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Patagonia: Trekking the Paine Circuit

Trip Length 11 days

From $5,295

  • Make a complete circuit of the Paine Massif, including the famous "W" route—one of the great treks of the world!
  • Trek with the experts in Patagonia adventure, who first pioneered this route in the 1980s, and go where other hikers seldom venture
  • Hike along the enormous Grey Glacier, more than five miles across and 17 miles in length, and see icebergs calving into Lago Grey—a truly spectacular experience

With its near-vertical spires soaring high above the plains, Chile’s Torres del Paine massif is a scenic marvel, a place where every serious mountain lover must go. On the famous “W” route, you’ll hike deep into the remote wilderness of southern Chile. Here, glaciers of millennia past have receded from the granite rock of the Cordillera Paine, leaving a cluster of craggy peaks rising 8,000 feet above the surrounding grasslands. The jaw-dropping vistas of monolithic rock spires and snow-capped mountains, the huge expanse of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, the tranquil azure lakes, and the golden plains bright with wildflowers make this, beyond a doubt, one of the most unforgettable treks you’ll ever take! Few companies operate the full circuit, but we’ve been doing it since we pioneered the route in the 1980s, and although it’s a challenging trek, you’ll have full support throughout—including porters to carry your gear. Join the Patagonia experts for a truly exhilarating wilderness adventure.

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas

Upon your morning arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile, your trip leader will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. In the evening, the group will gather for a pre-trip briefing.

  • Accommodation:Cabo de Hornos

Day 2: Take a scenic drive to Torres del Paine National Park

From Punta Arenas we’ll drive about three hours across the Patagonian plains to the quiet fishing town of Puerto Natales on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). Here we’ll stretch our legs a bit and have lunch before continuing on to Paine National Park, where we'll take in the first spectacular views of the Paine range (weather permitting). There is also a very good chance of seeing guanacos—small cousins to the camel and llama—when we arrive at the park. Because the sun sets late in Patagonia's summer, there's plenty of time to admire and photograph the amazing landscape.

You will be awed by incredible views of the surrounding vistas, including the granite pillars of the Torres del Paine.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eco-Camp

Day 3: Explore majestic Torres del Paine

We'll get an early start for our all-day hike to the Torres del Paine, first following the Ascension River over a low pass into the Ascencion Valley. We'll pass through beech forests, talus-covered slopes, and boulders before arriving at a spectacular viewpoint, where the towers rise majestically before us and the glacial lake is visible below. This is one of the most scenic spots in the world! We'll enjoy a packed lunch en route before hiking back to our accommodation.

You'll be given a waterproof bag (approx. 620 cubic inches) for the clothing and other items you’ll need for the next two days. This bag will be carried by porters and you'll carry your daypack—with your camera, raingear, jacket, lunch, etc. Your duffel, containing the rest of your belongings, will meet up with you again at Lago Pehoe on Day 8.

(Hiking time: approx. 8 to 9 hours, 11 miles; Elevation gain: 2,460ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eco-Camp

Day 4: Hike to Campamento Seron

This morning, we'll get another early start so we can enjoy the impressive views of the Paine Towers and the peak of Almirante Nieto. We'll begin our walk through a tall deciduous beech forest, where we may spot the Magellanic woodpecker. Our path will lead through the foothills of Cerro Paine and grassland areas before arriving at the old Seron Camp.

(Hiking time: approx. 6 hours, 10 miles; Elevation gain: 656ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 5: Enjoy incredible views en route to Lago Dickson

This is a long day, and though our hike has some ups and downs, it is mostly flat. We'll continue hiking west, skirting Lago Paine. Along the way we’ll have incredible views of the northeast peaks of the Paine Massif, including Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head), Escudo Cubo, and Dickson. We'll make our camp at Lago Dickson.

(Hiking time: approx. 6-8 hours, 11 miles; Elevation gain: 670ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 6: Hike west to Lago de los Perros

Today we'll hike west, appreciating great views of the Dickson Glacier is visible here, pouring into Dickson Lake from the ice field above. We'll enter into primeval beech forests and hike up the Río de los Perros, reaching a hanging glacier in the mid-afternoon. The Perros campsite is located in a peaceful old-growth forest near here.

(Hiking time: approx. 4 hours, 6 miles; Elevation gain: 1,480ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 7: Cross the John Gardner Pass

We'll start our hike early, ascending steadily towards John Gardner Pass (4,000'). Once on top, we'll have fantastic views of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field and the 17-mile-long Grey Glacier, lying 2,600 feet below us on the western side of the pass. We'll descend scree slopes to the tree line and enter the forest along the Grey Glacier. This part of the hike is very strenuous; we'll have to pick our way carefully over numerous fallen logs and descend steep, slippery trails that can get very muddy at times. After arriving at Lago Grey, we'll camp overnight near the refugio, where hot showers are available.

(Hiking time: approx. 10-12 hours, 14 miles; Elevation gain: 3,280ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 8: See spectacular Grey Glacier and camp at Lago Pehoe

Today we'll visit the Grey Glacier, a 10-minute walk from the refugio. There we'll have with the opportunity to observe icebergs calving into Lago Grey—a truly spectacular experience! We'll then take a leisurely hike to our next camp at Lago Pehoe, which has fantastic views of the glacier behind us, the ice field, and the Paine Massif rearing up above us on our left.  

(Hiking time: approx. 4 hours, 6 miles; Elevation gain: 600ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 9: Hike through beautiful French Valley

Today we'll hike into the French Valley, one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. We'll walk below the glaciers that descend from the highest summit in the Paine range, Paine Grande, and marvel at the gray granite peaks of the Cuernos del Paine, which are topped with fantastical black “horns” of slate. Two different hiking options are available today. We can take an 11-mile hike back to camp (approximate hiking time is 6 hours, with a 1,300ft elevation gain) or up to the mirador (viewpoint) above Camp Británico—another 4 hours roundtrip hike—for one of the most impressive views in the park (weather permitting)!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 10: Return to Puerto Natales

From our camp we'll take a catamaran across the lake, enjoying fantastic final views of the Cuernos and Paine Grande. We’ll meet with our vehicle and drive to Puerto Natales, where we can enjoy some free time and a farewell celebration dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel CostAustralis

Day 11: Drive to Punta Arenas and depart

After breakfast, we'll depart Puerto Natales for a three-hour drive to Punta Arenas. In the afternoon you can board your flight to Santiago, where you'll connect with your international flight home.

If you can't bring yourself to depart South America just yet (and we certainly couldn't blame you!), consider joining one of our extensions, including Easter Island and the Atacama Desert, among others. Ask our Regional Specialist for details!

  • Breakfast

Feb 22, 2016 - Mar 03, 2016

pricing

2015 - 2016 PRICES

$5,295 (4-12 members)
$800 single supplement

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Cabo de Hornos

Camp

Eco-Camp


Hotel CostAustralis

The atmosphere of the Hotel CostAustralis' rooms has been created to put  guests even more at ease than they would be at home. The staff work daily to surpass our guest's expectations and provide pleasant and memorable experiences.

To achieve this, the hotel's 110 rooms have been designed to provide complete comfort and rest. They are decorated in a sober but elegant fashion, employing the region's most beautiful woods. Every room has a full private bath, strongbox, cable TV, domestic and international direct dialling, thermo-acoustic windows, independent heating and wireless internet access.

Hotel CostAustralis prides itself on providing everything that you need for a restful night so that you will wake up each day with energy to continue enjoying your marvelous Patagonian adventure to its fullest.

  • Make a complete circuit of the Paine Massif, including the famous "W" route—one of the great treks of the world!
  • Trek with the experts in Patagonia adventure, who first pioneered this route in the 1980s, and go where other hikers seldom venture
  • Hike along the enormous Grey Glacier, more than five miles across and 17 miles in length, and see icebergs calving into Lago Grey—a truly spectacular experience

With its near-vertical spires soaring high above the plains, Chile’s Torres del Paine massif is a scenic marvel, a place where every serious mountain lover must go. On the famous “W” route, you’ll hike deep into the remote wilderness of southern Chile. Here, glaciers of millennia past have receded from the granite rock of the Cordillera Paine, leaving a cluster of craggy peaks rising 8,000 feet above the surrounding grasslands. The jaw-dropping vistas of monolithic rock spires and snow-capped mountains, the huge expanse of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, the tranquil azure lakes, and the golden plains bright with wildflowers make this, beyond a doubt, one of the most unforgettable treks you’ll ever take! Few companies operate the full circuit, but we’ve been doing it since we pioneered the route in the 1980s, and although it’s a challenging trek, you’ll have full support throughout—including porters to carry your gear. Join the Patagonia experts for a truly exhilarating wilderness adventure.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas

Upon your morning arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile, your trip leader will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. In the evening, the group will gather for a pre-trip briefing.

  • Accommodation:Cabo de Hornos

Day 2: Take a scenic drive to Torres del Paine National Park

From Punta Arenas we’ll drive about three hours across the Patagonian plains to the quiet fishing town of Puerto Natales on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). Here we’ll stretch our legs a bit and have lunch before continuing on to Paine National Park, where we'll take in the first spectacular views of the Paine range (weather permitting). There is also a very good chance of seeing guanacos—small cousins to the camel and llama—when we arrive at the park. Because the sun sets late in Patagonia's summer, there's plenty of time to admire and photograph the amazing landscape.

You will be awed by incredible views of the surrounding vistas, including the granite pillars of the Torres del Paine.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eco-Camp

Day 3: Explore majestic Torres del Paine

We'll get an early start for our all-day hike to the Torres del Paine, first following the Ascension River over a low pass into the Ascencion Valley. We'll pass through beech forests, talus-covered slopes, and boulders before arriving at a spectacular viewpoint, where the towers rise majestically before us and the glacial lake is visible below. This is one of the most scenic spots in the world! We'll enjoy a packed lunch en route before hiking back to our accommodation.

