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5 nights in Puerto Natales

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
460 posts
8 reviews
5 nights in Puerto Natales

Hi All

As part of my around the world trip I will be coming to Puerto Natales in order to see the beautiful landscapes of that region.

I have no interest in doing the multi day trek and therefore I will be taking day tours while I am there. I found this company called todopatagonia and they seem to offer lots of tours so I am thinking of doing

Day 1 Arrive and have a look around Puerto Natales

Day 2 Do the Torres del Paine day trip

Day 3 Do the Perito Moreno day trip

Day 4 Should I do the French Valley Hike or hiking to the base of the tower tour?

Day 5 Go back to Punta Arenas

Also is there a reliable shuttle company which take people from Punta Arenas airport to Puerto Natales? If yes what are their prices like and how many times a day they make the trip?

10 replies to this topic
Munich
Level Contributor
9,932 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

You can't do Perito Moreno as a day trip. It is about 4 hours driving, oneway. And you have to cross the border, which need times.

Why not renting a car, drive to Torres del Peine, stay 2 nights there, drive further to El Calafate, stay 2 nights there and then drive back to Puerto Natales?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
460 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

^^^ I don't have a driving license + I am a solo traveller so unfortunately that is not an option for me.

According to this website there definitely is a day tour to Perito Moreno from Puerto Natales

https:/…

California
Level Contributor
3,324 posts
156 reviews
3. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

Hello. It’s true that you can take a day trip to the lovely Perito Moreno glacier from Puerto Natales, but most of this day trip that can take 16 hours is spent in vans getting to and from El Calafate (about 5 to 5 ½ hours one-way) and then to the glacier boardwalks (about 1 ½ hours from El Calafate). Please note that you will need Argentine pesos in cash for the park entrance fee at the Perito Moreno glacier and also enough Argentine pesos in cash for the boat trip if that is a part of your plan.

apatagonia.com/en/perito-moreno-full-day.html

We never personally went on this trip, but you can visit the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers on a day trip from Puerto Natales and not have to spend so much time in vans.

apatagonia.com/en/navegacion-glaciares-balma…

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

To hike the entire French Valley trail, you need to stay at refugios or campgrounds along the W trek in Torres del Paine. Some hotels in TdP like Hotel Las Torres (about $350-400 U.S. per night on the bed and breakfast rate in the busy tourist season) offer a partial French Valley trip a few times per week. Due to the infrequent catamaran schedule in TdP, you just don’t have time to hike the entire French Valley trail. If you stay at Hotel Las Torres (you can reach the hotel by bus from Puerto Natales, leaving at either 07:00 to 07:30 in the morning or at 14:30 in the afternoon during the busy tourist season; you then take a hotel shuttle to the hotel from the TdP Amarga entrance station), you can hike the Towers trail for free since the trail leaves right from the hotel parking lot. It climbs about 750-800 meters and takes most people about 7-8 hours roundtrip (some people take closer to 10 hours, stopping to rest along the way and admire the scenery). You can look at this nice blog about the Towers trail below. You can also go on the Towers hike from Puerto Natales. Please note that you need to pay a TdP park entrance fee of 21,000 Chilean pesos (usually in cash); this may not be included in the tour prices.

landingstanding.com/journey-to-the-end-of-th…

http://www.apatagonia.com/en/base-torres.html

Hotel Las Torres also offers Full Day TdP tours that include the Lago Grey boat trip. In the past, this trip cost about $200-225 U.S. per person. You would need to contact the hotel for availability during your stay.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

You can also go on a Full Day TdP tour from Puerto Natales. This usually doesn’t include the Lago Grey boat trip.

www.apatagonia.com/en/torres-del-paine.html

If you have time in Punta Arenas and will be there between mid-November and mid to late March, you might like to go to Isla Magdalena to see the penguins:

www.comapa.com/navegacion-a-isla-magdalena

There are buses that leave right from the Punta Arenas airport for the trip to Puerto Natales. You can look at the Bus Sur and Buses Fernandez links below for the schedules and price information.

https://www.bussur.com/?lang=en

http://www.busesfernandez.com/

You’re so lucky that you get to travel around the world!

Edited: 23 June 2018, 18:18
Maroochydore...
Level Contributor
255 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

Good morning.

Well you have done heaps of travel I can see from your file. I however have to agree with the first 2 replies. Heading to the glacier and back in one day in far too much. You can spend the entire day at the glacier waiting for something to happen. Not to mention the trip which is almost all desert and as dull as hell. Not sure if hell would be dull but this is another story..

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
460 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

^^^ Thanks everyone for your helpful advice so far

I do realise that the trip to Perito Moreno is long, but I have done similar trips in the past such as last year when I was in San Pedro de Atacama and did the day trip to the Altiplano near the Bolivian border where we spent a lot of time on vans and it was still worth it

So i guess the French valley is out of the question as a day tour, what about the hiking to the base of the tower since there is a tour for that?

The Lago Grey navigation tour looks very interesting, do you know whether they do pick ups from Puerto Natales for this tour?

and yes I do plan to stay 3 nights in Punta Arenas afterwards once I am done with Puerto Natales and after Punta Arenas I will do 3 nights in Ushuaia (I hope there are direct flights between those two cities!)

