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El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park

What are the best companies to use for a trip/tour from El Calafate to Torres del Paine? From everything I've seen thus far, it looks like you have to go through Puerto Natales to get into the national park - is this your experience? Is there only that one park entrance? We'd love to be able to stay longer at our hotel in El Calafate over a night in Puerto Natales, but not sure which makes most sense for time. Also, what is the timeframe for the ride? I know we'll have to spend a bit of time at customs to get through the border as well.

2 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
3 520 posts
156 reviews
1. Re: El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park

Hello. Are you talking about a day tour of TdP from El Calafate? These are available (see the Southroad link below), but these are very long days and you should check the weather forecast beforehand (check www.mountain-forecast.com, select Paine Grande Chile, then select 1641 feet) to make sure that you won’t be visiting TdP on a rainy, overcast day when you can’t see the beautiful mountains.


It’s best if you can spend at least one night or 2 nights in TdP so that you can see more of the park. If you stay at Hotel Las Torres or Refugio Torre Central near Hotel Las Torres, you can climb the Towers trail that leaves from the hotel parking lot. This trail takes most people about 7-8 hours (some people take closer to 10 hours total, including time to rest and enjoy the beautiful view at the top of the trail) and climbs 750-800 meters. Southroad provides this overnight option.



It takes about 5 ½ hours for the bus trip from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. The time depends upon how long it takes to cross the 2 border checkpoints. Since most buses leave El Calafate at about 08:00 for the trip to Puerto Natales, you would have little time to get something to eat near the Puerto Natales bus station (and get some Chilean pesos for the park entrance fee; I don’t know the closest bank or cambio to find pesos near the bus station) before the afternoon buses leave Puerto Natales for the Amarga TdP entrance station at 14:30. If you take these buses to and from Amarga, you can stay at the hotel or refugio and climb the Towers trail without paying for a guide.

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
3 025 posts
142 reviews
2. Re: El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park

If you plan to pay a visit to Tdp for a full day, there are several travel agencies offereing buses leaving from Calafate. Now, if you wanna stay out in Tdp, you can either lodge in the national park or in Puerto Natales.


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