Torres del Paine National park, Patagonia, Chile
Chile HIKING hiking Patagonia South America

Complete guide to the O circuit in Torres del Paine, Chile

The O circuit in Torres del Paine is a real hiking adventure that offers incredible scenery and moderate physical challenge. You get an opportunity to explore one of the most remote and beautiful areas of South America. The trek is a great combination of wild experience and good infrastructure; the route is well-marked, there are several ranger stations on the way and designated campsites with basic facilities.

O trek facts

    • Distance – 120 km/74 miles.
    • Required number of days – 6-8 days.
    • Starting and finishing point – Hotel Las Torres (Laguna Amarga entrance).
    • Highest point – John Gardner pass – 1220m/4000ft. 
    • Permits – no special permits needed, the park entrance fee is paid at the gate. Campsites booking is required for multi-day hikes. 
    • Accommodation – campsites, refugios (hostels) and hotels. 

Practical information for the O trek

Park entrance fees can be paid only in Chilean pesos, no other currencies or credit cards are accepted.

The O circuit is closed from the 1st of April to the 30th of September

The O trek can be walked only counterclockwise.

Hikers are allowed to camp only at designated campsites – wild camping is prohibited in the park.

Campsites on the route must be booked beforehand.

Take printed booking confirmation and passport with on the trek.

Open fires are not allowed in Torres del Paine.

Using a camping stove is allowed only at designated areas at the campsites.

Drinking water can be found throughout the park (rivers, creeks, streams), it’s claimed to be good quality. We didn’t use any filters or purification. 

You can get more information on Torres del Paine before the trek attending a daily free talk at 3 pm at Erratic Rock hostel/gear shop.

Most of the trails have closing time if you arrive at the start of a trail after the indicated cut off time you won’t be allowed to continue walking any further.

Grey glacier, the O trek, Torres del Paine
Grey glacier from a viewpoint, the O trek, Torres del Paine

Best time for trekking

Patagonian summer from December to February is the warmest time with day temperatures between 12°C and 15°C when the night temperature is between 9°C and 12°C. November – January, and March get quite a lot of wind –  the biggest problem for hiking and camping in Patagonia. February is the least windy summer month. It’s the same with rain out of all summer months February gets the least rainfall. Out of the weather point of view, February is definitely the best month for trekking in Torres del Paine. The main drawback of hiking in February – the parks is crowded, it’s the busiest month for the park with most visitors coming here. It means you must book campsites long in advance to make sure you get a spot on planned dates. For more details read our post – Torres del Paine complete guide

More information on other trekking routes in Torres del Paine you can find in our posts W trek guide and Day hikes in Torres del Paine.

Don’t forget about travel insurance!

The O-circuit is a multi-day trek with some parts through remote and difficult to access areas of the National park – getting travel insurance for this route is a good idea. Any outdoor activity involves the risk of getting an injury, losing or breaking gear and other unexpected situations that can spoil your trek. It’s always advisable to have travel insurance that can cover you in case if something goes wrong. For example, I lost my entire backpack while hitchhiking in Patagonia. Of course, my travel insurance didn’t help me to recover it but it did cover the cost of new gear and clothes.

Out of many insurance companies, we recommend World Nomads, they work all over the world and specialize in outdoor activities like hiking. Torres de Paine is one of the top destinations World Nomads cover which means they work with local companies quite a lot and will be able to resolve a case without any complications. Another great thing about World Nomads is that you can buy insurance policy online while traveling (it takes a couple of minutes), their policy is very flexible it can cover the whole period of your trip or only the hiking part of it, even if it’s just one or two days. Get a quote right now!

Note! Always make sure you carefully read the Terms and Conditions part.

Travel Insurance for Hiking Diving Backpacking and more

Guided or independent trek

Independent trek


    • It’s much cheaper.
    • It’s more adventurous.
  • The route is well-marked and easy to follow; distances, names, altitude profile, etc. you don’t need a guide to show you the way. 
  • In season there are many hikers on the trail even if you walk alone you won’t be lonely.


    • You have to plan the hike, book campsites, buy food, etc.
    • You’ll be carrying a heavy backpack for a week.
  • Setting a campsite by yourself; pitching tent, cooking, packing/unpacking after a long walking day. We love doing it but for some people, it’s more pain than fun.

Guided tour


    • Easy – no arrangements, bookings, gear rental etc. your tour company will do everything for you.
    • Walking with a day-pack, your luggage will be transferred from campsite to campsite.
  • No cooking, pitching tent, packing etc.


