Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most visited places in Chile—and in South America. It's close to both Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, and you will often travel via one or both of these cities. This 5-day trip will bring you face to face with all the best places and is especially great to consider if you're traveling from Santiago.
Traveling from Santiago to Torres del Paine usually takes seven hours but the journey can last up to 13, depending on if you're flying via Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. The flights to Puerto Natales are limited and therefore this is the least common route.
Flying from Santiago to Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport (PUQ) in Punta Arenas takes three hours. If you're planning on renting a car then you can head straight to from the airport to Torres del Paine on Route 9. Make a stop in Puerto Natales for a few hours and visit the Muelle Brown Pier—the highlight of the city, and then continue towards Torres del Paine. The drive from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine takes six hours without stops and the entire journey from Santiago usually takes 9-10 hours.
If you'll instead be flying to Puerto Natales then this will save you three hours on the road. This trip takes 6-7 hours in total. Taking a bus from both Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales is pretty easy, with several buses running daily, and will leave you right at the entrance of the Torres del Paine National Park.
From Buenos Aires
Traveling from Buenos Aires to Torres del Paine takes 10-11 hours. You can fly from either Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) or from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) and both flights take 3-3.5 hours. You'll be landing in El Calafate and from here you can continue by private transfer or a rented car. Be mindful of the fact that you can't leave the car in Chile so only choose this option if you're planning on returning to Argentina.
From El Calafate, it takes approximately 6-7 hours before you reach Torres del Paine, depending on the traffic at the border. To drive this route, start on RN40 and then get on Route 9. Taking a bus will instead take around eight hours with a bus transfer in Puerto Natales.
Going from Bariloche (San Carlos de Bariloche) in Argentina to Torres del Paine is pretty much the same as traveling from Buenos Aires. The main difference is that this trip is shorter and takes approximately nine hours in total. You'll be flying from the San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC) and land in El Calafate.
The flight takes only two hours or less. To get to the airport you can get on a bus or get a private transfer and it will take you 20-25 minutes. Buses only run a few times per day so it's a bit limited.
If you're starting your journey through Chile in the south then Ushuaia is a common starting point. It is, after all, the most southernmost place in the world and one of the most unique and visited places in South America. The fastest route from Ushuaia to Torres del Paine is by plane, followed by a drive or private transfer.
You'll first fly to El Calafate which only takes 1.5 hours. Getting to the Ushuaia International Airport (USH) only takes a few minutes from the center. Once you arrive in El Calafate you'll have 6-7 hours on the road ahead of you.