TrEKKING IN PATAGONIA
Paine Massif O Circuit
9 Days 28/02 - 07/03
In this epic trekking journey Trekkilandia brings you to hike along the Paine Massif O Circuit, a worldwide recongnized trail system of more than 100 km which leads to go around legendary mountains of the Patagonian Andes like the Towers, the Horns and Paine Grande with the chance to have a glimpse of the marvellous Southern Patagonia Icefield, the third fresh water reservoir of the wolrd.
THE TRIP IN A NUTSHELL
Lenght: 9 Days/8 Nights
Group Size: Min.4 - Max.8
Luggage Transportation: No
Backpack: Daypack (35/40l during the hike)
Flight included: No
Hiking Days: 7
Average Hiking Time: 5-10 hrs per day
Reason of Difficulty: Wind, Unstable Weather Conditions, A Few Steep and Skiddy Descents
Suitable as a First Trekking Experience: No
Passport and Visa: passport with at least 6 months validity before enterying the country; visa on arrival for 90-day stay.
Accomodations: B&B or Hostels
Accomodations during the Hike: 3-Season Tent for 2 People
Food during the trip: not included
Food during the Hike: included breakfast, box lunch and dinner inside the mountain huts
QUESTO TREKKING NEL SUO INSIEME E':
senza difficoltà tecniche con tappe di media lunghezza e dislivelli mai superiori agli 800m positivi, gli itinerari dei trekking si sviluppano a quote inferiori ai 1200m slmm. Si pernotta in tenda da 2 persone e ci si porta appresso uno zaino giornaliero.
DAY 1: SANTIAGO - PUNTA ARENAS - PUERTO NATALES
With a three-an-half-hour flight you'll connect Chile's capital Santiago with the southern most region of the country, landing at Punta Arenas' airport. From here it's easy to take an inbound pubblic bus service which leads you to Puerto Natales where you'll spend the night before starting our trekking along Paine Massif O Circuit.
DAY 2: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", BASE TORRES
22km - Elevation Gain: +/-770m - Hiking Time: 7-8 hrs
Departing Puerto Natales early in the morning we travel to Torres del Paine National Park via unpaved road accompanied by jumping guanacos, elusive grey foxes and black-necked swans. Our first challenge is the ascent to Base Torres lookout , following the Ascencio river into the Ascencio Valley. After our first hour-an-half trek we'll pause to observe the magnificient valley filled up with beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We'll then continue uphill for another 90 minutes and prepare to ascend a gigantic terminal moraine. At the top, we'll be rewarded by the arresting sight of the Towers themselves. At this lookout point 900 meters above sea level, the three granite spires appear to burst dramatically out of the rocky landscape, while at their base a green-blue lake provides a counterpoint of stillness. Here, we'll have lunch and take pictures before beginning our descent down the same path and to our first campsite.
DAY 3: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", CENTRAL --> SERON
14km - Elevation Gain: +/-250m - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Depending on the weather, our early morning start will be lit up by orange-tinged views of the Towers. Our path takes us through a very old forest of beech trees where we may hear woodpeckers or the noisy Austral Parakeets feeding on the fruits of the trees. Today's 14 km hike is the Circuit's easiest and takes us via a well-marked, slightly sloping trail. Along the way, an exceptional view of Paine Chico Mountain will accompany us. Our destination is Serón Campsite, where we'll set up camp and enjoy a replenishing dinner.
DAY 4: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", SERON --> DICKSON
17km - Elevation Gain: +/-200m - Hiking Time: 6-7 hrs
Today''s leg shows off the Park's hidden backside and its less known although equally impressive craggy peaks marking the border with Argentina; gorgeous and colourful flowers as orchids, calceolarias, and violets will accompany our steps. After a bit more than an hour we'll reach the Horseshoe Lake, thus the only climb of the day which won't take us more than half an hour and will gift us with a marvellous view of Paine Lake and the surrounding mountains like Cerro Diente, Agudo, Cerro Onhet and Stokes. From this vantage point the trail slightly descends towards the valley of Paine River till reaching our lunch break, Camping Coiron after almost 3hrs. From Coiron campsite we follow the river upstream alongside grassy meadows and boggy marshes t ill reaching a lateral moraine which it'll give us sight of the geometrical peak of Cerro Cubo, as well as Lake Dickson and its glacier. Right below us Dickson refuge and Campsite for the night.
DAY 5: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", DICKSON --> LOS PERROS
12 km - Elevation Gain: +450m - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Today is a day to train our muscles with a nice hike uphill before tackling the John Garner Pass that awaits us the next day. Often touted as one of the most beautiful sections of this wilder side of Torres del Paine, we'll hike through ancient beech forests, wander undulating trails and follow Los Perros River. Mountains, waterfalls and lush vegetation will never be far away, as our trail crosses the river via suspension bridge and arrives at the base of another terminal moraine; this time belonging to Glacier Los Perros, a hanging glacier that feeds the glaciar-flour-fed lake at its base. A final half hour hike takes us to today's destination, Los Perros Campsite. Tonight's campsite is the only one on the Circuit without hot showers and standard bathroom facilities such as flushing toilets..
