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.
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).
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).
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).