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Access

From Chile (Punta Arenas)

Map of access to Torres del Paine National Park from Punta Arenas, Chile

To get to Punta Arenas there are three options:

  • Airway: There are daily flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas. The trip takes about 4 hours and if it's clear you can see from the air the Patagonian fjords, ice fields and the Torres del Paine themselves.
  • Sea: There is a 4 day trip highly recommended, either from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales or vice versa. It takes you through the wonderful maze of canals and the Gulf of Penas. It passes by Puerto Eden, a small village inhabited by fishermen and refuge of the last alacalufes, and also a starting point to the impressive glacier Pio XII.
  • By Land: The journey takes 36 hours between Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, but it is the cheapest option. It lets you know the pampa and its estancias, where the huge distances have shaped the character of this region.

Depending on the amount of time availabe and on your resources it is advisable to combine different means of transport to get in and out of Patagonia, thus to get a fuller view of the region.

By car

From Punta Arenas there are 254 kilometers by paved way to Puerto Natales. From there, there are two options:

  • Old road through Cerro Castillo: Continue to Cerro Castillo, 60 km of paved road. Once in the village, turn left (west) and continue along a gravel road. 44 kms later there is a bifurcation: two roads lead to the park. Take right. After an additional 9 kilometers (113 and 367 from Puerto Natales from Punta Arenas) the CONAF (ranger) post of Laguna Amarga is reached.
  • New road to Villa Serrano: From Puerto Natales, advance 16 kms along the old route (towards Cerro Castillo) to the turnoff to the left that leads to the Milodon Cave. The cave is reached after 7 kilometers of road gravel. Since the cave, there is a stretch of 65 kilometers of gravel until the administrative center of the park, at Villa Serrano. From there, continue along the gorgeous main road of the National Park, which 39 kilometers later reaches the CONAF (ranger) post of Laguna Amarga

Public transport and hitchhiking

Torres desde sector Hosteria Las Torres by Luca.jpg
Torres del Paine and Laguna Azul, by Paola Andrade

All phones with codes 56-61

It may seem unbelievable, but there are no direct buses from Punta Arenas to the park, so you have to stop in Puerto Natales. As the second and final trip to the park from Puerto Natales is at 14:30, from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales you can take the buses that leave at 8:30 and 10 to arrive before 14:30 and get to the park on the same day (it takes about 3 hours between the two cities).

Buses from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park will leave you at Laguna Amarga. From that point, it's about an hour of additional hike along the road to Hosteria Las Torres, the usual start of the trekking. This last stretch can also be done in minibuses that wait for the arrival of the buses from Puerto Natales.

Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

  • Buses Pacheco ($ 4,000, $ 7,000 roundtrip)
    • Frequencies: daily from Punta Arenas: 8:30 - 10 - 14 - 18 - 19:30 hrs.-
    • Heads back at 7.30 - 10 - 13:30 - 16 - 19:30 hrs.-
    • To corroborate schedules: here.
    • Punta Arenas: 900 Avenida Colon T: 242174 and 241162
    • Puerto Natales: Ramirez 224 T: 414800, 415123, 414800
  • Buses Fernández ($ 5,000)
    • Frequencies: daily from Punta Arenas: 8-9 - 13 - 14:30 - 17 - 18:30 - 20
    • To corroborate schedules: here
    • Armando Sanhueza 745
    • T: 221429
  • Bus Sur
    • Frequencies: daily from Punta Arenas: 9 - 15 - 17 to 19 hrs
    • José Menéndez 552
    • T: 614224-614225

Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine National Park From Puerto Natales, between December and February there are two buses a day to the park, at 7 am and 2:30 p.m.. In November, March and April the are only buses that depart at 7am.

  • Bus Sur: Baquedano 668 T: 614220-614221
  • Tourismo JBA Patagonia: Prat 258, 412 824
  • Buses Gomez Prat 234-A. T: 415700 ($ 12,000 round trip in January 2009)
  • Bus transfer: Bulnes 518 T: 412 616
  • Buses María José: Esmeralda 869 T: 410951

Torres del Paine National Park from El Calafate, Argentina

Map of Torres del Paine access from El Calafate

By car

From El Calafate, it is 284 kms to the border in Río Don Guillermo, close to Cerro Castillo. From there, it's another 58 km. of gravel road to the CONAF post at Laguna Amarga, in Torres del Paine National Park.

El Calafate, in turn, is located 215 kms south of El Chalten, the other trekking hot spot of the region.

Public transport and hitchhiking

Tourism Zaahj drives the route El Calafate - Cerro Castillo - Puerto Natales. Get off the bus at Cerro Castillo and wait for the buses described in the previous section coming from Puerto Natales.

Schedules

  • Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday: 8:00
  • Monday - Friday: 16:30

The trip takes 5 hours to Puerto Natales, but it depends on the immigration control in both Argentina and Chile.

Office El Calafate:

  • Bus Terminal, Office 07, El Calafate, Argentina.
  • Phone / Fax: 54-2902-491631.

Torres del Paine National Park opening times

Office hours in Sarmiento and Laguna Amarga: 8.30 to 20.30, all year round.