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PAINE BIG CIRCUIT

7 Days trekking loop around Torres del Paine Massif

Overview

The Paine Big Circuit, also known as the O Circuit, is for bold trekkers searching for a truly entrancing Torres del Paine experience. On this 7-day endurance trekking and camping adventure, you’ll camp in remote areas and hike more than 100 km along one of the world’s classic trails, continually accompanied by granite mountains, countless glaciers, untamed weather, otherworldly lakes and spectacular views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

Trip Highlights

• Immersive, week-long trek
• Hike the untamed side of Torres del Paine
• Ascend the John Gardner Pass
• Hike the French Valley
• See Grey Glacier up close
• Trek to the Towers Base
• Countless panoramic landscapes
• Hike among mountains, lagoons, glaciers and rivers
• See wild flora and fauna

Trip Map

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Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to Torres del Paine – Round trip hike to Las Torres lookout point

2 hours by private transfer

8-10 hour round-trip, 21 km

Night at Camping Torres (BL-D)

We’ll pick you up in Puerto Natales at 7.30 am and travel to Torres del Paine National Park via unpaved roads and past lagoons and pampas; accompanied at times by the guanacos (relatives of llamas), grey foxes, flamingos and black-necked swans that call them home.
Our first challenge is the ascent to the Towers base lookout point, following the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley. After our first hour’s trek we’ll pause to observe how the valley’s beauty unfolds with rich beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll then continue uphill for another 90 minutes and prepare to ascend a gigantic terminal moraine (a ridge formed at a glacier’s end point). At the top, we’ll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 meters above sea level, the three granite spires appear to burst dramatically out of the rocky landscape, while at their base a green-blue lagoon provides a counterpoint of stillness. Here, we’ll have lunch and take pictures before beginning our descent down the same path and to our first campsite.

Day 2

Camping Las Torres to Serón - Trekking through beech forests

4-5 hours, 9 km

Night at Serón Campsite (B-BL-D)

Depending on the weather, our early morning start will be lit up by orange-tinged views of the Towers. Our path takes us through a very old forest of beech trees where we may hear woodpeckers or find fresh puma tracks. Today’s 9 km hike is the Circuit’s easiest and takes us via a well-marked, slightly sloping trail. Along the way, an exceptional view of Paine Chico Mountain will accompany us. Our destination is Serón Campsite, where we’ll set up camp and enjoy a replenishing dinner.

Day 3

Serón to Dickson - Accompanied by wildflowers and craggy peaks

6-7 hours, 18,5 km

Night at Dickson Campsite (B-BL-D)

Depending on the season, today’s leg shows off the Park’s gorgeous floral delights, as orchids, calceolarias, violets and oxalis flower. Circling Paine Lake, several impressive mountain views will appear, such as Cerro Escudo and Cerro Cabeza del Indio (in which the profile of an Indian is seen as if carved into the rocks). At the beginning of the Paine River we’ll see the curved peak of Cerro Cubo, as well as Lake Dickson (a lake straddling Chile and Argentina). Tonight, we’ll set up camp at Dickson Campsite.

Day 4

Dickson to Los Perros - Alongside mountains, rivers and glaciers

5 hours, 9 km

Night at Los Perros Campsite (B-BL-D)

Today is a day to please the senses, filled with beautiful sights and textures. Often touted as one of the most beautiful sections of this wilder side of Torres del Paine, we’ll hike through ancient beech forests, wander undulating trails and follow Los Perros River. Mountains, waterfalls and lush vegetation will never be far away, as our trail crosses the river via suspension bridge and arrives at the base of our second terminal moraine; this time belonging to Glacier Los Perros, a hanging glacier that feeds the crystalline lagoon at its base. A final half hour hike takes us to today’s destination, Los Perros Campsite. Tonight’s campsite is the only one on the Circuit without hot showers and standard bathroom facilities such as flushing toilets.

Day 5

Los Perros to Grey via the famous John Gardner Pass

10-11 hours, 22 km

Night at Grey Campsite (B-BL-D)

The most strenuous day of the Paine Circuit has arrived, bringing demanding trails and variable weather conditions. Of course, your efforts will be more than rewarded with some of Torres del Paine’s most heart-stirring landscapes, experienced by very few visitors to Torres del Paine. We’ll begin along a clear trail through forests, then make our way through swamp-like section before beginning our ascent to the John Gardner Pass. At this Pass, 1200 meters above sea level, Patagonia’s famous winds are strong and the views across Grey Glacier and of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field’s still unexplored peaks are astonishing. The trail now takes you alongside the glacier, ascending and descending through forests of fallen trees and beneath the imposing, almost muscular granite walls of Cordon Olguín. As we come closer to Grey Glacier we may see an ice calving (where chunks of ice break off a glacier’s edge). Tonight we’ll recharge at Grey Campsite.

