Puerto Natales - spot to prepare for a hike in Patagonia
If you want to take any hike in the Chilean Patagonia you will probably need to go to Puerto Natales first. This town is an initial point for many trips around Patagonia in Chile. For us it was for sure either because we decided to visit Torres del Paine.
Accommodation in Puerto Natales
As a place for relaxation and preparation on our trek we chose Hostel San Agustin. It was a perfect choice! It is a beautiful cozy hostel, clean and well maintained by two sisters. The breakfast was ok, they give you towels and heating works at this place. The internet runs normal speed with occasional loss. Hostel is distant only 10 minute walk from the bus terminal. Same distance it is downtown to all the shops. We can also recommend you to stay at Hospedaje Sandra (former Hospedaje Milodon) where we spent 1 night after the hike because our hostel was full. We found this accommodation just thanks to locals and we truly enjoyed our stay there.
What gear to bring on a hike
If you want to follow advices by the locals, go to the Erratic Rock for a free lecture. It starts every day at 3 pm. Nevertheless do not rely on every information they give you, not all of them were actual and true. This is what we got to know in the park later on.
A first thing to do is definitely food shopping. You can of course buy some stuff in the refugios but the prices are multiply to those you get in the supermarket. Super place is Unimarc, you get there everything. For food preparation during camping you need a stove. You do not have to carry a fuel as it is possible to purchase a cartouche in the town. The cheapest one you may find cca 200 m from Unimarc in direction to the town center in Sports store.
The invaluable part of our travel gear were garbage bags. 😉 Our gear stayed always dry even without these plastic bags but many people weren’t so lucky and had to dry things at the camping sites and complained to have everything moist even after several days.
We truly recommend everyone to wear a quality trekking shoes that are water, mud and everything proof. We would like to warn you that only Gore-Tex shoes were not enough according to what we have seen. People who wore only such shoes had them also pretty wet. We wore Hanwag Alaska GTX and they were perfect. We remained dry the entire trek and our feet hurt minimally.
Strong winds can be a big issue in the park we recommend you to bring a high-quality materials tent. You can also rent a tent with other gear at the refugios. Not possible at the free campsites! We have no clue about the accurate prices but we think it could be cheaper to buy a tent before going on your hike than renting it every day. And what we heard from other backpackers who rented the travel gear inside the park, the stuff is not cleaned everyday therefore you will probably smell someone’s else sweat from the other night. This is why we took everything ours. J We can recommend our tent MSR Carbon Reflex 3, sleeping bags Montane Direct Ascent and air-mattresses Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xtherm.
And what to wear? Well definitely layer your clothes. We truly love wearing the merino wool by Lasting. It warms up or cools down when needed – day and night. It is also good to take a rain coat for your backpack but please fix it so it does not blow away. If you like wearing a poncho it can be a great alternative unless it is not too windy – then it is a real hell to wear a poncho. And once you are ready do not forget to bring your smile and patience. 😉
There is a great restaurant La Picada de Carlitos the hostel lady recommended to us and so do we after dining there twice. The food was delicious, fresh, portions were beyond our expectations. So if you like meat, salads, beer or wine, definitely come here and taste something really good.
But it was already time to move out of Patagonia and head towards the capital Santiago de Chile.
Tento příspěvek je také k dispozici v jazyce: Czech