Puerto Natales, Chile

mountains

In order to get to the Parque Torres del Paine in southern Chile, it’s necessary to go to the town of Puerto Natales first. The park is about 2.5 hours away from town. Hostels can arrange drop off and pick up if you will be spending several days in the park. For those interested in day trips, bus companies can take you for short hikes and photos.

mountains-2

When E. and I decided to walk around town, we had two canine escorts hoping to get a handout.

It was impressive that the dogs could identify us as tourists and walk with us as if we were the owners. (This happened several times with different dogs.) They say that half of the dogs in town are wild and half of the dogs are pets who are let run free. The cream colored dog who accompanied us seemed happy and loved.

Dog Sentinel

The dog was looking over the Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). The dogs have learned how to put their heads in the trash buckets along the sound and tip them to assess the offerings that day.

Arriving in Punta Arenas, we saw wild fields of this beautiful flower in lavender and pink. I can’t seem to remember the name. Does anyone know?

flowers

There are a number of decent restaurants in town. For a taste of American or Brit cuisine, El Living at Arturo Prat 156 is a good restaurant. It’s cafe style with some large sofas, piles of magazines to entertain yourself, and a relaxed vibe. (The noun “el living” is a term for a living room in Spanish.) The owners are expats from England and they fix burritos, walnut veggie burgers, and other comfort food not easily found in Chile. All of the options are vegetarian. They also offer tea and coffee.

el-living

Tourist info can be found at the information center on the water at the corner of Costanera Pedro Montt and Bernardo Phillipi. It’s easy to walk around town and get different quotes on bus fares. Many bus companies can be found on Baquedano street. Tourists often take buses from Puerto Natales to Patagonia sights in Argentina such as Perito Moreno glacier or the city of Ushuaia. However, book ahead on buses to Ushuaia, as they fill fast.

The weather was so cold and blustery that this dog found his preferred space to escape–underneath a vendor’s booth.

dog-hiding

For the most part, the town closes down on Sundays. We also noticed that shops took an early afternoon siesta. If you have the time, you might want to plan for a day in Puerto Natales before your hike and a night to rest when you come back. Grocery stores on Baquedano have a large number of dried pasta mixes, dried fruits, and camping supplies for those who want to prepare for a hike.

We enjoyed Puerto Natales. The people are a little closed because of the constant flow of tourists (which I’m sure can be oppressive), but the town is quaint and beautiful and offers a lot of good eating, crafts, and outdoor activities in the area. The mountains across from the sound are a beautiful backdrop.

8 Comments

Filed under Chile

8 responses to “Puerto Natales, Chile

  1. It just looks so gorgeous! Makes one kinda want to move over there and open a vegetarian restaurant. . . oh, wait, I guess those English expats already did that.😉 Love the dogs!

    We felt pretty lucky to have so many options to eat in a rather remote area. It would be interesting to cook there with limited vegetables.

    The town probably needs a bakery. There are woeful bread options in Chile.

  2. Arriving in Punta Arenas, we saw wild fields of this beautiful flower in lavender and pink. I can’t seem to remember the name. Does anyone know?

    The name of flower is “Chochos”…

    Thank you!🙂

  3. seno ultima esparanza – pretty.

    that dog under the wagon looks like my cody bear. i wondered why he was so tired when i get home from work each day!

    I thought he looked like Cody Bear too–the same rust fur.🙂

  4. Hi ! they’re Lupinos (Lupinus polyphyllus) !

  5. Your photos are great! I especially like the one of the dog looking out over the sound.

    I noticed the name change too. I guess now you’ve officially left Buenos Aires for a new Latin lover.😉

  6. everything seems so colorful. Although, I would be leaving with a lot of dogs.😉

    I hear you! If only the transport weren’t so complicated…

  7. Pingback: Parque Torres Del Paine, Chile « Still Life in South America

  8. Mom

    Lupines, I wish I could grow them!! Send me the photo please!!

    I should have known that you would know!🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s