Day 6

Grey to Paine Grande - Optional activities at Grey Lake

3,5 hours, 11 km

Night at Paine Grande Campsite (B-BL-D)

Our morning begins slowly, resting and stretching around camp. Depending on your energy levels, choose from several options this morning. Walk to the Grey Glacier’s lookout point and watch for ice calvings on its massive walls; complete an ice hike with the aid of crampons; or kayak on Grey Lake, paddling around icebergs and in front of the glacier. Later, we’ll have lunch at the Refugio and hike to Pehoe Lake. (Ice hike and kayaking expedition at an additional fee, advance booking required, please contact our Travel Specialists.)

Day 7

Trek the French Valley and Transfer to Puerto Natales

7-8 hours, 17 km

35 minutes by catamaran

2 hours by private transfer (B-BL)

Today's destination, the French Valley, is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers. This is a return hike, so we will be able to leave our packs behind and trek lightly. We start by walking around Paine Grande, the highest peak in Torres del Paine, through native Patagonian firebush and evergreen beech forests. At the suspension bridge over the French River, the arresting hanging glacier atop the valley will come into sight. From here, we’ll walk for another hour, ascending 300m through a dreamlike Japanese garden landscape before arriving at the lookout point (the “Plateau”). Your reward is a heart-stirring bird’s eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers. To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m); while to the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north “horns” of Los Cuernos arch upwards. In the upper section of the Valley, Cerro Catedral and Cerro Fortaleza loom like turrets above the landscape. We’ll take our time to have lunch at the viewpoint, surrounded by these imposing peaks and open skies. Our return hike is along the same track, and the catamaran will take us back across Pehoe Lake to meet our private transfer back to Puerto Natales.

INCLUDED

  • All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
  • All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner)
  • Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
  • 6 nights lodging at campsites
  • 4 season tents (based on double occupancy)
  • Porters to carry the camping gear and the food
  • Catamaran to cross Pehoe Lake
  • Guide (English-Spanish languages)
  • Guide ratio: 1:6 guests

NOT INCLUDED

  • Any additional nights
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel insurance (air medical rescue service - first aid and/or evacuation - insurance included)
  • Personal expenses
  • Sleeping bag and mattress
  • Porters to carry personal belongings (including sleeping bag and mattress, available upon request at a cost of USD$750 for 5 days, maximum of 15kg per porter. This service can usually be shared between two hikers)
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except the ones include in the menus
  • Gratuities for Guide & Porters

Lodgings

Camping Central

Located at the beginning of the W Circuit in Las Torres sector, 250 metres from Refugio Torre Central. Camping features shared bathroom facilities and hot shower. (Hot water available from 6pm to 9pm)

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Camping Seron

Located at 4 hours trek from Las Torres sector, it is the eastern side of the National Park and at the beginning of the Paine Massif Circuit. It features shared bathroom facilities and showers.

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Camping Dickson

Camping Dickson features an exceptional location on the edge of Lake Dickson with wonderful views over the mountains. It is a must-stay-spot for the Paine Massif Circuit. Camping features shared bathroom facilities and hot shower. (Hot water available from 6pm to 9pm)

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Camping Los Perros

The most basic campsite of Paine Massif Circuit. It is located in the beautiful southern beech forest. Facilities are limited, camping only features one cold shower.

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Camping Grey

Camping Grey is the closest to Glacier Grey and it is the starting point for the glacier excursions, such as ice hiking over the glacier, kayaking around the icebergs or hiking up to the hanging bridges for a panoramic view over the Patagonian Southern Ice Field. Camping Grey is also part of the W Circuit and Paine Massif Circuit. Camping features shared bathroom facility and hot shower. (Hot shower available from 6pm to 9pm)

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Camping Paine Grande

Located on the edge of Lake Pehoé, with beautiful views to Cuernos del Paine and Paine Grande Mountain, Camping Paine Grande is the starting or ending point for Glacier Grey and French Valley trails, as well as part of the W Circuit and Paine Massif Circuit.It features shared bathroom and hot shower. (Available from 6pm to 9pm)

Our guests sleep in 4-season tents, MSR and Hilleberg (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy.

Dates & Prices

PRICES FOR SEASON 2018/2019: (valid until April 2019)

2 guests: USD $ 2.695 per person
3 guests: USD$ 2.495 per person
4-8 guests: USD$ 2.395 per person
Single Tent Supplement: USD$ 250 per person

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES/SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)

If you want to avoid carrying too much weight you can pay for a private porter. These porters carry a maximum of 15 kilos in a dry bag provided by Chile Nativo, a service which is usually good to share between 2 – 3 people and must be booked for 5 days (Day 2 to 6) Porter price for 5 days: USD$ 750

On some days alternatives to camping are available (subject to availability):
Day 1: Refugio Torre Central: Comfortable mountain lodge, with 6 beds per room (bunk beds) USD$ 65 per bed, per night

Day 3 & 5 & 6: Refugio Dickson & Grey & Paine Grande: Comfortable mountain lodge, with
6 beds per room (bunk beds) USD$ 30 per bed, per night

