Torres de Paine from Cerro Castillo?

Old Nov 23rd, 2023, 11:28 AM
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Torres de Paine from Cerro Castillo?

Hi Fodorites. I'm contemplating a future trip to Patagonia. One of the issues is the long distances between major points of interest. One can fly, of course, but that seems to involve a lot of jumping around between hotels and short stays everywhere. I'll fly in and out of Buenos Aires. From BA I'd fly to Bariloche and spend three nights there. After Bariloche I'm thinking el Calafate / el Chalten / Torres del Paine and I need some help.

-- From Bariloche I could fly or take the bus to el Calafate. The bus would be at least 18 hours. Has anyone done this? Any highway scenery?

-- I'd like to base in el Calafate. Is it worthwhile to take a day trip to el Chalten or is that worth two nights on its own so as to hike a bit under Mt. Fitz Roy? Is Mt. Fitz Roy a must do in light of visiting Torres del Paine?

-- Is Cerro Castillo a good base for three nights, two days, in the Torres del Paine NP? It's very reachable from el Calafate and seems easier than going down to Puerto Natales and then back up to the NP.

-- Staying in Cerro Castillo is the big question. Anyone know what kind of transport there might be inside the park to get to trail heads for day hikes? Even taxis or local car rentals.

-- From Torres del Paine I would fly back to BA. Looks like the best route is to return to el Calafate and go from there. Punta Arenas looks more involved? Is it even possible from Cerro Castillo? Don't plan to go to Punta Arenas or Ushuaia.

We love mountain scenery and day hiking, preferably with a little restaurant along the way for a break. We're experienced mountain hikers but too old for strenuous treks (say over 6 hours). Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Nov 26th, 2023, 01:00 PM
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How long for this trip?
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Old Nov 27th, 2023, 07:19 AM
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About twelve days, excluding time in Buenos Aires.
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Old Nov 28th, 2023, 09:15 PM
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In my limited experience Argentina and Chile don't play well together. For Torres del Paine it's easier to go through SCL and then fly to either Punta Arenas or seasonal flights to Puerto Natales. Crossing the Arg Chile border is usually time consuming.

You can rent cars in Punta Arenas. Not sure about PN.

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Old Nov 30th, 2023, 12:25 AM
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I agree that Argentina and Chile do not play well together. Prepare to have your luggage inspected going across borders. We took the boat-bus crossing the Andes from Bariloche to Puerto Varas. Private car from Puerto Varas to Puerto Monti. Flight to Puerto Arenas then bus to Torres del Paine. Later car transfer to border than transfer to another car to go to El Calafate. All arranged by my travel agent in Buenos Aires. Do not know anything about Cerro Castillo except to note it is nowhere near TDP.
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Old Dec 1st, 2023, 09:22 AM
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If you are locked into Buenos Aires due to flights, I would consider skipping TdP. For travel help in Patagonia including Cerro Castillo, see if swoop-patagonia.com can help. There is a lot of info on their website. My guide in Puerto Montt (Birds Chile) just posted a link for them in FB so they should be reliable.

Swoop Patagonia
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