You'll be given a waterproof bag (approx. 620 cubic inches) for the clothing and other items you’ll need for the next two days. This bag will be carried by porters and you'll carry your daypack—with your camera, raingear, jacket, lunch, etc. Your duffel, containing the rest of your belongings, will meet up with you again at Lago Pehoe on Day 8.

(Hiking time: approx. 8 to 9 hours, 11 miles; Elevation gain: 2,460ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eco-Camp

Day 4: Hike to Campamento Seron

This morning, we'll get another early start so we can enjoy the impressive views of the Paine Towers and the peak of Almirante Nieto. We'll begin our walk through a tall deciduous beech forest, where we may spot the Magellanic woodpecker. Our path will lead through the foothills of Cerro Paine and grassland areas before arriving at the old Seron Camp.

(Hiking time: approx. 6 hours, 10 miles; Elevation gain: 656ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 5: Enjoy incredible views en route to Lago Dickson

This is a long day, and though our hike has some ups and downs, it is mostly flat. We'll continue hiking west, skirting Lago Paine. Along the way we’ll have incredible views of the northeast peaks of the Paine Massif, including Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head), Escudo Cubo, and Dickson. We'll make our camp at Lago Dickson.

(Hiking time: approx. 6-8 hours, 11 miles; Elevation gain: 670ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 6: Hike west to Lago de los Perros

Today we'll hike west, appreciating great views of the Dickson Glacier is visible here, pouring into Dickson Lake from the ice field above. We'll enter into primeval beech forests and hike up the Río de los Perros, reaching a hanging glacier in the mid-afternoon. The Perros campsite is located in a peaceful old-growth forest near here.

(Hiking time: approx. 4 hours, 6 miles; Elevation gain: 1,480ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 7: Cross the John Gardner Pass

We'll start our hike early, ascending steadily towards John Gardner Pass (4,000'). Once on top, we'll have fantastic views of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field and the 17-mile-long Grey Glacier, lying 2,600 feet below us on the western side of the pass. We'll descend scree slopes to the tree line and enter the forest along the Grey Glacier. This part of the hike is very strenuous; we'll have to pick our way carefully over numerous fallen logs and descend steep, slippery trails that can get very muddy at times. After arriving at Lago Grey, we'll camp overnight near the refugio, where hot showers are available.

(Hiking time: approx. 10-12 hours, 14 miles; Elevation gain: 3,280ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 8: See spectacular Grey Glacier and camp at Lago Pehoe

Today we'll visit the Grey Glacier, a 10-minute walk from the refugio. There we'll have with the opportunity to observe icebergs calving into Lago Grey—a truly spectacular experience! We'll then take a leisurely hike to our next camp at Lago Pehoe, which has fantastic views of the glacier behind us, the ice field, and the Paine Massif rearing up above us on our left.  

(Hiking time: approx. 4 hours, 6 miles; Elevation gain: 600ft)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 9: Hike through beautiful French Valley

Today we'll hike into the French Valley, one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. We'll walk below the glaciers that descend from the highest summit in the Paine range, Paine Grande, and marvel at the gray granite peaks of the Cuernos del Paine, which are topped with fantastical black “horns” of slate. Two different hiking options are available today. We can take an 11-mile hike back to camp (approximate hiking time is 6 hours, with a 1,300ft elevation gain) or up to the mirador (viewpoint) above Camp Británico—another 4 hours roundtrip hike—for one of the most impressive views in the park (weather permitting)!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Camp

Day 10: Return to Puerto Natales

From our camp we'll take a catamaran across the lake, enjoying fantastic final views of the Cuernos and Paine Grande. We’ll meet with our vehicle and drive to Puerto Natales, where we can enjoy some free time and a farewell celebration dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel CostAustralis

Day 11: Drive to Punta Arenas and depart

After breakfast, we'll depart Puerto Natales for a three-hour drive to Punta Arenas. In the afternoon you can board your flight to Santiago, where you'll connect with your international flight home.

If you can't bring yourself to depart South America just yet (and we certainly couldn't blame you!), consider joining one of our extensions, including Easter Island and the Atacama Desert, among others. Ask our Regional Specialist for details!

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Cabo de Hornos

Camp

Eco-Camp


Hotel CostAustralis

The atmosphere of the Hotel CostAustralis' rooms has been created to put  guests even more at ease than they would be at home. The staff work daily to surpass our guest's expectations and provide pleasant and memorable experiences.

To achieve this, the hotel's 110 rooms have been designed to provide complete comfort and rest. They are decorated in a sober but elegant fashion, employing the region's most beautiful woods. Every room has a full private bath, strongbox, cable TV, domestic and international direct dialling, thermo-acoustic windows, independent heating and wireless internet access.

Hotel CostAustralis prides itself on providing everything that you need for a restful night so that you will wake up each day with energy to continue enjoying your marvelous Patagonian adventure to its fullest.

Dates and Pricing

Feb 22, 2016 - Mar 03, 2016

pricing

2015 - 2016 PRICES

$5,295 (4-12 members)
$800 single supplement

Select Trip Type Before Requesting Reservation

Got questions?

Call us at 1-888-831-7526
or click here!

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