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.
DAY 1: Early in the morning, a transfer will pick you up from your accommodation. Our transfer takes us along an unpaved road heading to Torres Del Paine. When entering the Park, we will have excellent picture taking opportunities of the wildlife that inhabits this land. We begin our trek to the base of the famous Towers, following the Ascencio River to embark on the Ascencio Valley hike. Our walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests (Nothofagus family), glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the Ascencio Valley, hiking for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking! At this point we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (2850 M) and a lagoon with slurry waters due to erosion produced by glaciers. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. Afterwards, we follow the same path back to our camp for the evening.
DAY 2: We will begin this day early in the morning, and weather permitting, we will enjoy an impressive view of the Tower’s peaks painted with orange light. We will start our walk through a very old deciduous beech forest with the chance to see a woodpecker or fresh puma tracks! We follow a well marked trail, slightly sloping, that will lead us to an excellent viewpoint of Paine Chico Mountain in the distance, to finally arrive at the Serón camp site where we will set up our camp and enjoy a good dinner.
DAY 3: This is the easiest span of the entire trek, and especially interesting for flower lovers who, depending on the season, will see orchids, calceolarias, violets and oxalis. We will go around Paine Lake along a flat path with views of many mountains, including Cerro Escudo (The Shield) and Cerro Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head Mountain -the profile of an Indian is observed in the rocks). Lastly we will arrive at the beginning of the Paine River, from where we will be able to see the incredible Cerro Cubo (Cube Mountain) and Dickson Lake.
DAY 4: On this day, we will start one of the most beautiful sections of the park, walking through some of the oldest beech forests, along an undulating path, following Los Perros River, with breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls and exuberant vegetation. We will cross a hanging bridge over Los Perros River to arrive at the terminal moraine of the hanging glacier, giving birth to a lagoon with sedimentary waters. Half an hour from this point is Los Perros campsite where we will stay overnight.
DAY 5: Today will be the most difficult day of the whole circuit but at the same time - has a dramatic beauty worthy of the effort. We will head up on a pronounced path through forests to arrive at a swamp area, keeping us busy for a couple of hours as we trek through the difficult terrain. We will continue ascending, maybe finding some snow, until coming to the John Garner pass at 1200MTS above sea level. From here we have an outstanding view of the Grey Glacier and the Southern Ice Field, with its many unclimbed peaks. If lucky enough we will see ice calving from the front wall while on the Grey Glacier hike, before ending up on a beach of sedimentary sand where we will spend the night in Grey Camp.
DAY 6: Continuing the Grey Glacier hike adventure, today we enjoy a leisure morning, around the camp or in front of the Glacier Grey looking for some ice calving from the huge glacier wall! We have lunch in the Refugio before we start a hike to the Pehoe Lake.
DAY 7: After breakfast we commence our out and back French Valley trek. We will start going around the south-west side of Paine Grande, the highest summit in the Park, through native forests of fire bush and evergreen beech, up to the hanging bridge over the French River to observe the first glimpses of the glacier. Then we will continue the French valley trek ascending (300m) for one hour amidst a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests to reach a view point, gifting us with magnificent panoramic views, where we enjoy a good lunch. We will take the same path on the French valley trek back to Pehoe Lake, and then cross the lake by catamaran and take a private transfer back to Natales.
Prices for season 2020/2021 (valid until April 2020) for 4 guests. Contact us for less.
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