Grade

Difficult

Torres Del Paine National Park ‘O’ Trek & El Chalten – 13 Days

Torres del Paine National Park & El Chalten offer some of the most spectacular parts of the Patagonia region and the southern Andes.

This itinerary will cover the striking pointed peaks and massive glaciers of the Paine Massif and Southern Patagonia Ice Field; along what is popularly known as the “O” route based on its circuit shape.

In just under a couple of weeks; you will trek through almost 100 km+ of trails and stay at a variety of lodges, shelters (refugios) or camping for the overnights.

This tour is best suited for trekkers with hiking experience; or physically-fit adventurers who are willing to practice hiking trails with demanding conditions. Crowds of trekkers/travellers are more prevalent during the high season; which also overlaps with pleasant summer weather in the Southern Hemisphere.

First arriving in Torres del Paine; the tour of the Paine Massif, where nature invites you to challenge your body and mind. For 8 intense days you will be amazed by the granite towers that give the park its name, the legendary Francés Valley, or the striking Grey Glacier seen from the John Garner mountain pass where the ice blends into the clouds on the horizon. An experience that will take your breath way.

Following Torres del Paine; you’ll then transfer to El Chalten. The variety of views from steppe to the forest; from huge glacier moraines to colourful lakes and the views makes this itinerary a unique and fantastic way to explore the best of the National park.

 

Day 1
Transport to the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine and Trekking to Camping Serón
The day before you start your adventure, you will arrive to Puerto Natales. At 6.30 in the morning you will be at the Rodoviario de Puerto Natales (bus station; Spain 1455), to take the bus leaving at 7:00 am to the Torres del Paine National Park (PNTP). Your entrance to the park will be through the Laguna Amarga Lodge, where you will show your ticket and then take the approach bus to the Welcome Center of the Cerro Paine Reserve where you can enjoy the impressive silhouettes of the Torres del Paine and the Almirante Nieto Massif . Once there, start your first trekking. This will lead you through a huge forest of lichens called "old man's beard". Once you have crossed the forest you will contemplate in the distance an extensive valley covered by margaritas flanked by the Paine River on the right, who will accompany you during the second half of your trek until you reach the Serón campsite, where you will dine and stay
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
   
Day 2
Trekking to the Dickson Glacier
This will be a long and unforgettable day of trekking. The first part of the trail will take you up and down, surrounding the hillsides of Cerro Paine where you will feel the strength of the wind. There, you will begin to descend to continue bordering Lake Paine, which on clear days works as a mirror of the summits that surround it. If the weather is in your favor, you will be able to see the northeast summit of the Paine Massif, including silhouettes and peculiar shapes such as "Cabeza del Indio", "Escudo", "Cube" and Dickson. The night will be in the Dickson Sector, located next to the glacial lake at the edge of the Southern Ice Field that gives it its name to the sector.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 3
Trekking to Los Perros
Today you will begin to move towards the south west. Along the way you will see the Dickson glacier falling into the lake of the same name. You will enter a beautiful lenga forest, where you will see Magellanic woodpeckers beating the lengas. In the middle of the forest you will find a clearing. Stop there to look forward and backward, because in front of you and behind you you can see glaciers, awesome! Further on, you will also pass through the Los Perros glacier, with incredible views towards its lake. Half an hour after the walk, you will arrive at Camp Los Perros, located in a quiet and ancient forest. In the Perros Sector the food service consists of rations of the trek, there is no restaurant service.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 4
Trekking to Sector Grey
It is likely that today is the most exhausting and at the same time most spectacular day of your trip. Attention: there will be slippery roads, swampy terrain and steep climbs and descents. The departure from Los Perros must be very early. The first part of the way is through a swampy land and then start a steep and long climb to the windy Paso John Garner. Once up, the overwhelming view will make you feel very small. In front of you will have one of the huge tongues of the Southern Ice Field, full of cracks and ice of the strangest nuances of blue and green. A landscape in which you do not know where the glacier ends and where the clouds begin. Once you catch your breath, start the long descent between rocks, to continue skirting the Gray Glacier, which will accompany you all the way to Lake Gray. A few kilometers after arriving at the site "El Paso", you will cross two impressive suspension bridges over 50 meters long that pass over huge gorges with a fantastic view of the Gray glacier, an image that is hard to forget. Tonight we will stay in Sector Gray
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 5
Trekking to sector Francés
The first part of the road will be between many ups and downs. Crossing forests of ñirres, cohigues and notros, and with the majestic Cerro Paine Grande (the highest summit of the Massif with 3050 masl) and its hanging glaciers on your left, you will reach the Paine Grande Refuge. There you can stop for a while to have lunch and enjoy the amazing view from the place to the Cuernos del Paine. Then, you will continue your way towards the French Sector now with horns in front, Lake Pehoé on your right and another face of Cerro Paine Grande on your left. After a quiet but long walk you will reach the French Sector where you will dine and sleep.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 6
Valle del Francés
This day you will visit another of the most emblematic and magical places of the Park, the impressive Valle del Francés. The trekking will begin with a gentle walk towards the Italian camp. Here, you will start to climb the valley and after an hour and a half of ascent, you will reach the "French Lookout". Here you will see very closely one of the hanging glaciers of Cerro Paine Grande and, with some luck, you will be able to witness an ice fall (avalanche). With that impressive sight circling in your head you will continue advancing through a forest of lengas, up to the British sector. Get ready, it is probably the only time in your life that you see such a show: the magnificent Valley of the French, floated by its colossal mountains and granite walls whose unique shapes and colors will leave you breathless. The return will be by the same path, passing through the Italian Camp, until reaching the French Sector.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 7
Sector Central
With the spectacular Cuernos del Paine on the left, and the colors of Lake Nordenskjöld on the right, you will walk towards the Central sector. This day the walk will be calmer, there will be no big slopes and the journey will be shorter and faster than the previous days. A few kilometers to reach the Central Sector, you will have left behind the Cuernos to skirt Mount Almirante Nieto (2,670 masl), a massif with a temperamental climate. At night, and as in the rest of your adventure, you can live the relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere in the Central Sector; Take a well deserved beer and share with other hikers experiences and anecdotes. If you feel tired after so many days of hard walking, you can stop by the Hotel Las Torres Spa to get a well-deserved massage, or try a roast lamb on the stick (these activities are not included in the program)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping or Refugio
Day 8
Trekking Base Torres
Today you will have to get up early since you will visit the most emblematic place of the park, the Mirador Base Torres. During the first part you will walk through the pampas, crossing the Ascencio River and then climb about 3 km until you reach the pass of the winds. Here you will enjoy incredible views of the valley, lakes and glaciers. Continue until you reach the Chilean Refuge and then enter a forest of lengas and reach "La Morrena", where the hardest part of the trekking begins. After 45 minutes of arduous ascent along a rocky path, you will reach the spectacular Mirador Base Torres where you can enjoy the majesty of the South Towers (2,850 masl), Central (2,800 masl), and North (2,600 masl). After contemplating the spectacular image, you will return to the Central Sector where at 7:00 p.m. You will take the bus that will take you back to Puerto Natales.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation. Hotel IF
Day 9
Bus to El Chalten (10 hrs)
Change at El Calafate for El Chalten
Day 10
El Chalten – Laguna Torres, 10 km (4h)
This is a warm up day but the views are already breath taking, starting with the Cerro Torre view point that reveals the chain of mountains in a clear sky. Within around 3 hours you will arrive at the Campamento de Agostini where you will camp tonight. There are icebergs ported by the wind on the shore of the Laguna Torres, making this place a living dramatic theatre. Allow around 1h to explore the Laguna.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
Day 11
Laguna Torres – Laguna de los tres, 19km (3h + 3h)
Today you'll be up early this morning as there is quite a lot to see. After checking Laguna Torres one last time, you'll hike towards Campamento Poincenot. Passing along Laguna Hija and Madre and you will get your first glimpse of the day over Fitz Roy. Upon reaching camp, you'll have a bite for lunch. After the break, packing a small day pack with clothes, water and a snack you'll make your way towards Laguna de los tres. You will pass a small campsite reserved for climbers, after the slope gets steeper. Note that the trail is exposed to the elements -winds, snow-, checking the situation before leaving. After a climb of 400m, you'll reach the fantastic Laguna de los tres, with its turquoise water, at the foot of Fitz Roy. Magical and so impressive. There are also the emerald waters of Laguna Sucia on the west side.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
Day 12
Laguna de las Piedras blancas – Laguna Capri – El Chalten, 17km (5h30)
This morning you will start with a short hike. Bringing a day pack and following the Rio Blanco to reach the glacier and Laguna de las Piedras Blancas, it is a peaceful place as few hikers make it a visit, preferring their more famous neighbours. Leaving the campsite on the return from the lagunas and heading back towards El Chalten. After another 1h30 of trekking, you´ll reach the Laguna Capri, and its campsite a bit less crowded. If you have extra time available it is possible to extend the experience by camping here also and returning back to town the following morning.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13
Bus from El Chalten to El Calafate (3h)
Domestic flight to Santiago.
  • Meals - Breakfast

