Puerto Natales airport



Unbeknownst to many, Puerto Natales, (or the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park), has a tiny little airport with a rather gallant name, ‘Teniente J. Gallardo Airport (PNT)’ which lies some 6 miles from town. From the inside it looks like a wooden hut and its flights are sporadic at best. The airport closes completely during the winter months. Locals told me that the small airport isn’t allowed to expand and introduce regular flights from Santiago as this would spell the end of tourism in Punta Arenas, which has a big airport and is more of a stopover town for travellers whose flights get in too late to make their way to Puerto Natales and they have to stay the night.

it’s pretty difficult to fly to Puerto Natales, but Sky Airline run flights once or twice a week from Santiago in the summer. At the moment, it’s mid Patagonian winter (May-Sep), so they aren’t offering any flights. Also Aerovias does have a small 9-passenger plane which flies from El Calafate in Argentinian Patagonia or from Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. It’s best to check with them to see if they have any chartered flights scheduled as they don’t publish them on their website.

In fact, a more recommendable and comfortable way of getting to Puerto Natales would be to fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas and take a 3-hour bus journey to Puerto Natales. This way you’ll be able to see the scenery, and take in the beautilful Last Hope Sound Fjord as you approach Puerto Natales and you can also rest before gearing up to your W Circuit or Full Circuit hike in the park.

If you’re getting to Torres del Paine from El Calafate don’t worry, the transport system in this region is very good as the tourist industry relies on it. You can take the bus from el Calafate to Puerto Natales with several local bus companies and it takes about 5 hours in total.

For more info please just ask Charlotte: