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Lonely Planet (UK) - - Wild Patagonia -

GET­TING THERE

Your flight to the near­est air­port of Punta Are­nas will likely route via the Chilean cap­i­tal San­ti­ago; BA flies di­rect to the lat­ter from Lon­don (ba.com); LATAM and Ibe­ria also fly there from Madrid. A one-stop re­turn route from the UK starts at around £1,000, with travel time of 24 hours each way.

GET­TING AROUND

From Punta Are­nas, it’s a drive of nearly three hours to Puerto Natales, the gate­way to Tor­res del Paine. Ho­tels can of­fer pickup for a fee; oth­er­wise hire a car at the air­port for around £250 per week (europ­car.com).

WHO CAN HELP

Lux­ury eco­tourism spe­cial­ists andBeyond can help tai­lor-make your Patag­o­nian trip, and add in des­ti­na­tions be­yond the re­gion if you’d like to ex­tend your visit to Chile. Its Patag­o­nia Un­tamed itin­er­ary in­cludes two nights’ B&B in San­ti­ago and five nights’ full-board at Ex­plora Patag­o­nia in Tor­res del Paine Na­tional Park, with all ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­pert guides and an op­tional ex­cur­sion to Vic­tor’s ranch in­cluded. In­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic flights and park fees are also cov­ered (from £6,400; andbeyond.com).

STOPOVER

Flight times may mean you need to spend a night near the air­port in San­ti­ago be­fore mak­ing your way on to Punta Are­nas or back to the UK. You can’t get much closer to the ter­mi­nal than the Hol­i­day Inn San­ti­ago Air­port, with spa­cious, quiet and com­fort­able rooms lo­cated a short stroll from check-in. A very de­cent break­fast spread is avail­able from 5am (from £115; hol­i­dayinn.com).

FUR­THER INFO

Pick up a copy of our Chile & Easter Is­land guide (£16.99) for info on the Chilean side of Patag­o­nia. Florence Dixie’s Across Patag­o­nia is avail­able on Ama­zon for around £8 (ama­zon.co.uk).

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