In this long land of incredible untold beauty, remoteness and diversity, the southern plains and peaks of Patagonia are undoubtedly Chile’s most remarkable of masterpieces. The granite spires of Torres del Paine loom large over the landscape and are the most famous of the region’s attractions, but there are many other motivations for visiting this much heralded hikers’ paradise.
Azure lagoons, emerald forests and ashen faced glaciers form stunning colour filled contrasts around every corner. Guanacos, condors, pumas and penguins are just some of the unique collection of animals that can be spotted by patient photographers. And the plentiful supply of high quality hotels means that visitors can spend their days roaming far and wide, and their evenings eating like kings and relaxing in accommodation full of character and comfort.
- Stand in the shadows of the Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine)
- Cruise in the iceberg filled Grey Lake and view its imposing glacier
- Take on world class hiking routes, revered around the world
- Stop at the cavernous home of a pre-historic beast
Having your own car on this holiday enables you to visit what you want, when you want and for as long as you want. There are many well established hiking routes on offer, meaning that guides, (while mandatory for a small selection of trails and useful for those unsure about exploring unaided), are not essential for those who wish to roam alone.
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Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales
Fly to Punta Arenas, the gateway to Chilean Patagonia’s southern highlights. Pick up your hire car at the airport and drive for approximately 3 hours (246km), to the town of Puerto Natales. On the way, you may wish to take a slight detour to visit Otway sound. Until recently a large colony of Magellanic penguins could be found here. While the number has decreased dramatically of late, it is not yet known why and so a return is still possible. Ask our specialists or a friendly local for an update on numbers if you are interested in stopping by. Penguin sightings, when possible, are seasonal (mid Oct – Mar) and require a hike of approximately 2 kilometres. This evening, check into a hotel in Puerto Natales for an overnight stay.
N.B. Flights into Puerto Natales are available on selected days. Contact us for details.
- Day 2: Torres del Paine, Lake Pehoe and Salto Grande
This morning, travel north for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach the entrance to one of the world’s most spectacular hiking destinations – Torres del Paine National Park. Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Chilean Patagonia, the park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. It’s abundance of towering peaks, shimmering glaciers, plummeting waterfalls and sapphire blue lakes and lagoons, make it the natural centrepiece for keen trekkers. While the varied flora and fauna – which includes guanacos, pumas, condors and hawks – also make it irresistible to wildlife lovers.
Start your visit with a stop at Lake Pehoe, the area which offers the best views over ‘Cuernos del Paine’ – the so called ‘Horns of Paine’. These granite spires (over 2,000 metres high) are often reflected in the lake’s waters and make for some inspiring photography opportunities. Nearby, you can also find the ‘Salto Grande’ (Big Jump) waterfall, which descends 10 metres into the river basin below. There are countless hiking routes to follow here, including one to a viewpoint over Lake Nordenskjold, or you can proceed to your hotel, (home for the next 2 nights), and relax among eye-catching surroundings.
- Day 3: Lago and Glacier Grey
Drive to Lago Grey and join an optional boat trip (not included) across the lake towards the Grey Glacier. This imposing wall of ice, which stretches 20 metres high and 19km across, creeps forward at a slow but steady pace, crumbling and depositing icebergs into the cool waters below. It is a jaw dropping scene and one which will live long in the memory – as long as you don’t partake in too many of the Pisco sours which are served on board.
You can choose to spend the afternoon hiking around the lake, or head to another area of interest in the park.
NB. The boat trips to the glacier are available daily between November and February, but schedules vary outside of these months.
- Day 4: Laguna Azul, Milodon Cave and drive to Puerto Natales
Travel to the northern sector of the park today where you can enjoy scenic landscapes, mountainous relief, steppe vegetation and large quantities of fauna, especially guanacos and rheas. The shores of ‘Laguna Azul’ (Blue Lagoon) are the only places in the park where you get a panoramic view of the entire ‘Torres del Paine’ (Towers of Paine), without having to trek for it. On days with no wind, the characteristic peaks are reflected in the lagoon, giving a picture perfect image. Another peculiarity of this area is that it has a microclimate in which temperatures can reach up to 25°C in summer – much warmer than the surrounding regions.
In the afternoon, exit the park from the southern gateway at Villa Serrano. Continue along the gravel road to the Milodon Cave, where the bones of a giant sloth, (a genus of the ground sloth which measured up to 12 feet tall and is thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago), were found in 1895. Then continue to Puerto Natales and enjoy another overnight in this small but busy city.
- Day 5: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas
Drive back to Punta Arenas where, depending on your flight time, you may wish to take a look at the famous cemetery, monuments and museums, before you drop your car off at the airport and catch your flight to your next destination.
N.B. Flights out of Puerto Natales are available on selected days. Contact us for details.
Please note: This itinerary is a guideline only and can be tailored to meet with your specific interests and requirements. Contact our team of specialists for full details.
Museums throughout Chile are generally closed on Mondays and many tourist establishments may be shut or fully booked during National Holidays. Therefore please inform us of any key elements of your trip that hold particular importance to you, even if they are not being pre-booked, so that we can tailor your itinerary accordingly.
Weskar Patagonian Lodge - Puerto Natales
- Grade: Standard
- Type: Hotel
This 30 room property, located on the Puerto Natales sea…
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa - Torres del Paine
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Hotel
The Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits on a bluff where t…
Hotel Las Torres – Torres del Paine
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Hotel
With a stunning location at the foot of the world famous…
- Type: Unique and Boutique
An eco-friendly tourist resort set in the heart of one o…
In addition to those listed, a large variety of alternative accommodation options are available for this holiday. Please contact us for further details.
Prices & Dates
2018 Prices and Dates
Price from approximately £740 per person, based on twin-share standard accommodation
Prices are per person, based on twin occupancy of a standard room and 4x4 vehicle - please contact us for details of other occupancies, room types and vehicles.
Departs daily, October - April
2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at Weskar Patagonian Lodge (Puerto Natales) • 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at Hotel Las Torres (Torres del Paine National Park) • 5 days 4x4 car hire (CAT F1 - Hyundai Creta or similar) with unlimited mileage - based on morning pick up on day 1 & afternoon drop off on day 5 • Airport pick-up/drop off fees • Semi-comprehensive CDW insurance (for 2 named drivers) • Detailed documentation helping you plan your daily activities
All airfares - we would be happy to assist with booking these • Road tolls • Fuel • National Park Fees • All excursions and entrance fees (bookable and payable locally) • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any accommodation/meals/drinks/land arrangements not mentioned in inclusions • Excess baggage charges • Telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance
We would be pleased to quote for the best available airfares and comprehensive travel insurance to suit your specific holiday requirements.
How to book
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
We will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.
Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668Book this trip
Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.