|Subject: Re: Addendum to Patagonia|
I'm sorry. I forgot about your question regarding getting to Torres del Paine.
We took the plane (about 3 1/2 hrs) from Buenos Aires to El Calafate. We then spent 2 days there to view the Perito Moreno Glacier and surroundings and then we went on to Paine by car and driver. We went just before the 'off season' and buses were very few. You can get buses from El Calafate to Paine or you can fly into Punta Arenas and take a bus from there.(This is very much further south.) We didn't want to go south (PA) as we were meeting our tiny group back in El Calafate to go to El Chalten and do the Fitz Roy region. Many people we met did go first to Punta Arenas and then on to Paine in about 5 hrs or so by car. It's an interesting region also, but one cannot do it all and distances are very vast!
El Calafate is a tiny town - with a new airport. It was more convenient for us and we enjoyed our stay there. The Glacier is spectacular there (as they all are!)
If you do go, there is only one ATM in El Calafate and they run out of money. Credit cards were not used very much in the Patagonia region, and American Express checks when cashable carry a large fee - We were told to bring as much money as we felt comfortable with in a money belt and do the trip this way. We did and had no trouble as we are not shoppers and really didn't have time to do that sort of thing. I don't know about Punta Arenas, but I would check before leaving about the money exchange.
I hope this helps. Regards, Susie Newton, MA