Travel Guide

Full information to the O circuit in Torres del Paine, Chile

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The O circuit in Torres del Paine is an actual mountain climbing journey that provides unimaginable surroundings and average bodily problem. You get a chance to discover one of the distant and exquisite areas of South America. The trek is a good mixture of untamed experience and good infrastructure; the route is well-marked, there are a number of ranger stations on the best way and designated campsites with fundamental amenities.

The O circuit overview

  • Distance – 120 km/74 miles.
  • Required variety of days – 6-Eight days.
  • Beginning and ending level – Resort Las Torres (Laguna Amarga entrance).
  • Highest level – John Gardner cross – 1220m/4000ft. 
  • Permits – no particular permits wanted, the park entrance price is paid on the gate. Campsites reserving is required for multi-day hikes. 
  • Lodging – campsites, refugios (hostels) and inns. 

Extra data on different trekking routes in Torres del Paine you’ll find in our posts W trek information and Day hikes in Torres del Paine.

Sensible data for the O trek

Park entrance charges might be paid solely in Chilean pesos, no different currencies or bank cards are accepted.

The O circuit is closed from the 1st of April to the 30th of September

The O trek might be walked solely counterclockwise.

Hikers are allowed to camp solely at designated campsites – wild tenting is prohibited within the park.

Campsites on the route have to be booked beforehand.

Take printed reserving affirmation and passport with on the trek.

Open fires are not allowed in Torres del Paine.

Utilizing a tenting range is allowed solely at designated areas on the campsites.

Consuming water might be discovered all through the park (rivers, creeks, streams), it’s claimed to be good high quality. We didn’t use any filters or purification. 

You possibly can get extra data on Torres del Paine earlier than the trek attending a day by day free discuss at Three pm at Erratic Rock hostel/gear store.

Many of the trails have closing time in case you arrive firstly of a path after the indicated lower off time you received’t be allowed to proceed strolling any additional.

Trails (stretches) Distance Required time Closing time
Paine Grande – Campsite Italiano 7.5km/4.6mi 2h30min 6.30pm
Campsite Italiano – Mirador Britanico 5.4km/3.3mi 3h 3pm
Campsite Italiano – Campsite Frances 2km/1.2mi 30min 7pm
Campsite Italiano – Los Cuernos 5km/3mi 2h30min 5pm
Los Cuernos – Resort Las Torres 11.6km/7.2mi 4h30min
Resort Las Torres – Refugio Chileno 5km/3.1mi 2h
Refugio Chileno – Campsite Torres 3km/1.8mi 1h30min 6pm
Campsite Torres – Mirador Las Torres 1.4km/0.8mi 1h 6pm
Resort Las Torres – Campsite Serron 13km/8mi 4h
Campsite Serron – Campsite Dickson 18km/11mi 6h 3pm
Campsite Dickson – Campsite Perros 12km/7.4mi 4h30min 5pm
Campsite Los Perros – Campsite Paso 8km/5mi 6h 2pm
Campsite Paso – Refugio Gray 7km/4.3mi 5h 3pm
Refugio Gray – Paine Grande 11km/6.8mi 3h30min 4pm

Don’t overlook about journey insurance coverage!

The O-circuit is a multi-day trek with some components by distant and troublesome to entry areas of the Nationwide park – getting journey insurance coverage for this route is a good suggestion. Any out of doors exercise includes the danger of getting an harm, shedding or breaking gear and different sudden conditions that may spoil your trek. It’s all the time advisable to have journey insurance coverage that may cowl you in case if one thing goes unsuitable. For instance, I misplaced my complete backpack whereas touring by Patagonia. In fact, my journey insurance coverage didn’t assist me to recuperate it nevertheless it did cowl the price of new gear and garments.

