It’s about 200 miles (320 kilometers) and a 4-hour drive by car between Punta Arenas and Torres del Paine National Park. Go with a driver or rent a car to make this scenic trip—car rentals are available at the airport and in the city center.
Taking the bus from Punta Arenas is a 4-7 hour journey, with a transfer at the halfway point in Puerto Natales. Taking a taxi or private transfer from Puerto Natales will save you about 2 hours.
Before you head to Torres del Paine, take the time to explore the Punta Arenas area and visit the Reserva Nacional Magallanes. This 7-day itinerary has more on how to spend your time in the area.
Duration: 4-5 hours
To start your trip by car, you can hire one at Punta Arenas airport or in the city. From here you’ll take Route 9 and either drive directly to Torres del Paine or make a stop along the way in Puerto Natales, which is a 2-hour drive away. While you’re here get some snacks and drinks for the remaining journey and stop for gas—there are no gas stations in Torres del Paine.
About 20 minutes after leaving Puerto Natales you can make a left and get on the Y-290 route which will take you through a glacial valley. You’ll then get to the Milodón Cave where you can stop and take a tour. Continue further and you’ll arrive at Logo del Toro where you'll find several viewpoints.
You can also drive directly from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine and keep on Route 9 all the way which will lead you to the south park entrance. When you arrive at the south entrance you can either stop here or turn left and you will get to experience some great views most people miss. If you continue driving 30 minutes south, back on the main road, there are boat tours available. More tips on what to do in Torres del Paine can be found in this article.
Make sure to bring different types of clothing, such as a rain jacket and warmer clothes, but also sunscreen, because the weather changes a lot along the way.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 4-5 hours
Hiring a private transfer is easily done at the airport in Punta Arenas or in the center. The driver usually makes several stops along the way and you can agree on this beforehand. The locals have great knowledge of the surroundings and will most likely be eager to tell you about the history and different sights, acting as private tour guides. You might need to translate because a lot of drivers only speak Spanish so bring a dictionary or use your phone to translate.
By Bus / Bus and Taxi
Duration: 4-7 hours
To take the bus from Punta Arenas you can either catch one at the airport or in the city center. There are no direct buses from Punta Arenas so you'll have to take the bus to Puerto Natales and then get on another bus which will take you to Torres del Paine. It takes about three hours from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales and after that, you can either take a bus—another 3.5-hour ride, take a taxi, or a private transfer which will save you 1-2 hours.