The distance between El Calafate in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile is 157 miles (253 km) and can be reached by car in three and a half hours. The trip requires you to cross the Argentinan border into Chile, and you'll reach Torres del Paine by driving on Route 40.
If you're taking the bus, then expect to add some significant travel time as you'll have to go further south in order to transfer buses in Puerto Natales.
Are you an experienced hiker looking for a challenge? Consider this intensive 7-day trek through the most majestic mountains and ice fjords in Torres del Paine. If you'd like a more relaxing tour of the national park, consider this 5-day express trip which includes more moderate hikes and a boat tour through glacier-filled lakes.
By Rental Car
Duration: 6 hours, plus time at the border crossing
You can easily rent a car to get to Torres del Paine, but make sure you tell the rental company that you'll be crossing the border into Chile as they'll need to give you additional paperwork to present to the border agent. You'll start on RN40, and continue on to Route 9 in order to reach Torres del Paine.
When traveling by car, consider crossing the border at Cancha Carrera instead of Rio Turbio as it's usually less crowded.
Duration: 8 hours, plus time at the border crossing
There are buses no direct buses that run from El Calafate to Torres del Paine, so you'll first need to book a ticket to Puerto Natales, which will take about five hours. Once you get to Puerto Natales, you can opt to stay a bit longer and explore or get something to eat before catching your next bus—or you can choose to spend the night and visit the best of what the area has to offer, and continue on your final three-hour ride to Torres del Paine the next day.