After visiting the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, it was time to drive back to Chile – but this time we were heading to Puerto Natales, a port city in Chile’s southern Patagonia and also the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park.
We stayed in a fairly residential neighborhood, at Hospedaje Costanera, which is a hostel with private single rooms as well as more dorm-style rooms. We all had our own single rooms per couple, which was really nice! Since we were in a more residential neighborhood, walking to the main part of town took about 20-25 minutes, which wasn’t hard.
Our trip to Torres del Paine started super early in the morning. It was a typical Patagonian day – it rained on and off and the wind was out of this world. The road you’d normally take was closed for repairs, so we ended up taking the long way to Lago Grey.
Lago Grey, or Grey Lake, is a glacially fed lake from the Grey Glacier. We didn’t end up going to the glacier, but we did walk across the dried part of the lake and up to the lookout point. It takes about 2 hour’s total, so make sure you give yourself ample time.
After Lago Grey, we filed back into the van to drive to Salto Grande. Salto Grande is a waterfall on the Paine River, after the Nordenskjöld Lake.
On the road to the waterfall, we ran into some wild guanaco’s!
The lookout point past the waterfall, Mirador Cuernos, offered up some truly beautiful views of the Torres del Paine towers.
We opted to go for the “see more things” option instead of hiking to the base of the Torres del Paine towers. The hike to the base from the parking lot takes (according to them) about 6 hours one way. A part of our larger group opted to hike to the base and they took over 10 hours to get back. It also snowed and hailed during their hike – in the middle of the summer!
During our time there, I definitely felt like we didn’t even scratch the surface of everything that the Torres del Paine National Park had to offer. Perhaps one day, we’ll be back to see more of the park!