Services Included

  • All camping Equipment (incl. sleeping bags)
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • Park entrance fees

Tour Info

Breakfast x 12
Lunch x 13
Dinner x 11
Private bilingual guide during the trek
All meals, transfers, staff necessary, permits during the trekking
1 assistant per 3 persons to assist the group at campsites
Technical gear when required
Tents and any gear necessary except what is personal gear
VHF radio or satellite communication
Entrance and permits
‘O’ Trek: 7 nights of lodging (campsite or mountain refuge).*
Mountain refuges have shared rooms that include made
beds in the Grey, Dickson and Central sectors, and a
sleeping bag in the Francés, Cuernos and Chileno sectors.
Campsite includes tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
Welcome Kit: Includes sleeping-bag liner, microfiber
towels, water bottle (stainless steel), a map and a
journal notebook. This kit will be given once you take
your program voucher at Fantástico Sur’s oce in Puerto
Natales.
Torres del Paine National Park entrance tickets.
Transportation on regular bus from Puerto Natales to
Torres del Paine and back.
A 20% discount in our spa and 20% discount for our
patagonian barbecue at Hotel Las Torres.
All meals (full board: lunch (IN day), dinner, breakfast
and box lunch (OUT day).
*Lodging location for the last 2 nights will depend on the availability at time of booking
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Tips for crew
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip for additional price).
Transfers – (FYI: The bus journey from Puerto Natales lasts about two and a half hours (112 km)) Approx. $22-24 usd per person for Round Bus Trip. Catamaran to Pudeto on last day $34 usd per person.
Any service not specified in the program.
Accommodations in Puerto Natales
Excursions or additional activities.
Health insurance of any kind.
Any additional extras
There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured
Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Peruvian food can be spicy, it can be strong and rich for many European diets. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, so please avoid at all costs on arrival and stick to bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request), and a mountain cook. They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude.
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru.
From June through to the end of September, we’re offering one person free on all of our treks (in Peru) for group sizes of 3+. If you are a group of 2 you can add one person for free, or if you’re a group of 3 the third person joins free and so on.

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Included
 
Not Included
  • Domestic flights (can be incorporated on request)
  • Transfers (can be arranged as part of package)
  • Accommodation required before or after
  • Any additional extras
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