An early start & on the road again, destination Patagonia, Chile. The journey via minibus from El Calafate to Peurto Natales takes approx. 5 hours this allows for hold ups at the Chilean boarder control. We arrived early afternoon, checked into our hotel and had enough time to explore Puerto Natales to buy any last-minute items (warmer kit for some folks!).

Puerto Natales, a charming town in southern Chile, is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. Set along the scenic Señoret Channel and surrounded by fjords and mountains, it offers stunning natural beauty and a tranquil atmosphere. Once a sheep farming port, it’s now a hub for adventurers seeking hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing in Patagonia. The town's vibrant culture and excellent seafood add to its appeal.

View across the Señoret Channel

Final preparation with our ‘O’ trek briefing at 6pm, we had a chance to meet our local guide Sophia and go though the arrangements for the following week. Patagonia was still in the grip of some unseasonably cold conditions, this was set to continue for the next few days, hence warmer kit for some folks.

All sorted, we were ready for the ‘O’ !

Day 1: 9am pick up & our minibus ride into the Torres del Paine National Park, the journey takes approx. 2 hours… nowhere is on the doorstep in Patagonia!

The benefit of charring out the recce the year before made it easier to put together the very best itinerary, last year we started from Las Torres & hiked to Seron on our first day. We experienced the more remote part of the trek first which was amazing. However, when we reached the ‘W’ from Refuge Grey back to Las Torres it came as a bit of a shock, this section is a lot busier than the rest of the circuit. Therefore, for the group we decided to do this section first, saving (in my eyes) the best bit until last!

We entered the park around 11am, parked up and hiked to the Condor lookout. Wow, our first taste of the Patagonian wind! We descended to Camp Pingo and rested at the lodge for a while before taking the 4pm catamaran to Refuge Paine Grande.

Condor Lookout

Day 2: Paine Grande to Los Cuernos via the French Valley.

The hike from Paine Grande to Los Cuernos via the French Valley in Torres del Paine National Park is breathtaking. With moody skies we made an early start from the refuge, the trail ascends slowley towards the french valley, the views were few and far between but the forecast was promising for later on. We made a quick snack stop at the Italian lookout before starting our ascent up to the French viewpoint. With clearing skies we finally had some fabulous views of the Paine Grande and the Cuernos horns. We made our descent by the same trail, a quick water stop at the italian before continueing on the trail to Refuge Los Cuernos via the shores of Lago Nordenskjöld.

At the French Lookout with views of the Cuernos horns

Day 3: Los Cuernos to Las Torres

A relitively easy day in comparrison to the day before, we made our traverse above Lago Nordenskjöld through ruggaged terrain into the Las Torres sector. Leaving the Cuernos horns behind we now had the Ascencio Valley and Paine towers to look forward to & two nights in the beautiful Las Torres hotel was well worth todays effort!

Fin with the Cuernos horns

Day 4: Las Torres to the base of the towers & return.

The hike to the base of the Torres del Paine on a snowy, cold day was a challenging experience. We started early from Hotel Las Torres before the day trippers arrived via bus from Puerto Natales. The trail ascends through the Ascencio Valley, with snow falling as we climbed. Visibility was limited, and the usual stunning views were obscured by thick clouds and falling snow. After refreshments at the Chileno refuge, we continued through woodland that brought us to the final steep section on moraine and snow-covered boulders. At the top, the iconic towers were hidden behind mist, disappointing not to see them but a beautiful day in it's own way. We headed back to the hotel via the same route, where a hot shower, warm bar, and good meal awaited us.

'O' team at the base of the towers without the view!

Day 5: Las Torres to Camp Seron

The hike from Las Torres to Camp Serón is a moderately easy trek. After a fabulous final breakfast at the Hotel Las Torres, we set out to explore the more remote section of the 'O' circuit. The trail undulates gently through open grasslands and sparse forests along the Rio Paine, offering stunning views towards Laguna Azul and its surrounding mountains. Camp Serón, nestled in a tranquil meadow surrounded by low hills, provides basic amenities and a peaceful resting spot, perfect for relaxing after a day's hike.

Lunch stop with views towards Camp Seron
New elevated tents at Camp Seron

Day 6: Camp Seron to Camp Dickson

After a cozy night in our elevated tents, we hit the trail to Camp Dickson, one of my favorite places to stay on the 'O' circuit. The trail starts from the meadows of Camp Serón and follows the Paine River, winding through rolling hills, dense forests, and open valleys. Our first ascent takes us to a fabulous mirador with views of the turquoise Lago Paine. As we approached Camp Dickson, the trail offered breathtaking views of Lago Dickson, Cerro Falso Stokes, and Cerro Daudet. This is a truly beautiful and tranquil location, making it a great place to spend the evening.

Views down to Camp and Largo Dickson

Day 7: Camp Dickson to Los Perros

The hike from Camp Dickson to Los Perros is a rigorous trek; we set off from Camp Dickson around 9 AM, as it wasn't a huge day and there was no need for an exceptionally early start. The trail ascends through dense beech forests, winding along the Los Perros River with magnificent views back towards Lago Dickson and its glacier, as well as onward to the towering Cerro Fortaleza. The final climb up a moraine leads to a fabulous viewpoint above the stunning Laguna and Glacier Los Perros; just beyond this viewpoint, we arrived at Camp Los Perros, a remote site nestled in the forest, which is the most basic of camps along the trail. With an early start planned for the following day, we retired to our tents early, anticipating the adventures that lay ahead.

Views towards Cerro Fortaleza
Mirador Glacier Los Perros

Day 8: Los Perros to Refuge Grey via the John Gardner Pass

Up at 5am and on the trail by 6 with headtorches lit! An early start is essential as this is a very long day. We made our ascent steeply through forested terrain. By daybreak, we were in more open terrain in time to see the most spectacular sunrise. The trail ascends steeply with snow to the John Gardner Pass at 1,200 meters. This has to be THE most rewarding view as the Patagonia ice cap and Glacier Grey lay before us. Just truly awe-inspiring! We made our long descent with the Grey Glacier keeping us company all the way to the very comfortable Refugio Grey. This day alone is the reason to do the 'O' circuit rather than the 'W'. Why would you want to miss a day like this?

Sunrise below the John Gardner Pass
Final ascent to the pass on unseasonable snow
The awe-inspiring Glacier Grey from the John Gardner Pass

Day 9: Refuge Grey to Refuge Paine Grande and return.

Our final day on the 'O' was set to be a wonderful and emotional one. We headed out and climbed high above Lago Grey with fabulous views looking back to the snout of the glacier. Today was special, our last trekking day in the company of such wonderful people. We arrived back at our starting point 9 days ago with incredible views of Paine Grande and the Cuernos horns. It was time to relax in the sun with a celebratory beer before catching the catamaran back over Lake Pehoé and minibus back to Puerto Natales.

Incredible views back over Largo & Glacier Grey

Completing the O Circuit trek in Torres del Paine National Park is an experience that fosters a profound connection to nature. The rugged beauty of Patagonia and its people leaves an indelible mark, instilling a deeper appreciation for Earth's beauty and fragility. Standing at journey's end, we carry not only memories of the trail but also a renewed respect for the power of nature and human resilience. Memories of encountering stunning landscapes and bonding with a great group of people are why this is our vocation.

For more information on our Patagonia 'O' Circuit please email:

Final views across Largo Pehoé before we returned to Puerto Natales