Patagonia with a 1 year old – chile forum – tripadvisor r gas constant


I think it’s a good idea to spend some time in Santiago to rest up and try to get over your jetlag. Many people use Punta Arenas as a base for a boat trip to see the penguins at Isla Magdalena (see the Comapa link below, note the free charge for your child). You can also look at the list of other things to do in Punta Arenas, as listed on Tripadivisor, in the second link below. This can help you to decide upon how many days you would like to spend in Punta Arenas.

When you reserve your rental car in Punta Arenas, be sure to tell them that you will be driving over the border into Argentina. You will need to arrange a cross-border permit in advance to do this and probably pay a fee. Since the roads in TdP are crushed gravel and rocks sometimes fly up when vehicles pass you on the roads, it would be a good idea to pay extra for windshield insurance. Do you bring a car seat for your child when you visit foreign countries?

Unfortunately, many hotels in Torres del Paine are quite expensive; most cost $350 U.S. or more per night in December. It would take you about 3 ¼ hours to drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales. Be sure to fill your gas tank in Puerto Natales since there are no gas stations in TdP or between Puerto Natales and TdP. It will then take you about 2 to 2 ½ hours to drive from Puerto Natales to the Amarga TdP entrance station, where you will need to pay your park entrance fee. I will show you a greater area TdP map to show you where places are located in this area. For hotels in the Serrano village area like Hotel Lago Tyndall or Hotel Rio Serrano, look for the Serrano sector near Guarderia Rio Serrano (the southern Serrano TdP entrance station). It takes you about 1 ½ hours to drive from Puerto Natales to this Serrano TdP entrance station, using the road that passes by the Milodon Caves ( Cueva del Milodon).

Most people stay at Hotel Las Torres so that they can hike the Towers trail from there. It takes about 7-8 hours roundtrip for most people for this hike that leaves from the hotel parking lot. It climbs about 750-800 meters. I don’t recommend just climbing the first 250 meters to Refugio El Chileno since you can only see a glimpse of the Towers when you reach El Chileno. Then, you pass through a forested area. It takes quite a while to see the famous Towers that you have probably seen in brochures or guidebooks. There is a very short interpretive trail that leads from the Hotel Las Torres parking lot called the Sendero Interpretano. It was not well-marked when we were there in November 2013, but you won’t get lost since you are so close to the hotel. It passes through a pretty, small forest (a good place to escape from wind) and has views of the small mountain behind the hotel (not the Towers). You can also walk about 2 hours one-way through pretty Patagonian grassland to Lago Nordernskjold, a nice flat walk without views of the Towers. The lake is very pretty. The hotel also has stables, so you can enjoy the horses. I don’t know their policy for visitors viewing the horses at the stable area. We often saw the horses grazing on the lawns outside the hotel.

One option for seeing the Towers is to drive back to Amarga and then drive to the Cascada Paine waterfall area (look for this in the northeastern part of the TdP map above on the road between the Amarga entrance station and Laguna Azul). You can see the Towers on a day that is not rainy or totally overcast. We also saw large groups of guanacos and some rheas along this road. I can’t remember the exact time for this ride from Hotel Las Torres to the Cascada waterfall, but I would guess about 45-60 minutes.

Hosteria Pehoe is very close to a very pretty walk called the Salto Grande waterfall/ Mirador Cuernos trail. This mostly flat trail (it can be windy, especially at the end of the trail near Lago Nordernskjold) has great views of the beautiful Cuernos peaks. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the Salto Grande waterfall trail. Look for this trail on the TdP map above near the Pudeto catamaran stop.

Many people stay at Hotel Lago Grey in the western part of TdP (about 1 hour from Hosteria Pehoe and about 2 hours from Hotel Las Torres) to go on the Lago Grey boat trip. You can also drive a short distance to another parking lot and walk about 20-30 minutes to the Lago Grey shoreline, which can be pretty windy but offers views of the glacier in the distance. You walk over a swinging bridge and through a small forest before dropping down to the shoreline. I can’t find the regular information about prices and age limits for the Lago Grey boat, so why don’t you contact them at for more information? I think they’re updating their information about the Lago Grey boat trip.

Some people stay in the Serrano sector outside the southern Serrano TdP entrance station to save some money. We regularly saw horses around Hotel Rio Serrano. It takes about 45-60 minutes to drive from Hotel Rio Serrano to Hotel Lago Grey and about the same time to drive from the Serrano area to Hosteria Pehoe and the Salto Grande waterfall walk.

It would take about 4 ½ to 5 hours to drive from the TdP Amarga entrance station to El Calafate. If you are ending your time in the Serrano area, it would be a good idea to return to Puerto Natales to fill your gas tank. There is a gas station between TdP and El Calafate at Esperanza, but this gas station sometimes runs out of gas when there are strikes in Argentina.

You can drive about 1 ½ hours to the Perito Moreno boardwalks from El Calafate for great views of this huge and beautiful glacier. Be sure to bring 600 Argentine pesos per person in cash (the cost last season was 500 pesos, but maybe it will go up this year) for the park entrance fee. Before you get to the viewing platforms, you can take a short detour off the main road and drive to the dock area so that you can get on the Safari Nautico boat trip if you like. I see no age restriction for this short boat trip.

It will take you about 3 to 3 ½ hours for the drive from El Calafate to El Chalten. Since there is no gas along this route, fill your tank in El Calafate. Stop at the interesting La Leona Roadhouse to see photos of the outlaws Billy the Kid and the Sundance Kid and to use the restrooms and get something to drink and eat.

El Chalten is a very small town, about 4 blocks by 5 blocks, so it’s easy to walk around to get things to eat and also to find trailheads. There are some short trails that leave right from town. You can go to the visitor center/ ranger station right at the entrance to town and hike the Aguilas trail and also hike the Laguna Capri trail to see views of Cerro Fitzroy. Here are links to these 2 trails, along with links to other trails in the area.

Since you have a rental car, you might like to stay at Estancia La Quinta, one place that we liked with a driveway entrance right before you enter El Chalten. We enjoyed the birds and horses on the lawns outside our room. They serve breakfast and dinner, but you can also just drive into town and find many good places to eat. Some places to eat are cash only, so it’s a good idea to bring extra Argentine pesos for this. There is also a grocery store. You can also stay at Anita’s Cabins if you would like to cook meals in your cabin. There is a grocery store in town.

When you return from El Calafate to Puerto Natales so that you can drive to the Punta Arenas airport, don’t bring fresh fruits or vegetables or meats since they will not be allowed to cross the border into Chile. I don’t know why the English language version is not working now.