El Calafate, Torres del Paine, El Chalten
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Dec 18, 2012 3:23 AM Last Post By: chuckles67
Dec 7, 2012 8:59 AM
My wife and I are travelling to Argentina and Chile this January. We'll be flying landing in El Calafate at 1pm and are planning to drive (a rented car) directly to Torres del Paine, stoping at Cueva del Milodon.
We plan to sllep 2 nights in TdP but only one ful day - of which we intend to make the most of. Since we will have a car and are not bothered about hiking, we will try to cover much of the views. Can you please recommend?
On the morning of the 3rd day, we intend to drive to El Calafate through El Chalten and stop there and visit. Again, any recommendations?
The 4th day we want to spend visiting Perito Moreno National Park and fly to BA on the 5th.
Do you think this is feasible? I understand most people will say that you need 4 days in each place but we want to visit and see as much as possible and I have no issues with driving long hours.
Please let me know your thoughts.
Dec 7, 2012 5:06 PM
1one option is that you can drive to east side of TDP near Torres Hostelia(sp?) and then hike to Camp Chileno from there (2 hours) - you can stay there and then the next morning hike upto the towers and then come back Torres Hostelia area. If you don't want to hike at all, not sure how it will work. other option is to go to the west side near catamaran and then do a short 1.5 hour hike to the mirador and then take catamaran to the TDP and stay at Paine Grande lodge and morning you can probably hike upto Refugio grey and come back and take catamaran back.
Dec 7, 2012 5:27 PM
2Without getting into all the details of your trip, a few things come to mind-
Here is a google map of the points of your trip- http://goo.gl/maps/dLsji
1. Have you checked with the car rental place in El Calafate about taking the car across the border into Chile?
2. Do you realize that the Cueva del Milodon area is just a bit north of Puerto Natales? It is not on the way to TDP. To get there you have to drive to PN and then head north for 25 km. Then you will drive back to the Park.
3. drive to El Calafate through El Chalten? Have you looked at a map? To get to El Chalten you would have to drive a couple of hours north and west of El Calafate.
I must admit that it does not sound like a vacation to me. I'd want to leave the car and walk into the mountains. But hey, we're all different. Enjoy your ride.
Dec 9, 2012 5:37 PM
3What are your interests? Ideally you should have a few more days there. That said, my view has always been that given that you're likely coming from afar, you should definitely cover both TDP and Chalten while you're there.
Your plan sounds fine assuming that you are fit to cover all the sites within the short time. The drive from Calafate to TDP is roughly 4-6 hours. From TDP to Chalten will be about 7-9 hours (will have to go through Calafate). The road condition on AR side should be good and relatively empty (flat too). On Chile side, the road is all gravel so it will be a slower ride.
The best view at TDP is from a distance (need a car which you will have) and on the full circuit trail.
You will have probably 18+ hours of daylight when you're there so you drive late into the 'night'. From Chalten and Calafate, recommend driving at after midnight if you have 2 drivers. That way you can visit Perito Moreno early morning when tourists aren't there yet. It is a scenic place that should experience with few disruptions.
Get your Chilean peso at Nacion Banco at EZE (Chilean cash only for TDP entrance fee but stores in TDP do take credit cards and USD). It offers better rate than what you get at the Chilean border. Don't bring fruits or meat into Chile. If possible, shop in Calafate before you head out. You save money and time because the town at the border is very small and it is pricey to buy anything in TDP.
Dec 18, 2012 3:23 AM
4here's the route we just did this week.
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