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Torres del Paine Circuit, 11 days backpacking

backpacking trip in torres del paine, backpacking in Patagonia a lifetime hiking trip, 10 days hiking in torres del paine one of the 10 best hiking trails of the world
  • Torres del Paine Circuit
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Program: Torres del Paine Full Circuit

  • Length: 13 days / 12 nights
  • Activity Level: Experienced
  • Activity: Backpacking / Trekking

Highlights: The Torres Lookout, The French Valley, The Cuernos, many glaciers (incl. Grey, Dickson, Amistad), Dickson Lake, John Gardner Pass

The Torres del Paine Circuit is a goal for serious trekkers while visiting Patagonia. This hike is one of the most beautiful and most demanding treks in the area. During the eleven days of hiking you will notice signs of glaciation and ancient seismic movements, which was how the erratic formations seen in this park were created more than 12,000 years ago.

Throughout the expedition you will hike across mountains, through pampas and forests, and beside glaciers and lakes. You will be able to enjoy the peacefulness of being a bit off the beaten track.

Overview

  • Day 1: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales
  • Day 2: Puerto Natales - Paine Grande
  • Day 3: Paine Grande - Camp Frances
  • Day 4: Camp Frances- Camp Bader
  • Day 5: Camp Bader- Camp Torres
  • Day 6: Torres lookout - Las Torres
  • Day 7: Las Torres - Seron
  • Day 8: Seron - Dickson
  • Day 9: Dickson - Perros
  • Day 10: Perros - Paso
  • Day 11: Paso - Grey
  • Day 12: Grey - Natales
  • Day 13: Natales - Punta Arenas

Backpacking Torres del Paine Full Circuit

  • Length: 13 days / 12 nights
  • Activity Level: Experienced
  • Activity: Backpacking / Trekking

Day 1: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales
You will be greeted in the Punta Arenas airport (PUQ) and taken directly to Puerto Natales. The drive is approximately 3 hours, along the way you will be able to catch your first glimpses of guanacos and nandus. You will be taken to your accomodation and your guide will meet you for a breifing explaining the next few days and helping you with any last minute questions.

Day 2: Puerto Natales - Paine Grande
After an early breakfast, you and your guide will leave Puerto Natales heading towards Torres del Paine National Park. You will be taken to the park´s administration office and be given a bit of time to look around and fill up your water bottles before departing. The hike is across softly rolling hills and will lead you to an amazing viewpoint of Lake Pehoe and the well-known Cuernos. It is approximately a five hour walk and you will arrive at Paine Grande Refugio just before dinner time.

Day 3: Paine Grande - Camp Frances
Today will be a spectacular day. You will wake up with energy and be prepared to hike into the French Valley. The hike to the entrance of the valley is an easy two hour hike. You will walk along boardering Lake Scottsberg and admiring the tremendous Cuernos just in front of you. Finally, you will arrive at Camp Italiano and take a little rest. The walk from here to Britancio is around two and a half hours. You will walk past the French Glacier, and into the valley. As you climb up the views in every direction become absolutely stunning. You can see Lake Nordenskjold, the Cuernos, the French Glacier and in the back of the valley you will see various peaks, some of which are Hoja, Espada, Mascara, Aleta de Tiburon, Forteleza and many others.

Day 4: Camp Frances - Camp Bader
In the morning with your guide you will leave camp Frances, you will hike towards Refugio Cuernos. The hike to Bader Valley is about two hours. The climber’s camp is hidden behind a hill and into another valley.  The trail is not noticeable to a hiker.  You will have time to explore the valley with your guide and enjoy the remoteness of the area. In the evening you will spend the night in a climbers camp and enjoy the peacefulness of being alone.

Day 5: Camp Bader - Chileno
After a camp-side breakfast you will prepare to hike. Along the walk you will border Almirante Nieto and pass by Lake Nordenskjold. You will have a few rivers to cross by hopping across rocks and also catch views of glaciers upon the mountain tops that are hovering over you. You will walk to Refugio El Chileno at the Asencio Valley

Day 6: Torres lookout - Valle Asencio
Today will be a day of exploration! You will begin by going to visit the famed Torres. After breakfast in Chileno you will hike one hour through a dense Lenga forest. After leaving the forest, you will approach a moraine and climb to see the amazing granite peaks known as the Torres. After many pictures, a cup of tea and some time relaxing infront of the imposing peaks you will hike back down the moraine, but then continue onwards into Asencio Valley, until you and your guide reach Silent Valley. This is a more remote place and you will have some time to explore and admire the magnitude of its peacefulness. You and your guide will spend time here as you please and then return to Camp Chileno before dinner.

