Full Circuit: The Route

On the Torres del Paine circuit as the name suggests you complete a circuit of the Paine range. The route visits the 3 valleys that you visit on the W trek as well as the quieter northern areas of the park. The areas you visit are:

  • Dickson Lake is a beautiful campsite set with views of the Dickson glacier and a tranquil setting.
  • You will pass through beautiful Lenga forest on your way to the Perros camp above which the Perros glacier hangs.
  • John Garner pass is the most challenging day and a highlight of the circuit trek. You climb to 1200m and get awesome views towards the icecap.
  • The trail descends towards glacier grey and you follow the glacier as it descends to Grey lake. The views of glacier grey are fantastic!
  • The French Valley, with the vast hanging glacier Frances dominates the landscape on your left as you climb. There is more challenging terrain and wonderful views of the glacier as you hike up the valley until your reach the top where you are surrounded by an amphitheatre of towering pinnacles.
  • You will visit the magnificent mile high granite towers that give Torres del Paine its name either at the start or end of your trek. This is one of the more challenging days of the trek with 800m climb and 7-9 hours of hiking.
Full Circuit Elevation Profile

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Full Circuit: Your Questions Answered

  • Do I have to camp?

    Yes, some nights of camping are needed as there are no 'refugios' at certain points along the route; almost all the group trips have camping throughout with an option to upgrade on certain nights.

    Remember that it you join a guided tour then you'll be very well looked after at each of the camp sites: tents will be set up for you and good hearty meals prepared for you.

  • Will I have to carry all my kit?

    Generally speaking the guide and their assistant will carry all the group equipment (tents, food, fuel, radio, first aid kit, safety equipment) and you will be expected to carry your personal clothing, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Sometimes people choose to hire a porter to help with this (often between two people) but in Chile this is expensive.

  • Do I need a guide?

    Many young Chileans hike this route independently but it is very remote and not without its risks. As ever, when the weather conditions change, and heavy snow can come down on the higher passes, navigation can become very difficult; each year one or two people are very sadly lost on this route. We strongly advise joining a guided group, but for very experienced hikers we have occasionally arranged self-guided treks.

  • How wild and remote is it?

    This route used to offer hikers a true sense of Patagonia at its most wild and remote. However it has become world famous and there are more and more on the route. If you're looking to really get off the beaten track then let us know and we can advise on alternative routes within Torres del Paine and in other parts of Patagonia.

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Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.