O Trek

11 days (10 nights) from £1,894 per person

The O Trek is the full circuit hike in Torres del Paine. It is essentially the W Trek plus the northern section of the Paine range. This northern side is much quieter and will give you the chance to escape the crowds, will challenge you with some of the tougher passes but will also reward you with the most beautiful scenery and the view of the ice cap as you round the tough John Gardner pass will make it well worth it!

The northern section of the trek does not have refugios, so the only option is to camp. The itinerary we present here has camping throughout, including in the W Trek part, but you can choose to stay at refugios for the W Trek if you so prefer. We present the option without the guide, however, if you are not an experienced hikers, we might suggest the addition of a local guide as the northern section is much more remote and does present its risks.

Day 1 - Welcome to Santiago

Santiago is a fast-growing city located in the central valley of Chile between the Andes mountains range to the east and the Cordillera of the Coast to the west. Santiago has been cataloged as surprising, cosmopolitan, energetic, sophisticated and worldly, a city of cultural currents, expansive museums and top-flight restaurants. It is a wonderful place for strolling, and each neighborhood has its unique flavor and tone. 

A private transfer will pick you up to take you from Santiago’s Airport to your selected Hotel. Please be aware of the sign with your name on it.

Accommodation

Day 2 - Fly to Punta Arenas and bus to Puerto Natales

After breakfast, get ready to leave Santiago. A transfer will take you to the Airport for you to fly to Punta Arenas.  Upon your arrival to Punta Arenas Airport, a guide will assist you. Now you will take a public bus to reach Puerto Natales city. Which is 3 hours driving from the airport. Enjoy the first glimpses of Patagonian scenery!

A formerly modest fishing port on Seno Última Esperanza, Puerto Natales has blossomed into a Gore-Tex mecca. The gateway to Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, this town feeds off tourism, an all-you-can-eat feast with unwavering demand. 

 

Boutique beers and wine tastings have overtaken tea time, and gear shops have replaced the yarn sellers. While there are growing services that cater to international tastes, there’s appeal in Natales’ corrugated-tin houses strung shoulder to shoulder and cozy granny-style lodgings. Most notably, in spite of a near-constant swarm of visitors, the town still maintains the glacial pace of living endemic to Patagonia.

Accommodation

Day 3 - Bus to Torres del Paine and first hike to Serón Campsite

Today you must be ready at early morning (6:30 hrs.) for the transfer that will take you to the bus station. (Located at Avenida España 1455) to take the 7:00 am bus to Torres del Paine.

You will enter the park through the Amarga Lagoon Checkpoint, where you need to show your ticket and then take a bus to Cerro Paine Reserve’s Welcome Center. There, you will enjoy the striking silhouettes of the Torres del Paine and Almirante Nieto mountains, and your first hike will begin. It will lead you through a huge lenga beech forest draped with lichen called “old man’s beard.” 

After going through the forest, in the distance you will behold a large valley covered by daisies and bordered by the Paine River on the right. The river will accompany you during the second half of your hike until reaching Serón Campsite, where you will dine and sleep.

Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours. (13 km)

Difficulty: Mid-difficulty

Elevation gain: 250 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Serón Camping site.

Day 4 - Hike to Dickson

This will be a long but unforgettable day of hiking. The first part of the trail will take you up and down the slopes of Paine Hill, where you will feel the power of the wind. You will then begin your descent and walk along the shore of the Paine Lake, which on clear days acts as a mirror for the mountain peaks around it. If the weather is good, you will be able to see the northeast peak of the Paine Massif, including peculiar shapes and silhouettes such as “Cabeza del Indio,” “Escudo,” “Cubo,” and Dickson. You will spend the night at the Dickson sector, located by the glacial lake next to the Southern Ice Fields that give this sector its name.

Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours. (18 km)

Difficulty: High

Elevation gain: 200 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Dickson Camping site.

Day 5 - Hike to Los Perros

Today you will begin to go towards the southwest. Along the way, you will see the Dickson glacier falling into the lake of the same name. You will enter a beautiful lenga beech forest, where you will see Magellanic woodpeckers tapping the beech trees. Right in the middle of the forest, you will find a clearing. Stop there for a moment to look forward and backward and you will be able to see glaciers in both directions. Amazing!

Further on, you will cross Los Perros Glacier, with incredible views of its lake. Thirty minutes later you will arrive at Los Perros Campsite, located in a quiet, ancient forest. 

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours. (9 km)

Difficulty: High

Elevation gain: 360 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and box dinner.

Accommodation: Perros Camping site.

Please note: in the Perros Sector, the meal service is provided with lunch boxes and there is no restaurant service.

Day 6 - Hike to Grey Glacier

Today will probably be the most exhausting but also the most spectacular day of your trip. Warning: there will be slippery and swampy terrain, as well as steep climbs and descents. You must leave Los Perros early in the morning. On the first part of the trail you will cross through swampy land followed by a long, steep climb to the windy John Gardner mountain pass. Once up there, the breathtaking view will make you feel quite small. Right in front of you will be one of the huge tongues of the Southern Ice Fields, filled with cracks and ice of the rarest shades of blue and green. A landscape where you do not know where the glacier ends and the clouds begin. 