Out of many insurance coverage corporations, we suggest World Nomads, they work everywhere in the world and focus on out of doors actions like mountain climbing. Torres de Paine is without doubt one of the prime locations World Nomads cowl which implies they work with native corporations quite a bit and can be capable to resolve a case with none issues. One other wonderful thing about World Nomads is which you can purchase insurance coverage coverage on-line whereas touring (it takes a few minutes), their coverage could be very versatile it may well cowl the entire interval of your journey or solely the mountain climbing a part of it, even when it’s only one or two days. Get a quote proper now!

Be aware! At all times be sure you rigorously learn the Phrases and Situations half.

Becoming a member of a bunch vs mountain climbing independently

Impartial trek

Professionals

  • It’s less expensive.
  • It’s extra adventurous.
  • The route is well-marked and straightforward to observe; distances, names, altitude profiles, and many others. you don’t want a information to point out you the best way. 
  • In season there are a lot of hikers on the path even in case you stroll alone you received’t be lonely.

Cons

  • It’s important to plan the hike, guide campsites, purchase meals, and many others.
  • You’ll be carrying a heavy backpack for per week.
  • Setting a campsite by your self; pitching tent, cooking, packing/unpacking after a protracted strolling day. We love doing it however for some individuals, it’s extra ache than enjoyable.

Guided hike

Professionals

  • Simple – no preparations, bookings, gear rental and many others. your tour firm will do the whole lot for you.
  • Strolling with a day-pack, your baggage will probably be transferred from campsite to campsite.
  • No cooking, pitching tent, packing and many others.

Cons

  • Fairly a bit dearer.
  • Takes away the adventurous a part of the hike.

Recommended excursions and actions in Patagonia

Value of the O Circuit, Torres del Paine

Transport – bus Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine  – CLP 20 000/US$25, return. Bus Resort Las Torres – Laguna Amarga (elective), return – CLP 6000/US$10 (every method paid individually).

Entrance price – CLP 21 000/US$26 in season, CLP 11 000/US$14 – offseason (Might to September). 

Lodging – campsites – between CLP 5000-13000/US$6-16. Be aware! There are solely two free campsites on the O-trek; Italiano and Paso. Refugios (hostels) price between US$60 and US$80 per mattress. Motels between US$130 and US$350 for a double room. 

Meals – cooking your individual meals – US$8-10 per day per individual; consuming on the park eating places – between CLP 11 000/US$14 and CLP 16 000/US$20 per meal.

Gear rental (elective) – to lease tenting gear (tent, sleeping bag, cooking range and many others.) in Puerto Natales will price you between CLP 13 000/US$16 and CLP 20 000/US$25 pp. per day, relying on what you lease.

Gear rental costs in Puerto Natales

Gear merchandise Rental value, per day in USD
Sleeping bag US$5
Sleeping mat US$2.5
2-men tent US$7
Cooking set US$6
Headlamp US$2.5
Trekking poles US$3.5
Waterproof jacket US$5
Waterproof pants US$3.5
Backpack US$6
Down jacket US$4
Gloves US$2.5

You possibly can lease tenting gear (tent, mat, sleeping bag) on the paid campsites within the park nevertheless it’s dearer than in Puerto Natales. To lease tenting gear at Vertice Patagonia campsites will price you per day; tent (2 individuals) – CLP 20 000/US$25; sleeping bag – CLP 14 000/US$18; sleeping mat  – CLP 5000/US$6. A benefit of renting at campsites is that you simply don’t carry tenting gear from place to position which makes your backpack considerably lighter. 

Guided O circuit excursions begin at US$2000 per individual it contains lodging (normally extra comfy choice e.g. Eco camps or inns), transportation, information, park entrance price, ferry ticket, baggage switch, all meals, gear (sleeping bag) if wanted. It’s fairly a bit dearer than an unbiased trek nevertheless it’s way more comfy and straightforward.

Verify right here the present conversion.

The place to remain earlier than and after the trek

Puerto Natales might be one of the best place to be primarily based earlier than and after the trek. It’s the closest city to the park, vacationer infrastructure right here is sort of good – many inns and hostels, a few gear retailers, rental locations, eating places, tour corporations, and one or two supermarkets. You will get there by bus from completely different locations in Patagonia.

