Experience one of the most beautiful and intense treks on the planet: the Paine Circuit!
Circle the immense Paine Massif for 9 days of epic views and endurance, all led by Ecocamp’s expert guides who help escort you on this unbelievable adventure through the heart of this vast and untamed wilderness.
Please Note: This is a camping/trekking expedition, which means you’ll be camping every night of the trip. Ecocamp Patagonia does offer an optional upgrade to EcoCamp Domes for the first and last two nights of the program. This upgrade is dependent on Ecocamp Patagonia’s availability.
- Go on a trekking adventure into the wild
- Trek to John Gardner Pass
- Visit Grey and Dickson Glaciers
- Complete the round trip of Paine Massif
- See the famous Towers in Torres del Paine
- Optional upgrade to EcoCamp Domes
Day 1: The Patagonian Adventure Starts
You will be picked up from the airport or your hotel in Punta Arenas and driven to Torre Central Camp, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively, you can start your trip in El Calafate. On the way, the group will make a couple of stops. First, the group will stop in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of Last Hope Sound (Ultima Esperanza), where local lunch can be enjoyed before departing for the park.
The day ends with arrival at Torre Central Camp, nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and with a prime view of the majestic Torres. Sunset is usually around 11 PM during the summer months, meaning that there will still be enough daylight for you to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizons once you arrive. Overnight camping in the Las Torres area. (Optional upgrade to EcoCamp domes)
Day 2: Camp Torre Central to Camp Dickson
The day will start at Camp Torre Central where you will embark on your hike to Dickson Lake. The trail will lead you northwards along the eastern bank of the Paine River. The adventurers will stop at a natural lookout point to take in a stunning panoramic view of Paine Lake before descending and continuing west across open grasslands towards Refugio Dickson. The campsite will be situated in the Dickson Valley, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and the crystalline waters of Lake Dickson. The stunning Dickson Glacier and parts of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field can be spotted in the distance from the campsite, where the group will spend the night complete with a nutritious dinner and soothing hot shower. Overnight camping in the Dickson Area.
Day 3: Camp Dickson to Camp Perros
The adventurers will continue to trail along the Los Perros River where the wildest and most remote grounds will be covered on the trek. The group will pass under the Los Perros Glacier, which merges into a small lake, and then cross virgin beech forest before reaching the beautiful Laguna Los Perros. Here, the group will set up camp at Camping Los Perros and enjoy the tranquil evening. Overnight camping in the Los Perros area.
Day 4: Camp Perros to Camp Grey through John Gardner Pass
This day marks the ascent to the Circuit’s highest point, the John Gardner pass, a must-do for any serious trekker. From an altitude of around 1300 meters (4000 ft), the trekkers will be able to feast their eyes on an awe-inspiring view of the Grey Glacier, an enormous fractured mass of ice that towers over the valley below. The John Gardner pass is one of the most famous sectors of Torres del Paine and a must-do for any serious trekker. The group will then continue south along forested slopes with more beautiful views of the Grey Glacier before reaching Grey Campground on the shores of Lake Grey. Overnight camping in Grey area.
Day 5: Camp Grey to Pehoe Lake
During the morning, the group will take some time to rest, replenish and revel in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Grey. After this, it is time to make the way along the eastern side of the Lake through clearings of gorgeous Calafate bushes. The view over the lake, with its numerous giant icebergs drifting across the waters, is a true wonder to behold. The trail after this point becomes flattered as the group descends through a shallow dry valley towards the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoe, where camp will be set up for the night. Overnight camping in Pehoé area.
*Optional Kayaking around Glacier Grey: This excursion starts at 9 AM and lasts 2.5 hours. You will kayak around huge floating icebergs towards the eastern side of the glacier to get closer to the giant ice wall. Min. age is 15 years old / Max. age is 65 years old. (Note: Kayaking option is only available between November 1st and March 19th)
Day 6: French Valley
After breakfast at Lake Pehoe, the group will begin the challenging trek along a steep trail leading to the very heart of the Paine Massif in the French Valley, – How far the group goes depends on the trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the southeast face of the Massif, where the adventurers will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. The group will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After the upward trek, the group will pause for a picnic and relax for a while. The day’s trek will end as the adventurers descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest to Camp Frances. Overnight camping in the Francés area.