    • Quite a bit more expensive.
  • Takes away the adventurous part of the hike.

Suggested tours and activities in Patagonia

Cost of the O circuit, Torres del Paine

Transport – bus Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine  – CLP 15 000/US$23*, return. Bus Hotel Las Torres – Laguna Amarga (optional), return – CLP 6000/US$10 (each way paid separately).

Entrance fee – CLP 21 000/US$32 in season, CLP 11 000/US$17 – offseason (May to September). 

Accommodation – campsites – between CLP 5000-13000/US$8-20. Note! There are two free campsites on the O-trek; Italiano and Paso. Refugios (hostels) – between US$60 and US$80 per bed. Hotels between US$130 and US$350 for a double room. 

Food – cooking your own food – US$8-10 per day per person; eating at the park restaurants – between CLP 11 000/US$17 and CLP 16 000/US$25 per meal.

Gear rental (optional) – to rent camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove etc.) in Puerto Natales will cost you between CLP 13 000/US$20 and CLP 20 000/US$30 pp. per day, depending on what you rent. Note! You can rent camping gear (tent, mat, sleeping bag) at the paid campsites in the park but it’s more expensive than in Puerto Natales. To rent camping gear at Vertice Patagonia campsites will cost you per day; tent (2 people) – CLP 20 000/US$30; sleeping bag – CLP 14 000/US$21; sleeping mat  – CLP 5000/US$7,5. A good thing about renting at campsites is that you don’t carry camping gear from place to place which makes your backpack significantly lighter. 

* Check here current conversion.

Guided O circuit tours start at US$2000 per person it includes accommodation (usually more comfortable option e.g. Eco camps or hotels), transportation, guide, park entrance fee, ferry ticket, luggage transfer, all meals, gear (sleeping bag) if needed. It’s quite a bit more expensive than an independent trek but it’s much more comfortable and easy.

Packing for Torres del Paine

You can find complete packing list (including gear comparison) for hiking and camping in Torres del Paine here ↓↓↓

Patagonia packing list – hiking and camping gear

O trek distances and times

    • Laguna Amarga – Hotel Las Torres (the starting point) – 7km/4,3 miles, walking – 2 hours or by bus – 15min.
    • Hotel Las Torres – Serón campsite – 13km/8 miles, 3 hours
    • Campsite Serón – Campsite Dickson – 18km/11 miles, 6 hours
    • Campsite Dickson – Campsite Los Perros – 11,8km/7,3 miles, 4,5 hours
    • Campsite Los Perros – Campsite Paso – 8km/5 miles, 6 hours, John Gardner pass, steep ascend.
    • Campsite Paso – Campsite Grey – 7km/4,3 miles, 5 hours, steep descent
    • Campsite Grey – Paine Grande – 11km/6,8 miles, 3,5 hours
    • Paine Grande – Campsite Italiano – 7,6km/4,7 miles, 2.5 hours
    • Campsite Italiano – Mirador Britanico – 5,5km/3,4 miles, 3 hours
    • Campsite Italiano – Campsite Frances – 2km/1,2 miles, 30 min.
    • Campsite Italiano – Refugio Los Cuernos – 5,5km/3,4 miles, 2.5 hours
    • Los Cuernos – Hotel Las Torres, 11km/6,8 miles, 4.5 hours
    • Los Cuernos – Campsite Chileno – 15km/9,3 miles, 5,5 hours
    • Hotel Las Torres – Campsite Chileno – 5,5km/3,4 miles, 2 hours
    • Campsite Chileno – Campsite Torres – 3,2km/2 miles, 1.5 hours
    • Campsite Torres – Mirador Las Torres – 0,8km/0,4 miles, 45 minutes
  • Mirador Las Torres – Hotel Las Torres (descend) – 9,5km/6 miles, 3 hours
Map of the campsites on the O circuit, Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Map of the campsites on the O trek, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Campsites on the O circuit

The campsites on the O-trek belong to three companies; CONAF (the National Forest Corporation) – free campsites – campsites PasoItaliano, and Torres (closed for 2018/19 season); Vertice Patagonia – paid campsites – Dickson, Los PerrosGrey, and Paine Grande; Fantástico Sur – paid campsites – Serron, Las Torres, Los Cuernos, Frances and Chileno.

Paid campsites have better facilities and are easier to book as there are more camping spots than at the free campsites.

Booking campsites on the O circuit

All the campsites can be booked online; book CONAFbook Vertice Patagoniabook Fantastico Sur. Don’t forget to print your booking confirmation and take it with.

If CONAF online booking system doesn’t work you can book free campsites Paso and Italiano at their office in Puerto Natales, Manuel Baquedano st. 847. 

CONAF, free campsites

Fantastico Sur, paid campsites

Vertice Patagonia, paid campsites

How to get to Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales

The O trek starts at Hotel Las Torres (Laguna Amarga entrance), to get there from Puerto Natales;

    1. Take a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine (Laguna Amarga). It takes about 2h30mn. Price CLP 15 000/US$23 return pp. Keep your bus ticket for the way back.  
    1. Get off at Laguna Amarga entrance, go to the park office to pay the entrance feeCLP 21 000/US$32 and get a map.
  1. Take another bus from Laguna Amarga to Hotel Las Torres (the starting point of the O), the departure time is linked to buses from Puerto Natales. Price CLP 3000/US$5, takes 10 min. As an option, you can walk this stretch, 7km, 2 hours.                      

Getting back from Torres del Paine (Hotel Las Torres) to Puerto Natales

    1. Take a shuttle bus from Hotel Las Torres to Laguna Amarga – CLP 3000/US$5 or walk this stretch. Check for departure time at the hotel reception.
  1. Take a bus from Laguna Amarga to Puerto Natales.                                       
O circuit trekking map, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
O circuit trekking map; walking route and bus route from Lagina Amarga to Hotel Las Torres.

Download the O-trek-Torres-del-Paine map. 

Torres del Paine, the O circuit – 7-day itinerary

Day 1. Puerto Natales – Serón campsite, 13km

Puerto Natales – bus – Laguna Amarga – bus – Hotel Las Torres – Serón campsite, 13km/8 miles, 3 hours bus + 3 hours walk

Cost: bus Puerto Natales – Laguna Amarga (return) – CLP 15 000/US$30, entrance fee – CLP 21 000/US$32, bus Laguna Amarga – Hotel Las Torres – CLP 3000/US$5 (one way), camping at Serón – CLP 13 000/US$20.



  • It would be an easy walk if it wasn’t for heavy backpacks loaded with gear and food for 7 days.

7.00-7.30 – catch a bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National park.

9.30-9.45 – get off at the first stop Laguna Amarga; register, pay the entrance fee, get a map. Tip! Try to be among the first people at the office otherwise you’ll wait in a queue for a while.

10.00 – catch a bus to Hotel Las Torres. Confirm departure time at the office.

10.15 – get off the bus at Hotel Las Torres, the starting point of the O trek and begin the walk towards Serón campsite. Stop for lunch/snack at Las Torres or on the way.

13.30-14.00 – arrive at Serón campsite, pitch your tent, walk around, chill.

Day 2. Serón campsite – Dickson campsite, 18km

Serón – Guarderia Coiron – Dickson campsite, 18km/11 miles, 6 hours

Cost: camping at Dickson – CLP 5000/US$8.


  • Our friends saw a puma in the morning just a few hundred meters from the campsite.
  • Paine Lake
  • Dickson Lake


  • Walking through an opened windy area between Serón and Coirón.

7.00 – get up, make breakfast, pack.

8.00 – start walking towards Dickson.

10.30 – arrive at Guardería Coirón – 8,5km. Here you show your permit (booking) and register in the park book. You can have lunch here – there are tables and benches.

11.00 – continue the walk to Dickson – 9,5km.

14.00 – arrive at Dickson campsite.

Lake on the O circuit, Torres del Paine
A small lake on the way between Serón and Dickson campsite. The O circuit

Day 3. Dickson campsite – Paso campsite, 20km

Dickson campsite – Los Perros campsite – John Gardner pass – Paso campsite, 20km/12,3 miles, 10 hours.*

*You can split this day into two; stay at Los Perros campsite one night and next day continue over the pass to Paso.

Cost: camping at Paso – free.


  • Los Perros lake and glacier
  • View over Grey glacier from Gardner pass


  • John Gardner pass – a steep and very long ascent, about 900m.

7.00 – get up, quick breakfast, packing. It’s important to start the day early first because it’s a very long walking day and second because the trail between Los Perros and Paso campsites closes at 14.00 if you arrive after that time you’ll have to stay at Los Perros.

8.00 – start walking towards Los Perros campsite – 12km/7,5 miles, 4,5 hours, the ascend starts from Dickson and continues all the way till the top of the pass.

12.00-12.30 – arrive at Los Perros campsite. If you’re fine with the time you can stop for lunch here and continue after, if you arrived after 13.00 we’d suggest walk past the rangers office first and then stop somewhere for lunch to make sure you’ll be allowed to continue. From  Los Perros the ascend is getting steeper, you start climbing John Gardner pass – 900m up.

14.30-15.00 – arrive at the top of John Gardner pass, spend some time enjoying the view over Grey glacier – it’s fantastic. Prepare warm clothes; gloves and beany – it’s very windy on the top.

15.30 – start descend to Paso campsite.

17.00-17.30 – arrive at Paso campsite. It was a tough walking day with amazing scenery!

Grey glacier, John Gardner pass, Torres del Paine
Grey glacier from the top of John Gardner pass, the O circuit

Day 4. Paso campsite – Paine Grande, 18km

Paso campsite – Refugio/campsite Grey – Paine Grande, 18km/11 miles, 8 hours

Cost: camping at Paine Grande – CLP 6000/US$9.


  • Grey glacier
  • Grey lake
  • Two suspension bridges
  • Pehoe lake


  • A steep descent to Grey campsite
  • Several ascents and descents on the way from Grey to Paine Grande campsite

7.00 – get up, have breakfast, pack.

8.00 – start walking towards Grey campsite – 7km/4,3 miles, 4,5 hours, steep descend.

12.30 – arrive at Grey campsite, have lunch, rest.

13.30 – continue walking to Paine Grande – 11km/6,8 miles, 3,5 hours.

17.00 – arrive at Paine Grande, pitch your tent, rest.

Pehoé lake, Paine Grande campsite
Pehoé lake, Paine Grande campsite, Torres del Paine

Day 5. Paine Grande – Italiano or Frances campsite, 20km

Paine Grande – Italiano campsite – Mirador Frances – Mirador Britanico (in good weather) – Italiano campsite or Frances campsite, 20 km/12,4 miles, 8 hours

Cost; camping at Italiano – free, camping at Frances – CLP 13 000/US$20.


  • Skotsberg lake
  • French Valley
  • Mirador Frances
  • Mirador Britanico


  • Steep ascent to Mirador Britanico from Italiano campsite
  • Steep descent back from the Mirador to the campsite

7.00 – get up, make breakfast, pack.

8.00 – start walking to Italiano campsite – 7,6 km, 2,5 hours.

10.30 – arrive at Italiano campsite, leave your backpack at the office, take the valuable stuff, walk to Mirador Frances – 2km, 1 hour, ascend.

11.30 – arrive at Mirador Frances, rest, have lunch. If the weather is good to continue walking to Mirador Britanico (great views) – 3,5 km, 2 hours, steep ascend.

13.30 – arrive at Mirador Britanico, rest, enjoy the view.

14.00 – start going down to Italiano campsite – 5,5 km, 2-3 hours, descend all the way back.

16.30 – arrive at Italiano. If you stay at Frances it’s about 2 km more – 30 minutes walk.

Nordenskjold lake, the O circuit, Torres del Paine
Nordenskjold lake, the O circuit, Torres del Paine

Day 6. Italiano/Frances campsite – Chileno campsite, 21km

Italiano/Frances campsite – Los Cuernos – Chileno campsite, 21km/13 miles, 8 hours

Cost: camping at Chileno – CLP 13 000/US$20.


  • Nordenskjold lake


  • Several ascents and descents on the way to Chileno campsite

7.00 – get up, breakfast, packing.

8.00 – start walking to Los Cuernos – 5km, 2 hours.

10.00 – arrive at Los Cuernos, there is a shop and restaurant here, you can stop for snacks and rest.

10.30 – start walking to Chileno campsite – 15km, 5,5 hours.

15.30 – arrive at Chileno, pitch tent, walk around, rest. If you want to see the sunrise at Mirador Las Torres better go to bed very early you’ll have to get up at 4.00-5.00 to walk all the way up in time.

Nordenskjold lake, the O trek, Torres del Paine
The scenery along the Nordenskjold lake on the way to Chileno campsite

Day 7. Chileno campsite – Mirador Las Torres – Puerto Natales, 14km

Chileno campsite – Mirador Las Torres – Hotel Las Torres – bus or walk – Laguna Amarga – bus – Puerto Natales, 14km/8,6 miles, 5h30min.

Cost: bus Hotel Las Torres – Laguna Amarga – CLP 3000/US$5, bus Laguna Amarga – Puerto Natales – paid (if you bought a return ticket).


  • Sunrise at Las Torres – definitely one of the main highlights of the trek.


  • Very early get up
  • A long and steep ascent to Mirador Las Torres
  • A long and steep descent to Hotel Las Torres

4.00-5.00 (depending on sunrise time) – get up, start going up to the Mirador – 4km, 2h15min. Leave your stuff at the campsite, take only valuables and a camera.

6.15-7.15 – arrive at the Mirador. Enjoy the sunrise, walk around, take photos, snack.

8.00 – start descending back to Chileno – 4km, 1h30min.

9.30 – arrive at Chileno, pack your stuff, start going down to Hotel Las Torres – 5,5km, 1h30min.

11.00 – arrive at Hotel Las Torres, catch a bus to Laguna Amarga (confirm the departure time at the hotel) or walk – 7km, 2 hours.

14.00-14.30 – get on a bus from Laguna Amarga to Puerto Natales. Check the bus timetable at the park office.

16.30 – arrive in Puerto Natales.

Sunrise at Mirador Las Torres
Sunrise at Mirador Las Torres, the O circuit, Torres del Paine

Accommodation in Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is the best place to be based before and after the trek. It’s the closest town to the park, tourist infrastructure here is quite good – many hotels and hostels, a couple of gear shops, rental places, restaurants, tour companies and one or two supermarkets. Buses from several places in Patagonia, both Chile and Argentina, go here.

What you can find in Puerto Natales;

  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Campsites
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Supermarkets
  • Shops
  • Pharmacies
  • Gear rental places
  • ATMs

BudgetHostal Backpacker CortesHostel 53 SurRefugio Hoshken | Forte Patagonia |

Middle price | Patagonia Adventure HostelHostal Treehouse Patagonia | Wild HostelPuma HousePire Mapu Cottage |

LuxuryToore Patagonia | Weskar LodgeDT LoftHotel Costaustralis |

Gear rental prices in Puerto Natales

Items we love taking with on a hike

Recommended books and guidebooks

In the last couple of years regulations in Torres del Paine changed a lot if you buy a trekking guide make sure it’s an updated edition.

    • Walking Patagonia by Caspian Ray. Don’t expect a hiking guide, it’s a fiction story about a young guy who went to Patagonia in search of adventure and love.

Related posts

PIN IT FOR LATER!O circuit trekking guide, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile. Itinerary, packing list, cost, route map, campsites, transport. #torresdelpaine #ocircuit #trekking #chile

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  1. We are headed to Chile next week and have loved your blog as a resource. We will be spending 3 weeks there, including doing the 7-day O Trek. Right now, we are looking at travel insurance – we purchased Travel Guard as part of our international flight purchase, which seems to cover most trip interruptions / accidents. Do you think we need additional insurance on top of that?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Alyssa! Thank you for the comment! You should check if your insurance covers outdoor activities and if so what exactly they cover. The O circuit is not a high altitude hike or a climb but some parts of the trail are difficult to access (just in case of evacuation or an injury). If your insurance covers emergency situations for outdoor activities including hiking then it’ll be enough if not you can check World Nomads insurance (it’s mentioned in the post), you can buy their policy just for the period of the trek.
      Safe travels!

  2. Pat Custodio

    Hi guys! Thanks so much for this blog and all the details. My friend and I are leaving in just over a week from Boston to start the O on the 3rd of November. We figured out most of this stuff over the past month, but it was a lot of zig-zagging websites and such. I wish I had stumbled on this page a while back! 🙂

    If we ever cross paths, beers are on me! Thanks again. -pat

  3. Hi! Thank you for this excellent guide, it has been so helpful in planning my trip! I have a question as I’m finishing up planning. Campsite Chileno is currently booked for the dates I’m doing the O trek. Would you recommend camping at Las Torres my last night, or instead just catching the bus back to Puerto Natales a day early? Is it feasible to hike from Las Torres campsite up to Mirador Las Torres before leaving if I do end up staying the night? Thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Maddy! Thank you for the comment! I’d say Mirador Las Torres is one of the highlights of the park it’s definitely worth an effort and time to visit it. Yes, it’s possible to go up to the Mirador and down the same day from Las Torres campsite it’ll take 6-7 hours. The last bus from Laguna Amarga (a short bus ride from Las Torres campsite) to Puerto Natales leaves at 7.45pm (check the timetable to make sure in case it changed) if you start in the morning you’ll have more than enough time to get to the Mirador and back.

  4. What time is the earliest in the morning you can go through the ranger checkpoints? I like to start at first light sometimes 5am- Is that okay?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, Randy! I guess you can start as soon as it’s light, depending on the season in summer sunrise is quite early by 5 am it is light, off-season (April to October) it might be still quite dark, I wouldn’t recommend starting walking the circuit in the dark anyway.