In Puerto Natales, you’ll find inns, hostels, campsites, eating places, supermarkets, gear rental locations, pharmacies, ATMs and an data workplace.

Locations to remain in Puerto Natales

Campsites on the O circuit

Diagram of the campsites on the circuit divided according to what company they belong to
Campsites on the O Circuit in accordance and the businesses working them

The campsites on the O-trek belong to a few corporations; CONAF (the Nationwide Forest Company) – free campsites – campsites Paso, Italiano, and Torres (closed for 2019/2020 season); Vertice Patagonia – paid campsites – Dickson, Los Perros, Gray, and Paine Grande; Fantástico Sur – paid campsites – Serron, Las Torres, Los Cuernos, Frances and Chileno.

Paid campsites have higher amenities and are simpler to guide, there are extra tenting spots than on the free campsites.

Map of the campsites on the O circuit, Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Map of the campsites on the O trek, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

The best way to guide campsites on the O circuit

All of the campsites might be booked on-line; guide CONAF; guide Vertice Patagonia; guide Fantastico Sur. Don’t overlook to print your reserving affirmation and take it with you.

CONAF (free) campsites on the O trek

CONAF free campsites on the O Circuit in Torres del Paine
Two free campsites on the O Circuit which are run by CONAF

It seems like 2019/2020 season on-line reserving of CONAF campsites lastly works. Although as for November 2019 there are only a few open spots accessible for the months of December – January. When you’re planning on doing the circuit within the peaks season I strongly suggest reserving free campsites a very long time beforehand.

They may hold some spots for reserving by the workplace in Puerto Natales, Manuel Baquedano st. 847. When you’re determined and might’t discover something accessible on-line I’d suggest trying out on the workplace you is likely to be fortunate.

Fantastico Sur (paid) campsites on the O Circuit

Fantastico Sur campsites, O trek Torres del Paine
Fantastico Sur Campsites on the circuit and their amenities. These are the most costly campsites in Torres del Paine.

Vertice Patagonia (paid) campsites on the O route

Vertice Patagonia campsites and their facilities, O Circuit, Torres del Paine
Campsites on the O Circuit which are run by Vertice Patagonia and their amenities

Attending to Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales

The O circuit begins at Resort Las Torres (Laguna Amarga entrance), to get there from Puerto Natales;

Step 1. Take a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (Laguna Amarga). It takes about 2h30min. Value CLP 10 000/US$12 a technique pp. Maintain your bus ticket for the best way again.  

Bus Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine Bus 1 Bus 2
Leaves Puerto Natales 7.30am 2.30pm
Arrives at Laguna Amarga 9.45am 4.45pm

Step 2. Get off at Laguna Amarga entrance, go to the park workplace to pay the entrance priceCLP 21 000/US$32 and get a map.

Step 3. Take one other bus from Laguna Amarga to Resort Las Torres (the start line of the O), the departure time is linked to buses from Puerto Natales. Value CLP 3000/US$4, takes 10 min. As an choice, you’ll be able to stroll this stretch, 7km, 2 hours.                      

Returning from Torres del Paine (Resort Las Torres) to Puerto Natales

Step 1. Take a shuttle bus from Resort Las Torres to Laguna AmargaCLP 3000/US$5 or stroll this stretch. Verify for departure time on the resort reception.

Step 2. Take a bus from Laguna Amarga to Puerto Natales.   

Bus Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales Bus 1 Bus 2
Leaves Laguna Amarga 2.30pm 7.45pm
Arrives in Puerto Natales 5pm 10pm

