The closest airport to the Torres del Paine National Park is in Punta Arenas, almost 210 miles south. The airport is Aeropuerto Internacional Presidente Carlos Ibañez del Campo (PUQ), and it’s located a few miles north of Punta Arenas. Here’s a list all the organized tours you can take from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine that include transportation from Punta Arenas to the National Park. We also give you useful information on how to get from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales and then to Torres del Paine if you are traveling solo, as well as some tips on what to do in Punta Arenas as well as in Puerto Natales if you have free time in one of these cities.
The tours listed above include the transportation from Punta Arenas airport to Puerto Natales, where you will receive an itinerary briefing from one of our guides in the area and you will also have one night of lodging included. The following day you will leave Puerto Natales early after breakfast and arrive at Torres del Paine National Park entrance 2 hours later.
If you want to get to Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas on your own, the easiest way to get from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine is to take two buses. You can take the first one from Punta Arenas airport (PUQ) or the town of Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales.
If you take one of the above tours, all you need to have is a backpack (renting a backpack is possible) with just enough room to carry your clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bag (renting a sleeping bag is also possible). Shared equipment like tents, stoves, pots, and food will be brought and transferred by our staff.
Personal equipment and clothing should be chosen to allow comfort while hiking. Select clothes to keep you dry in the rain, protected from the wind, and cool enough for warmer moments. It is essential that you are prepared to experience all four seasons in one day.
If you are traveling on your own without an organized expedition, then you also need to carry around your camping gear and utensils, including a tent, stoves, pots and food.
Apart from visiting Torres del Paine National Park, there are still some beautiful places to see around Punta Arenas. You could explore Fuerte Bulnes, located just below the Puerto del Hambre and in another smaller national park that has a fascinating museum about the history of Chile and its settlers as well as a great viewpoint over the ocean. You could also take a ferry to Porvenir, from where you can reach the Tierra del Fuego. This is the best place to cross if you plan on continuing your journey on to Ushuaia in Argentina. In addition, there are penguin viewing trips you can take from Punta Arenas, though these will typically require a full day and can be weather dependent. You can also do whale-watching, kayaking or sailing, fly-fishing and even horseriding if you are looking for more alternatives to trekking! If you are keen to head directly to Torres del Paine and see the mountains, then there is no need to stay in Punta Arenas, which is mostly flat and quite urban. In addition, you would need to rent a car to make the most of your time in Punta Arenas, although public buses are available for the more intrepid travelers.
Puerto Natales is where everyone typically stays before they arrive in Torres del Paine National Park. It’s famous for its trekking and camping shops, where you can rent all kinds of gear in preparation for your trip to the park. As a town itself, it has limited beautiful things to see and do, and is best considered a base to enter/exit the park. However if you have a bit of extra time outside of your Torres del Paine trip, there is an excellent hiking trip you can take that leaves from Puerto Natales and takes you in the opposite direction to the traditional National Park trek. This can be up to three days and is a slower, more leisurely circuit of the beautiful surrounding mountains that should be considered for those looking for a less intense and less busy trek in the area that still has impressive sights.
Torres del Paine National Park well worth a multi-day visit to be able to do the W or the O, however, if you are short on time you can still visit at least one of its famous sights, take a look at our guided day hikes here.