*An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is also available.
Day 7: Los Cuernos
Once the breakfast is finished, the group will begin the day’s trek to Camp Torre Central along the Cuernos trail, which will lead along the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. Today’s walk is less strenuous yet richer in the diversity of terrain that will be covered. It will, therefore, be the perfect opportunity to take in the park’s charming flora and fauna and learn more about the vast variety of species along the way. The group will pause throughout the walk-in and eat the box lunch, rest your legs, and admire the stunning surroundings. The trek ends as the group arrives at Camp Torre Central where the meal will be enjoyed. Overnight camping in the Las Torres area. (Optional upgrade to EcoCamp domes)
Day 8: Trek to the Tower’s Base
The goal of the group’s penultimate day of the Paine Circuit is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! Adventurers will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending up Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests, and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders that leads to that iconic base-view of the Towers, the three gigantic granite monoliths that are the remains of a great cirque sheared away by glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically with the glacial lake visible below. Is there a better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view (and the picnic), the group will backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to Camp Torre Central for a well-deserved dinner. Overnight camping in the Las Torres area. (Optional upgrade to EcoCamp domes)
Day 9: Adiós Torres del Paine
The adventurers will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight to Santiago.
The weather in Patagonia can make planning difficult at times. Ecocamp Patagonia reserves the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide. The trip guide can modify, change, or eliminate part of the itinerary based upon safety/weather considerations.
- All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
- Regular bus tickets between El Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in El Calafate (check the last section)
- 8 nights camping including all equipment EXCEPT a mat and sleeping bag
- Park entrance fees for Torres del Paine National Park
- One expert English speaking guide
- Porter service for this trip
- Day 1: Lunch, Dinner
- Day 2: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 3: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 4: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 5: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 6: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 7: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 8: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
- Day 9: Breakfast, Box Lunch
- Flight tickets
- Insurance (appropriate insurance is mandatory for this trip)
- Voluntary tipping to guides and staff
- Cash to buy optional extras such as drinks, snacks, or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park Personal items
- Mat and sleeping bag
What You Need to Bring
- Cash to buy extra drinks,snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park
- Mat and sleeping bag
- A day backpack (20-30lt)
- Backpack or duffel bag (70 liters)
- Waterproof or water resistant trekking boots
- Waterproof parka and pants
- Inner layers (ideally fleece or wool)
- 3 changes of clothes
- Sun hat
- Hiking socks
- Sandals (for after hikes)
- Bathing suit
- Trekking Poles
- Long underwear (wool not recommended)
- Extra change of socks
- Extra insulating layer
Regular Departures are available every Wednesday from October to March.
Optional for This Trip
Upgrades to EcoCamp Patagonia
- 3 nights upgrade to an EcoCamp Standard, Superior or Suite Dome on a double basis (days 1, 7, and 8)
- Subject to availability.
- EcoCamp dome upgrades are not available during peak season (From 15 December to January 20).
Starting / Finishing point
The trip starts on Wednesday and finishes on Thursday with a pick-up and drop-off in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, or El Calafate.
This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. During this trek, you will walk a total of 134kms /83mi. To enjoy this trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of conditioning well before departure.
- Those 14 years of age or older are considered adults and are welcome.
- Children aged between 12 and 13 might be accepted in this program if their legal guardian sends a formal letter stating that their child is prepared for such an intense trekking trip and authorizes the hiring of a private guide in case the child cannot perform well during the trek.
- Children under 12 years of age cannot participate in this trip.
- This trip does not offer a special discount for children.
In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia, transportation is in minivans that normally seat 8 to 14 people. An exclusive toll-free emergency number will be available for anyone needing additional support while in Chile.
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the winds that circle the Antarctic landmass, making the weather hard to predict. Fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning; even in summer (December to March), you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. Summer’s average temperature is 11ºC (52ºF), ranging between 2 to 24ºC (35 to 75ºF).