Torres del Paine / Isla Magdalena
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Dec 7, 2012 5:14 PM Last Post By: saritamay
Dec 7, 2012 7:03 AM
Torres del Paine / Isla MagdalenaI haven't actually gone on this trip yet, but for those who are looking for information, here is what I have found.
A good hostel to stay in (reserve in advance) Puerto Natales is Erratic Rock. They also rent equipment and are very helpful in answering questions. Hostels they recommended for me if they are full are: The Tin House, Shaccina, Kawaskar
Bus sur was responsive via e-mail and sold me tickets online for buses Punta Arenas-Puerto Natales and Puerto Natales-TdP. You can't buy a ticket ahead of time for the Catamaran. Hostels in Puerto Natales will also help you make bus reservations.
If you are interested in going to Isla Magdalena, I found one place that does a morning tour (keep in mind that this tour is dependent on the weather). http://soloexpediciones.com/es/pinguinos-en-isla-magdalena/
This full day boat trip also looked interesting to me: http://www.aonikenk.com/cruises-boats-ferries/ultima-esperanza-sound Another place that people often go is Seno Otway, this trip is less affected by weather than Isla Magdalena, but I've read it's less impressive than going to Magdalena. This place also goes to Isla Magdalena, and it's cheaper, http://www.tabsa.cl/Html/Isla_Magdalena.php , but they only go at 17:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Here are some helpful links for planning your trip:
I have a limited amount of time, and it took me a bit to figure out a 4 day itinerary to do the W. Here are the 2 options that I came with, depending on which direction you want to walk. Keep in mind, this is an itinerary for people who are pretty fit, but this is not a camping itinerary, so your pack could be pretty light if you're willing to buy food and a bed at the refugios (expensive). You need to reserve places to stay in advance for the hostels. You can reserve with these e-mails (there are other places you can stay, but these are the ones I used): Refugio Torre Norte, Refugio Chileno and Refugio los Cuernos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refugio Paine Grande: email@example.com
Day 1: Take 7:30am bus Tdp to Puerto Natales. Hike to Mirador and stay at Refugio Chileno.
Day 2: Hike to Refugio Los Cuernos and stay the night there.
Day 3: (this is the longest and hardest day--I chose to hike this direction on the W so my pack would be lighter on this day) Walk to Britanicos and then stay at Payne Grande.
Day 4: Hike to Lago Grey and back and then take the Catamaran back to Puerto Natales.
The other direction would be:
Day 1: Arrive at Payne Grande via the Catamaran, hike to Lago Grey and back (would be best to go to Payne Grande the night before if possible)
Day 2: This is the long, hard day, walk to Britanicos and stay at Los Cuernos.
Day 3: Stay at Refugio Chileno or Refugio los Torres.
Day 4: Hike to the Mirador and back and take bus back to Puerto Natales.
Dec 7, 2012 9:42 AM
1Having been to both places last December, I can see you have a pretty good handle on things.
In terms of the Penguin boat trips from Punta Arenas, i took the main Austral boat listed on the tabsa link, and it was great and reasonably priced, on a large ferry.. Various agencies in PArenas and Puerto Natales will sell you tickets for this. Bring food and drink, as the stuff on board is expensive and low quality.
The first link for Magdalena is solo, a company that has in the past been criticized here for safety problems when they
used inflatables from a point north of PArenas, but do not know the status now.
Some of the tours (not the one I went on) include a sidetrip to a sister island called Isla marta to see sealions.
Dec 7, 2012 1:07 PM
2Thanks for the feedback. I wish I could do the boat trip to Isla Magdalena that you mentioned with the tabsa link, but it just doesn't work with the day that I'm available to do it. If anyone has feedback on the company called Solo, I would be interested to here it. I don't want to have an unsafe trip. I read reviews on it and I saw that some people had bad things to say about it, but the most recent complaints were regarding cancellation of the trip, which I'm actually glad to hear because that means that they're canceling the trip if the weather is bad. And Solo does stop at Isla Marta if the weather is good.
Dec 7, 2012 2:01 PM
Dec 7, 2012 3:10 PM
4I used paypal. I paid via the internet from my apartment in Santiago de Chile. You can link paypal to either a bank account (I'm from the U.S., not sure if it would work with an account from another country), or a major credit card. I didn't ask if you could pay by doing a deposit, but I'm guessing it would probably be possible since that seems to be a common way to pay down here. They sent me a receipt via e-mail, and told me that I would be able to pick up all of my tickets at the bus terminal in Punta Arenas. It cost $59 USD (which is about 30.000 Chilean Peso) for both round trip fares. I don't know if they are responsive if you e-mail them in English, I communicated with them in Spanish.
Edited by: saritamay
Dec 7, 2012 4:01 PM
5That's the thing I was interested in: whether you had booked from abroad. Most of the people wanting to book a bus in Patagonia are not resident in Chile and find it very difficult. Most emails go unanswered as well, probably a language problem. You can do a bank deposit to reserve a lot of things in the remoter regions of Chile but to do that from abroad is extremely expensive.
Dec 7, 2012 5:12 PM
Dec 7, 2012 5:14 PM
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