Puerto Natales is a rambling town of 20,000 residents, founded in 1911 by Scottish and German immigrants who came to export lamb’s meat and wool to Europe. Today, thousands of international travelers come through the town’s tidy streets en route to the one of Patagonia’s biggest attractions: Torres del Paine National Park, only a short 1.5 hour bus ride from Puerto Natales.
Beyond the park though, life feels far away here. A little slower, simpler, and purer. The landscape is a dream for adventure enthusiasts wanting to explore fjords, glaciers, rivers, and mountains to trek, kayak, climb, and gallop. It's an outdoorsy paradise not unlike Alaska that has attracted a cool crowd of expat and former Santiguianos with a great restaurant and hotel scene. Visitors come—and often never leave.