Spend eight walking days trekking through the stunning landscapes surrounding Grey Glacier, French Valley and, of course, the imposing three towers of Torres del Paine. This is a unique itinerary that replaces the easier initial stages of the standard route with the amazing Oggioni Pass and Silence Valley and traversing the heart of the Paine massif; note that it is more demanding – and rewarding – compared to the standard Torres del Paine circuit (O Trek) as tackling the Pass can be a real challenge!
Torres del Paine’s circuit (also known as the O Trek) is celebrated by hikers as one of the most scenic trails in the world. An astonishing landscape of twisted volcanic peaks, tumbling glaciers and aquamarine lakes, the O Route goes through the Cordillera del Paine, completing a full loop around the famous towers. On the initial stages, you follow remote trails through the least visited parts of the Paine national park. Hiking above the forests, you then enter a world of granite peaks, stunning glaciers and glacial lakes as we follow a route across the John Garner Pass. Then you join the W Trek, zig-zagging across the mountains south of the towers.
This small-group partially guided tour is a wonderful option for those who want to hike the complete O trek. As the first part goes through wild country and the trails are not well marked, on these days you will be led by an experienced guide. The guide will leave you in the morning of Day 5 and you will continue walking the easy to follow W part of the trek self guided. You can opt however to have a guide during the whole trek.
You will spend seven nights in campsites (twin shared tents) or mountain lodges (refugios) (dormitories). Our porters will always carry the group gear including the tents and the sleeping mats and will set up all camps. You will only need to carry your personal gear and sleeping bag (you can optionally book a private porter for your personal gear too).
- Fancy an entirely self guided Torres del Paine itinerary? Please check our W Trek self guided tour.
- Interested in a not so challenging version of this trek? Check our Standard version of the O Trek.
NB! Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Torres del Paine Park’s accommodations have decided to remain closed for the season 2020-2021. The city of Puerto Natales is under complete lockdown. Therefore all the dates for this season are cancelled. We are deeply sorry for this situation because we know what it means to plan a trip for this type of adventure and that it is not possible to do it.
Day 1: Natales/Japones
Starting from Puerto Natales early this morning you and your guide will take a public bus (approx 3 hours) all the way to the entrance of Torres del Paine National Park at Laguna Amarga. After registering, you will begin your trek by hiking up Almirante Nieto – a mountain taking you to an incredible view of Lake Nordenskjold and Silence Valley. After passing by Refugio Chileno, you will hike for one hour through a dense Lenga forest. After leaving the forest, you will approach Campamento Las Torres. You will leave your main pack at Campamento Las Torres before continuing up a steep moraine. Finally, you will see the icon of Torres del Paine National Park – Las Torres! After returning to Campamento Las Torres, you will collect your pack and hike to a climber’s camp called Campamento Japones. Campamento Japones is the original base camp where the climbing pioneers stopped to prepare their climb to the top of Las Torres. You will have dinner and begin to prepare for tomorrow’s big day!
Walking for the day: 11 km, 6-7 hours
Day 2: Japones – Paso Oggioni – Dickson
Following an early breakfast, you will pack up and begin today’s hike. The Oggioni Pass is unique and off the beaten track – very few visitors to the park take this hike! The trail is only marked by small stone towers left behind by previous hikers. You will begin by following the trail to the backside of Las Torres, but then – as the trail continues straight – you will detour and hike towards a waterfall. You will pass over the waterfall (on a natural stone bridge) and then hike over two glacier moraines. Finally, you will start climbing uphill. After making it over the pass, you will walk through a thick forest and from a distance you will be able to see Refugio & Camping Dickson. You will continue walking until you finally reach the camp.
Walking for the day: 12 km, 9 hours
Day 3: Dickson (Contingency Day)
Today can be used as a rest day or you can explore the surrounding and very scenic area of Refugio Dickson. In the chance that we did not make the pass on previous day, then today will be reserved for a second attempt.
Day 4: Dickson – Los Perros
Today the trek will take you through one of the oldest forests in the park. The trail will lead you past Lengas and Coigues (both of which grew shortly after the glaciers receded). Finally, you will reach a moraine at the foot of Glacier Los Perros. Here we will set up camp.
Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours
Day 5: Los Perros – Grey via John Gardner Pass
In the morning, you will start climbing a slow but steady hill. Beautiful Lenga and Coigue trees cover this portion of the trail. After an hour, you will reach the end of the forest and you will finally begin trekking up rockslides towards the John Gardner Pass. From this part of the trail, you will be able to see Glaciar Amistad, Cerro Blanco Sur, Punta Puma, Glacier Grey and Patagonia’s Southern Ice Field. After catching this breath-taking view, you will begin hiking downhill until you reach Campamento Paso for a short rest. From here, you will continue hiking along an undulating trail with views of Glacier Grey, Lake Grey, and Ferrier Hill. Before reaching Campamento Grey you will cross several of the park’s famous suspension bridges, ultimately bringing you to some close-up views of Glacier Grey. Once you reach Grey you will have time to shower and rest before enjoying a nice hot meal in the Refugio.