      • what time are the ranger checkpoints open at? What if I go by one at 6am and they are not open? do you have to check in?

        Thanks for your time taking my questions!

        • Stingy Nomads

          We never had any problem with being somewhere too early. We don’t have control over the park rangers and the rules if you have any further questions or doubts you’re welcome to contact the official park website for further inquiries.

  5. Hey! Thanks for such a great blog on The O circuit! We are heading there in Feb 2020 and have booked our campsites (what a mission!!). However, I dont quite understand and cant seem to find info on it as to whether we need to purchase a park permit too? I was hoping you’d be able to help me out on this…

    Many thanks,

  6. Neta Kessler

    Thanks for the great post! I heard that CONAF campsites are supposed to be closed for the next few months. In that case, do you think it is possible to hike the O circuit without staying at those camps? If so, which camps can replace the ones operated by CONAF?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Neta! From what I can find online it looks like in 2019-2020 season the O circuit will open on the 1st of October if they open the route the campsites will be opened as well. The Paso is the only CONAF campsite you have to stay on the circuit it’ll extremely difficult to skip it and go in one day from Los Perros to Grey, it takes about 11-12 hours to walk that part of the route. Private campsites that belong to Vertice and Fantastico Sur can be easily booked online.
      Good luck!

  7. Thank you for such an informative blog. We have a question and I wonder if you can help: We have managed to follow your itinerary but, due to to circumstances, would only have about half a day either side of it. In looking at flights we can do it but we have come across many reviews that the airlines in these parts don’t have a great reputation for either punctuality or luggage arriving. Only in your opinion of course, but as we would be flying from Europe would such a tight itinerary be risky? Thanks.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Matt! Thank you for the feedback! We have never used local airlines but Patagonia is famous for unpredictable weather and strong wind it might be the reason why flights are delayed sometimes. Do you mean a half of a day when you arrive and when you leave? It’s pretty tight considering that you’ll need about 2 hours to get from Puerto Natales to the park. Maybe it’s better to do the W trek instead of the O, it takes 4-5 days you’ll have a couple of extra days just in case. If you finish early and have some time left you can stay for a day or two in the park and do a couple of day hikes or hiking on the glacier.
      Safe travels!

    • Can’t get a reservation for the last day on the o what do you suggest nothing at Chileno or sector central

      • Stingy Nomads

        Hello, Khaleel! For when are you trying to book it? These two are the only option for the last day, you can try to walk in one go from Los Cuernos to Las Torres and to the exit from the park but it’ll be like 11 hours or so with a tough a long ascent and the subsequent descent, I’m not sure it’s an option. I’d suggest contacting Fantastic Sur to try to sort it out.
        Good luck!

  8. This blog was sooo helpful and easy to follow compared to other ones that I have read! Do you know if the gear to rent in Puerto Natales is abundant? I may want to rent some gear instead of buying, but I’m worried that I would get there and they wouldn’t have any left. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Kalen! Thank you very much for the comment! From what I remember there were quite a few gear shops in Puerto Natales. If you’re planning to do Torres in January-February (the peak season) I’d suggest going as soon as you arrive to check out and maybe book some stuff. We found that with small things like a sleeping pad, a camping stove, pots, gloves, etc. it’s cheaper to buy them than to rent for a week or so. With more expensive gear like a tent or a sleeping bag, it’s cheaper to rent. If you buy gear you can always try to sell it back to the shop or to other travelers.
      Safe travels!

  9. Tamara Daniel

    Hey! Just wondering if the campsite prices listed are per tent or per person? Thanks for all the helpful info!

  10. Hi, thank you so much for this really helpful Article! It answered a lot of questions!
    We are planning to do the O Circuit in December 2019. We are just sleeping at campsides in our own tent and I wonder how you’ve been organized with carrying food? What kind of food did you take with you? How are the shops, is it suggestable to take food for all the days with us or can you find food easily in shops? Thank you so much in advance
    Kindest regards, Deborah

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Deborah! Thank you for the comment! We carried food for the while trek but it’s possible to buy food at paid campsites they sell snacks, chocolate, pies, tea/coffee as well as cooked meals but it’s quite a bit more expensive than in Puerto Natales. We bought everything in a supermarket in Puerto Natales, we had instant oats and coffee for breakfast, nuts and energy bars for lunch (you’re not allowed to use the camping stove only at the campsites it’s better to have for lunch something you don’t need to cook), pasta or instant noodles with a can of tuna for dinner. We had a couple of chocolate bars, cookies and dried fruit for snack/tea. And for the first day (lunch and dinner) we made food in our hostel (boiled eggs and made meatballs) and took it with.