Day 6: Ice Trek USD$190 per person or Kayak USD$120 per person


Public bus from/to Punta Arenas USD$ 15

—————————————————————-

PRICES FOR SEASON 2019/2020: (valid until April 2020)

2 guests: USD $ 2.695 per person
3 guests: USD$ 2.495 per person
4-8 guests: USD$ 2.395 per person
Single Tent Supplement: USD$ 250 per person

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES/SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)

If you want to avoid carrying too much weight you can pay for a private porter. These porters carry a maximum of 15 kilos in a dry bag provided by Chile Nativo, a service which is usually good to share between 2 – 3 people and must be booked for 5 days (Day 2 to 6) Porter price for 5 days: USD$ 750

On some days alternatives to camping are available (subject to availability):
Day 1: Refugio Torre Central: Comfortable mountain lodge, with 6 beds per room (bunk beds) USD$ 70 per bed, per night

Day 3 & 5 & 6: Refugio Dickson & Grey & Paine Grande: Comfortable mountain lodge, with
6 beds per room (bunk beds) USD$ 35 per bed, per night

Day 6: Ice Trek USD$190 per person or Kayak USD$120 per person
 **

Public bus from/to Punta Arenas USD$ 15 **

** Prices to be confirmed

  • Dates
  • Start / End
  • Price in USD
  • Spaces Available
  • 7 days
  • October 31, 2019 / November 6, 2019
  • USD 2.395
  • Check availability
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  • 7 days
  • November 11, 2019 / November 17, 2019
  • USD 2.395
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  • 7 days
  • November 18, 2019 / November 24, 2019
  • USD 2.695
  • check availability
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  • 7 days
  • November 19, 2019 / November 25, 2019
  • USD 2.395
  • 5 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • November 28, 2019 / December 4, 2019
  • USD 2.395
  • 0 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 9, 2019 / December 15, 2019
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 20, 2019 / December 26, 2019
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 24, 2019 / December 30, 2019
  • USD 2.695
  • 16 spaces left
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  • 6 days
  • December 24, 2019 / December 29, 2019
  • USD 2.295
  • 4 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 25, 2019 / December 31, 2019
  • USD 2.395
  • 0 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 25, 2019 / December 31, 2019
  • USD 2.495
  • 6 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • December 30, 2019 / January 5, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 6 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 3, 2020 / January 9, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 6, 2020 / January 12, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 11, 2020 / January 17, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 21, 2020 / January 27, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 27, 2020 / February 2, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • January 30, 2020 / February 5, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • February 8, 2020 / February 14, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • February 10, 2020 / February 16, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • February 17, 2020 / February 23, 2020
  • USD 2.495
  • 6 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • February 17, 2020 / February 23, 2020
  • USD 2.495
  • 4 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • March 3, 2020 / March 9, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • March 10, 2020 / March 16, 2020
  • USD 2.695
  • 8 spaces left
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  • 7 days
  • March 17, 2020 / March 23, 2020
  • USD 2.395
  • 2 spaces left
  • Book

FAQ's

Reviews

Chile Nativo’s service from booking to final drop off was fantastic! Really great value. We were a small group of 6 trekkers and you provided great tents and gear. Our guide, Armando, was extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the park. With 20 years guiding experience he was still very professional and engaged with our group and clearly very passionate about the area. It’s a fantastically beautiful place! I would definitely recommend Chile Nativo to anyone looking for a quality, authentic Torres del Paine trekking experience.

Mary Garden, USA

The hiking was challenging but absolutely worth it. The scenario was outstanding and the reason we chose to go to Patagonia. The guides, Pablo and Fran, were simply amazing and made the whole experience so memorable. I have done several hiking trips, and this was the first one that I have used a guide service. I am so glad I did.

Tim Niznik, USA

Excellent! more than met our expectations and then some. Our guides Mauricio and Fernando were very personable, always safety first, very knowledgeable about the area. They answered all questions enthusiastically, they were good cooks and they kept us informed always of what was ahead. Excellent guides and would highly recommend them.

Trina Hosmer, USA

I can’t say enough good things about Mauricio, Gerardo (our guides) and the Chile Nativo organization. We had a wonderful trip – everything felt extremely well organized and I always felt safe and taken care of. Our guides were able to make the trip feel special and to deal with our group that contained a wide variety of personalities. They also did a great job explaining the park and our trek to us and helping us to learn about Patagonia.

Lee Evangelakos, USA

Amazing! We went on the trip for our honeymoon and could not have wished for more! The guides were excellent, especially Fernando!! His knowledge and personable nature and patience were excellent!

Evelyn Steane, Australia

Excellent trek, enjoyed every minute of it. There were many companies doing this same trip but I’m so glad I picked this one! Everything was smooth with making the reservation,itinerary details laid out, I felt taken care of.

Ana Rios, USA

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