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W Circuit, Chilean Patagonia - Chile

Itinerary

Day 00

Arrival to Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales: Full Briefing and instructions for the Trip

Upon arrival, our “Condor Travel Team” will welcome you at the airport, where you will be given a detailed itinerary, a welcome kit, and assistance with your luggage. Then, you will be transferred to your hotel. Today you will meet your Condor Travel representative where a full Itinerary briefing will be provided.

You will also be given waterproof bags (duffel bags) to store clothing and other items you’ll need for the next days (7,5 kg per Person) and that you will hand to the porters the next morning. So that the next morning you will have your small backpack (packed with the equipment you need during the day) and your duffel back ready to start our hike around the Paine Massif.

* This day, accommodation in Puerto Natales

Day 1

Transport to Torres del Paine National Park + Trek to Camping Serón (4 – 6 hours, 8.9 Km, approx. 200m elevation gain)
At 7.30 AM in the morning we will depart in the public regular Bus to Torres del Paine National Park, once we arrive to the Main entrance in Laguna Amarga, we will have to take off the Bus and acquire the Entrance ticket to the Park; afterwards we take the shuttles that lead to Las Torres sector, where the trekking begins.

In Las Torres Sector we will meet our porters and hand them your duffle bags (Please be aware that duffle bags don’t weight more than 7,5kg each. Thank you in advance for your understanding, that for own health porters need to protect themselves from any luggage excess).

From Las Torres sector we might be able to enjoy impressive views of the Torres del Paine and the peak of Almirante Nieto before we start hiking.

Our trail will guide us across ancient glacial moraines and walk through a tall deciduous beech forest, where we may spot the Magellanic woodpecker. On our way to Camp Serón we hike through the foothills of Cerro Paine and grassland areas. On this hike we might also be able to spot Austral parakeets, several species of geese and the occasional guanaco such as foxes.

Accommodation: Camping Serón

Meals: Box lunch and dinner at Puesto Serón

Difficulty Level: Low

Day 2

Trekking from Camping Serón to Refugio Dickson (6 – 8 hours; 18,5 Km, approx. 204m elevation gain)

Recommended hour to start: 8.30 AM.

We will have another early start, as this is going to be a long hiking day. Our path will lead us through ups and downs, but the terrain is going to be mostly flat today. Our hike continues along the foothills of Cerro Paine and skirting Lago Paine. Today we might catch some incredible views of the northeast peaks of the Paine Massif, including Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head), Escudo, Cubo, and Dickson.

Tonight we camp at Lago Dickson, a glacial lake on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap.

Accommodation: Refugio Dickson.

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Refugio Dickson

Difficulty Level: Medium

Day 3

Trekking from Refugio Dickson to Campamento Perros (5 – 7 hours 1/2; 8,7 Km, approx. 350m elevation gain)

Recommended hour to start: 8.30 AM.

Today we'll hike west toward the Paso John Garner and the immense Patagonia Ice Cap. Along the way the Dickson Glacier might be visible, pouring into Dickson Lake from the Southern Patagonian ice cap above. We enter into pristine, old growth beech forests and hike up the Río de los Perros. Just before we arrive to our camp we will trek past glacier Perros with fantastic close up views of the glacier and its lake. From here we continue hiking for about half an hour to reach the Perros campsite, located in a peaceful old- growth forest.

Today’s hike through primeval beech forest will give us a good chance to get to see the incredible red-headed Magellanic
woodpecker.

Accommodation: Camping Los Perros.
Meals: Full board: provided by our Staff
Difficulty Level: High

Day 4

Trekking from Camp Los Perros to Grey Glacier (10 -12 hours, 22 Km, approx. 1000m elevation gain)

Recommended hour to start: 6.30 AM.
Today, we probably face the most exhausting but most impressive part of the tour. We leave the Camp Los Perros early in the morning and hike uphill to the Paso John Garner. Once on top, we can admire a striking view over rugged, glaciated peaks and the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap.

Afterwards, we scale down to the treeline and enter the forest along the left bank of the Grey Glacier. This part of the hike is very strenuous; we'll have to pick our way carefully over numerous fallen logs and descend steep, slippery trails that can get very muddy at times. We'll continue along Grey Glacier descending towards Lake Grey.

*Todays hike is the most challenging one, encountering buttresses, climbing and descending steep and slippery trails, crossing avalanche gullies, and fording some fast-moving streams. Trekking poles are warmly recommended especially for today’s hike!

Accommodation: Refugio Grey

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Refugio Grey

Difficulty level: High*

Day 5

Relaxing day at Grey Glacier - optional excursions to Grey Glacier possible

Recommended hour to start: 10.00 AM
Today we have an easy going day with a lot of free time to enjoy the area as well as to relax and recover from yesterday’s hike. After breakfast we start a short hike (about 30 minutes) to the pretty lookout in front of Grey Glacier. A truly spectacular spot, to sit down and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of grey glacier and the floating icebergs in our front, such as the mountains around us. If we are lucky we even might see the calving of an iceberg from the glacier into Lago Grey.

The afternoon will be free to relax and enjoy the area at Sector Glacier Grey or Sector Lago Grey.

OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS AT SECTOR GREY:

ICE HIKE GREY GLACIER (5 HR): This amazing tour begins at Grey base camp, located at 10 minutes from Refugio Grey. Here the guides will provide the necessary equipment: Ice Axe, Crampons, harness, helmet and briefing; afterwards you will approach to the glacier in a Zodiac and begin exploring this awesome Glacier for 3 hours, finally you will return by zodiac to the Shore.

KAYAK GREY GLACIER (2,5 HR): This unforgettable tour starts from the Grey base camp at 10 minutes from Refugio Grey. Here the guides make the safety briefing and give you the necessary equipment. Afterwards you will carry the kayaks some meters to the edge of the shore to start exploring the Lake, visiting icebergs and approaching to the Glacier if weather conditions permit it.

Optional excursions are not included in the itinerary and can be purchased with us.

Accommodation: Refugio Grey
Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Refugio Grey
Difficulty level: Easy.

Day 6

Trekking from Refugio Grey to El Francés (8 hours, 21,6 Km, approx. 183m elevation gain)

Recommended hour to start: 8.30 AM.

Today we continue hiking south, skirting Lago Grey with pretty lookout points to Grey Glacier and overlooking Grey Lake with its floating icebergs. Reaching Laguna de los Patos we start descending to the Camp Pehoe, which is beautifully located at the turquoise coloured Lago Pehoe, "hidden lake" in the Tehuelche language. From here on the hike takes us towards the French valley along the splendorous Lago Skottsberg to the entrance of French Valley. After two and a half hours we reach “Campamento Italiano” from where we have about an hour more to go to tonight’s accommodation.

Accommodation: Domos El Francés
Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Domos El Francés
Difficulty level: Medium.

Day 7

Trekking into French Valley (8 hours, 17 Km, approx. 579m elevation gain)

Recommended hour to start: 9.00 AM.

Today’s hike takes us into French Valley, one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. After about one hour we get to “Campamento Italiano” at the entrance of French Valley. From here we subsequently move inside French valley and towards its viewpoint “Mirador” where we gain deep insight into the mountains. After another hour and a half of ascent we get to French Glacier lookout, where we’ll be able to observe its hanging glacier. With a bit of luck, we witness ice cracking off the Paine Grande (3,050m) sounding like a roaring thunder. After that the trail continues through beech forest until reaching “Campamento Británico” and after another 20 more minutes we will reach the lookout point “Mirador Británico”, considered by many as one of the most overwhelming spots in the Circuit.

This valley is the most beautiful in the park and one of the most unique in the world; hanging glaciers and an amphitheatre of granite walls and spires surround it. After a good rest we trek back the same way we came, towards to the extraordinary turquoise Lake Nordenskjöld, passing “Campamento Italiano” till we get back again to Domos El Francés.

Accommodation: Domos El Francés
Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Domos El Francés
Difficulty Level: High.

Day 8

Trekking to Sector Las Torres (Estancia sector) (5,5 hours, 13,5 Km, approx. 200m elevation gain)
Recommended hour to start: 9.00 AM.

Today’s Hike goes with Ups and downs along the extraordinary turquoise Lake Nordenskjöld to our right and the Cuernos Peaks such as Mount Almirante Nieto, with its hanging glaciers, to our left.

Today it’s time to say good-bye to our porters. Arriving at Refugio Torre Central we pick up our belongings from the porters.

Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central
Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and dinner at Refugio Torre Central
Difficulty Level: Medium.

Day 9

Trekking to “BASE TORRES” (8 hours; 19 Km)

Recommended hour to start: 8.30 AM.

Today we start our last day of hiking, which by the way is one of the most famous hikes in the National Park and one of the highlights of our Trekking trip. The first hour and a half walking is steep with fantastic views of lake Nordenskjöld and Almirante Nieto Mn (2.670 m.s.n.m), with it’s hanging glacier until you reach Refugio El Chileno to recover energies. Then we will continue the trail through a millenary Lenga forest (1 hour) until the base of “the moraine” which challenging ascent (45 min), will take you to one of the most impressive lookouts in the park: “Base of Torres del Paine” where you will have the view of Torre Sur (2,850 m.s.n.m.), Torre Central (2.800 m.s.n.m), Torre Norte (2.600 m.s.n.m) and Cerro Nido de Cóndor. After enjoying the breath-taking view from the lookout point, we return back the same way until Las Torres sector to take a shuttle to the bus that will bring us back to Puerto Natales.

Estimated time of arrival to Bus Station in Puerto Natales: 22.00 PM

Difficulty Level: High.
Last night in Puerto Natales

Transfer from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas.

Meals:Breakfast and box lunch

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Included:

  • 4 Nights of accommodation in Refugios (Shared dorms)
  • 2 Nights of accommodation in Domes El Francés
  • 2 Nights of accommodation in Campamento Los Perros (1) & camping Serón (1) including: Tent + insulation mat
  • Public Transportation from Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales
  • Duffel Bags for porterage (Max. 7,5 Kg)
  • Porters
  • All meals as indicated in program.
  • Guides: 1 guide every 6 guests.

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Not Included

  • Services not indicated in program.
  • Excursions at Grey Sector
  • Entrance ticket to Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Medical Insurance of any kind.
  • Air fares and airport taxes are not included
  • Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Extras
  • Early check-in or Late check-out
  • Tips

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WHAT TO BRING

Recommended Backpacks:

  • 1 Big Back Pack for the Circuit
  • 1 Small for Day Hikes (French Valley & Base Torres)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (GORE TEX).
  • Warm clothes (Polar Tec).
  • Comfortable trousers for trekking.
  • T – shirts.
  • Long Sleeved Shirts.
  • Trekking boots.
  • Sandals (for showering, resting and crossing streams).
  • Flash lamp.
  • Enough batteries supplies
  • Trekking Poles
  • Sunglasses.
  • Towel.
  • Padlock.
  • Earplugs.
  • Gloves / Sunscreen.
  • Camera / Binoculars.
  • Bottle for water (Nalgene).
  • Ziploc bags (for taking your trash back).
  • Warm Hat.
  • Hat for sun protection.
  • Personal Items (shampoo, soap, etc)
  • Sleeping bag

All of our adventure programs are inspired by destinations that evoke mystery and are charged with mystical energy. Our brand, Liv, Condor Travel is always on the lookout for the best routes on each journey.


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