Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
Ideal Gateway to Torres del Paine
About Puerto Natales
This is the closest village to Torres del Paine. From here it is only a 1hr drive to Torres del Paine entering from the west or a 2hr drive entering from the east. As far as settlements go Puerto Natales is a small, almost quaint village sitting beside the “Canal Senoret” and facing the Sound (or Fiord) of Last Hope (“Seno de Ultima Esperanza”).
The village is located 250km north of Punta Arenas, and 120km south of the Laguna Amarga entrance to Torres del Paine National Park (by road). However, it is only 70km by road from TDP if entering from the west, passing by the entrance to the Milodon cave. This route leads to the Serrano entrance of Torres del Paine.
Therefore, you can stay at Puerto Natales, usually for less cost than staying within Torres del Paine, but also enjoy everything the Park has to offer.
What We Offer
Many of our itineraries include a night or more in Puerto Natales.
This is an ideal place to break the road trip between Punta Arenas and Torres del Paine (TDP). At the same time you can relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the natural fiord (see below) beside which is the village. There are also a couple of high-end, “World Class” hotels that merit a few nights stay to enjoy what they have.
Another option we offer is to create an itinerary based in Puerto Natales, and venture out on a daily basis to Torres del Paine. For example, you can either to do the W trek or to see the sights. Therefore, staying in Natales will enable you to have a single, comfortable base from which to explore the area and return back to at the end of each day.
Night in Puerto Natales
We suggest a night in Natales upon arrival and the next day either a fast-speed zodiac into Torres del Paine, a road transfer into TDP, or just a day to rest. For example a typical itinerary would be 1 night Natales, 4 nights TDP, 1 night Natales or over to El Calafate, however, if you have more time more nights would be even better.
If you would like us to arrange a custom-itinerary for you, please send us an enquiry…
Arrivals & Transfers
Arriving to Puerto Natales
For most of the year all arrivals to Puerto Natales are from Punta Arenas or El Calafate, over the border in Argentina.
The flight to Punta Arenas from Santiago is usually 4hrs, but longer if the flight stops off at Puerto Montt. From Punta Arenas the drive time to Puerto Natales is 3hrs.
From El Calafate the drive time, with border-crossing paperwork either side included, is around 6hrs.
However, in the high season months of January and February LATAM has been running flights from Santiago to Puerto Natales direct on some days of the week. This obviously cuts out the need to drive from Punta Arenas.
Climate & Weather
Places of Interest Puerto Natales
The Main Places of Interest
The principal place of interest near to Puerto Natales is, of course, Torres del Paine National Park. However over the border at El Calafate is the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Also, very close to Puerto Natales village is the prehistoric Milodon Cave, named so when bone fragments of a prehistoric creature called the Milodon were discovered in the cave. The cave itself is a very large cavern created by wave motion into conglomerate rock, and is worth a visit if you have time. There are also some interesting treks around and over the vast conglomerate rock formation, but best to go with a guide as some areas are potentially dangerous if you are not familiar with the territory.
Puerto Natales village, at its centre, has a plaza, as do all Chilean settlements, but with a decent church too.
If you can walk down to the shore and look to your right you will get a magnificent view of the fiord (or sound) and glaciated mountains at the end.
Ideal Stop-Over Place Before Torres del Paine
Ideal Stop Over Before or After Torres del Paine
Puerto Natales is an ideal stop-over place on the way to Torres del Paine. However, it is also an excellent base from which to enter Torres del Paine on day trips. It is also a place from which to travel to El Calafate or Punta Arenas. Accommodation in Puerto Natales at the high end is at an extremely good level.
One of the benefits to staying based in Puerto Natales is that there are the attractions of evening life such as restaurants and bars.
Drive From Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas
Driving from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales
A good, paved road connects Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas and takes about 3hrs to drive. The road to Torres del Paine is paved as far as the border village Cerro Castillo, which takes about 50min to drive to and then a further 1hr 10min to drive the partly-paved road to Laguna Amarga in Torres del Paine.
However, there is also another route from Puerto Natales to the Villa Serrano end of Torres del Paine is unpaved and takes just over one hour to drive and leads to the western entrance into Torres del Paine and the central CONAF Administration centre. Moreover, this route also passes by the interesting and impressive “Milodon Cave” – a large, high ceiling cave dating back to prehistoric times.
Torres del Paine Zone Map
Map of the Area Encompasing Torres del Paine National Park and Immediate Vecinity
Today & 5 Day Forecast (C°)
Torres del Paine National Park
Send Us Your Enquiry
Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!). How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)
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Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.