Walking for the day: 22 km, 11 hours
Day 6: Grey – Paine Grande
After a restful night and an energizing breakfast, you will be ready to hike again. If you have booked the partially guided option, your guide will be leaving you early today to catch the first bus back to Puerto Natales. Today you will have a scenic hike along Lake Grey and then through a small forest. In the afternoon you will arrive at Camping Paine Grande on the shore of the beautiful Lake Pehoe.
Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours
Day 7: Paine Grande – Cuernos (French Valley)
This spectacular day will begin with a leisurely hike to the entrance of the French Valley. As you walk along the shore of Lake Skottsberg, you will admire the tremendous peaks towering in front of you – Los Cuernos! After about 2.5 hours, you will arrive at Campamento Italiano where you can rest for a bit (and leave your main luggage) before continuing your journey. As you ascend into the valley, the views in every direction — of Lake Nordenskjold, Los Cuernos, and the French Glacier — are absolutely stunning. After soaking up the view, you will hike back down to Campamento Italiano to collect your backpack and continue alongside rolling hills as you follow the coastline of Lake Nordenskjold. You will continue on for another two hours until you reach your camp (Cuernos or Frances), located on the lakeshore. After a relaxing afternoon and a filling dinner, you will go to bed for a deserving night’s sleep.
Walking for the day: 17 km, 7 hours
Day 8: Cuernos – Camping Central/Departure or Extra Night
You will leave Cuernos, located on the shore of Lake Nordenskjold and walk for four hours towards Refugio & Camping Central, located at the base of Almirante Nieto and the Asencio Valley. There will be a few rivers you will pass over by hopping across rocks. As you hike you will catch glimpses of glaciers and the mountaintops hovering over you. Finally, you will arrive to the centre where you will first catch a shuttle to the park entrance and then a bus back to Puerto Natales.
Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours
You will spend 7 nights in mountain lodges (refugios) in dormitory rooms and/or in camps in twin-shared tents. Tents and sleeping mats are provided by us and will be carried and set up by our porters. Extra nights in Puerto Natales before and after the trek are bookable upon request.
All meals are included in the mountains (lunch and dinner on Day 1, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Days 2-7, breakfast and lunch on Day 8). We are also prepared to accommodate special meals, like vegetarian, celiac and other needs – please ask in advance.
The recommended arrival and departure point is Puerto Natales. Please note however the airport is small with limited flight connections. Most flights will be through Punta Arenas in Chile or El Calafate in Argentina, both of which would involve taking a public bus or private transfer (3-4h).
Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Chile is available here.
Difficulty Grade: Strenuous
Although you will never be above 2000m, you should be in an excellent physical condition and have solid experience of multi-day mountain trekking before undertaking this trip. The longest day walk is 11 hours. You will need to carry your luggage on all hiking days unless you book a private porter (read more about difficulty grades).
When to Go
The tour can start every Wednesday between early November and the end of March. Please click the See Dates and Prices link above to check availability. For groups of 6 people or more, we can arrange a private departure date if the listed ones do not fit your schedule.
What to Bring
A comprehensive gear list will be provided in the pre‐departure information pack.
- 7 nights in mountain lodges (refugios) in dormitory rooms and/or camping in twin-shared tents. Tents and sleeping mats are provided by us and will be carried and set up by our porters. Bedding in refugios (if used) is also included; you need to bring your own sleeping bag
- 8 guided days of hiking in Torres del Paine National Park
- Road notes and pre-departure info
- Trip briefing in Puerto Natales on the day before the trip starts (6 pm)
- Bus to and from Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park
- Shuttle to and from Laguna Amarga to Las Torres
- Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
- Breakfast on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Lunch on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Dinner on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Options, Extras and Add-Ons
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Single supplement has limited availability – single use of two-person tent when camping, not possible in refuges where there are only dormitory rooms
- Return bus transfer Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales
- Return bus transfer El Calafate/Puerto Natales
- Personal porter for your luggage, will carry up to 15 kg of weight
- Accommodation in Puerto Natales: Amerindia B&B or similar (basic), Aqua Terra Lodge or similar (comfortable), Hotel Indigo or similar (superior)
- Private transfers to and from the park, the Punta Arenas Airport and the Puerto Natales Airport are available on request
- International or local flights
- Airport transfers
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Accommodation, meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
- Personal expenses such as drinks, snacks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Tips and gratuities
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme