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Patagonia Trip Report Our New Adventure for 2024

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Patagonia Guided Trek

The best of the Torres del Paine and Los Glaciers National Park

Trek in Brief

Duration:

14 nights

Suitability & grading:

Grade 3- DIFFICULT See our trek grading page for further information

Accommodation:

8 x Hotel or Estancia, 4 x Refuge, 2 x Tented Camp

Meals:

10 nights Half Board (Evening meal, breakfast), 4 nights breakfast only in El Calafate & Puerto Natales, 8 days packed lunch whilst on the O Trek

Group size:

10

Bag transfer:

Included

Single rooms:

Available certain nights

Dates 2023:

N / A

Dates 2024:

11 March 2024 (provisional) / 7 Spaces

View Dates & Prices

Patagonia is a distant land full of awe & wonder, an explorer's dream.  It seems no less adventurous now that when Magellan, Drake and Darwin ventured there in centuries past.

The region of Patagonia spans from the southern tip of South America, across Chile and Argentina.  Patagonia links Puerto Montt to Rio Negro in the north to the archipelago of Terre del Fuego and the infamous Cape Horn in the south.  It’s a far away place, remote and wild; this makes it all the more special.   There is no doubt that the long journey to get there is well worth the effort, it is simply spectacular!

After our recce in this beautiful part of the world in March 2023, we have put together this itinerary that captures the very best of Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia. Our trek focuses on two National Parks around the Southern Patagonian Icefield, the Torres del Paine in Chile and Los Glaciers in Argentina.

suggested intinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN El CALAFATE, ARGENTINA

On the day of arrival we have a trek briefing in the hotel lounge at 5pm. This gives you the opportunity to meet your guide & the rest of the group and discuss the plan for our time in the Los Glaciers National Park.

Accommodation

Hotel, private rooms, breakfast

DAY 2: LA LEONA HIKE TO THE PETRIFIED FORREST

Early breakfast and private transfer to La Leona and the start point of today’s hike where we will meet our local guide. This easy 12k guided trek takes us though prehistoric, lunar like terrain with fossilised dinosaur bones and petrified trees. This is a restricted area limited to twenty visitors per day. It is a site of significant geographical interest. Our transfer will then take us to our Estancia accommodation in La Leona.

Daily stats:

Private transfer: 1hr 30mins

Distance: 12k | Height gain: +200m | Descent: -200m | Time: 4hrs

Accommodation

Estancia, private rooms, dinner & breakfast

Guide notes:

A hidden gem of a day giving us a different view of the National Park.

DAY 3: El CHALTEN & MOUNT FITZ ROY HIKE

Breakfast and early morning transfer to the iconic, small town of El Chalten which nestles under the gaze of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. The day takes us up towards the base of Mount Fitz Roy, and 'once again' jaw dropping views of this impressive peak. This is an out and back hike, we return via the same trail to El Chalten. Private transfer returns us to our Estancia.

Daily stats:

Private transfer: 1hr 30mins each way

Distance: 16K | Height gain: +700m | Descent: -700m | Time: 7hrs

Accommodation

Estancia, private rooms, dinner & breakfast

Guide notes:

Amazing views on the journey into El Chalten. The trek gives us an up close view of Mount Fitz Roy, truly impressive!

DAY 4: PERITO MORENO GLACIER

After breakfast we have a private transfer to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This is a truly amazing location, the bus will take us to the end of the Magallanes peninsula and drop us off at a series of walkways so we can get up close to this impressive glacier. If we are lucky, we will see the glacier carve into Largo Argentina, the views from here are truly spectacular. From here we return to El Calafate. Options for the rest of the day include horse riding, canoeing or simply rest and relax.

Daily stats:

Private transfer: 2hr 30mins

Accommodation

Hotel, private rooms, breakfast

Guide notes:

Just when you thought you had seen it all! Simply a stunning day, jaw dropping views yet again.

DAY 5: REST & TRAVEL TO PUERTO NATALES, CHILE

Early breakfast and we are on the road for 8am. Our journey to Puerto Natales will take us between five and six hours with a couple of stops along the way. We arrive in Puerto Natales by mid afternoon, after checking into our hotel we have the rest of the day to explore this lovely town.

