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Puerto Natales, Chile is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Anyone who plans to hike the W Circuit or O Circuit in Torres del Paine will spend at least one night in Puerto Natales before and/or after their hike. While there are many fun day trips you can take from Puerto Natales, this guide focuses solely on where to stay, eat, and drink in Puerto Natales, Chile since that’s all most people will have time for while they are there.
Getting from Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport to Puerto Natales Town
If you fly into Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport (PNT), you’ll need to take a taxi to your hotel in Puerto Natales town. Opposite baggage claim, you’ll find a taxi stand where you can purchase a taxi ride for 8,000 pesos (~$10 USD) for up to four people. The ride takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on which part of Puerto Natales you’re staying in.
If you take the bus into Puerto Natales, you’ll likely be able to walk to your hotel. If you are carrying a lot of gear and don’t feel like walking, you’ll be able to get a taxi for 1,500-2,000 pesos (~$2.00-2.50 USD) to just about anywhere in Puerto Natales town (it’s a very small town).
Where to stay in Puerto Natales, Chile
Kau Lodge | Ave Pedro Montt 161
When I hiked Torres del Paine with a group of 10 people in January 2020, we stayed at Kau Lodge for one night before and after our hike. Kau Lodge is a 9-room rustic-chic lodge with the coziest rooms looking out onto the water. The rooms are well-equipped with towels, toiletries, water bottles, and even a welcome snack. The tap water in Puerto Natales is safe to drink, so you can refill your water bottle in the bathroom sink.
Downstairs at Kau Lodge, there is a cafe/bar area with long tables and couches. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink (or a pisco sour during “Happy Sour”), snack, or simply sit with your laptop or a good book. On the other side of the check in table is a shop, where you can pick up any last minute clothing items you might have forgotten to bring for your trek.
Kau Lodge provides breakfast for its guests every morning from 7am to 10am. On the first day of our trek, we had to leave the hotel at around 6:20am to catch our bus to Torres del Paine. The staff at Kau Lodge offered to set out breakfast for us at 5:45am – over an hour earlier than their scheduled start time – so that we could have breakfast before leaving for our trek. The staff at Kau Lodge were incredibly kind and accommodating during both nights of our stay.
Where to eat and drink in Puerto Natales, Chile
Lenga | Carols Bories 221
Chile isn’t exactly known for its food, but you would never know it when dining at Lenga. After surviving on dehydrated meals for a week, we were ready for some “real” food, and Lenga was the perfect option. We ordered a slew of drinks, appetizers, main entrees, and dessert, and every single dish we ordered was made to perfection. In addition to the delicious food, the service was professional and timely (by South American standards). This was by far the best meal I had in Chile.
Mesita Grande | Arturo Prat 196
If you’re looking for a quick and casual bite, Mesita Grande is an excellent option. Mesita Grande has a long list of pizzas and pastas, including gluten free options. The restaurant is on the smaller side, so if you show up during peak meal times with a large group, you may need to wait. Remember that mealtimes in South America generally tend to be later than mealtimes in North America, so if you show up to a restaurant before 6pm, it will most likely be empty. If you show up after 8pm, however, there will likely be a wait.
Last Hope Distillery | Esmeralda 882
Last Hope Distillery is the first gin and whisky distillery in Chile. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 5:00pm to 2:00am and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The distillery has a speakeasy feel to it, and free distillery tours are offered daily in English at 5:30pm and in Spanish at 6:30pm. There is also a bar next door called La Destileria that is worth checking out. There, you’ll find delicious gin- and whisky-based cocktails and shared plates featuring local ingredients.
Brew Gallery | Barros Arana 88
Brew Gallery is a craft beer brewpub that has a really cool vibe. You’ll find a good mix of Chilean and international beers for about 4,000 pesos (~$5 USD) per beer. They even had a Founders beer here, which really brought me back to my Michigan roots.
Bonus: Where to buy or rent trekking gear on Sundays
Most shops in Puerto Natales are closed on Sundays, even during peak season. Thus, if you arrive on a Sunday and plan to leave early on Monday for a 5-day trek through Torres del Paine, your options for buying or renting gear will be limited. Below are a few locations for buying and renting gear in Puerto Natales on Sundays:
Carfran Patagonia (a hostel and tour operator in one)
Arturo Prat 367
+56 61 241 3600
Manuel Bulnes 555
Turismo Receptivo Teresa
Arturo Prat 258 Loca C
Want to explore more of Patagonia? Then you might interested in reading these posts:
- Guide to Hiking Mount Fitz Roy in El Chaltén
- Guide to Hiking Cerro Torre in El Chaltén
- Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Torres del Paine W Trek
- Comprehensive Guide to Planning Your Torres del Paine W Trek
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