El Calafate to Puerto Natales

Company: Cootra Ltda.
Type: Comun con Aire
Price: AR$ 450
Duration: 8 hours

Details: After an amazing day trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier, we decided to keep the outdoor activities going and head to Torres del Paines Nation Park. The gateway town to Torres del Paines is Puerto Natales, an 8 hour bus ride from El Calafate. As we took our seats on the coach we were happy to find there were comfy seats with decent leg room. There was a 'No shoe taking off' policy due to 'trekkers-feet!', so we knew we were heading into the wilderness. The scenery was a little bleak during the journey, but we got chatting to some fellow travellers who were doing a similar route to us and ate lunch on the coach that we'd prepared the night before. Toilets were a bit grim but needed as there were no stops, and made for a less then pleasant experience when using them due to the really bumpy roads!

Once we got to the boarder control we realised how strict Chile is with what is allowed into the country! It took at least 2 hours to get passports stamped and bags scanned for any produce (including nuts, fruit, meat or dairy). There were also several sniffer dogs, which felt pretty intimidating as large fines for 'forgotten about food' had been rumoured. We were relieved when we finally crossed the border and then set off for the final 2 hours to Puerto Natales, Chile. The buses were definitely not as slick as we had had in Brazil, and a little more expensive, but it's the price you pay for the incredible Patagonian scenery.