Early evening pre-O trek meeting and meet the local guides. During the briefing we will go though all the necessary information including itinerary, accommodation, meals & bag transfer. The guides will discuss plans for the first day of the trek. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have so you are fully informed before you start your adventure.

Daily stats:

Coach transfer: 6 hrs

Accommodation

Hotel, private rooms, breakfast

Guide notes:

Rest and relax and enjoy a travel day. Great views of Torres del Paine as we drive into Chile.

DAY 6: FREE MORNING & TRAVEL TO THE TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK

Leisurely breakfast and time during the morning to purchase any last minute essentials from the town. After lunch we take a two hour private minibus transfer to the Pudeto on the shores of Lake Pehoe in the Torres del Paine National Park. The last leg of our journey takes us on the late afternoon catamaran to Refugio Paine Grande where we will stay for the night.

Daily stats:
  • Private transfer 2 hrs to Torres del Paine
  • 30 minute catamaran journey to the Refugio Paine Grande.
Accommodation

Refuge accommodation, small dormitory, dinner, breakfast & packed lunch for the following day (DBL)

Guide notes:

As we get closer to the National Park the views of the Torres del Paine massif are truly stunning. We approach the refuge by catamaran, a perfect entrance across Lake Pehoe.

DAY 7: REFUGIO PAINE GRANDE TO REFUGIO LOS CUERNOS VIA VALLÉE FRANCES

Up and out after breakfast, we start the first day of the the circuit of the Torres del Paine O’ trail. This is a splendid day as we make our way to the Italian Camp with fabulous views of Paine Grande and the Paine Horns. If we fancy travelling light for a while, we can leave our rucksacks here for our ascent into the Vallée Frances to the French Lookout with fabulous views of North Peak of Paine Grande, Castillo (Castle), Cota 2000, Cathedral, Aleta del Tiburon (Shark’s Fin) amongst other granite peaks. We descend via the same trail to collect our rucksacks and continue on our way along the shores of Lake Pehoe to Refugio Cuernos and our accommodation for the night.

Daily stats:

Distance: 18K | Height gain: +850m | Descent: -850m | Time: 8hrs

Accommodation

Refugio, Dormitory (Upgrade to private rooms possible), DBL

Guide notes:

This is a most spectacular day to start our trek! Jaw dropping views of the Paine Horns, Paine Grande and the amphitheatre of pinnacles as we ascend into the Vallée Frances.

DAY 8: REFUGIO LOS CUERNOS TO LOS TORRES

A great day awaits as we make our way on a beautiful traverse between Los Cuernos and Los Torres. The trail undulates high above Lake Nordenskjöld with far reaching views, the Paine Horns loom up above. Our final descent takes us over the plains to the beautifully located Hotel Los Torres, our accommodation for the next two nights.

Daily stats:

Distance: 15K | Height gain: +300m | Descent: -300m | Time: 6hrs

Accommodation

4* Hotel, private rooms, DBL

Guide notes:

A beautiful day as we traverse above the shores of Lake Pehoe. Stop for a while to gaze at the condors as they circle the rock faces of the Paine Horns.

DAY 9: DAY HIKE TO THE BASE OF THE TOWERS

It is safe to say that today takes us on the most famous trail in the Torres del Paine National Park as we hike up to of the base of the Paine Towers. This is an out and back trek so it can be done from the Hotel Los Torres. We need an early start and after a good breakfast we initially retrace our steps from the day before. The trail then cuts up to the right into the Asencio Valley, through native forests passing the Refugio Chileno. The final climb takes us steeply though moraine to reach the lake at the base of the towers. The views are simply stunning. We descend via the same trail back to our hotel.

Option to use this as a free day if required, horse riding excursions are available from the hotel or perhaps just rest and relax!

Daily stats:

Distance: 18K | Height gain: +900m | Descent: -900m | Time: 8hrs

Accommodation

4* Hotel, private rooms, DBL

Guide notes:

An iconic view awaits as we ascend into the Torres Valley. The towers are a truly splendid sight and well worth the climb!

DAY 10: LOS TORRES TO CAMP SERON

An easy day in comparison to the first section of the trek. We make our way on easy ground as we follow the Paine River through native forests and open plains. The campsite is situated in a tranquil setting near to the river.

Daily stats:

Distance: 13K | Height gain: +300m | Descent: -0m | Time: 4hrs

Accommodation

Tented camp, DBL

Guide notes:

A mellow day to rest our legs as we make our way into Seron valley. The trail gets beautifully quiet from now on as we leave the ‘W’ behind.

DAY 11: SERON TO REFUGIO DICKSON

Although a little longer, the trail to Dickson is not a difficult one. We continue to follow the Paine River for a short time before climbing up over higher ground. There are beautiful views over Lake Paine & the back of Paine Massif, Oggioni Mountain and Cerro de Indio. Fabulous views continue over Lake Dickson and its glacier as we descend to the refuge and our accommodation for the night.

Daily stats:

Distance: 19K | Height gain: +400m | Descent: -200m | Time: 6hrs

Accommodation

Refugio, small dormitories, DBL

Guide notes:

This is not a difficult day. Enjoy the views as way make our way around the back side of the massif. Splendid views over Lake Dickson and towards the Argentinian border.

DAY 12: REFUGIO DICKSON TO CAMP LOS PERROS

Leaving Camp Dickson behind we make our way into the biggest native forest in the National Park, we gain glimpses back towards Dickson and up into the Los Perros valley. This is also not too difficult a day and we soon ascend above the tree line to a fabulous vantage point. We climb the moraine to get the best views of Glacier Los Perros, its lake and first views of the famous John Gardner pass. A short walk from here takes us to Camp Los Perros which is situated in a sheltered spot next to the river.

Daily stats:

Distance: 12K | Height gain: +600m | Descent: -100m | Time: 5hrs

Accommodation

Tented camp, DBL

Guide notes:

We are now entering the most remote part of the trek. The serenity of the Los Perros valley is captivating. The day features fabulous views of the glacier and lake Los Perros.

DAY 13: LOS PERROS TO REFUGIO GREY

This has to be one of the best days of any multi day trek. Todays views are truly unique. We make an early start wearing our head torches and climb steadily up though native forest. As day breaks we ascend above the tree line onto rockier ground. Beautiful views of the Glacier Condor and surrounding peaks unfold as we make our way to the John Gardner pass (1200m). The views from the pass are simply jaw dropping as the immensity of the Grey Glacier and Southern Patagonian Ice field lie before us. The descent is long but the views are stunning, the trail takes us down beyond the snout of the glacier to the shores of Lake Grey and our rest stop for the night.

Daily stats:

Distance: 22K | Height gain: +800m | Descent: -1100m | Time: 10hrs

Accommodation

Refugio Grey, small dormitories, DBL

Guide notes:

Wow, what can I say… An incredible day as we make our way over the John Gardner pass.

DAY 14: REFUGIO GREY TO REFUGIO PAINE GRANDE

Our final day of the ‘O’, an easy day in comparison to the day before. Leaving the refuge, we climb a little to traverse high above Lake Grey. We have fabulous views back towards the snout of the glacier and over the lake with its floating icebergs. The trail then meanders down towards Lake Pehoe and the Refuge Paine Grande. We return to our starting point, our ‘O’ is complete! Afternoon tea is served in the refuge before we board the catamaran back to Pudeto and our minibus transfer to Puerto Natales. Fare well evening meal in Puerto Natales.

Daily stats:

Distance: 11K | Height gain: +300m | Descent: -200m | Time: 4hrs

Private transfer: 2 hrs to Puerto Natales

Accommodation

Hotel, private rooms, DB

Guide notes:

Take your time, stop a while to gaze back at Glacier Grey & reflect on our journey. The ‘O’ is a truly remarkable experience.

DAY 15: DEPARTURE FROM PUERTO NATALES

Breakfast is included however on the departure day you are free to leave at any time you wish.

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