Visit Puerto Natales
All roads to Torres del Paine pass through Puerto Natales, and the countless hikers and adventurers that stop off here are served well by numerous hiking and camping shops and a variety of hotels and dining options. Spend a day here preparing for your trek in Torres del Paine, or stop a while on your way back after you've finished your adventures.
Where to stay
Soak in a spa at a remote luxury hotel, gaze upon views of the Last Hope Sound from your boutique hotel bedroom, meet fellow travellers at a lodge that doubles as a community hub, or immerse yourself in gaucho culture on an estancia. Puerto Natales has it all, and we've put together a selection of our favourites to help you to find the accommodation that suits you.
How you get to Puerto Natales largely depends on where you are travelling from. Crossing the border from Argentina is either time-consuming or very expensive, so travelling from Chile is by far the better option. There are no direct flights from Buenos Aires to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales – you would have to take a connecting flight via Santiago.
Flights from Santiago operate twice a week during the peak season (December - February), offering easier access to Torres del Paine during the summer months. You'll save about three hours on the road, but it's important to be aware that the flights are somewhat unreliable.
From Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas has more regular flights than Puerto Natales, so is often a better bet to fly into. From the airport you can then take the bus to Puerto Natales, a journey of approximately 3 hours which departs regularly and costs around USD $7.
From the airport we recommend Buses Pacheco and from the town centre Bus-Sur or Buses Fernandez. We suggest you ask your tour operator to book the bus in advance for you, we'd be happy to help.
From El Calafate
From El Calafate you can catch a bus that will take you over the Chilean border, the bus takes around 6/7 hours (depending on how long it takes to cross the border) and costs approximately USD $55. You could also take a private transfer. Some of our luxury lodges in El Calafate include a transfer to Puerto Natales.
From Puerto Montt
Navimag operate a ferry service between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales. It is a 4 day journey for which you can book a private or shared cabin. Ticket prices start from USD $450 and include all meals.
Things to do
The hiking, fishing, horse riding, condor spotting and kayaking opportunities in this area are outstanding. Experience the full choice of activities with daily excursions from one of Puerto Natales's luxury all-inclusive spa hotels.
In 1896, remains of a giant ground sloth were found in a cave just outside Puerto Natales. The Milodon Cave is now a popular tourist attraction, and you can explore some of the 30 metre high, 200 metre deep cave on a day trip from the town.
Explore some of the off-the-beaten-track wilderness with a boat trip to Peninsula Antonio Varas, where plenty of trails, forests, beaches and glaciers offer spectacular hiking and wildlife watching opportunities.
Experience traditional gaucho culture by spending a few days living and riding from a local estancia, where families have lived off the land for generations.
Off-the-beaten-track trips from Puerto Natales
Getting to Torres del Paine
Buses operate from Puerto Natales town centre to Torres del Paine, taking 2.5 hours. Book well in advance as availability can be tight.
If you'd like a like a little more flexibility you can take a private transfer, however these are considerably more expensive. By far the most adventurous option is taking a boat from the Last Hope Sound up the Serrano river, straight into the heart of the national park.
Almost all guided trips and tour itineraries include the journey from Puerto Natales. If you're staying at a hotel or luxury lodge in the national park, it's likely you'll enter the park on one of their shared transfers from Punta Arenas or El Calafate which often stop at Puerto Natales for lunch.
How do I get to Torres del Paine?
Taking a boat into Torres del Paine brings a whole different perspective to the park, cuts out a few hours on a bus, and brings a real sense of adventure to your journey.
Visit Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales
Discover Torres del Paine
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