Chilean Patagonia is such an extensive area that it is composed of two sub-Regions: The Northern Aysén Region is home to the impressive Austral Road, an extension of the Pan-American Highway.
However, it is Southern Patagonia; known as, the Magallanes Province that is most famous, largely cause of the Torres del Paine National Park – recently declared the 8th Natural World Wonder - to which visitors flock each year, to encounter a real far south experience at Southern Patagonia. These enchanting and wild areas, generously endowed with native forests, millennia-old glaciers, and outstanding adventures, await visitors all year round.
Recommended Minimum Stay:
4 Days / 3 Nights
Best time to travel:
All year round, although best climate between Mid-September and Mid-May
Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales:
150 miles/247 km (3 hours by car).
Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine NP:
70 miles/112 km (2 hours by car).
45°34’00 S - 72°04'00 O
46°51'00 S - 72°41'00 O
Torres del Paine National Park:
50°59'56'' S - 73°05'43'' O
51°44’00 S - 72°31'00 O
53°09’00 S - 70°55'00 O
How to get to:
Aysén Region - Balmaceda:
2 ½ hour flight from Santiago
Magallanes Region - Punta Arenas:
3 ½ hour flight from Santiago
Travel light, but pack sturdy, outdoor hiking boots. Take comfortable, layered clothing such as fleeces, t-shirts, swimming gear, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Include an outdoor warm top for cold nights as well as a warm hat and gloves (during winter and for higher altitudes). Lip balm, sun-screen and sun glasses.
Top Places to See:
Carretera Austral - Parque Pumalín - Parque Nacional Queulat (Puyuhuapi) Chaitén - Parque Aiken del Sur (Puerto Chacabuco) - Laguna San Rafael National Park - General Carrera Lake (Puerto Río Tranquilo) - Baker River (Puerto Bertrand) - Caleta Tortel among many others.
Isla Magdalena - Monumento Natural Milodón Cave (near Puerto Natales) - Torres del Paine National Park - Museo Salesiano de Maggiorino Borgatello (Punta Arenas) - Museo Naval y Marítimo (Punta Arenas) - Municipal Cemetery (Punta Arenas) - Plaza Muñoz Gamero (Punta Arenas) - Palacio Sara Braun (Punta Arenas) - Fuerte Bulnes (near Punta Arenas) among many others.
|Dec./ Jan./ Feb.||Mar./ Apr./ May||Jun./ Jul./ Aug.||Sep./ Oct./ Nov.|
|Night||2°C (35°F)||5°C (41°F)||2°C (36°F)||5°C (40°F)|
|Day||24°C (75°F)||22°C (72°F)||15°C (60°F)||21°C (70°F)|
HALF DAY EXCURSION PUNTA ARENAS CITY TOURDeparture from Punta Arenas where our first stop will be the Main Square (Plaza Muñoz Gamero) where we will meet a Memorial to Hernando de Magallanes. The legend said that the person whom kisses the foot of the native will return to the city. Next, we continue to the De la Cruz Hill, from where a magnificent panoramic view of the colorful roof tops, the Strait of Magellan and, in the background, the large Tierra del Fuego. We will also visit the Free Zone of Punta Arena and finally will visit the Salesian Museum “Maggiorino Borgatello”, where an ethnological and natural history exhibition is exhibited, along with handicrafts of the Yaganes, Onas and Selknam Indians.
HALF DAY EXCURSION SAILING TO THE LAKE GREY GLACIER (GREY AREA)We depart on a sailing from Hotel Lago Grey to appreciate the glacier of the same name, a natural wonder of imposing dimensions that forms part of the southern extreme of the Continental Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur). On this journey of three hours duration, we will Board the “Grey II” vessel which will allow us to enjoy the unique landscape with floating icebergs, towering mountains and lush vegetation. Among the numerous floating icebergs, the boat will sail right in front of the Grey Glacier, which is divided by a central island, a place where disembarkation is allowed and from where it is possible to appreciate the full extent of the countless cracks and uprisings that constitute the glacier and which sight is lost in the distance. After our cruise, it is time to return to Hotel Lago Grey.