Day 7: Las Torres - Seron
You and your guide will continue on for about four hours on a fairly flat trail. You will walk along Paine River, admiring Laguna Azul and the beautiful view of the Valley Encantado. Finally you will arrive at Camp Serón, an old Baqueano´s post. The land is flat and you can imagine how in the past the area would have full of cattle grazing. You will enjoy a nice dinner and sleep on the luscious grass under the brightly shining stars.

Day 8: Seron - Dickson
Today will be a marvelous day! The hike is more or less 7 hours. You leave Camp Seron and walk steadily up a hill, past a small lagoon, until you finally reach a point with an amazing view of Lake Paine; then you continue down the hill all the while with breath-taking views. From here you can see the mountains that separate Chile and Argentina, along with the mountains located on the northern side of the Paine Massif. As you continue to hike you will reach a marsh and pass over it on the boardwalks that the park rangers have created. After traversing the marsh you will begin crossing ancient moraine valleys. As you hike down from one of the moraine peaks you can see a small refugio and will notice the imposing glacier tongue of the Southern Ice Field, Dickson. In Refugio Dickson you and your guide will set up camp and spend the evening.

Day 9: Dickson - Perros
After a nice breakfast you and your guide will begin hiking! Today the trek is approximately four hours and will take you through one of the oldest forests in the park. The trail will lead you past Lengas and Coigues that grew shortly after the glaciers receded.  You will see the medial moraines that mark this valley and finally you will reach the terminal moraine at the foot of Perros Glacier.  Here we will set up camp, have dinner and relax.

Day 10: Perros - Paso
You will wake and have breakfast in a beautiful forest. In the morning, you will start climbing a slow but steady hill for approximately 200 meters, the trail is very moist, and the beatiful Lenga and Coigue trees cover this portion of the trail also. After an hour and fifteen minutes you will reach the end of the forest and will finally begin trekking up rock slides towards the John Gardner Pass. After forty more minutes of hiking you will reach smaller patches of trees, all the while gaining just a bit of elevation. From this part of the trail you will be able to see Glaciar Mmistad, Cerro Blanco Sur, Punta Puma and finally the John Gardner Pass. From here you will begin climbing until you reach 1,200 meters--The John Gardner Pass. You will have an astonishing view of Glacier Grey and the Pingo and Zapata Mountain Range. After taking in the breath-taking view you will begin hiking downhill for about two hours until you reach Camp Paso where you and guide will spend the night.

Day 11: Paso - Grey
In the morning your guide will prepare breakfast for you. After a delicious and hearty meal you will begin hiking. Today the walk is a short four hours along an undulating trail with views of Glacier Grey, Lake Grey, and Ferrier Hill. As you are hiking you, with your guide, will come to two ravines. These ravines can be safely crossed by using the metal ladders that the park rangers have installed. After crossing the ravines you will continue on just a bit more until arriving at Camp Guardas. This camp is just one hour from Camping Grey and here you can take a rest and gaze at the spectacular, upclose view of Glacier Grey. You will continue on towards Camping Grey and have a nice night´s rest.

Day 12: Grey - Natales
Today you will complete the entire circuit. The hike is a short four hours, and you will walk above Lake Grey in Mountains that boarder along it. In the area you can find many types of birds including the beautiful red Carpenter Woodpeckers and the noisey Loro Parakeet. You will be leaving the views of Glacier Grey and the Southern Ice Field and returning to the Cuernos and Lake Pehoe. You and your guide will arrive at the lake in time to take the catamaran back to the road that will take you out of the park. You will arrive back in Puerto Natales in the evening, in time for dinner and cozy night´s sleep in a warm bed.

Day 13: Natales - Punta Arenas
Today you will take a transfer back to Punta Arenas. You will say goodbye to our staff and continue your journey home or to your next destination!

