Resting on the border with Argentina in the windswept plains of Chilean Patagonia, the fishing town of Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. A cinematic landscape of soaring peaks, icy glaciers and turquoise lakes complements wine tastings, craft breweries and all-you-can-eat feasts.
Things to do in Puerto Natales
Go horseback riding across the sweeping mountain range of Sierra Doreta under the guidance of a local gaucho. Encounter beautiful views of the flourishing pampa lowlands and meandering Patagonia Steppe before ending the day around a roaring bonfire with a hot cup of “mate” tea.
Explore the wondrous landscape of Torres del Paine National Park on a trek across Ascencio Valley to the world-famous Paine Towers. The two-hour hike ascends through glaciers, mountains and lenga forests before revealing marvellous views of the three towering granite peaks and shimmering glacial lake below.
Cruise across the Channel of Last Hope to Bernardo O'Higgins National Park and hike to the spectacular Serrano Glacier. Admire the wide frozen river of cascading ice while sipping a glass of pisco sour served with glacial ice. Afterwards, walk to the eastern face of the snow-capped Balmaceda Mountain to witness the turquoise-tinted Balmaceda Glacier.
Interested in the local history? Visit the Municipal Historical Museum and explore five themed rooms, which trace the history of Puerto Natales from the indigenous communities and natural environment through to English explorers, colonisation and industrial development.
Getting around Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales is a three-hour bus from Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport in Punta Arenas. Taxis, buses, car rentals and tours are available to get around. Torres del Paine National Park is 3.5 hours away, while Bernardo O'Higgins National Park is only accessible by boat.