Distances and occasions on the O Circuit

  • Laguna Amarga – Resort Las Torres (the start line) – 7km/4,Three miles, strolling – 2 hours or by bus – 15min.
  • Resort Las Torres – Serón campsite – 13km/Eight miles, Three hours
  • Campsite Serón – Campsite Dickson – 18km/11 miles, 6 hours
  • Campsite Dickson – Campsite Los Perros – 11,8km/7,Three miles, 4,5 hours
  • Campsite Los Perros – Campsite Paso – 8km/5 miles, 6 hours, John Gardner cross, steep ascend.
  • Campsite Paso – Campsite Gray – 7km/4,Three miles, 5 hours, steep descent
  • Campsite Gray – Paine Grande – 11km/6,Eight miles, 3,5 hours
  • Paine Grande – Campsite Italiano – 7,6km/4,7 miles, 2.5 hours
  • Campsite Italiano – Mirador Britanico – 5,5km/3,Four miles, Three hours
  • Campsite Italiano – Campsite Frances – 2km/1,2 miles, 30 min.
  • Campsite Italiano – Refugio Los Cuernos – 5,5km/3,Four miles, 2.5 hours
  • Los Cuernos – Resort Las Torres, 11km/6,Eight miles, 4.5 hours
  • Los Cuernos – Campsite Chileno – 15km/9,Three miles, 5,5 hours
  • Resort Las Torres – Campsite Chileno – 5,5km/3,Four miles, 2 hours
  • Campsite Chileno – Campsite Torres – 3,2km/2 miles, 1.5 hours
  • Campsite Torres – Mirador Las Torres – 0,8km/0,Four miles, 45 minutes
  • Mirador Las Torres – Resort Las Torres (descend) – 9,5km/6 miles, Three hours
O circuit trekking map, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
O circuit trekking map; strolling route and bus route from Lagina Amarga to Resort Las Torres.

Torres del Paine, the O circuit – 7-day itinerary

Day 1. Puerto Natales – Serón campsite, 13km

Puerto Natales – bus – Laguna Amarga – bus – Resort Las Torres – Serón campsite, 13km/Eight miles, Three hours bus + Three hours stroll

Value: bus Puerto Natales – Laguna Amarga – CLP 10 000/US$12, entrance price – CLP 21 000/US$27, bus Laguna Amarga – Resort Las Torres – CLP 3000/US$4 (a technique), tenting at Serón – CLP 16 000/US$21.

Highlights

Challenges

  • It might be a straightforward stroll if it wasn’t for heavy backpacks loaded with gear and meals for 7 days.

7.00-7.30 – catch a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine Nationwide park.

9.30-9.45 – get off on the first cease Laguna Amarga; register, pay the doorway price, get a map. Tip! Attempt to be among the many first individuals on the workplace in any other case you’ll wait in a queue for some time.

10.00 – catch a bus to Resort Las Torres. Affirm departure time on the workplace.

10.15 – get off the bus at Resort Las Torres, the start line of the O trek and start the stroll in the direction of Serón campsite. Cease for lunch/snack at Las Torres or on the best way.

13.30-14.00 – arrive at Serón campsite, pitch your tent, stroll round, chill.

ALpacas swimming at Laguna Amarga, O circuit, Torres del Paine
Laguna Amarga entrance, the start of the O Circuit in Torres del Paine Nationwide park, Chile

Day 2. Serón campsite – Dickson campsite, 18km

Serón – Guarderia Coiron – Dickson campsite, 18km/11 miles, 6 hours

Value: tenting at Dickson – CLP 5500/US$7.

Highlights

  • Our mates noticed a puma within the morning just some hundred meters from the campsite.
  • Paine Lake
  • Dickson Lake

Challenges

  • Strolling by an opened windy space between Serón and Coirón.

7.00 – stand up, make breakfast, pack.

8.00 – begin strolling in the direction of Dickson.

10.30 – arrive at Guardería Coirón – 8,5km. Right here you present your allow (reserving) and register within the park guide. You possibly can have lunch right here – there are tables and benches.

11.00 – proceed the stroll to Dickson – 9,5km.

14.00 – arrive at Dickson campsite.

A reception building at Dickson campsite, O trek, Torres del Paine
Dickson Campsite the second cease on the O Circuit

Day 3. Dickson campsite – Paso campsite, 20km

Dickson campsite – Los Perros campsite – John Gardner cross – Paso campsite, 20km/12,Three miles, 10 hours.*

*You possibly can cut up at the present time into two; keep at Los Perros campsite one night time and subsequent day proceed over the cross to Paso.

