A short self-drive itinerary of Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, southern Chile. Book hotels and rental car as a package and take off to discover Torres del Paine National Park on your own. This itinerary can be extended or customized to your wishes.
Pick up your car at the airport or downtown rental office. Punta Arenas is the largest and most important city of Chilean Patagonia. It is located on the western side of the Strait of Magellan and its inhabitants come from a mix of cultural backgrounds, English sheep ranchers as well as Portuguese sailors settled here. Overnight in Punta Arenas.
It will be a rather long drive to Torres del Paine National Park, with many interesting stops on the way. You will be able to visit the Penguin Colony on the Otway Sound, for example. The main road to Puerto Natales is paved and in good condition, sheep farms are scattered along the way. Torres del Paine National Park will greet you from afar with its gigantic granite towers. Overnight in Torres del Paine National Park. (B)
The National Park Torres del Paine is one of the most impressive parks in Chile because of its unique wildlife and dramatic scenery. The park is best known for its steep granite towers (torres), the unique horns (cuernos) and the Big Paine Mountain. The massif is crowned by glaciers and surrounded by cascading rivers and beautiful emerald lakes. The park was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1978. There are many hiking trails to choose from to explore this gorgeous park. Overnight in Torres del Paine National Park. (B)
Today you will be able to spend the morning and early afternoon in the National Park and explore the places you have not seen yet. Drive back to Puerto Natales in the afternoon; do not forget to visit the Milodón Cave, where scientists discovered the remains of a gigantic sloth. Pto. Natales is a pleasant small town of no more than 16.000 inhabitants; you will not need a lot of time to visit downtown. Overnight in Puerto Natales. (B)
From Puerto Natales it will take 3 hours to return to Punta Arenas. As mentioned before, you can take advantage of the time and visit sites along the way. Drop off your car at the airport or downtown rental office. (B)