FULL DAY EXCURSION TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARKDeparture from Puerto Natales, towards the Natural Monument Milodon Cave. The largest of these caves houses the replica of the extinct Milodon, a giant herbivore that has probably been extinguished in the late Pleistocene era. Then, we will visit the National Park Torres del Paine, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural places in the world, and recently chosen as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Thus, through our tour we will appreciate some of its main attractions, such as Amarga Lagoon, overlooking the Horns of Paine, Salto Grande and Grey Lake. At noon we will enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the park. Then we will continue our journey, to finally return to Puerto Natales.
FULL DAY EXCURSION MARBLE’S CAVERNSDeparture from Coyhaique, heading to Puerto Tranquilo, located at south of the Austral Road. During our trip, we will observe endemic forests of Chile and cross a valley covered with ashes, due to the last eruption of the Hudson volcano. We will arrive to Puerto Tranquilo, where we will embark to sail on General Carrera Lake, and visit the Nature Sanctuary 'Marble Chapels'. This beautiful place was formed due to erosion caused by the lake in the limestone rocks, creating these amazing caverns. Then, we will head back for lunch to Puerto Tranquilo. Afterwards we will travel to the town of Cerro Castillo. Here, we will appreciate 6,000 year-old rock paintings made by Tehuelches, original people of the region. Finally, we will return to our hotel in Coyhaique or transfer to Puerto Guadal.
HALF DAY EXCURSION KAYAKING IN GREY LAKEDepart from Torres del Paine towards to the Serrano River Park entrance. From Estancia Vista Paine, in the small village of Serrano, we will meet our guides who will provide us with the all necessary equipment and clothing for our kayak excursion. Once we are all kitted out we will have a safety briefing which will last approximately 20 minutes, before we are transferred to the National Park, specifically to the Grey Lake where we will start the excursion. We will have three hours to enjoy the magic of paddling around the icebergs that have broken away from the glacier and we will be in awe at the unique views of the Paine Mountains and their impressive granite walls. After rest, we will continue paddling down the Grey River, enjoying the unique views of the Paine Mountains in their full splendor. The experience will finish where the Grey River meets with the Serrano River, very close to our base. Return to Torres del Paine
FULL DAY EXCURSION HIKING BASE TORRES DEL PAINEDepart towards the National Park Torres del Paine, at the entrance of Laguna Amarga. From Hotel Las Torres, we will start with a moderate physical demand excursion through the Ascencio Valley and towards the imposing Torres del Paine. After crossing through dense forests, we will finally get to an interior lagoon, over which waters we can appreciate the reflection of the huge granite needles of Torres del Paine. After enjoying this beautiful natural landscape, we will return to Puerto Natales.
FULL DAY EXCURSION GREY GLACIER & MOUNT FERRIER HIKINGDepart from Puerto Natales towards the Torres del Paine National Park, with a stop at the Salto Grande waterfall. We will cross Lake Pehoe by catamaran. Next, we start our hike towards the Grey Glacier. The total hike lasts between 3 to 4 hours (12 km / 8 miles) and is one of the most beautiful glaciers of the Southern Patagonian ice field. We will visit the glacier lookout to appreciate the fantastic view. At lunch time we will navigate for two hours in the Grey II boat, in this magic lake surrounded by icebergs. In the afternoon we will hike up Mount Ferrier which is one of the most amazing lookout points in Torres del Paine. The total hike takes 3 hours round-trip. Return to Puerto Natales.
FULL DAY EXCURSION HIKING TO THE FRENCH VALLEYDepart from Puerto Natales towards the Torres del Paine National Park, with a stop at the Salto Grande waterfall. We will cross Lake Pehoe by catamaran. Next, we start our hike to the French Valley. In the middle of a wooded landscape and overlooking the spectacular Glaciers, we will access the Italian Camp, from which we will continue the excursion for some additional kilometers. On the return journey we will notice the extraordinary turquoise color of Lake Pehoe (hidden lake in the native Tehuelche Indian language). The total hike lasts between 6 to 8 hours depending on how far into the valley we will hike covering a total distance of 24 km (15 miles). We return the same way by crossing Lake Pehoe by catamaran. Return to Puerto Natales.