Puerto Natales has become more gentrified since I was last here 8 years ago. A pleasant tourist town with plenty of hotels, restaurants and places to buy or rent gear. Just remember, the quality of what you rent will not be nearly as good as what you can purchase in the US.
Hotel Indigo – Modern hotel and restaurant located at the edge of town along the water. Service is friendly but they are frequently out of things or things are not ready when promised such as cups and sugar for the self-serve coffee and tea service at reception or having your breakfast to go ready for early check out.
Rooms have a modern vibe decorated in light woods with extra fluffy white towels and comfy beds. The rooms that overlook the sea are smaller. The bathroom is open to the room with a window shade between the beds and shower, but an unfortunately placed mirror gives a full view of the person showering. Not an ideal setup for those wanting a little bathroom privacy. There is however a separate toilet room.
Breakfast buffet has a good selection of cold items – cereal, yogurt, cheese, cold cuts and hot scrambled eggs and bacon. Brewed coffee and hot milk.
For early departures a breakfast to go can be ordered the night before – a large meat sandwich, bag of dried fruit, 2 small muffins and an apple. Enough for breakfast and lunch.
Dinner at Indigo
I tried the lamb gnocchi, a tasty normal sized portion. The vegetarian gnocchi was basically the same as the lamb version without the meat but was priced the same as with the meat.
The small dining room has 2 large communal tables. One is much larger than the other. At 8PM on a Monday there was a short wait 10-15 minutes to be seated. The wait got longer for subsequent arrivals.
The menu has an extensive pizza list. Thin chewy crust with generous toppings. Pies look large but generally serve 1, especially after the trail. Friendly efficient service.
Bus From Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales
The 3 hour drive starts out quite flat with mountains in the distance. The sky looks like it will snow.
Nearing Puerto Natales we head towards mountains and the sky begins to turn blue with amazing color and light.
February 19, 2018
For links to all the posts in this series see the Hiking in Patagonia page.