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9 Day Torres del Paine Circuit

  • Patagonia 3
  • Patagonia 1
  • Patagonia 2
  • Patagonia 5
  • Patagonia 4
  • Patagonia 6
  • Patagonia 7
  • Patagonia 8
  • Patagonia Refugio Los Cuern

Background

"This landscape of blue, green and silver, of granite spires, glaciers, lakes, mountains and daisy-filled meadows, robs you of words. I quote Gerard Manley Hopkins to myself, the nearest I can get to doing justice to the view beyond the tent's opening flap: "The world is charged with the grandeur of God…" – words that could have been written for this place". Kate Kellaway from The Observer.

Highlights

  • Trek the John Gardner Pass
  • Trek the Grey and Dickson Glaciers
  • Complete Paine Massif Round
  • Witness the amazing Torres del Paine Towers 
  • Overnight accommodation in the eco friendly Eco Camp

Overview

The Paine Massif, with its distinctive Towers, is considered one of the world's great trekking trails. On the southern tip of the South American continent, the Paine landscape has been dramatically sculpted by ferocious winds from Antarctica, powerful glaciers and the ever shifting continental plates. For you as the trekker, you will be witness to a rugged and spectacular landscape, dominated by jagged peaks and enormous glaciers.

 

Our expeditions run between October and March each year as this is when the area is accessible after the frigid winter. However nights can still get cold. Our expedition starts and ends in the acclaimed Eco Camp Patagonia. We will trek for 7 days through this wonderful environment, visiting the Grey and Dickson Glaciers, over the John Gardner Pass and to the world famous Torres del Paine Towers.

 

If you love remote and beautiful places and experience this with some of the best guides in the industry, then our 9 day Torres del Paine Circuit is for you. If you don't have as much time why not try our Classic 7 Day W Expedition or our 5 Day W Expedition.

Itinerary

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

Note : B : Breakfast, BL : Boxed Lunch, L : Lunch and D : Dinner

Note : Please bring US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested. 

EXTRA NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION
The Eco Camp in Torres del Paine is an amazing place and many people like to stay on for a few more days after their expedition to soak up the atmosphere and to explore the region further. If you would like to extend your stay please let us know and we can arrange this for you.

Routes

Please note that all 9 day trips leave on a Wednesday between October and March

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. 

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.

Day 2, Thursday, Camp Torres 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/Camping Las Torres. 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.

Inclusions

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • 5 nights camping, including all equipment EXCEPT mat and sleeping bag
  • 3 nights at EcoCamp Patagonia (Standard Domes Upgrades Available to Suite or Superior rooms)
  • 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 in Pre Departure Information)

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets (Santiago to Punta Arenas return approx AUD$500 approx)
  • Insurance (this is mandatory and can be purchased from us).
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff.
  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp.
  • Items of personal nature

Maps

Extensions

Domed Eco Tents Chile

Domed Eco Tents Chile

Why not spend a few more days in this amazing place using the domed Ec [...]