The original Torres del Paine
10 day backpackers trek
The 'Q' - A circumnavigation of Torres del Paine
9 nights, 10 days
Level of difficuly: Demanding
9 nights, 10 days
Maximum 6 clients
Pack weight: Your pack + 4 kilos
Cost: $2500 USD - tent camping tour + Grey Lake Glacier tour
The 'Full Circuit' trekking tour:
This trek starts on the southernmost tip of Torres del Paine and travels north, bypassing the ‘W’ trek. It incorporates the ‘W’, but lets you trek in from the south, as well as adding five extra days to circumnavigate the northern side of the park. It is there you will experience the true beauty of peace and serenity in the park. With far fewer trekkers and no day-hikers around, you can have a genuine wilderness experience. Camping is a must at the more isolated stopovers. We head out as a self-sustained team, or with porters to help us complete this ten day adventure. Weather is always a factor. We cross water, tip-toe high cliffs, and ascend the steep John Gardner Pass. All this makes for a challenging and rewarding trek.
After breakfast your private transportation will transfer you to Torres del Paine National Park. On the way we stop at the spectacular Milodon Cave. This location is the site of 3 caves where the remains of the very large Patagonian land sloth was found and has now been turned into a visitor center. The museum here shows how the caves were formed and much more. We walk for 45 min through the main cave while the guide explains some things about the caves and the area.
We then transfer to the south entrance of the National park and make our way to Pudeto. Here we take a catamaran across Lago Pehoe to the Paine Grande Lodge - our first camp. With beautiful views over lake and the Cuernos mountains you can als experience some of the strongest wind gusts in the park blowing through this camping area. After having set up our camp we prepare ourselves for a half day hike up to the lookout over Lago Grey and back for some previews of Glacier Grey.
On this day we make our way to the beautiful Valle del Francés. At Italian Camp we drop our big backpacks and prepare our small daypacks for the hike up into the valley. It takes one hour to arrive at the first viewpoint. From this viewpoint you can enjoy the view of the hanging glacier coming down from the largest mountain in the park, Paine Grande. From here it is another 1.5 hours to get to the second viewpoint, Britanico. This forest hike is very relaxing with boulder fields and the amazing 360° views. We give ourselves a turn around time and head back to Italian camp in the afternoon. Here we pick up our backpacks again and finish the day with another 1.5 hour trek to our campground for the night, Francés.
Today we start hiking to the camping ground of Las Torres. We will cross pebble beaches, cover steep inclines and descents, and have views overlooking Lago Nördenskjold. Everything back-dropped by the impressive walls of the Cuernos Towers and Cerro Almirante Nieto. Then having arrived at our campground you will find yourself at the bottom of the Base Torres trek. From here we will already be able to see two of the three towers.
Today, we spend half the day walking up into the Ascencio Valley, towards the towers. We will walk through all the 4 different categories of vegetation - the Patagonian Steppe, the Pre andean scrublands, the magellan forest and the andean desert. All of this to get to one of the most majestic lookouts of the park. The three towers standing in front of the glacial lake. A long day of trekking, but luckily it’s without our heavy backpacks.
The start day of the backside circuit. Here we go into another type of landscape completely, different from the front side of the National park. This day will bring us over forest hills and open grasslands until we arrive at Camping Seron. A campground in the complete openness of this enchanted valley. This day gives us a lot of opportunities for seeing animal wildlife, especially birds. It is an 4 to 5 hour hike so enough time for going slow and taking it all in.
This is the day we trek to Refugio Dickson. After a small hike and a very steep final ascent we arrive at the Paso del Viento. The view and wind on Paso del Viento is unforgettable and literally breathtaking. From this high mountain pass we descend into the wetlands, passing near Rio Paine until we arrive at Refugio Dickson. This is one of the most remote refugios in Torres del Paine National Park. We camp this night at camping Dickson, next to the beautiful Lago Dickson.
