The O Circuit is one of the most surprising and extreme trekking circuits in the world. It is the complete tour of the Paine Massif (known as the “O” circuit because of its shape), where the force of nature invites you to challenge your body and mind. There are more than 130 kilometers through the magical and incomparable landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park, which we will get to know in eight intense days with GreatChile, our official tour operator. Besides knowing the attractions that also form part of the W circuit (Grey Sector, French Valley and Base Towers), you will be able to visit other equally spectacular points such as Dickson Lake, Los Perros Glacier and John Garner Pass with its scenicviews towards Grey Glacier.
One of the most complete ways to discover, travel and experience Torres del Paine National Park is the O Circuit, which owes its name to the fact that the trail completely turns around the Paine Massif, letting us appreciate the beautiful landscapes that Torres del Paine National Park offers its visitors.
In this great adventure you will get to know the hidden face of the Park. However, you will need time and physical preparation to complete it. This trekking is a mental and physical challenge, in which nature will seize your senses, and what differentiates it from the W Circuit. The O Circuit is done in 8 days, however, we have the 6 days “express” version. You can choose to stay in campsites or shelters, where you will find all possible combinations to launch yourself into a unique experience in the world.
What is the difference between the O Circuit and the W Circuit?
If you check the maps of each circuit you will see that the W is also part of the O Circuit, so if you dare to do it latter you will do both circuits. The good thing about the O Circuit is that many of its landscapes are very different from those of the stretch of the W Circuit. Apart from that, it has three spectacular points. Dickon Lake, Los Perros Glacier and the popular John Gardner Pass, a pass with spectacular views of Grey Glacier.
So if you are adventurous, you have to meet two requirements. The first is the weight: you have to be able to walk with a 15 kg backpack. Apart from that, you must be able to trek 131 km with it. Don’t expect high peaks and horrible slopes:the slopes are rather normal and the average height you can be in Torres del Paine is just over 1,000m high. Little apparently, but of course, you’re not very far from the sea.
Accommodations: Camp sites or shelters?
We have options: lodging only in campsites, only in shelters and combining both. The W Circuit is much better prepared, always giving the option of sleeping in shelters or well-equipped cabins. There are restaurants, small shops, WIFI and first class cabins. On the other hand, in the stretch where the O Circuit does not run with the W, the accommodations are usually campsites. In fact, at Los Perros Campsite the only way to spend the night is with your own or rented tent.
What to wear?
If we talk about basic equipment for months like july, august or september we recommend the following: