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Paine Circuit Half and Half

A mix of guided and unguided hiking. You walk the tougher northern section with a guide, heading over the John Gardner Pass with the unmatched views of Grey Glacier and the Pingo mountain range that make the full circuit so rewarding. Then your guide leaves you in the evening of day 5 to spend your final 3 nights and days discovering the W trek alone.

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Paine Circuit Half and Half

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Trip type


Trip length

8 Days




Torres del Paine

Paine Circuit Half and Half - 8 - $2,382

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Trek along the Paine River (guided); Séron Camp 

Day 2: Trek the Dickson Valley (guided); Refugio Dickson camp

Day 3: Trek through ancient forest (guided); Los Perros camp

Day 4: Trek across the John Gardner Pass (guided); Refugio Grey or camp

Day 5: Trek to Lake Pehoé (guided); Refugio Paine Grande or camp

Day 6: Trek the French Valley (self-guided); Camping Francés

Day 7: Trek along Lake Nordenskjöld (self-guided); Refugio Las Torres camp

Day 8: Trek to Las Torres (The Towers) (self-guided); Transfer to Puerto Natales

Start from Puerto Natales and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks visited on Paine Circuit Half and Half

Operator's Itinerary

NOTE: The trek will be guided for the first portion where you head into the remote northern side of the park and then you will be left to hike the frontside W trail independently.

Day 1: Trek along the Paine River (guided); Séron Camp

At 7:20am you will depart on a 2.5hr public bus journey from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park with your guide.

After arriving and registering yourself in the park, you will begin a 3.5-4hr hike along a fairly flat trail. You might like to take a short transfer from Laguna Amarga to Las Torres (not included) and save yourself about an hour's hike.

As you wind along the Paine River, you will admire the deep blue waters of Laguna Azul and the picturesque view of Encantado Valley – a valley surrounded by rock formations created by centuries of wind.

You'll enjoy vast views of the land stretching out before you when you reach Séron Camp, an old Baqueano (Patagonian cowboy) post.

The day will then end with dinner, before you fall asleep under the starry skies.

Length of hike: 3.5-4hrs, 13km/8.1 miles

Difficulty: Low/medium

Meals: Box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Séron Camp

Day 2: Trek the Dickson Valley (guided); Refugio Dickson camp

Today’s 6hr hike will begin with a steady walk up a hill and past a small lagoon, where you'll reach a viewpoint with an incredible view of Lake Paine. As you descend the hill, you'll be surrounded on all sides by breathtaking views, seeing the mountains that separate Chile and Argentina, as well as those located on the northern side of the park’s Paine Massif.

As you continue to hike, you will cross a marsh and forested plains on boardwalks that park rangers have created. Crossing this valley the immense views of the 'back side' of Torres del Paine are breathtaking. Continue on to Refugio Dickson camp where you will spend the evening.

Length of hike: 6hrs, 18km/11.2 miles

Difficulty: Medium

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Dickson camp

Day 3: Trek through ancient forest (guided); Los Perros camp

After breakfast you will begin hiking. Today the trek is approximately 4hrs long and will take you through one of the most ancient forests in the park. The trail will lead you past lengas and coigues (southern beech trees), both of which grew shortly after the glaciers receded.

At the end of the day you will reach a moraine at the foot of Glacier Los Perros, where you will set up camp. Today's trek is relatively short, but stunningly beautiful as you hike for the most part in solitude with your guide in this most remote section of Torres del Paine National Park.

Note that Los Perros is not providing food services in the 2022/23 season. Dehydrated dinner, breakfast and lunch will be provided by the operator along with a small stove and pot to boil water. Snacks, coffee, tea, bowls and mugs are available.

Length of hike: 4.5-5hrs, 12km/7.5 miles

Difficulty: Low/medium

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping Los Perros

Day 4: Trek across the John Gardner Pass (guided); Refugio Grey camp

You will wake up and have breakfast in a beautiful forest. In the morning, you will start climbing a slow but steady hill for approximately 200m. Today's hike is the most challenging, given its physicality and also the tempestuous conditions that can be encountered during the exposed first section, until you cross the pass.

After 1hr 15mins you will reach the end of the forest and will finally begin trekking up rockslides towards the John Gardner Pass. After another 40mins of hiking, you'll reach smaller patches of trees all the while gaining a bit of elevation. From this part of the trail, you'll be able to see Glacier Amistad, Cerro Blanco Sur, Punta Puma and, finally, the John Gardner Pass.

From here, you will begin climbing until you reach 1,350m. You will have an astonishing view of Glacier Grey and Patagonia’s Southern Ice Field. After catching this breathtaking view, you will begin hiking downhill for about 2hrs until you reach Campamento Paso for a short rest.

From here you will continue hiking for another 4hrs along an undulating trail with views of Glacier Grey, Lake Grey, and Ferrier Hill. Before reaching Refugio Grey you will cross several of the parks famous suspension bridges, ultimately bringing you to some close-up views of Glacier Grey. Once you reach Refugio Grey you will have time to shower and rest before enjoying a hot meal.

Length of hike: 10-11hrs, 15km/9.3 miles

Difficulty: Medium/high

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Grey or camp

Day 5: Trek to Lake Pehoé (guided); Refugio Paine Grande or camp

After a restful night and an energising breakfast you will be ready to hike again. Today, you can choose to do an extra activity before your hike to Paine Grande; a 5hr ice-hike on Glacier Grey or a 2.5hr kayaking excursion on Grey lake, in front of the glacier itself. You must book your optional excursion in advance so do get in touch to reserve.

The trail southwards to Paine Grande follows Lake Grey, which will have huge blue icebergs floating on its waters. There will be many viewpoints towards the glacier and to Paine Grande Mountain making each turn on the trail another 'wow' moment.

Once arrived at Refugio Paine Grande camp, bid farewell to your guide who will leave you here and return to Puerto Natales. The large refugio building and campsite is located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Pehoé and will provide you with your first glimpses of the majestic French Valley.

Length of hike: 3.5-4hrs, 11km/6.8 miles

Difficulty: Low/medium

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande or camp

Day 6: Trek the French Valley (self-guided); Camping Francés

Today you will discover the stunning French Valley as you enter and exit this stunning glacial valley via the same route, thus making today's trek as long or short as you wish. You'll be able to see the French Glacier and its constant avalanches as you meander through beech tree forests and clamber at times over more rocky terrain.

After clearing the forest you'll witness the spectacular French Glacier, hanging from the Paine Grande mountain and as you continue up the valley the vistas get increasingly impressive. If you're feeling fit you might make it all the way up to Británico Camp where there are amazing panoramic views. Whatever distance you hike, this place will certainly feel magical.

After the valley-hike, return towards Lake Nordenskjöld and head eastwards for approximately 2hrs until reaching Camping Francés where you'll spend another night, camping under the stars and an evening of camaraderie and food from the refugio.

Length of hike: 9-10hrs, 21km/13 miles

Difficulty: Medium/high

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping Francés or domes

Day 7: Trek along Lake Nordenskjöld (self-guided); Refugio Las Torres camp

In the morning you'll have breakfast and prepare to hike again. This lovely trek follows Lake Nordenskjöld with beautiful views of Almirante Nieto Mountain and good chances of sighting the majestic Andean condor floating on the updrafts from the imposing Cuernos section of the massif.

After 5.5-6hrs of hiking, you'll arrive at Las Torres area and check into the refugio for overnighting in its campsite.

Enjoy the sunset and magnificent views of parts of Las Torres (The Towers) that you'll hike tomorrow, before having dinner and resting well in preparation for the grand finale.

Length of hike: 5.5-6hrs, 14km/8.7 miles

Difficulty: Medium

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Las Torres or camp

Day 8: Trek to Las Torres (The Towers) (self-guided); Transfer to Puerto Natales

You'll finish the Paine Circuit trek with the most famous trail in the park: the base of the Paine Towers, also known as Las Torres. The trail goes up the Asencio Valley, through native forests and follows the wild stream that flows down the valley. The last section of the trail is a tough moraine with loose rocks, but well worth the reward – the view up there is simply stunning and possibly Patagonia's most famous view. You might like to start out early today to beat the crowds arriving from Puerto Natales and to view the sunrise at the magnificent granite towers.

You'll trek back to Las Torres information centre to catch the shuttle back to Laguna Amarga during the early evening and from there your private transfer to Puerto Natales, arriving around 9pm. You'll be tired, but buzzing from your amazing hiking experience – you might well want to head out to celebrate this magnificent feat.

Length of hike: 7-8hrs, 19km/11.8 miles

Transfer: Private transportation to Puerto Natales

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Paine Circuit Half and Half

Paine Circuit Half and Half trips scored 4.7/5 from 13 reviews

Most memorable was walking over the John Gardner pass in 100km an hour winds on the O Circuit and seeing Grey Glacier.

Travelled: February 2022

Melanie Ford - UK


Prices, Departures and Inclusions


2-3 people: USD $2,942

4-5 people: USD $2,382

6 people: USD $2,285



2-3 people: USD $3,400

4-5 people: USD $2,890

6 people: USD $2,744


Departures other than those listed below can be arranged. Please contact us to discuss your preferred dates.

Additional Notes

Optional activities – Day 5 - Ice-hiking on Glacier Grey costs USD $170 per person. Kayaking on Lake Grey costs USD $100 per person. Both excursions must be booked and paid for in advance

Private transfer – From Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (instead of public bus) costs USD $100 per person (based on two people). You can choose the time  you want.

Pre-trip briefing – You need to be in Puerto Natales the day before your trip starts to receive a trip briefing at our partner's local office in the afternoon/evening. The exact time will be confirmed nearer to departure.

Luggage storage – You may leave your luggage safely in storage with our local partners in Puerto Natales.

Camping – Camping will be fully supported and all meals will be included along the way. You'll need to carry your daypack with lunch and personal items for each night stop.


  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 8 box lunches, 7 dinners
  • Accommodation: Camping option: 7 nights of camping. Refugio option: 2 nights camping and 5 nights in refugios
  • Sleeping bag (if camping)
  • Tent and sleeping mat
  • 5 days of guided trekking in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Trip briefing with guide the day before the trip starts
  • All ground transportation to/from the Park to Puerto Natales
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park


  • Accommodation in Puerto Natales before/after the trek
  • Transfer on Day 1 from Laguna Amarga (park entrance) to Las Torres (5km)
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Sleeping bag (if staying in refugios)
  • Porter (available at extra cost)
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips for guide/porters
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

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