spring and summer, therefore you will have less rain and temperatures can range between 5 and 25 degrees. In this zone, the climate can vary quickly which means during the same day you can suffer from cold, heat and even strong winds. For that reason, it’s important to take good equipments and many layers of clothes to be able to regulate your temperature. We recommend that you take with you:
  • Passport + immigration card (the document given when stamping the passport)
  • Cash (USD) as no card payments are allowed in the area and there are no exchange houses or ATMs.
  • Medium trekking backpack (40 liters aprox.)
  • Long/Short Sleeve T-shirts (one for each day)
  • Long hiking trousers
  • Hiking shorts
  • Warm jacket or fleece
  • Cap or hat
  • Mountain shoes (if possible waterproof boots)
  • Resting shoes
  • Raincoat/waterproof poncho
  • Sandals (for showers)
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Flashlight and battery (especially useful in campsites)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Walking sticks

Where does the tour Torres del Paine O Circuit start

The 8 day Torres del Paine O Trek starts in Puerto Natales. If you are traveling from Santiago de Chile the best option is to take a flight to Punta Arenas. From Punta Arenas, you can take a bus that in only 3:15 hours will take you to the Puerto Natales bus station. Another very common starting point is El Calafate (Argentina), there are buses that directly connect this Argentine city with Puerto Natales in a trip of 5 hours.

Torres del Paine O Circuit tour reviews with Howlanders

4.5
Overall rating
Transportation
4.8
Quality-price ratio
4.5
Advice
4.5
Guide
3.9
Accommodation
4.8
John · 10 de marzo de 2020
Everything went smooth - from booking all the way to doing the hike. The refugios were nice, the food was good and I felt like I was looked after well!

Jeremy · 26 de febrero de 2020
Fantastic experience. Well organized. Everything went smoothly and help was always just a phone call away. Thank you!

Hiroaki Suzuki · 3 de febrero de 2020
Overall, the tour is satisfactory. Logistic such as transport, accomodation and porter was very good. The company should assign the staff who can provide accurate information on the travel conditions. There was an important discrepency on how the porter works with the client, berween her oral explanation at the time of payment and the written explanation received later. This discrepancy has not caused any problem on the ground as the trail was easy to follow and not dangerous. On this, it was very useful that I could talk with the Director who actually walked the trail. I recommend that the company let the sales persons havz real expeiences in walking the trekking course which she or he sell et to the clients.Last not least, the porter was excellent. I was impressed how he handled the problem caused by his injury during the trekkin. He swiftly contacted the company and asked flexibly the support of his friends, so that his injury did not cause any inconvenience to his clients. His name is Juan Fuentes. He also speaks English and French. He could be a good guide, too.

Alice Bates · 27 de enero de 2020
Booking the O-trek seemed like a confusing process, going through Howlanders took the stress out of this for us. The trek itself was amazing and the accommodation, meals and refugios were better than expected. Would definitely recommend.

Questions & Answers

What are “refugios” like and why do you recommend them?
The “refugios” are like lodges in Patagonia. They all have been built quite recently, with spacious common areas to rest and have a drink. Each of them have a large dining room which is also used by travellers staying in the camping sites. On top of that, they also have a bar where travellers meet to chat and get a drink. Finally, the showers in the “refugios” are better and do not have timetables, compared to the showers in the campsites which have a schedule for their usage.

Do I have a private room in the “refugios”?
No, the rooms in the “refugios” are shared with approximatively 8 people. Each room have good beds with reading light and a plug next to the bed.

What are the campsites like?
They are areas close to the “refugios”, in the middle of nature where you’ll find other travellers. Some tents are located on wooden structures while others are directly on a waterproof layer. They each have their own bathrooms and showers (with limited hours) as well as a common kitchen although you won't have to use it as the tour includes all the meals served in the “refugios” dining room.

Do I have to carry my camping equipment during the tour?
No, the tents are already installed in the campsites so when you arrive they will tell you which tent is assigned to you, which will already be set up and equipped with a mattress and a sleeping bag.

Book Torres del Paine O Circuit

8 days from
$1,375
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