DAY 6: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", LOS PERROS --> GREY
18km - Elevation Gain: +650/-1100m - Hiking Time: 10-11 hrs
The most strenuous day of the Paine Circuit has arrived, bringing demanding trails and variable weather conditions. Of course, your efforts will be more than rewarded with some of Torres del Paine's most heart-stirring landscapes, experienced by very few visitors to Torres del Paine. We'll begin along a muddy and swamp-like section of the trail through the forest very early in the morning; after about an hour an half we should be clearing out of the tree line and start to ascent through boulders and scree towards the John Garner Pass. which we should be reaching after 3-3,5 hours of good hiking pace. At this Pass, 1200 meters above sea level, Patagonia's famous winds are strong and the views across Grey Glacier and of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field's still unexplored peaks are astonishing. The trail now steeply descend back to the beech forest and takes you alongside the glacier, ascending and descending through the woods and going across three spectacular hanging bridges that gift you with the view of the almost muscular granite walls of Cordon Olguín. As we come closer to Grey Glacier Eastern front we may see an ice calving (where chunks of ice break off a glacier's edge). Tonight we'll recharge at Grey Campsite.
DAY 7: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", GREY --> PAINE GRANDE
11km - Elevation Gain: +/-250m - Hiking Time: 3-3,5 hrs
Depending on your energy level and weather conditions, we give you the option to choose from completing an ice hike with the aid of crampons across the central section of Grey Glacier or kayaking on Grey Lake, paddlingg around icebergs and in front of the glacier. Later we'll have lunch at the Refugio and hike to Pehoe Lake for about 3,5 hours leaving behind us the immensit y of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and approaching the monstrous-like granitic walls of Cuernos del Paine.
Night at Paine Grande Campsite.
DAY 8: TREKKING "PAINE MASSIF O CIRCUIT", FRENCH VALLEY --> P.TO NATALES
18km - Elevation Gain: +/-600m - Hiking Time: 6-7 hrs
Today's destination, the FrencValley, is a spectacular natural basin surrounded by peaks and hanging glaciers. This is a return hike, so we will be able to leave our packs behind and trek lightly. We start by walking around Paine Grande, the highest peak in Torres del Paine, through native Patagonian firebush and evergreen beech forests. At the suspension bridge over the French River, the arresting hanging glacier atop the valley will come into sight. From here, we'll walk for another hour, ascending 300m through a section of an old moraine before arriving at the lookout point, the "Plateau". Your reward is the bird's eye view of granite peaks and hanging glaciers. To one side, the French Glacier and Paine Grande (3050 m); while to the other, La Espada, La Hoja, La Máscara and the main and north Horns of Los Cuernos arch upwards.. Our return hike is along the same track, and the catamaran will take us back across Pehoe Lake to meet our private transfer back to Puerto Natales.
DAY 9: RETURN TRIP TO PUNTA ARENAS - CONNECTION IN SANTIAGO APT.
Morning transfer to Punta Arenas airport via pubblic bus service according to your scheduled flight to the Chilean capital, Santiago, from where you can connect to Europe. For those travellers interested in continuing the trip into Argentina to visit Moreno glacier and to hike some more days around Fitz Roy Massif please consult us by sending a message and we can organize further arrangements.
THE COUNTRY: CHILE
The southern part of South America is the one which gets closer to Antartica; it's a very thin strip of land which extends its extremities like a finger pointing towards the icy continent, a region swept by the fierce winds which make their way from the Pacific ocean into the Atlantic and that since thousand of years have created extensive glaciers which have molded the surrounding landscape. The southern most area of the continent is located within more than 85% into Chilean territory, a region, Magallanes, that takes the name from the great portuguese sailor who discover the strait that nowadays has taken his name. It's the biggest region of the country although the least populated with a density of 12,5 ab/km2. A land of the extremes, blown by the wind and carved by glaciers, a region where mountains get as far as the cold waters of the Patagonian fijords and where the southern most trekking trails of the world have been marked. Glaciers, native forests, loneliness, wind and wilderness, in one word PATAGONIA
Passport: expering date within 6 months from the entrance in the country.
Visa: not needed for less than 90 days stay.
Sicurity: Chile is one of the safest countries in South America, where terrorism represents a very low risk. Tourism is an important and well valued resource especcially for the southern areas of the country.
Patagonia is mainly shaped by three factors: geological and tectonic forces, the Icefields and the Wind. The Andean Cordillera is the longest mountain range in the wolrd, stretching from Colombia to Chile for about 8000km; it represents the backbone of South America and shapes the landscape throughout the sub-continent, particularly in the southernmost part of it .
