My husband and I, who are both nearing 50 years of age, had an amazing time completing the Circuito last week. The trip was perfectly organised by Dittmar Adventures, who also provided a guide and a porter to carry our camping and personal stuff.
Our hike started from the CONAF Administrative Center, and the circuit completed at The Refugio Paine Grande, where we took the catamaran and bus back to Puerto Natales. Our trek took 9 days, and we slept in refugios (5 nights) and campsites (3 nights). We experienced all the 4 weather seasons during our trek there, so to be prepared is essential - including gloves! The W part of the trek was busy, but once we got off into the back part of the park, we knew we were in for a treat.
The park was astoundingly beautiful - glaciers, the different flora and fauna, the geological varieties, the different lakes and rivers - provided us with different sceneries each day. Our guide, who used to work as a ranger in the park, was so knowledgeable and was very keen to share his passion. He was attentive, professional and very easy going, and that made the whole trekking experience more enjoyable. His interaction with the local staff also provided us some 'privileges', such as having to stay in a room all to ourselves.
One point worth mentioning is our stay at the Refugio Dickson. It's location was so perfect, and the accommodation very clean, with lovely hot showers. And the surprise is the meals cooked by Carlos, a delicious 4 course dinner and for breakfast, we were treated to some homemade bread! Wonderful!
We would recommend doing the Circuit without a doubt, more so during a less high peak season. And having a fantastic guide would make the whole experience more enriching.
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