Patagonia Torres del Paine 9 Day Circuit US$3,001

Highlights: 
  • Superb Trekking
  • John Gardner Pass
  • Grey and Dickson Glaciers
  • Complete Paine Massif Round
  • Torres del Paine Towers
  • Start in Calafate, Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales
  • Ask to start in Santiago or Buenos Aires
 
Brief Itinerary: 

Day 1 (Wed): Travel from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate to Torres del Paine
Day 2 (Thu): Trek to Dickson Lake 
Day 3 (Fri): Trek to Los Perros
Day 4 (Sat): Trek to Grey, Gardner Pass
Day 5 (Sun): Trek to Pehoe Lake
Day 6 (Mon): Trek Valle del Frances
Day 7 (Tue): Trek Los Cuernos Trail
Day 8 (Wed): Trek to the Towers
Day 9 (Thu): Leave Torres del Paine

Day 1, Wednesday, The Patagonian Adventure starts
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in Calafate (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with many wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. 
The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
For more details about trek distance and walking time, click here to check out our Trekking Chart.
 
 
Day 2, Thursday, EcoCamp to Camp Dickson
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
The day will start at EcoCamp with a long trek heading to Dickson Lake. The trek follows North along the eastern bank of the Rio Paine. We stop at a lookout point with a wonderful panoramic view of Lago Paine below, before descending to lakeside level and continuing West across open grasslands along the Rio Paine to Refugio Dickson. Our stunning campsite will be in the Dickson Valley surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and the pretty waters of Lake Dickson. In the distance we enjoy a spectacular view of Dickson Glacier and part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. We spend the night camping here at Dickson Campground with a replenishing dinner and hot showers.
 
 
Day 3, Friday, Camp Dickson to Camp Perros
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Today we follow a trail which goes alongside Los Perros river, in the wildest and least accessible section of the trek. We pass under the Los Perros Glacier, which falls into a small lake, and cross a virgin beech forest leading the way towards the lovely Laguna Los Perros. Here at Camping Los Perros we set up camp and enjoy the evening.
 
 
Day 4, Saturday, Camp Perros to Camp Grey, through John Gardner Pass
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Today we reach the highest point of the circuit at 1300 mts (4000 ft) with an awe-inspiring view of Grey glacier, an enormous fractured mass of ice dominating the valley. The John Gardner pass is one of the most famous points of Torres del Paine and a must-do for any serious trekker. It is a hard but spectacular day. Descending from this highest point, the route continues roughly south along forested slopes with beautiful views of the enormous Grey Glacier (more than 28 km in length). We spend the night camping at Grey Campground on the shores of Lake Grey.
 
 
Day 5, Sunday, Camp Grey to Pehoe Lake
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
After yesterday's big effort, we have the first part of the morning free to rest and enjoy Grey Glacier's surroundings. In the late morning it's time to continue trekking, along the eastern side of Grey 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 before descending through a shallow dry valley to arrive at Lago Pehoe. We spend the night in our camp by the turquoise lake Pehoe.
 
 
Day 6, Monday, Valle Frances
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
After breakfast, we start the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups’ rhythm. An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif. From this point there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail until reaching the upper section of the valley. The entire group of geological formations of the high valley can be admired here: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). It’s time to have a picnic and recover from the walk. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well. Finally we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until we reach camp cuernos.
 

Day 7, Tuesday, Los Cuernos
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Once we’re done with breakfast we start our day's trek heading towards EcoCamp Patagonia through the Cuernos trail located beside the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. Today is a great opportunity to take in the park’s charming flora and fauna and learn more about the vast variety of species. As we through the trail we enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and admire a different view of the Paine’s Horns. En route we’ll of course stop to enjoy a delicious box lunch and rest our legs. The trek ends at EcoCamp. Upon arrival we enjoy a heart meal and prepare for tomorrow's big challenge.

 

Day 8, Wednesday, Base Trek las Torres
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Time for a big breakfast and lots of enthusiasm - Our goal today is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine NP! We walk from the camp site towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us to a view of the Towers - Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp for a well-deserved dinner.

 
 
Day 9, Thursday, Adios Torres del Paine!
Punta Arenas, Chile
We board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight to Santiago.

Accommodation

Tents & Campsites (Nights 1-8)
Typical mountain tents are used for this programme.  with enough room for 2 people overnight in comfortable conditions. We provide all the camping gear but please bring your own mat and sleeping bag (mats and sleepingbags are also available to rent). Our team will set up the tents in the camping site. On nights 1, 7 and 8 you sleep in tents within the EcoCamp grounds*. On nights 2 and 3 there will also be a big and comfortable dining tent for enjoying dinners and breakfasts. On nights 4, 5 and 6 at Grey, Pehoe and Cuernos respectively there is a full board service meaning you eat dinner and breakfast in the refugios, not in a dining tent. Additionally, the camping sites along the trek will have mountain bathroom facilities in good condition.
 

Camping at EcoCamp Patagonia (Nights 1,7,8) 
Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, with a unique view of the majestic granite towers. The region’s first fully sustainable accommodation south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers camping in tents (or in geodesic domes for an optional upgrade).

 

EcoCamp Patagonia Standard Dome (Optional upgrade) (Shared bathroom, 10m²/108ft²)
EcoCamp Standard domes were the world's first geodesic dome hotel room. Inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants, they are resistant to the strongest Patagonian winds, rains, and snow and come equipped with two single beds (doubles on request), very cozy fleece blankets, feather quilts and organic elements for decoration. There are round windows in the ceiling to look up at the stars. Standard domes have shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

 

EcoCamp Patagonia Superior Dome(Optional upgrade) (Heating & Private bathroom, 23m²/250ft²)
Spacious, comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, Superior Domes are the optimum choice for trekkers wanting that bit more space and comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. Each Superior Dome has comfortable queen-size or twin beds, a propane heater, skylight windows and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet.

 *Please note we will do our very best to accommodate all Paine Circuit hikers in tents at EcoCamp on nights 1, 7 & 8. We do have a maximum number of guests that can be accommodated in EcoCamp's dining area, and if this number is reached then some members of the Paine Circuit group will be required to camp in a nearby campsite where they will enjoy their meals and sleep. These hikers are of course welcome to join all activities in EcoCamp's bar in the evening (just a short walk up the hill) before returning to their campsite to sleep!

 

Included
  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate, check last section
  • 8 nights camping*, including all equipment EXCEPT mat and sleeping bag
  • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park
  • One expert English speaking trekking guide
  • The porter service for this trip (see note below)
  • Meals:
day 1: L, D
day 2: B, BL, D
day 3: B, BL, D
day 4: B, BL, D
day 5: B, BL, D
day 6: B, BL, D
day 7: B, BL, D
day 8: B, BL, D
day 9: B, BL
B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner.
 
*Please note that while we will do our very best to accommodate all Paine Circuit hikers in tents at EcoCamp on nights 1, 7 & 8. We do have a maximum number of guests that can be accommodated in EcoCamp's dining area and if this number is reached then some members of the Paine Circuit group will be required to camp in a nearby campsite where they will enjoy their meals and sleep. These hikers are of course welcome to join all activities in EcoCamp's bar in the evening (just a short walk up the hill) before returning to their campsite to sleep!
 
Excluded
  • Flight tickets.
  • Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip).
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff.
  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested.
  • Items of personal nature.

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