Value: tenting at Paso – free.

Highlights

  • Los Perros lake and glacier
  • View over Gray glacier from Gardner cross

Challenges

  • John Gardner cross – a steep and really lengthy ascent, about 900m.

7.00 – stand up, fast breakfast, packing. It’s necessary to start out the day early first as a result of it’s a really lengthy strolling day and second as a result of the path between Los Perros and Paso campsites closes at 14.00 in case you arrive after that point you’ll have to remain at Los Perros.

8.00 – begin strolling in the direction of Los Perros campsite – 12km/7,5 miles, 4,5 hours, the ascend begins from Dickson and continues all the best way until the highest of the cross.

12.00-12.30 – arrive at Los Perros campsite. When you’re positive with the time you’ll be able to cease for lunch right here and proceed after, in case you arrived after 13.00 we’d counsel stroll previous the rangers’ workplace first after which cease someplace for lunch to be sure you’ll be allowed to proceed. From  Los Perros the ascend is getting steeper, you begin climbing John Gardner cross – 900m up.

14.30-15.00 – arrive on the prime of John Gardner cross, spend a while having fun with the view over Gray glacier – it’s improbable. Put together heat garments; gloves and beany – it’s very windy on the highest.

15.30 – begin descend to Paso campsite.

17.00-17.30 – arrive at Paso campsite. It was a troublesome strolling day with wonderful surroundings!

Grey Glacier, John Gardner pass, O circuit
Gray Glacier from John Gardner Move, one of many highlights of the O circuit

Day 4. Paso campsite – Paine Grande, 18km

Paso campsite – Refugio/campsite Gray – Paine Grande, 18km/11 miles, Eight hours

Value: tenting at Paine Grande – CLP 6500/US$8.

Highlights

  • Gray glacier
  • Gray lake
  • Two suspension bridges
  • Pehoe lake

Challenges

  • A steep descent to Gray campsite
  • A number of ascents and descents on the best way from Gray to Paine Grande campsite

7.00 – stand up, have breakfast, pack.

8.00 – begin strolling in the direction of Gray campsite – 7km/4,Three miles, 4,5 hours, steep descend.

12.30 – arrive at Gray campsite, have lunch, relaxation.

13.30 – proceed strolling to Paine Grande – 11km/6,Eight miles, 3,5 hours.

17.00 – arrive at Paine Grande, pitch your tent, relaxation.

Pehoe lake and Paine Grande campsite, hiking in Torres del Paine
Gorgeous Pehoé Lake and Paine Grande campsite, the top of the fourth day on the circuit

Day 5. Paine Grande – Italiano or Frances campsite, 20km

Paine Grande – Italiano campsite – Mirador Frances – Mirador Britanico (in good climate) – Italiano campsite or Frances campsite, 20 km/12,Four miles, Eight hours

Value; tenting at Italiano – free, tenting at Frances – CLP 16 000/US$21.

Highlights

  • Skotsberg lake
  • French Valley
  • Mirador Frances
  • Mirador Britanico

Challenges

  • Steep ascent to Mirador Britanico from Italiano campsite
  • Steep descent again from the Mirador to the campsite

7.00 – stand up, make breakfast, pack.

8.00 – begin strolling to Italiano campsite – 7,6 km, 2,5 hours.

10.30 – arrive at Italiano campsite, go away your backpack on the workplace, take the dear stuff, stroll to Mirador Frances – 2km, 1 hour, ascend.

11.30 – arrive at Mirador Frances, relaxation, have lunch. If the climate is sweet to proceed strolling to Mirador Britanico (nice views) – 3,5 km, 2 hours, steep ascend.

13.30 – arrive at Mirador Britanico, relaxation, benefit from the view.

14.00 – begin happening to Italiano campsite – 5,5 km, 2-Three hours, descend all the best way again.

