A landscape that takes your breath away. A climate that makes you feel the harsh elements. And a trek that is one of the most beautiful and secluded in the world. The so-called "O-Trek", in Torres del Paine National Park, is named after its round shape. And within this epic circle, you’ll find nine days of unspoilt Patagonian scenery.
As you hike, each day surprises you with new Highlights. The trail leads you uphill, downhill and across miles of flatland. You’ll hike through sun, wind, fog, snow and rain, and you should be prepared for absolutely everything—all with the exception of boredom, of course. The landscape will change as quickly as the weather, and the views afforded along this adventure will be some of the most incredible you’ll ever see.
So, pack your tent and your hiking boots and drop some supplies in your backpack. It’s time to set off on a hike that, though demanding, will leave you with unforgettable memories that you’ll struggle to describe for a lifetime.
The bus ride to the Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales is a feast for the eyes. After about three hours driving through almost unpopulated area you arrive at the Porteria Laguna Amarga. The starting point for your incredible trip on the O-Trek.Check in at the Porteria Laguna Amarga and off you go. The first stage takes you straight up to the Campamento Seròn. Your first campsite on the trek. Welcome to no man's land.Start directly on foot from the Porteria or take a jeep towards Hotel Las Torres. So right at the beginning you have the impressive Torres del Paine always in view, the namesake of the National Park.The way up leads you through a varied landscape. Grassy moray hills meet you on the way towards the Rio Paine valley.About 20 kilometers it goes slowly uphill in untouched nature. The first mountains show themselves to you. Let yourself be overwhelmed by the stunning mountain scenery and enjoy the first night in the wilderness at Camp Seron.
Get ready to meet the famous Patagonian winds. Whether you like it or not, today you will probably make the first acquaintance with them.Hold your hat tight on the way up and down the plateau. Right at the beginning of today's stage, you can carry your luggage uphill before you reach the drafty plateau.As compensation, there are wide views over open steppe landscape. Mountain tops that mark the border with Argentina show themselves in the distance. Gigantic.Keep your eyes open, because maybe a cougar will come across you. Because here in solitude, this big cat feels comfortable. Look forward to the most beautiful campsite of the O-Trek at the end of the day: on Lake Dickson you can relax and unwind.
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Day three on the O-Trek offers you new views. A lot of forest, water and wilderness await you when you dive into the valley of the Rio Los Perros.Even if the campsite Dickson invites you to linger and the stage is not very long, you should leave before lunch. Then you have enough time to enjoy the surroundings.On today's stage you are always going uphill. After the first ascent through the forest, you should definitely look back at Lake Dickson. What a view.After a lot of forest hike and some river crossings you will have a short climb over scree and rocks. At the end of the climb you have almost reached the daily goal. Take a break with a view of the glacier and Lago Los Perros. The camp is only 15 minutes away.Remember to go to bed early today to start early the next day. Then you have the best chance of good weather and ingenious lighting conditions.
Getting up early is worth it. Then you usually have stable weather. Have a good breakfast and go to the highest point of the O-Trek: the John Gardener Pass. A breathtaking day is waiting for you.Do not underestimate today's stage, because right at the beginning there is a steep rise of two to three hours ahead of you. After a forest section you will soon come to open terrain with boulders and rocks. Look forward to long views above the tree line, but pay attention to the markings.Take good care of yourself, because the wind sometimes blows in the upper sections. Do not be blown away by the John Gardener Pass - even if the view over 1200m is overwhelming.Quick down, ducking the mighty glacier tongue of the Gray Glacier. But beware, the descent can be quite slippery. After a total of five to six hours of walking, you can pitch your tent happily and happily at Camp Paso. What a day.
Eight kilometers for the stage from Campamento Paso to the next camp sounds like child's play. Pustekuchen - here is an adventure playground waiting for you.The section next to the Gray Glacier has it all. The glacier will magically attract your eyes. At the same time the erosion-prone terrain with bridges and ladders demands all your concentration.Therefore, plan a few more minutes for the descent to Refugio Gray. Once there you can really relax - and let the impressions of the day on Lake Gray completely affect you.
Today you can take it easy: a short stage is on the plan. Unless you're in a hurry or a fox. Then you run up to the free Campamento Italiano for about two and a half hours in addition.Together with you, the ice blocks move on Lake Gray. Absorb the mood of the lake and the image of the floating, shimmering pieces of ice. It's a special day again.In the afternoon you can set up your overnight accommodation between lake and mountain. There may still be time for a little walk on the shores of the lake. If you stroll right on the lake, you can already get a first impression of your next upcoming tour. It's fantastic here.
On this stage one highlight chases the next. From now on the Cuernos are in your field of vision. It is hardly painterly. Be curious to see what's coming.High-potential hikers can experience completely new perspectives with an additional detour to the Mirador Birtannico in the Valle del Francés. Drop off your luggage at the Campamento Italiano.If you are not quite fit, dare to take a quick look into the French Valley. It's definitely worth it. Even if you miss it, you do not have to worry: a great hiking day is guaranteed.On to the Cuernos, past the Sköttsberg to the shore of the Lago Nordenskjöld. At the end of the day, you still will not have enough. Mouth closed, eyes open. Be ready for so much beauty.
If you think you have already seen everything, let yourself be surprised again - by fantastic natural spectacles. A hiking day that has it all lies in front of you.At the beginning of the day, enjoy the beautiful, almost flat path along the Lago Nordernskjöld. After about four hours, you turn off to ascend to the Torres del Paine. Three granite towers that raise their peaks majestically. You must not miss this sight.The way up leads you through an almost picturesque landscape. Surrounded by deciduous forest, accompanied by the lapping of the Rio Ascencio you almost forget that it is uphill.Camp your tent at Campamento Torres if you want to reach the Torres Towers early in the morning or in the evening. Otherwise use the Refugio Chileno.No matter where you choose your shelter, enjoy the last night in the wilderness. A dreamy trip is coming to an end ...
Last day in Torres del Paine National Park. Finally, add an absolute highlight as a souvenir: the sunrise at the foot of the Torres del Paine.Get up early to see the sun light up the Torres towers. Absorb the mood in you and then take it with you on your descent into the valley.Again you will walk through the beautiful Ascencio Valley and cross the river on quaint bridges. A bit of a hurry should you, so that you are in time at the exit Laguna Amarga. The afternoon bus will go without you.Unless you can not tear yourself away, there's an extra night in the valley at Las Torres Camp. But eventually it will probably say goodbye, back to civilization.Relaxed you can reflect the impressions on the way back to Puerto Natales. A treasure trove of priceless value that puts a smile on your face.