One of the two towns used to access Torres del Paine National Park is Puerto Natales. That was our first spend-the-night destination, and we thought it best to stay a couple of days post-travel before beginning our trek. It’s small and pretty touristy, but it was an enjoyable town with some good food and all the supplies you need. There’s a modern grocery, other small food shops, many outdoor gear stores (with fuel for your stove), internet cafes, and even a jumbled little electronics shop that carries inexpensive plug adaptors for those who forgot theirs (oops!).
Puerto Natales is right on the water:
Movie in the park starts late at the end of the world…it was 10PM and they were still waiting for dark!
We had some wonderful food. Please note that the “hamburguesa completa” is muuch larger than it appears!
Stray dogs are very common in South America, but I think Puerto Natales may have won per capita.
Typical street in Puerto Natales:
We arrived in Santiago about 10am, but our flight to southern Chile didn’t leave until 2am. We happily checked our bags at the airport storage and hopped on the city bus to downtown. While there, we took a free walking tour with Spicy Chile (they work for tips) and saw the basic sights of Santiago.
We visited the main square and Cathedral:
We rode a funicular up to the top of San Cristobal to overlook the city:
And our pastor Pepe and his wife Isabel who are from Santiago recommended we visit Santa Lucia Hill for a nice view from the middle of the city.
We weren’t wishing we had a week in Santiago, but it was great to have at least a day.
Call me crazy, but I just felt like it was time for a post…about our trip to Chile and Peru…in December. Ahem, is it June?
Here’s a brief run-down of our time in Chile:
Dec. 18 – Denver to Dallas, leave for Santiago
Dec. 19 – Layover in Santiago
Dec. 20 – Santiago to Punta Arenas (2am-5am!), bus to Puerto Natales. Walk the wrong way for forever with our 3 heavy bags. Finally find our hostel.
Dec. 21 – Hang out in Puerto Natales. Longest day of the year. Sunlight appx 4am – 11pm.
Dec. 22 – 26 – Backpacking in Torres del Paine National Park
Dec. 27 – Back to Puerto Natales, visit Bernardo O’Higgins National Park
Dec. 28 – 29 – Back to Punta Arenas. Visit penguin colony! “Sleep” in airport.
Dec. 30 – Fly to Peru…more later
I’ll do some picture posts about the above events to not make a super long post. Until then, here is one beautiful shot from Torres del Paine.