I would like to finally make a trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile for next year.
However, being a back packer, I am looking to do once of the circuit with a friend on our own. (Hopefully is cheaper than the US1,700.00+ average rates for tours)
I need some info that hopefully someone here can guide me in the right direction.
Currently, I am researching on the transportation from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, and to the National Park itself.
Is there any public transportation available? What is the average cost? What would you recommend?
Just these for now
There is public transportation available. From Punta Arenas to Pto. Natales is about 3 hours. Can't remember prices - someone will be along shortly to answer that.
You can grab a public bus to the park from Pto. Natales. Not sure on the cost, but it's pretty cheap.
I think it will be around usd85 from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales (3hours) and usd40 more from there to the park (almost 4 hours).
These are from a tour operator, may be you can find local transport for less.
You can DEFINATELY find cheaper local transportation.
I went to the Torres and Los Glaciares about 2 years ago. I was alone, knew only a little spanish, and didn't make a single reservation in a hostel or arrange transportation before I got there. I had little to know trouble arranging any of it. Public buses are frequent, punctual, and inexpensive (cant remember exactly how much from P.A. to P.N. but way less than what I saw quoted earlier). Most hostel owners can point you to a bus station, they know the departure times, and are extremely helpful. Some will even add ticket price it in your stay price and make all the arrangements at no extra cost. If your not planning on spending more than a day in any town before moving on this might be a problem. Many buses arrive later in the afternoons and depart early in the morn so it requires a little planning. Busy season leads to full buses into the park so get tickets quick. Puerto Natales was more friendly and safe I might add than my home town. Spend a little time in P.N. and eat out a little. They have very nice restaurants and friendly service. A little pisco and some fresh salmon never killed is refreshing after bakcpacking around. Drop me an email and I can give you some recommendations on things I did.
I ve been in Patagonia 2 years ago and 4 years ago, I came there twice, I was travelling as a Backpackers visiting and trekking the most important places, so it is depend what you are interested on doing, in my case, I want to travel doing some trekking in patagonia, it means all of my trip I was sleeping in tents and hiking, so I didn´t spend so much money considering Patagonia is really expensive, nevertheless I considere I went to the most important part such as , Torres del Paine, i did this trek on 9 days , doing the whole trek, I did Fitz Roy, Parque Naccionales de los Glaciales, it is really amazing, and I was trekking to other places
In case you need more specific details o the places just let me know I will be glad to help you
http://www.bus-sur.cl/ this is the bus line Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales (I think they also reach the park)
I ve been to Torres del paine just 3 weeks ago!
First to the costs: Transport from Punta Arenas to the national Park (via Puerto natalis) and back is about 50 Dollars! You can easily get local busses from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natalis, which makes it cheaper (not a lot cause the expensive part is from Puerto Natalis to the park and back)!
The entrance fee is 15 000 chilienien Pesos!
If u want to do the great circuit, get a good map or a guide, cause some parts are not always clearly marked! Also find out in advance if all the parts are open for tourists cause there are some parts that are closed some parts of the year!
I went camping, cause staying in the refugios means spending a lot of money! Take enough food, also lots that contains sugar, because buying food or snacks in the park is soooo expensive!
Dont wory bout water, u can drink all the water in the park, just put in some minerals and some alt, acuse the parkwater is very pure and doenst contain lots of the minerals u need!
Hope this helps u!
Thank you very much all.
I have been getting great replies and information so far!