Here is what you need to know to plan your trip to Chile and Patagonia!
The best time to travel to Chile is November-March. October and April are shoulder season. You can also travel May-September, but this is winter.
Most people do this general itinerary:
- Fly into Santiago and spend a few days
- Fly to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales
- Torres del Paine (Patagonia)
- Other Tours in Chile (Mendoza, Atacama, Easter Island)
- Extend the trip to Argentina
1) Fly into SANTIAGO and spend a few days. Things to do:
- City tour of Santiago
- Wine tasting – Day trip (Vina del Mar)
- Coast (Valparaiso) – Day trip
- Tours in Santiago >>
2) Fly to PUNTA ARENAS or PUERTO NATALES, transfer to Torres del Paine
- It is easier to fly into Punta Arenas, but it is an extra 3 drive to Puerto Natales.
- It is worth spending an extra night in Punta Arenas to do a day trip to see the Magellanic Penguins, also a cute town.
3) TORRES DEL PAINE (Patagonia)
- Most people do 5-7 days in the Torres del Paine area. You can do the famous W Trek, or do hikes and other excursions from your lodge.
- All Tours/Treks in Patagonia >>
- Patagonia Lodging Options >>
4) The top ADD-ONS in Chile (all accessed from Santiago):
- Mendoza, Argentina – 4 days for wine tasting and beautiful mountains
- Atacama Desert – 4-5 days, world’s highest desert, amazing scenery
- Easter Island – 4-5 days. Flights can be expensive.
- Lakes District – 4 days, Puerto Varas, Bariloche
Here is a map to give you a visual on where things are (Easter Island is way off to the left in the middle of the ocean):
5) Extend the Trip to ARGENTINA
If you want to do Chile + Argentina, typical you would
- Drive from Torres del Paine to El Calafate/El Chalten (5.5 hours) for a 2-5 nights (Argentina Patagonia)
- Fly up to Buenos Aires for a few days
- Fly home from Buenos Aires or extend your trip in Argentina (Iguazu Falls is most popular)