Getting to Southern Patagonia and travelling around

Posted by Andean Trails, 1 September 2017.
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Southern Patagonia lies at the bottom end of the South American continent, stradling Chile and Argentina. Patagonia is remarkable and popular for its incredible scenery, granite peaks, glaciers and abundant wildlife.

Due to its far flung location, the distances involved and the sparse population getting there and travelling around can take some planning.

We hope to make this a little easier with this blog.

If we divide Southern Patagonia into 3 parts: southern Argentina, southern Chile and Tierra del Fuego.

 

How do I get to and around southern CHILE (for Torres del Paine National Park)?

 

1. Airports and Flights for Chile

The main airport is just east of Punta Arenas. It has several daily flights from Santiago (non stop 3 1/2 hour flight or with a stop in Puerto Montt 4 1/2 hours) and from Puerto Montt (just over 2 hours). Airlines flying the route are LATAM and Sky Airline.

There may be a once/twice weekly flight between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia operated by DAP Antarctica.

 

Puerto Natales has an airfield but does not have the capacity to refuel aircraft. Currently LATAM is offering a high season twice weekly flight that flies Santiago to Puerto Natales and then to Punta Arenas.

 

2. Buses to southern Chile

There is a frequent daytime bus service between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales for a journey that takes approximately 3 1/2 hours.

 

There is a daily service between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia (may require bus change in Rio Gallegos) and takes approximately 10 hours.

 

Puerto Natales and Calafate are served by a daily service leaving Puerto Natales approximately 0800 and arriving El Calafate 1500 - approx 6 hours as there may be 1 hour time difference between the cities. The service operates reliably from October to May but outside that period may be cancelled due to weather conditions or low passenger numbers.

 

If you plan to go by bus from Punta Arenas to El Calafate you will have to consider a change of bus either in Puerto Natales or Rio Gallegos as there are no direct services.

 

From Puerto Natales to the Torres del Paine National Park there is a twice daily service from September to April. Morning bus leaves Puerto Natales approx 0715, arriving Laguna Amarga 0945, Pudeto 1045 and Serrano administration 1145. Afternoon bus leaves Puerto Natales approx 1430, arriving Laguna Amarga 1630, Pudeto 1730 and Serrano administration 1800.

The return bus from the park leaves Serrano 1300 and then Pudeto 1330, Laguna Amarga 1430 getting to Puerto Natales approx 1630. Afternoon bus leaves Serrano 1830 and then Pudeto 1900, Laguna Amarga 1945 getting to Puerto Natales approx 2200.

 

3. Boats in southern Chile

There is a catamaran service crossing Lake Pehoe between Pudeto and Paine Grande.

Pudeto to Paine Grande:  Crossing Lake Pehoe. November departures 0900. 1100, 1800; December to February  0900, 1100, 1400, 1615, 1800;  March 0900, 1100, 1615, 1800 and April 1100, 1800. Sailing is approx 30 minutes.

 

Paine Grande to Pudeto:  Crossing Lake Pehoe. November departures 0935. 1135, 1835; December to February  0935, 1135, 1435, 1700, 1835;  March 0935, 1135, 1700, 1835 and April 1135, 1835.Sailing is approx 30 minutes.

 

 

How do I get to and around southern ARGENTINA (for Los Glaciares National Park)?

 

1. Airports and Flights to Calafate

The main airport is just east of El Calafate. It has several daily flights from Buenos Aires  (non stop 3 1/2 hour flight or with a stop in Ushuaia 6 hours ) and from Ushuaia  (just under 1 1/2 hours). Airlines flying the route are LATAM and Aerolineas Argentinas.

 

2. Buses in southern Argentina

There is a thrice daily bus service between El Calafate and El Chalten in high season ( mid November to mid April leaving 0800, 1300 and 1800. Journey time is 3 1/2 hours. The rest of the year it is twice daily at 0800 and 1800. Also from El Chalten to El Calafate in high season ( mid November to mid April leaving 0800, 1300 and 1800. Journey time is 3 1/2 hours. The rest of the year it is twice daily at 0800 and 1800.

 

There is a daily service between El Calafate and Ushuaia (requires bus change in Rio Gallegos) and takes approximately 18 hours.

 

Calafate and Puerto Natales are served by a daily service leaving Puerto Natales approximately 0800 and arriving El Calafate 1400 - approx 6 hours as there may be 1 hour time difference between the cities. The service operates reliably from October to May but outside that period may be cancelled due to weather conditions or low passenger numbers.

 

 

How do I get to and around TIERRA DEL FUEGO (for Tierra del Fuego National Park)?

 

1. Airports and Flights to Tierra del Fuego

The main airport is in Ushuaia. It has several daily flights from Buenos Aires  (non stop 3 1/2 hour flight), and El Calafate  (just under 1 1/2 hours) and Trelew ( 2 1/4 hours) . Airlines flying the route are LATAM (except Trelew) and Aerolineas Argentinas.

 

There may be a once/twice weekly flight between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas operated by DAP Antarctica.

 

 

2. Buses to Tierra del Fuego

There is a daily service between Ushuaia and El Calafate (requires bus change in Rio Gallegos) and takes approximately 18 hours.

 

There is a daily service between El Calafate and Ushuaia (requires bus change in Rio Gallegos) and takes approximately 18 hours.

 

There is a daily service between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas (may require bus change in Rio Gallegos) and takes approximately 10 hours.


Tags: Advice, Argentina, Chile, Patagonia





           

Catamaran on Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park


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