Today we walk through one of the oldest forest of the park with very high ¨lenga¨ trees. A forest home to the magellanic woodpecker - the largest woodpecker in South America. And walking through this area of forest really gives a peaceful and relaxing example of Patagonian nature. After having hiked for about 4 to 5 hours we arrive at Camping los Perros - a great campground next to a glacial moraine boulder field. Here we will be able to see a glacier just a 5 min walk from camp.
Our rest day. This day we stay in camping Los Perros. We have the option of hiking to Glacier Puma - a glacier that lay in the valley next to the camp. It is an hour hike up into the valley - crossing a river, forest and boulder field, until standing right in front of the glacier wall. Stunning views. Nobody around. It is a day like no other.
This is the day of the famous John Garner Pass trek. A mountain pass next to the Southern Patagonian Ice field. Weather changes often and the patagonian winds can make this an unforgettable day. Together with the breathtaking views we get from over Glacier Grey, we also get views of the outskirt of the Southern Patagonian Ice field. This is one of the most spectacular views in the park. Once over the pass we head to Camp Paso. After a small break we start the second part of our day trekking next to Glacier Grey. We cross three beautiful hanging bridges while passing view after view of the glacier beside us. It will take us a full 9 hours getting to camping Grey for our last night in the park.
Today we head out of the park. We go back by boat over Lago Grey with the ¨Grey 3¨. This is a large catamaran that takes us to all three of the glacial walls that drop into the lake. It is the perfect way to end our 9-day trek. After our breakfast we will board the 9.30am catamaran that will take us to the beach at the southern end of the lake. With a well deserved Pisco sour in your hand we look back on the John gardner pass and we navigate south. After we dock we will have our last march over a windy pebble beach before getting to the parking lot where our transport awaits. We head back two hours to Puerto Natales where we will arrive around 3pm. This is the official end of the tour.
NEW 2019-20 Program Dates
tour ref # Day '0' Departure Return
Q051019 Oct 04, 2019 Oct 05, 2019 Oct 14, 2019
Q181019 Oct 17, 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Oct 27, 2019
Q051119 Nov 04, 2019 Nov 05, 2019 Nov 14, 2019
Q111119 Nov 10, 2019 Nov 11, 2019 Nov 20, 2019
Q181119 Nov 17, 2019 Nov 18, 2019 Nov 27, 2019
Q051219 Dec 04, 2019 Dec 05, 2019 Dec 14, 2019
Q111219 Dec 10, 2019 Dec 11, 2019 Dec 20, 2019
Q181219 Dec 17, 2019 Dec 18, 2019 Dec 27, 2019
Q241219 Dec 23, 2019 Dec 24, 2019 Jan 02, 2020
Q050120 Jan 04, 2020 Jan 05, 2020 Jan 14, 2020
Q110120 Jan 10, 2020 Jan 11, 2020 Jan 20, 2020
Q180120 Jan 17, 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Jan 27, 2020
Q050220 Feb 04, 2020 Feb 05, 2020 Feb 14, 2020
Q110220 Feb 10, 2020 Feb 11, 2020 Feb 20, 2020
Q180220 Feb 17, 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Feb 27, 2020
Q050320 March 04, 2020 March 05, 2020 March 14, 2020
Q110320 March 10, 2020 March 11, 2020 March 20, 2020
Q180320 March 17, 2020 March 18, 2020 March 27, 2020
Q050420 April 04, 2020 April 05, 2020 April 14, 2020
Q110420 April 10, 2020 April 11, 2020 April 20, 2020
• guide with satellite communication devices (Delorem InReach) & park radio
• all meals in the field
• all transportation
• entrance, camping & park fees
• all logistics
• personal camping and trekking gear (clothing, trekking poles, sleeping bag)
• alcoholic beverages
• lodging in town before and after the program
• travel insurance
• itinerary changes
• personal first aid kit
• single tent upgrade +100 USD