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Paine Circuit Activity Guide

Cascada runs a complex operation coordinating the challenging 9 day Paine Circuit and ensuring maximum safety and enjoyment. The 115km (72mi) anti-clockwise loop around the Paine massif is awe-inspiring and the ideal adventure for trekkers craving the ultimate challenge in Patagonia. Expert guides accompany trekkers on the circuit and luggage is carried by porters who cook and pitch tents at campsites along the way. 
 
The first day is spent travelling from Punta Arenas to EcoCamp Patagonia, via Puerto Natales, arriving in time to enjoy dinner and wine with the other group members in EcoCamp’s Community Domes. Trekkers then sleep in comfortable tents in the campsite next to EcoCamp, setting off on their adventure the following morning.
 
Seron - Dickson
This trek follows north along the eastern bank of the Paine river, which is sourced by Dickson lake and runs through Paine lake, Nordenskjöld lake, Pehoé lake and empties into Del Toro lake. En route there is a look out point over Paine lake at the north-eastern tip of the Paine massif in Encantado valley. Trekkers pass Seron campsite, then loop around the north-eastern corner between the massif and Paine lake, following the river up to the southern shores of Dickson lake. Groups spend the night here at Dickson campsite, with a view of Dickson glacier in the distance. 
 
Dickson - Perros
This section of the trek follows a trail going along Los Perros river, in the wildest section of the trek through a beautiful Lenga forest. Just before reaching Los Perros campsite, trekkers pass Los Perros glacier, which falls into a small lake, and cross a virgin beech forest leading the way. Here at Camping Los Perros groups set up camp and enjoy the evening.
 
Perros - Gardner - Grey
Today trekkers reach the highest point of the circuit at 1300 mts (4000 ft) with an awe-inspiring view of Grey glacier, an enormous fractured mass of ice dominating the valley. The John Gardner pass is one of the most famous points of Torres del Paine and a must-do for any serious trekker. It is a steep three hour ascent to the narrow pass but the view makes it absolutely worth while!  
Descending from this highest point, the route continues along a steep path along forested slopes with beautiful views of the enormous Grey Glacier (more than 28 km in length). Trekkers spend the night camping at Grey campsite on the shores of Grey lake.
 
Grey - Pehoe
This part of the trek is much more relaxed than the previous day, leading along the eastern shore of Grey lake with wonderful views across the lake with sharp blue icebergs floating in the water. Grey Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian ice field, is 270km² in size and calves into Grey lake. At the end of the trail there is a small lagoon and a descent to the shores of Pehoe lake with its turquoise waters. Trekkers spend the night camping here on the shores of Pehoe lake. 
 
Valle Frances
Starting off from Pehoe Lake in the morning, trekkers head north towards the massif and cross the hanging bridge over French river, with an amazing view of the massif. From the other side, at Italian campsite, trekkers follow a steep trail north heading into the heart of the Paine massif up to a spectacular viewpoint In the upper section of the valley from where all of the different peaks can be admired:
 
  • Cerro Fortaleza (Fort Hill) 3,000m
  • Cerro Catedral (Cathedral Hill) 2,220m
  • La Espada (The Sword) 2,050m
  • La Hoja (The Blade) 1,950m
  • La Mascara (The Mask) 1,850m
  • Aleta del Tiburon (Shark’s Fin) 1,850m
 
French Glacier, on the backside of Cerro Paine Grande, is visible from here, and from further north Olguín glacier, located on Cerro Catedral, can be admired.
 
A challenging walk further north to Mirador Britanico (British Viewpoint) provides an incredible view from the very heart of the Paine massif. The return route is the same, descending through the valley and heading east to Los Cuernos campsite to spend the night. 
 
Los Cuernos - EcoCamp
Today is a relaxed walk back to EcoCamp, after yesterday’s big challenge. The Cuernos trail is located beside the beautiful Nordenskjold lake and is home to interesting flora and fauna species. There are numerous viewpoints to look up at Los Cuernos and admire the panoramic view of the milky blue Nordenskjold lake. The trek ends at EcoCamp/Camping Las Torres where groups spend the night.
 
Las Torres Trail
The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. The trail to Las Torres viewpoint is probably the most famous trek in Torres del Paine. Starting from EcoCamp in the morning, the trail goes past neighbouring hotel Las Torres and joins the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge comes at the end, climbing the steep moraine of boulders leading towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. From here the descent begins back to EcoCamp. 
 
Pat 017 - Patagonia Torres del Paine 9 Day Circuit - Trekking Chart
Data / Day Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9
Trail Name arrive
in
Torres
del
Paine
NP
Seron - Dickson Dickson - Perros Perros - Gardner- Grey Grey - Pehoe Valle del Frances Trail Los Cuernos Trail Las Torres Trail leave
Torres
del
Paine
NP
Starting Point EcoCamp Patagonia Camp Dickson Camp Perros Camp Grey Camp Pehoe Camp Cuernos EcoCamp Patagonia
Finishing Point Camp Dickson Camp Perros Camp Grey Camp Pehoe Camp Cuernos EcoCamp Patagonia EcoCamp Patagonia
appx. Walking Time 11 hrs 5 hrs 12 hrs 5 hrs 8 hrs 7 hrs 10 hrs
Distance 29 km / 18 miles 9 km / 5 miles 22 km / 14 miles 11 km / 7 miles 25 km / 15 miles 16 km / 10 miles 21 km / 13 miles
max Altitude Point 300 m / 984 feet 500 m / 1640 feet 1200 m / 3937 feet 400 m / 1312 feet 686 m / 2250 feet 244 m / 800 feet 914 m / 3000 feet

 

Activity: