How to travel Torres del Paine by car (Tips)


If your thing is not walking, travel Torres del Paine By car / car it has become a very interesting option to enjoy this wonderful landscape from another point of view. Moreover, it is the most comfortable way to take the famous photograph of the Cuernos del Paine on the other side of the lake Nordensköjld. I assure you that from the circuit of the W you will not have the same panorama.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

Touring the Torres del Paine by car

Our experience is marked after successfully completing the O and W routes of Torres del Paine. These had pleasantly surprised us but at the end we had a pending issue that we could not settle during the route. We didn't have front photos of the Horns of Paine. We could have taken these if we had stayed one more day, but having to walk on dusty dirt tracks after the kilometers we had on our legs made us decide to return to Puerto Natales and celebrate as God commands the end of the route.

Renting a car in Puerto Natales

The next day and with the batteries already recharged, we started looking at rental cars in Puerto Natales. We were in the middle of April and several agencies had closed. Agencies such as Avis, Europcar and Hertz, the latter closed, are one of the most classic companies we could find. There are also local agencies like High point on Blanco Encalada Street 244, which we visited first and the last vehicle in our face was taken away. With all this and since the price difference was not too excessive we decided to opt for Avis, on Barros Arana 118 street.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

The car, an economical all-terrain vehicle came out a bit expensive, something like XXXXX. We opted for this type of vehicle because of the large number of dirt tracks that we had to cross, but in the long run we saw that it was not necessary. Any vehicle would have served us on this excursion.

Route by car through Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine It is located just over 1h 30 'from Puerto Natales. Our idea was to go directly there, making some stop along the way in search of deñandús or llamas. On the way back instead of returning by the general road, we will take another track very close to the western mountains to reach theMilodon cave, the place where a curious animal lived not as long ago as we imagine.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

We leave at 9 am in the north direction with a day that a priori would start great and that it would end up snowing. We would follow the map exposed above following the markers in order. The red markers They are the real points of interest.

In just 30 minutes we passed the crossing that led to the Milodon cave, watching many sheep on both sides of the road. These became cows, especially when we reached the height of a small lake (marker 2) that was on our left.

Lake on the way to Torres del Paine - How to travel Torres del Paine by car

We decided to stop and observe the small lake where there were cows drinking water. These once detected our presence automatically put feet in dusty putting distance with the lake. At this moment I observed that in a nearby forest there were many birds that did not have the same fear. Since parrots to various types of raptors that were supposedly on the prowl of smaller birds.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

After the first stop we continue the road knowing that we would have the opportunity to see some llama or ñandú along the way. We saw them glancing from the bus to the Amarga lagoon but we had no opportunity to photograph them. With the car it was something else and the first calls that we saw did not escape us (marker 3) .

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

With the runaway something similar happened but these were much more elusive and the moment they saw the car stop they ran. This is where we miss a good zoom.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

A good zoom because once we were a few kilometers from the park they could see in the distance herds of rhea, much quieter and often near llamas.

Entering Sarmiento Lagoon

To enter Torres del Paine can be done by multiple accesses. The best known is that of bitter lagoon since it is the collection point for all the walkers who make the circuits of the W and the O. Another option is to enter through the South, through the Toro Lake or even with a zodiac through the Serrano River. We choose Sarmiento Lagoon, knowing that it is the point where we can get beautiful images of the Cuernos del Paine and the fastest access to the hotel we had booked, thePehoe Lodge.

Access road through Laguna Sarmiento - Torres del Paine by car

Once taught the ticket we pay the day we start the route O (valid for several days - 18,000 pesos) and that supposedly in 2017 it will rise to 26,000 pesos, We take the track completely surrounded by llamas and the occasional ñandú in the distance. The easy track tracks along with another that goes to the Laguna Amarga several kilometers later and whose detour should not be taken. Continuing straight and after 2 kilometers or so we will reach one of the best viewpoints in the area (marker 4) and where many tourist buses stop. The lake viewpoint Nordenskjöld.

Nordenskjöld viewpoint - Torres del Paine by car

Perplexed we were despite the cold and the strong wind. Moreover, we had to stay longer for the time as the clouds continually covered the beautiful mountains.

From here and following the path we will arrive at a detour that marks the Pudeto nursery and that hikers usually take to go by boat to the Paine Grande Lodge. We also take this detour, first to have a warm coffee at the Nursery and then to do a 1-kilometer mini-trek to the Big Jump (marker 5), right at the end of the track.

Salto Grande - Torres del Paine by car

At this point the wind was terrible and opening the car doors was a big problem. Moreover, we had to park it against the wind so that it did not tear them away. With this mishap, we take the road to Big Jump, at first almost flying and around fighting against the forces of nature.

Hotel Pehoe - Torres del Paine by car

Back to the main track we reach the Pehoe Lodge (marker 6) where we leave all our things and take the most characteristic photo of Torres del Paine. A joy! That same night instead of having dinner at the Inn for the high prices, we went down to the Pehoe campsite, where there is a slightly cheaper restaurant and where it did not eat badly. Of course, meat or meat.

Mirador Condor - Torres del Paine by car

The next day we picked up our luggage and headed to Puerto Natales in the South direction (Lago del Toro). First we stop again in the Lake Pehoe campsite to make a small but steep trekking to the Condor viewpoint (marker 6). Place where the view is apotheosic ... and provided that time accompanies you, something that we did not want to account with us. The wind was still terrible and you could barely walk without putting your hands on the ground ...

On the way to Gray Lake - Torres del Paine by car

We get off the Mirador Condor and go to the Lago Gray Hotel, or rather to the Gray lake after leaving the main road. The journey was along an almost endless dirt track and where large pastures (marker 7) emerged with the Cuernos del Paine in the background.

After reaching the end of the track, we leave the car in a small parking lot (marker 8). From here begins a route that takes you to a jetty that makes a cruise between icebergs on Gray Lake and that gives you the opportunity to get off at the Gray Refuge to start the W or O route.

Gray Lake - Torres del Paine by car

As you can see in the photo above, the wind continued without resting and the lake itself had its own waves as if it were a sea. Curious photo in an unattractive environment at that time.

Torres del Paine by car

We take the track again until we find the main one. It was just then that it began to snow slightly and part of the landscape was covered by thick fog. A pity because the place was very interesting, crossing many forests where you wanted to stop and take a spin.

How to travel Torres del Paine by car

We cross many lakes like the gigantic Lake of the Bull, Lake Porteño and finally the Sofia Lagoon (bottom photo) (marker 9) before arriving at the Nuevo Milodon.

Laguna Sofía - Torres del Paine by car

We arrive at Milodon Cave (marker 10) and we were the only tourists. Perhaps it was that we were beginning the offseason or directly due to the intense cold prevailing.

If you want to have the details of the Milodon Cave, click here.

The Milodon Cave, Puerto Natales

After the visit we move to Puerto Natales where we left the car at the rental office. That same day we took a bus to Punta Arenas To continue our journey.

Trekking to Las Torres viewpoint

Optionally if you have a full day to walk, it is more than advisable to go up to the viewpoint of the Towers from Hostería las Torres. At the beginning of the route we can arrive by car from the entrance through Laguna Amarga.

Las Torres viewpoint

You can find more detailed information about this stage in the article Refugio Torres Central at Mirador las Torres.

Practical data

Rent a car in Puerto Natales

There are several rental agencies and our recommendation is to do it well in advance. Demand is very high and there is some shortage of vehicles.

Car rental with travel discount for free

Gas stations

To make a round trip excursion it is not necessary to stop at a Gas Station. It is certainly advisable to bring a full tank since there are no suppliers within the national park.

How much does it cost to enter Torres del Paine?

Some 18,000 pesos and the ticket is valid for several days. It is estimated that the cost will rise in 2017 will rise to 26,000 pesos. You pay at the tickets and credit cards are not allowed.

When to go Torres del Paine?

The best time is between the months of December and the beginning of April. The rest of the months the weather can be unpredictable and find us snow in many points of the road.

Tours in Puerto Natales

In the area of ​​Puerto Natales there are many excursions, both to Torres del Paine and to the glaciers in the area.

See tour price

Where to sleep?

There are many options but they are not always very cheap. To save the ideal is to use one of the campsites in the area such as Lake Pehoe campsite. If you are looking for hotels, these are our recommendations:

  • ThePehoe Lodge: It has the best location in the park and its price is high. It is not a luxury hotel but the views are worth it.
  • Hotel Río Serrano: comfortable hotel and one of the best in the area without a doubt.
  • Lodge Explore Patagonia: next to the Pehoe Lodge, it is perhaps one of the hotels with the best views in the area.

Flights to Chile

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Search engine for cheap flights to Chile

Tours for Torres del Paine

If your option is more relaxed and you do not want to drive, you can enjoy a similar route through a tour.

See one day tour price

Travel insurance

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