  11. Thank you for putting this together! It is very helpful as we plan our trip. My husband and I want to do the 7 day/6 night itinerary beginning on Saturday, Nov 23. We want to do it alone but would like to lighten the load as much as possible. Is there a route you suggest where we can rent tents/sleeping bags/mats at ALL of the campsites and buy food at most of them?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Miryam! Thank you for the comment! If you don’t want to carry camping gear and food you’ll have to stay only in paid campsites (runs by both companies Vertice Patagonia and Fantastico Sur), they have both gear rental and restaurants though it will make your hike significantly more expensive. I can suggest the following 7-day itinerary; Seron – Dickson – Los Perros – Grey – Frances or Los Cuernos – Chileno or Las Torres. The walk from Los Perros to Grey will be quite challenging, it’s 15 km and you go over John Gardner pass you’ll have to start the day very early. I’d suggest booking the campsites beforehand (you can do it online) and letting them know that you’ll need the camping gear and food, so they can calculate the price you’ll be paying.
      Safe travels!

  12. This information was so helpful for me, thank you! I was thinking of doing this in very late March/early April as I cannot go any other time. But then I read here that the O Circuit is closed from 1 April. I’ve read other blogs that say early April is an okay time to go. Are you certain about this detail?

    Also, I have heard that they sometimes close parts of the track (like the pass) during bad weather. Do you know what happens re campsite bookings if you get stranded? Just being cautious as the weather is less reliable at this time.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Hannah! Thank you for the comment! The dates can vary from year to year, according to Fantastico Sur site their Refugio Serón, the first stop on the O circuit, in season 2018/2019 was opened till 31st of March 2019, they base their opening time for this campsite according to CONAF information. It might change for the next season but it’s still too early to know. I’d suggest contacting Fantastico Sur (they have live chat in working hours) at the end of September – beginning of October and ask until when Refugio Serón will be opened in 2020. If the O does close on the 31st March you can start walking just before April, you’ll need 3 days to go over the pass.
      If the pass is closed I guess the bookings will have to switch for a day later as everybody on the O circuit will be pretty stuck. I don’t know how often it happens in the season maybe it’s one of the reasons CONAF closes the circuit earlier.
      Safe travels!

  13. A Little off topic of the “O” trek I’m planning to go in March 2020 but any chance you guys get to do any scuba diving while you were there in Patagonia? If so any tips on where to go?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, John! I didn’t do any diving in Patagonia and to be honest I don’t remember seeing any places offering diving. Maybe in Puerto Rio Tranquilo you can ask around if they do dives in the lake though water there is quite cold.
      Safe travels!

  14. Hey! Thanks for all the great information. I had a question about Day 3 of your itinerary. You put that the Paso campsite closes at 1400 (which seems a bit earlier) but then you said you arrived at the Paso campsite around 1700. Was the 1400 close time updated information after you did the hike? I am planning this section of the hike out and am not sure if hiking Dickson –> Paso is feasible, especially if I need to arrive before 1400. This would also mean that you went over the John Gardner pass around noon. Due to weather, do you know if it is recommended to stay at Los Perros and attempt the pass earlier in the morning? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, J Chang! The campsite doesn’t close at 14.00, the indicated closing times are for trails it means the stretch between Los Perros and Paso closes after 2pm you can’t start walking it after that time, there is a rangers post there. These times are established to make sure hikers make it to the next campsite before it gets dark. Dickson – Paso it absolutely doable in one day just start early enough to make it past Los Perros before 2pm. As for the weather it changes all the time in Patagonia we went over the pass between 2 and 3 pm, it was windy and quite chilly but sunny. Hope it helps! If you have more questions we’ll be happy to answer them!
      Safe travels!

  15. Thank so much for all the information. Thinking of going solo, not an experienced hiker – is the route clearly marked? Or could it be easy to get lost? How scary are those suspension bridges?
    Many thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Wanderer! Thank you for the comment! The route is well-marked and there are always hikers there if you have any doubts you can always ask someone. The bridges are not as scary and long as suspension bridges in Nepal for example but if you’re afraid of heights they might look scary for you just don’t look down when you cross them look in front of you.
      Safe travels!

