Day 1: Transfer to Torres del Paine. Arrive at the airport in Punta Arenas and meet your guide and transfer vehicle. Drive out across the Patagonian steppe for a chance to see some of Patagonia's unusual plant and animal life. After a short stop in Puerto Natales, the capital of the Ultimo Esperanza (Last Hope) region of southern Chile, we transfer to Torres del Paine National Park and the beautiful campsite at Laguna Azul.
This campsite is located in one of the sunnier parts of the Park and offers soft, grassy pitches either under the trees or closer to the sandy lakeside beach. There are dramatic views across the azure waters of the lake to the Towers in the distance. Facilities include fire pits, bathrooms, hot showers and a small shop. Enjoy some lake-chilled wine and snacks while dinner is prepared. Dinner included (with wine at dinner).
Day 2: Trek to Dickson Valley. After breakfast, we start the famous Torres del Paine Circuit, trekking along the shores of Laguna Azul through southern beech forests towards the mighty Towers that give Torres del Paine its name. Lots of beautiful flower-filled meadows and great mountain scenery. Arrive at Lago Paine where we will stop for lunch before continuing across this wide open valley crossing its dry river beds and streams - our views constantly dominated by the Paine massif to our left.
After a few hours we will pass through a thick beech forest before arriving at the Rio de los Perros where we will call the local boatman and board the small boat to take us across this fast flowing glacial river. Our base for the night is the pretty Dickson campsite located in its own remote valley with no vehicle access and incredible views in every direction. We will be setting up camp here before enjoying some wine and snacks while dinner is prepared. Facilities include bathrooms, showers and a nearby refugio where hikers meet and swap tails of their adventures. Beers normally available to purchase in the refugio. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 3: Trek to Los Perros. A shorter but steeper walk takes us alongside the vast Los Perros River and through an ancient forest, all under the shadow of the Indian Head mountain. A spectacular viewpoint will give us views of the immense Dickson Glacier and lake. At day's end we will set up camp just below the glacier. This is an organized camp with some facilities. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 4: Trek John Gardner Pass to Refugio Grey. Next is the Torres del Paine Circuit's most challenging trek. We will climb up and over the John Gardner pass and hopefully see the southern Patagonian Ice Field laid out before us, with its endless glaciers and mountains. This is a special place, which sees few visitors. In the afternoon we will head down to the camp near the face of Grey Glacier. Our base for the night is the refugio situated in the forest close to the glacier. Bunk bed accommodation in dorm-style rooms with showers, restaurant and bathrooms. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (drinks available at extra cost).
Day 5: Trek to Lake Pehoe. Continuing along the lake fed by Grey Glacier melt-water, we enjoy an easier day today as we trek out of this beautiful valley along the ridge top. The spectacular Glacier will be visible to our right during most of today's trek. This is one of Torres del Paine's great treks. Our destination is the crystal clear, turquoise waters of Lago Pehoé and the busy but organized camp along its shore. Organized camp with full facilities: bathrooms, hot showers, nearby refugio with bar and small shop. Beer sold in refugio. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 6: Trek to French Valley and on to Refugio Cuernos. Today we trek towards the French Valley along the foothills of the Paine Massif with the tranquil shores of Lake Nordenskjold to our right. A full day's hike we will enjoy jaw-dropping views of the curtain of granite peaks that enclose this hidden valley as well as sparkling waters-capes below, including lakes Pehoe, Skottsberg, Toro and Nordenskjold. Our destination is the relaxed buzz of refugio Cuernos set below the imposing horns of Paine. Night in bunk bed accommodation with shared facilities. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (drinks available at extra cost).
Day 7: Trek to Camping Las Torres. After breakfast we set off once again along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. The hardy can go for a swim in the lake. Another of the Torres del Paine's classic treks, today's trail passes just below the towering Horns of Paine until we cross the Ascending Valley to our campsite at Las Torres. A pretty campsite at the foot of the nearby mountains with pretty forests and rivers. Facilities include hot showers, bathrooms fire-pits and a nearby hosteria that also has a bar and offers spa treatments. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 8: Trek to the base of the Towers. A fitting end to our adventure, today we climb up to the base of the Towers themselves. A steep climb crossing mountain trails, rivers, valleys and a final clamber over glacial moraine, its rewards are spectacular. Lunch (for those who make it to the top) will be eaten in the shadow of these giant granite peaks while icebergs drift across a glacial pool below, a memorable lunch spot and a high point of the Paine Circuit.
After lunch we will head back down to our camp and vehicle, which will take us back to Puerto Natales. Night at the waterside Hotel Weskar. Contemporary waterside hotel with the look of an alpine ski lodge and offering en suite rooms, beautiful views across Last Hope Sound and laundry and internet services. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (dinner in restaurant with drinks available at extra cost).
Day 9: Transfer via Penguin Colony to Punta Arenas. After breakfast transfer back to Punta Arenas airport to arrive late morning. Time permitting we will again make a short shopping stop in Puerto Natales before continuing on to the Otway Sound Penguin colony to observe the cute burrowing Magellanic penguins at their waterside colony close to Punta Arenas. Clients will be dropped off at the airport for onward flights or in town according to their preference. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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