Patagonia Paine Circuit
Patagonia & Argentina & Chile, Trek & Walk, 11 days - from £2,095 (land only) - from €2,830 (land only) - from $3,665 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at group hotel in El Calafate. Single timed airport transfer is provided. El Calafate is a pretty town and a good place to stretch your legs. A good place to start is the main street of Av del Libertador General San Martin, simply known as Libertador. KE group package services begins with the hotel accommodation.
Day 2: We start by catching a local bus to the Argentina/Chile border before continuing onto Cerro Castillo or Puerto Natales. From here we take a private transfer for the remainder of this spectacular drive into the Torres del Paine National Park. En-route we should catch our first glimpses of the Paine Massif. Tonight we stay in the fantastically located Torres Ecocamp.
Day 3: Setting out from the Ecocamp, we have a long day of trekking alongside the eastern side of the Paine River to Lago Dickson via Lago Paine. Along the route we`ll have time to admire the spectacular views of the Paine mountain range. Tonight we camp near Refugio Dickson, where we will have breath taking views of the South Patagonia Icefield.
Day 4: This is the wildest and least accessible section of the trek, following the Los Perros River through forest of southern beech. Along the trail today we may be lucky enough to spot woodpeckers and parakeets. Before arriving at our camp we pass Laguna Los Perros and the magnificent Los Perros Glacier. Our camp tonight is Camp Los Perros - the dogs!
Day 5: An early start and tougher day today as we cross the John Garner Pass at 1200 metres, the highest point of the circuit. From the top of the pass we are rewarded with an awe-inspiring view of the Grey Glacier. After our descent to the shores of Lago Grey we can view the impressive glacier and icebergs. Tonight we overnight at Camp Grey.
Day 6: Today we trek alongside Grey Glacier which offers spectacular views of numerous giant icebergs drifting. With the Cerro Paine Grande in view, we trek to a refuge on the shores of Lago Pehoe on a mostly downhill trail. We camp here but can enjoy the refuge's facilities which include a welcoming bar and showers! We'll have access to our split baggage here too.
Day 7: Today is a long day as we hike into the Frances Valley, looking for the best views of the Cuernos del Paine along the trail. We follow the River Frances upstream passing Camp Italiano to a magnificent setting surrounded by high peaks. We then descend back to Camp Italiano and hike east to Camp Cuernos beside the stunning Lake Nordenskjold.
Day 8: To complete the circuit on foot, we hike eastwards for around 5 hours on a good, scenic trail alongside the north side of Lake Nordenskjold. Today we are subjected to great lake views and interesting panoramas of the Cuernos del Paine. Tonight we overnight at the superb Las Torres Ecocamp in a spectacular location.
Day 9: Today we make the return trek to the head of the Ascencio Valley, to take in the classic view of the Paine towers which are also reflected in the lake below. At almost 3000m, these breath taking peaks are truly majestic and although visible along the trek, today`s viewpoint is a highlight of the circuit. We return back to the welcoming Torres Ecocamp for our final night in the national park.
Day 10: Leaving the Torres del Paine region we re-cross into Argentina today, at Cerro Castillo and then drive to El Calafate. After checking into the group hotel we'll have time to wander around the variety of souvenir shops, chocolate stores and coffee shops before re-grouping in the evening.
Day 11: KE Land Only services end after breakfast. The morning is free to enjoy the many charms of El Calafate and surrounding scenery. In the mid afternoon we have a single timed group transfer to the airport