Patagonia: Torres del Paine Full O Circuit

Trip Code: GPXO

Why we love it

Trek the full loop around the Cordillera del Paine of wild Patagonia, completing the less-travelled O circuit. On this route, you’ll enjoy a greater sense of adventure, as fewer trekkers follow this trail., Recharge with overnight stays in Torres del Paine Refugios – inviting backcountry huts or lodges with beds, kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms. Spend two nights camping in premier tents, with only the star-studded sky above you., Climb the Grey Glacier with an expert team of guides who will teach you how to use the ice axes and crampons needed in this landscape. Observe crevasses, rivers, lagoons and tunnels in different tones of blue., Hike through the raw landscape of Torres del Paine National Park – a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and keep your eye out for Andean condors and guanacos., Explore Lake Grey and its ice floes from the water with a kayaking experience – and paddle past electric blue icebergs backdropped by snow-capped peaks.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking – an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.

This is a hiking trip, and it gets from one point to the other. Once you set off, you must hike to the next overnight stop with no option to opt-out. During the trek you will need to carry all of your belongings. Extra belongings you don't need for the trek can be stored at the hotel in Puerto Natales. Please familiarise yourself with all hikes carefully beforehand.

Please read the packing list carefully and come prepared, as you may not have a chance to buy any missing parts of equipment or trekking clothing.

We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however, occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances. These include extreme weather, availability of Refugios, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

The kayaking and glacier hiking days on this trip are weather dependent and not guaranteed. We will substitute alternate activities in the case that kayaking and/or glacier hiking are not possible.

Important information

1. This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking, an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.
2. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance permits to Torres del Paine National Parks.
3. Flight details and travel insurance details are required no later than 56 days prior to departure (or within 24 hours of trip confirmation if booking less than 56 days prior to departure). Please read the Travel Insurance requirements in the Essential Trip Information carefully. Field evacuation (minimum coverage of at least 30,000USD), repatriation, and medical trip insurance is required on this trip as a condition of partnership terms with our Chilean vendors.
4. During the trek you will need to carry all of your belongings. We provide backpacks. You can leave extra luggage/belongings you don't need at the hotel in Puerto Natales.
5. This trek utilizes the Torres del Paine Refugios. Each refugio is unique, with dorm style accommodations where guests share mixed gender bunk rooms, typically 4-8 guests per room. Men’s and women’s bathrooms are down the hall. You’ll have great local cuisine, served in a communal eating area with shared tables and drinks available for purchase.
6. Occasionally we are not able to reserve one or more nights in the Refugios, in which case accommodations will be in tents that are provided and set up by the Refugios. In these cases, we will still have access to the Refugios for meals, relaxation and showers. The price of the trip remains the same.
7. Solo travellers who opt for a single supplement will be provided a single tent. For travellers sharing a room, sharing a tent may also be required. All camping equipment is provided, including 2-person, 4-season tents, top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags professionally laundered after every trip.
8. A single supplement applies to days 1 and day 10 only in Puerto Natales (and when camping in a tent). Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
9. Tour leader gratuities are optional and at the discretion of each customer. A suggested guideline – not an expectation – is to reward outstanding service with a tip of 5-10% of the total trip cost.

What to bring/pack

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS

You can leave luggage/belongings you don't need at the hotel in Puerto Natales. You will not be able to access any of that until the end of the trek. During the trek you will need to carry all of your belongings. We provide backpacks. We estimate that your pack will weigh 25-35 lbs/ 12-15 kgs and should include all your clothing for the trek, sleeping bag/pad, rain gear, personal items, and toiletries for the trip, plus water, lunch and snacks for the day. You do not need to carry a tent.
Your safety and enjoyment will depend on your level of preparedness. It is your responsibility to arrive with the items listed below. This destination can have extreme weather (rains, snow & high winds) and it is imperative to be well prepared.
As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

INCLUDED GEAR

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Backpacks
- Tents
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping pads
- Trekking poles
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Emergency communication device(s)

ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU NEED TO BRING

- Trekking clothing: A mixture covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers is recommended. Your activities will take place in the outdoors, where weather may change quickly. Lightweight, comfortable, and quick drying clothes for the activities are best. Laundry facilities may not be available on every day basis, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Hiking boots with a good grip, ankle support and waterproof membrane that are comfortable to walk for an entire day
- Hiking Socks : one pair for every day or two days of your trip. Hiking specific padded socks instead of cotton ones.
- Comfortable shoes for shorter beach walks or evenings spend around accommodation/campsite
- Sport sandals
- Mid Layer Insulating Jacket: down-fill or synthetic-fill insulated “puffy” jacket or warm, heavy weight fleece jacket
- Light jacket, fleece and base layers
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Rain Gear – waterproof jacket and pants, breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex® or coated nylon. For the pants look for side zippers that will allow you to pull them over your boots.
- Warm Hat & Gloves: lightweight beanie and waterproof gloves
- Breathable, non-cotton hiking t-shirts
- Long hiking pants or zip-offs
- Nylon hiking shorts
- Water bottle or bladder: you will need water during activities and it’s best to avoid buying unnecessary plastic.
- Sun protection: sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, sunhat or bandana
- Torch/flashlight/headtorch
- Walking Poles if you would prefer to use your own
- Quick Dry Towel
- Waterproof Travel Case or Pouch – this is needed to keep important documents (i.e. passport, travel insurance, etc…) safe from weather/water and easily carried day to day
- Toiletries – small amounts, travel sizes and/or just what you need for the trip
- Personal Toilet Paper Kit – most public restrooms outside of the hotel will have toilet paper available, but it is good to be prepared with your own personal toilet paper kit to use during portions of this tour. Your hotels will be fully equipped with needed amenities and any refugios/huts used during the trek by our group will also have needed amenities, but otherwise along the trail it will be natural settings for toilets (i.e. digging catholes, etc.). Kits should include toilet paper, wet wipes, sanitizer & ziplock bag(s) for carrying out used paper/wipes.

RECOMMENDED ITEMS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BRINGING

- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, antihistamine tablets and any personal medication you may need
- Gaiters – recommended for wet or snowy conditions
- Camp Pillow – lightweight, compressible and packable
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank
- Phone, Charger, & Power Bank – local sim card or International plan may be needed
- Travel eco-friendly wipes/hand sanitizer
- Stuff Sacks – various sizes for better organization of clothing & gear
- Bug Repellent

OPTIONAL ITEMS

- Swimwear
- A good book, a journal and music player

SLEEPING BAG
Some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered. For this trip, you need 3-4 season sleeping bag with comfortable temperature limit reaching 15° F degrees / -10 ° C.

VALUABLES

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

HYDRATION SYSTEM

Please bring your own hydration system of 2 or 3 liters capacity, either water bottles or bladder/hose system and an additional water bottle to refill along the way.

Physical rating

5

Although no mountaineering experience is required on this trip, a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable hiking up to 8-10 hours a day, with many steep uphill sections, uneven, rocky terrain and in unpredictable weather. This hike is a strenuous one, so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it.

We recommend that in the months leading up to your climb you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise. Walking, running and stair-climbing will all strengthen your legs and improve your stamina.

Joining your group

Puerto Natales, , Puerto Natales, CHILE

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Puerto Natales, , Puerto Natales, CHILE

Alternate Finish Point


Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 9

Dinners included: 10

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

This Patagonia hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guides. We’ll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Puerto Natales and in some of the backcountry lodges as well as meals prepared on the trail by your guides and/or support staff.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with an assortment of trail snacks (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, & cookies) to eat at your own discretion.
We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you’re interested in.
Common trail snack brands are not readily available in this destination (protein bars, trail bars, beef jerky). We recommend guests that prefer these types of trail snacks to bring a few of their own choice items from home.

Climate & seasonal information

The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate between 0 and 30 degrees celcius (32 to 86 fahrenheit) within a tour or even over the course of a day! Please make sure you have packed appropriate clothing that can be layered up to accommodate these temperatures and that your sleeping bag is an all seasons bag that will keep you warm in freezing night time temperatures.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Intrepid's Local Operator: +1 928 224 0699

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

On this trip we will stay in Refugios, hiking hotels dotted along Torres del Paine’s trails. Refugios provide all bedding and meals, shared dorm rooms with shared facilities (bathrooms and shower blocks are separated by sex) and spectacular views of the mountains and lakes that make the park famous.

Tent camping is in premier 2-person, 4-season tents. Solo travellers, and anyone else who opts for the single supplement, will be issued single tents as long as they are available (we can confirm availability of 1-person tents when you register). Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Transportation