  16. A friend and I will be heading to Chile to do the O route in December 2019. We are booking with Vertice for convenience. We will be staying in a mix of Refugios and campsites. Can you recommend two of the Refugios we should definitely stay in? We will be doing 5 campsites and 2 Refugios-just don’t know which ones to choose. Any preferences? Thanks for the advice.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Cheryl! Thank you for the question! For logistical reasons you’ll have to choose between staying at Paine Grande or Grey and between staying at Dickson and Los Perros. Between Grey and Paine Grande we liked the refugio at Paine Grande more, the scenery there was amazing though we didn’t stay there we just walked around a little bit. Between Los Perros and Dickson we camped at Dickson but the most important thing is planning your itinerary is distances make sure your walking days are well-balanced and you don’t have one too long day and one very short day. If you have time you can do more stops on the route to enjoy the scenery.
      Safe travels and good luck with planning!

  17. Young Ahn

    my name is Young living in Philadelphia, USA
    My and my wife are very much interested in O circuit trekking in Patagonia in late Jan or Feb of 2020. We are 66 & 64 respectibly with little cracking noise from knee here and there but in good shape in general. We did ABC in Nepal last October, 2018 and my wife just finished EBC this April, 2019. She is in better shape than I am.
    We like the nature but I don’t think carrying our load plus camping gear is for us.
    We may have to settle sleeping in a hostel or lodge so we don’t have to carry too much beside our own loads. We like your recommandation for choosing guided company .
    I tride to contact Erratic Rock and have no reply as of today.
    ( they only have schedule up to December, 2019 )
    Since we are going from USA, we’d like to visit other place so maximize travel time
    Can we recommand for other trekking route near by?
    we can spend 2 – 3 weeks for total
    thank you verymuch
    Happy Travel
    have no reply

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Young! Thank you for the question! Sorry it took long we’re busy hiking the Rota Vicentina in the south of Portugal. You can walk the circuit without carrying food and camping gear, most paid campsites on the route offer gear rental and have restaurants where you can get hot meals all you need to do is to book them beforehand and let them know you’ll need camping gear. This way will be more expensive but easier and more comfortable. The campsites are run by Fantastico sur and Vertice Patagonia you just need to plan your route and contact them for booking. The contact details and map with the campsite you can find in this post. As for other trekking routes I can suggest El Chalten in Argentina or Futaleufu in Chile both places offer amazing scenery and have several hiking routes. In both place you can do multi day treks or day hikes, the second option is easier you can be based in a hotel in the town and do short distance hikes carrying a day pack only.
      Safe travels!

  18. alyssa dilly

    Hi! Thank you so much for all of this information (from this article + others on your blog) about Patagonia + the O Trek. Most other blogs I’ve read recommend starting at Refugio Paine Grande, however you chose to start at Hotel las Torres, heading towards Seron, any reason for this? Just curious! Thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Alyssa! Thank you for the comment! I’m not sure what are the other blogs that suggest to start the O at Refugio Paine Grande as I’m aware it’s the starting point for the W trek not for the O circuit. Are you sure you’re not confusing these two routes? It would be strange to start at Refugio Paine Grande at least because you’ll have to take a ferry to and back to Pudeto which will make it more expensive and longer, it is unnecessary for the O trek. Another things is if you start at Paine Grande you’ll go through the main highlights of the route right in the beginning and the second half will look impressive, remember you can walk the O only counterclockwise. The part from Seron to Grey glacier in a way is less impressive compared to the W trek part with Grey glacier, many turquoise lakes and of course Las Torres so you want to keep this part for the end of the trek.
      Safe travels!

  19. Do you know of a company that will simply book the campsites for you that isn’t too $$$? We don’t want a guide but don’t want to deal with the three different companies since it seems like they are difficult to book and not reliable. Thanks!

  20. Wow what a great article! This is all the information I have been searching for leading up to our trip to Torres del Paine. Thank you for the great content!!!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jessica! Thank you very much for the comment! We’re glad our post was helpful for your planning!
      Enjoy Torres del Paine and safe travels!

  21. Hi there ,
    I am looking to the o circuit in nov-dec. do you guys have specific dates you leave or pending on a group number you can depart of any dates .
    I see on your webs site staring price of 2000 . How much would it be for a porter is the 2000 included any yurt at any of the site ? At the Refugio’s do they have shared bathroom ? What does it mean by double room – how people share ?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello! We’re not a tour operator or company, it’s a personal blog, we hiked in Torres del Paine and wrote a post based on our experience, prices for tours that we give are just an example how much you pay. We don’t arrange any tours or book accommodation or porter for anybody.

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