El Calafate, Argentina
Well, Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, so if you have a chance to go, even if only for s day, please go. This tour started with an on-time pickup and transfer to a 4-wheel drive, off-road Mercedes Benz bus. The bus holds about 30 people, so the tour group is somewhat smaller than most. The seats are slightly smaller than regular buses, but we didn't really notice the difference much. The tour guide, from the outset, was very friendly, informative, and helpful. Bag lunches were provided for the tour. Travel time from El Calafate to the border was about 3 hours. We spent 1 1/2 hours at the border (mostly on the Argentinian side), which was apparently figured into the tour schedule, so I suppose it is normal. Once in the park, I believe we saw about as much as possible in the 3-4 hours we were there. The return leg was better as neither the Chilean nor the Argentinian border checks were crowded.
Of course, spending 6 hours in a bus getting to and returning from the park is a large demerit, but this isn't the tour operator's fault. If you wish to see the park, traveling from El Calafate, in one day, then I highly recommend this tour. Spending several days in the park is even better, and I understand the tour operator can usually accommodate this, too. All in all, we were very glad we went, and we are planning our next trip back to the park to stay for a week or so.
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