Below is a suggested packing list:

  • Upper body:
  • Shirts/Jacket
  • Wind proof and water proof jacket, such as Gore Tex or similar
  • Fleece or pile coat
  • Quick dry long sleeve t-shirt
  • Quick dry or cotton short sleeve t-shirt
  • Winter hat
  • Light gloves
  • Lower body:
  • Quick dry hiking socks
  • Quick dry, light weight long underwear bottoms
  • Quick dry and breathable windproof pants
  • Shorts
  • Light trekking boots and/or gym shoes
  • Other necessary items:
  • Pajamas
  • Sleeping bag (-5°C for Nov. – Mar. trips, -15°C for April – Oct. trips)
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle (1.000cc)
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Chap Stick with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Backpack (big enough for all your personal things)
  • Shower Shoes
  • Earplugs
  • Head lamp and/or flashlight
  • Camera

Dittmar Adventures gear:

  • Four Season Tents
  • MSR Asgard, 3-man tent
  • MSR Fury, 2-man tent
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Thermarest Prolite 4
  • Thermarest Prolite plus
  • Base Camp Tents
  • Mountain Hardwear Space Station
  • MSR Board Room
  • Cooking gear
  • MSR Whisperlite international
  • MSR Base pot set
  • GSI Tableware

How far ahead should I book my trip?
Due to the popularity of Patagonia, we recommend booking your trip 4 months in advance during the peak travel months (Dec-Feb). If you want to travel in November or March we recommend booking travel 2 months in advance.

Upon arrival to Patagonia
Your guide will meet you at the airport upon arrival. Typically he/she will take you to Puerto Natales, which is about a 3-hour drive from Punta Arenas. Depending on what time your plane arrives, you will have the entire day or just a few hours to explore or rest-up in the small town of Puerto Natales. Your guide will leave you at your hotel and meet you shortly after dinner to discuss trip details, answer questions, and make sure that you have all the appropriate gear for the next few days (the hotel will allow you to leave any unnecessary luggage with them).

Patagonian weather
Most of the time, there is no way to know what to expect. What you need to know is that it is fast changing and one can witness the wind, sun, rain and snow all in a matter of hours while in Patagonian wilderness. However, in the cities it is slightly more predictable, normally www.accuweather.com and www.undergroundweather.com are correct.

What to pack
During the trek you need to have a backpack (renting a backpack is possible) with just enough room to carry your clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bag (during W trips, renting a sleeping bag is also possible). Shared equipment like tents, stoves, pots, and food will be brought and transferred by our staff.

Personal equipment and clothing should be chosen to allow comfort while hiking. Select clothes to keep you dry in the rain, protected from the wind, and cool enough for warmer moments. It is essential that you are prepared to experience all four seasons in one day.

Tour insurance
It is very important that every visitor has international insurance against accidents. Make sure you have arranged for this insurance before paying for the trip. It is worth considering that some aspects of nature are unpredictable and that we must be prepared for any inconvenient circumstances.

Tour meals
Three meals a day during your program are included. We do not include drinks while in cities or snacks during the day. When staying in cities we will eat in restaurants, however during the days we are in the wilderness your guide will prepare your food. Food is purchased at local stores and we choose your meals according to the preference sheet you fill out. Food can include, but is not limited to, assorted vegetables, beef, chicken and fish. We will also provide energy rich carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or potatoes. To top things off and excite your taste buds we also bring some of the following: wine, beer, cookies, cheese, crackers, and fruits.  Your meals are carried and, most of the time, prepared by your guide.

Changes in itinerary
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule agreed upon, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.

Canceling your adventure
At the time we receive written notice that you must cancel your trip, the following fees will apply to your deposit (all dates are from departure date):

Regular Departures
From time of reservation until 90 days prior to departure -$100 USD
89 to 60 days prior to departure - $200 USD
59 to 30 days prior to departure - 50% of deposit USD
29 days or less prior to departure - 100% of deposit USD
Private Adventures, Custom Adventures & Special Departures
From time of reservation until 90 days prior to departure -15% of deposit
89 to 60 days prior to departure -50% of deposit USD
59 days or less prior to departure -100% of deposit USD

Please Note: No partial refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips, or trek arrangements for any reason whatsoever. Program Costs are quoted as a package and refunds are not given for services not used. (Note—Extra hotel nights cancelled within 60 days of departure are subject to 100% of the hotel cost or $35, whichever is greater.)


  • How to reserve an adventure
  • 1st - Fill out the client information form and read the terms and conditions on the booking form
  • 2nd - Make the deposit payment (40% of total trip cost)
  • 3rd - Upon arrival pay the balance (60%)

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Please contact us to receive information about the trip of your choice.
You can call us at US 1 - 281 - 213 - 0115



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