The predominant western winds (the Westerlies) carry moisture from the Pacific ocean and as they slam into the Chilean coast the mountains force moisture-laden air up, drenching the western side of the range in rain and burying the summits in snow. Patagonia's extensive network of glaciers is thus built and shaped by the wind, and the delicate balance of glacial ice in these temperate latitude depends on the strength and constancy of the Westerlies. Towards the East lies instead a flat and drier landscape, the Patagonian Steppe or Pampa, dominated by yellow-cushioned bushes and grasses and where average rainfall is almost as equal as to a desert-like environment. Torres del Paine National Park lies right in the middle of this scenario, thus its importance as a special ecosystem and a worldwide recognized Biosphere Reserve; from one side the Southern Patagonian Icefield and from another the grassy Steppe, right in the middle the craggy granite peaks of the Paine Massif that we will circum navigate during this epic 7-day t rekking circuit .
TREKKING IN PATAGONIA
Paine Massif Big Circuit, also known as the O Circuit, is for bold trekkers searching for a truly entrancing Patagonian experience. On this 7-day endurance trekking and camping adventure, you'll camp in remote areas and hike more than 100 km along one of the world's classic trails; continually accompanied by granite mountains countless glaciers, untamed weather, otherworldly lakes and spectacular views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Starting with a glimpse of the iconic Three-Tower which give the Park's name, we'll move to a more remote area following Paine River upstream till reaching the backyard of Torres del Paine, Dickson Lake and Glacier. From here we'll then start ascending through Austral Beech forests reaching the highest point of the Circuit, John Garner Pass and its infamous unstable weather. From the Pass a crazy descend will lead us along Grey Glacier and Lake to leave the chance to explore the am phitheater of the magical French Valley at the very last of our efforts. Crossing Pehoe Lake will be our way to bid farewell to Torres del Paine National Park.
EAT & SLEEP IN PATAGONIA
During the trekking journey the accomodations inside Torres del Paine National Park will be provided by 3-season tents for 2 people normally pre-installed at the campsites where we'll spend the nights. Bathroom areas are in common and separated between men and women, in most of the places with toilette facilities and hot showers.
Breakfast will be served inside the mountain huts, with hot bevarages, cereals, bread, butter, jam, fruit, juice and scrumbled eggs. We'll then be provided with a box lunch to carry every day in which we find a sandwich, cereal bars, choccolate and fruit. Dinner normally starts with a soup of veggie cream, main dish with chicken, meat or fish with rice and veggies. Vegetarian options are available.
INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED
PRICE: 1.450€ PP*
- Certified Guide of Torres del Paine National Park
- 2 Nights Accomodation in Puerto Natales based on double or twin bed occupancy
- 6 Nights Accomodation in 3-Seasono Tents based on double occupancy including Full Board Meal Service during the Hike
- Private Transportation Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine NP Round Trip
- Pubblic Bus Service from Punta Arenas Airport to Puerto Natales Round Trip
- Torres del Paine Park Entrance Ticket
- Catamaran Service to cross Pehoe Lake
- The Flight Ticket to reach Punta Arenas Airport
- Any Additional Nights
- Meals Outside the Trekking Itinerary
- Travel Insurance (Air/Ground Evacuation Costs)
- Medical Insurance
- Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks except the ones included in the Menu
- Ice-Hike or Kayak Activity on Day 7
- Gratuities for the Guide
*SMALL GROUP EXTRA QUOTE
Laureatosi in Ingegneria Meccanica all'Università di Padova e dopo aver passato alcuni anni nel mondo dell'industria a cavallo tra officina meccanica e ufficio tecnico ha poco a poco sviluppato un maggiore interesse per le meraviglie della Natura e del nostro pianeta Terra, preferendole alle opere ingegneristiche dell'essere umano. Così ha finalmente deciso di mettere da parte qualche spicciolo per poi prendere lo zaino e vagabondare per l'America Latina durante un paio d'anni. Dalle rovine archeologiche del Messico, alle lussureggianti foreste tropicali dell'America Centrale, seguendo i sentieri millenari degli Incas lungo la leggendaria catena delle Ande fino a raggiungere gli spazzi indomabili ed infiniti della Patagonia; l'avventura zaino in spalla gli ha permesso di conoscere e sperimentare le realtà del mondo del turismo sudamericano, e l'esperienza stagionale all'interno del parco nazionale Torres del Paine, nella Patagonia cilena, lo ha definitivamente convinto a rimanere.
Da quattro anni fiordi, laghi, cascate, ghiacciai, picchi innevati e natura incontaminata rappresentano il suo parco divertimenti e fanno da scenario al lavoro quotidiano di guida e accompagnatore turistico che svolge per varie agenzie ed hotel della regione.