Once you have caught your breath, a long descent through the rocks will begin, to then go around the Grey Glacier, which will be within sight all the way to the Grey Lake. A few kilometers past “El Paso” site, you will cross two impressive suspension bridges over 50 meters long that cross huge gorges, o ering an amazing view of the Grey Glacier, a scene that is hard to forget.

Hiking time: 9 to 12 hours. (22 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 620 mt.

Highest altitude: 1.241 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Grey site.

Day 7 - Hike to Paine Grande Sector

In this day, we will have a gentle hike to Paine Grande. In the morning, you will have the option to go on Kayak beside the Grey Glacier (Kayak Excursion’s fee is not included in this program and it requires previous reservation).

The first part of the trail will have many uphill and downhill climbs. You will go through forests of Antarctic beech (ñirres), Dombey’s beech (coigüe) and Chilean firebush (notros), with the majestic Paine Grande Hill (the highest peak in the mountain range at 3,050 m) and its hanging glaciers to your left. We will stay overnight at Paine Grande Sector, where you can enjoy the stunning view of Cuernos del Paine.

Hiking time: 4 hours. (11 km)

Difficulty: Mid

Altitude Initial: 130 mt.

Highest altitude: 388 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Paine Grande Camping site.

Day 8 - Hike to Valle del Francés.

On this day you will visit another one of the most iconic and magical places in the park, the striking Francés Valley. The hike will begin with an easy walk towards the Italiano Campsite. There, you will begin the climb up through the valley and then reach the “Francés Lookout Point” after 1.5 hours. Up there, you will see one of the hanging glaciers of Paine Grande Hill up close and, if you are lucky, you will witness an icefall (avalanche). 

 

With that impressive sight still in your mind, you will cross through a lenga beech forest leading to the Británico Sector. Get ready, this might be the only time in your life when you will enjoy such a sight: the magnificent Francés Valley flanked by its colossal mountains and granite walls. Their unique shapes and colors will astound you.

On the way back, we will go through the same trail until we arrive at Italiano Campsite. Then, we will reroute to the east on our way to Frances campsite where we will spend the night.

Hiking time: 8 – 9 hours. (20,5 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 100 mt.

Highest altitude: 762 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Francés Camping site.

Day 9 - Hike to Central Sector

With the spectacular Cuernos del Paine to your left, and the colors of the Nordenskjöld Lake to your right, you will walk towards Central Sector. This day the hike will be more relaxed, there will no steep slopes, and the journey will be shorter and faster than the days before. A few kilometers before reaching the Central Sector, you will leave Los Cuernos behind to go around Almirante Nieto Hill (2,670 m), a massif with a changing climate.

At night, just like throughout the rest of your adventure, you will be able to enjoy the relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere at the Central Sector, have a well-deserved beer and share your experiences and stories with other hikers. 

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours. (14 km)

Difficulty: Mid

Elevation gain: 200 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Central Camping site.

Day 10 - Hike to Base Las Torres

Today, you must get up early to visit the most iconic place of the park, Las Torres Base Lookout Point. First, you will walk through the pampa, cross the Ascencio River and then climb about 3 km up to Los Vientos mountain pass. Here you will enjoy magnificent views of the valley, lakes and glaciers. You will continue until reaching the Chileno Mountain Refuge, and then go deep into a lenga beech forest up to “La Morrena,” where the hardest part of the hike begins. After 45 minutes of ascending up a rock trail, you will reach the spectacular Las Torres Base Lookout Point where you will be able to enjoy the grandeur of Torres Sur (2,850 m), Central (2,800 m), and North (2,600 m). 

After taking in the spectacular scene, you will return to the Central Sector where you will take the bus back to Puerto Natales at 7:00 p.m. Upon your arrival to Puerto Natales bus station, a transfer will be waiting for you to take you back to the hotel.

Hiking time: 7 – 9 hours. (19,5 km)

Difficulty: High

Altitude Initial: 126 mt.

Highest altitude: 870 mt.

Meals included: Breakfast and box lunch.

Accommodation

Day 11 - Departure

After breakfast, we will pick you up on time for you to take the public bus, back to Punta Arenas Airport. Remember to mention that you will get off at the airport. From here, you will have time to connect with a flight to Santiago and home.

  • Prices start from £1,894 per person
  • 3 nights in 3*+ hotels B&B basis
  • Private and shared transfers
  • All domestic flights within Chile in Economy
  • 7 nights self-guided O Trek in a tent with Full Board
  • All entrance fees
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered

PLEASE NOTE: The O Trek is available from November to March 2021. Departures without guide are available every day.

IMPORTANT: Remember to visit Fantástico Sur office, located at Avenida España 1455, Puerto Natales. You must take your briefing before getting into Torres del Paine national park. (Open until 18:30 hrs.) They will also give you the vouchers needed and a welcome kit. Here you will receive full instructions of what to do during your trekking trail. The briefing is mandatory. Serón & Perros sites are available only for camping. There’s no refuge or a made up bed for sleeping.

All prices correct at the time of writing.  Give us a call or email us at valeria@fleewinter.com to discuss your requirements and get a confirmed price.

Please remember this is a sample itinerary and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans.  We can add or remove days and look at different places to stay.