16.30 – arrive at Italiano. When you keep at Frances it’s about 2 km extra – a 30-minutes stroll.

Lago Skottsberg, hiking the O circuit
The Skottsberg lake surroundings on the best way to Italian campsite

Day 6. Italiano/Frances campsite – Chileno campsite, 21km

Italiano/Frances campsite – Los Cuernos – Chileno campsite, 21km/13 miles, Eight hours

Value: tenting at Chileno – CLP 16 000/US$21.

Highlights

Challenges

  • A number of ascents and descents on the best way to Chileno campsite

7.00 – stand up, breakfast, packing.

8.00 – begin strolling to Los Cuernos – 5km, 2 hours.

10.00 – arrive at Los Cuernos, there’s a store and restaurant right here, you’ll be able to cease for snacks and relaxation.

10.30 – begin strolling to Chileno campsite – 15km, 5,5 hours.

15.30 – arrive at Chileno, pitch tent, stroll round, relaxation. If you wish to see the dawn at Mirador Las Torres higher go to mattress very early you’ll should stand up at 4.00-5.00 to stroll all the best way up in time.

Mirador Las Torres, Patagonia, Chile
Mirador Las Torres probably the most iconic surroundings in Torres del Paine Nationwide park

Day 7. Chileno campsite – Mirador Las Torres – Puerto Natales, 14km

Chileno campsite – Mirador Las Torres – Resort Las Torres – bus or stroll – Laguna Amarga – bus – Puerto Natales, 14km/8,6 miles, 5h30min.

Value: bus Resort Las Torres – Laguna Amarga – CLP 3000/US$4, bus Laguna Amarga – Puerto Natales – CLP 10000/US$12.

Highlights

  • Dawn at Las Torres – undoubtedly one of many important highlights of the trek.

Challenges

  • Very early stand up
  • An extended and steep ascent to Mirador Las Torres
  • An extended and steep descent to Resort Las Torres

4.00-5.00 (relying on dawn time) – stand up, begin going as much as the Mirador – 4km, 2h15min. Go away your stuff on the campsite, take solely valuables and a digital camera.

6.15-7.15 – arrive on the Mirador. Benefit from the dawn, stroll round, take photographs, snack.

8.00 – begin descending again to Chileno – 4km, 1h30min.

9.30 – arrive at Chileno, pack your stuff, begin happening to Resort Las Torres – 5,5km, 1h30min.

11.00 – arrive at Resort Las Torres, catch a bus to Laguna Amarga (affirm the departure time on the resort) or stroll – 7km, 2 hours.

14.00-14.30 – get on a bus from Laguna Amarga to Puerto Natales. Verify the bus timetable on the park workplace.

16.30 – arrive in Puerto Natales.

Greatest time for mountain climbing the Circuit

Patagonian summer time from December to February is the warmest time with day temperatures between 12°C and 15°C when the night time temperature is between 9°C and 12°C. November – January, and March get various wind –  the most important downside for mountain climbing and tenting in Patagonia. February is the least windy summer time month. It’s the identical with rain out of all summer time months February will get the least rainfall.

Out of the climate viewpoint, February is certainly one of the best month for trekking in Torres del Paine. The primary disadvantage of mountain climbing in February – the parks is crowded, it’s the busiest month for the park with most guests coming right here. It means you will need to guide campsites lengthy prematurely to be sure you get a spot on deliberate dates. For extra particulars learn our put up – Torres del Paine full information. 

Gadgets we love taking with on a hike

Extra data on what to pack for mountain climbing and tenting in Patagonia you’ll find in THIS POST.

Beneficial books and guidebooks

Within the final couple of years laws in Torres del Paine modified loads in case you purchase a trekking information be sure it’s an up to date version.

When you favor studying e-books don’t hesitate to affix Amazon Kindle Limitless to get entry to 1000’s of e-books and audiobooks. Even in case you don’t have a Kindle machine you’ll be able to learn or hearken to books in your telephone or pill utilizing a free app. The primary 30 days are free.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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