My trip is part of my long service leave entitlement since in my country after you work for 10 years in the same company you get 3 months of leave at full pay or 6 months at half pay

Edited: 23 June 2018, 23:26
California
Level Contributor
3,324 posts
156 reviews
6. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

Hello again. How lucky you are to get such a great benefits package. Many people hike the Towers trail in Torres del Paine, even though it’s pretty long and has a steep section at the top. Did you read my description of it above, along with the good and funny blog by landingstanding?

I don’t know of any tour that provides transportation to the Lago Grey boat trip from Puerto Natales. Last season, Hotel Lago Grey listed their one-way transfer price being about $220-250 U.S. for 2 people for the one-way trip, so this is quite expensive. Hotel Lago Grey is not on the TdP park bus route. Maybe your Puerto Natales hotel could offer you an affordable transfer option.

I’m not aware of any direct flights between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia; you usually have to return to Santiago. There are bus trips from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia (about 12 hours one-way). This is not the only bus carrier that offers this route, but you can check availability and prices through the Bus Sur link below.

https://www.bussur.com/

The Full Day TdP tours, including the one offered by Patagonia Adventure above, usually take you to the Lago Grey shoreline so that you can see the icebergs in the distance. This does not include the boat trip.

Since you want to go to the Perito Moreno glacier, your trip could look like this:

Day 1 Arrive at the Punta Arenas airport (or the Puerto Natales airport if LATAM is offering a flight that day from Santiago); either take a bus from the Punta Arenas airport to Puerto Natales (see Bus Sur above) or take a taxi from the Puerto Natales airport to Puerto Natales; sleep in Puerto Natales

Day 2 Go on one of the Full Day TdP tours that include a short walk to the Lago Grey shoreline and views of turquoise Lago Pehoe and the gorgeous Cuernos peaks in the Salto Grande waterfall area; sleep again in Puerto Natales

Day 3 Go on the Towers hike as a day trip from Puerto Natales; sleep again in Puerto Natales

Day 4 Take a morning bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas and go on the afternoon ferry through Comapa to see the penguins at Isla Magdalena

Day 5 Take a bus from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

Day 6 Ushuaia

Day 7 Ushuaia

Day 8 Get a short direct flight from Ushuaia to El Calafate (check both LATAM and Aerolineas Argentinas for availability); maybe visit the Glaciarium or walk around the Laguna Nimez wetlands in the afternoon to see the birds

Day 9 Go on a day trip to the Perito Moreno glacier that includes the Safari Nautico boat trip and great views from the glacier boardwalks

patagoniachic.com/en/…

Day 10 Either fly to Buenos Aires or take a bus trip (about 3 to 3 ½ hours long) to El Chalten if you would like to do some more really nice hiking in the tiny town with trails that lead right from town.

elchalten.com/eng/actividades/lagunacapri.php

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Edited: 24 June 2018, 06:35
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
460 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

^^^ Thanks for the itinerary , you definitely gave me some ideas. I might add El Calafate to my itinerary since I Would have flown from Ushuaia to Buenos Aireas but since there are flights for El Calafate from both Ushuaia and Buenos Aires then its all quite easy.

in relation to the lake grey navigation tour, i found one that departs from Puerto Natales

bagualesgroup.com/English/Full_Day_Torres_de…

And there is a direct flight from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia with AEROVIASDAP but it costs $450 US one way :/ and it only takes one hour - Expensive but still preferable to 12 hours bus ride.

Edited: 24 June 2018, 11:13
California
Level Contributor
3,324 posts
156 reviews
8. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

Hello again, and thanks a lot for finding that Baguales trip that includes transfers from Puerto Natales to the Lago Grey boat trip. Now that you’re interested in including El Calafate in your itinerary, you can arrange an itinerary that doesn’t include that very expensive DAP flight from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia or the long bus trip. You can fly into Santiago and then fly to Punta Arenas, where you can go on the penguin trip and any other day trips in the Punta Arenas area that you like. You would then take a bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales and take day trips to TdP like the Towers hike, the Full Day TdP tour, and the Lago Grey boat trip. You would then take Cootra, Turizmozaahj, or Bus Sur for the trip from Puerto Natales to El Calafate that takes about 5 ½ hours. The following day, you can enjoy a full day at the Perito Moreno glacier. Besides the day trip that I mentioned earlier, you can also go on ice treks on the glacier through Hielo y Aventura (see the link below). You would than fly about 1 hours and 20 minutes to Ushuaia and spend some time there. After that, you can fly from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. Of course, you can also start in Buenos Aires and reverse the itinerary, ending in Santiago.

hieloyaventura.com/HIELO2015/preguntas-frecu…

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
460 posts
8 reviews
9. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

^^^ is there a direct bus from Punta Arenas to El Calafate?

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,473 posts
78 reviews
10. Re: 5 nights in Puerto Natales

The buses go from Puerto Natales.

If El Calafate is where you want to be, it would probably be quicker flying from Buenos Aires.

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