Patagonia Elopement Photographer

The Adventure of a Lifetime:

Eloping in Torres Del Paine, Patagonia

Alli & Glen are two of my best friends, so when Alli asked me to come on the adventure of a lifetime with them to Patagonia to capture their elopement, I almost fell off my chair in the restaurant we were at. Then of course said YES !

Patagonia and South America has been on Alli's bucket list for a long time, so when it came to planning a wedding, a traditional affair just didn't resonate with her and Glen. Instead, they chose the rugged backdrop of the Patagonian mountains in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile.

Where is Patagonia?

Patagonia is the very southern section of the Andes and is located at the very southern tip of South America, straddling Chile and Argentina. Consisting of many ice-fields and glaciers, Patagonia's landscape is incredibly unique and completely unforgettable.

Travelling to Patagonia

Flights depart from both Melbourne and Sydney airports to Santiago in Chile, some are direct whilst some transit via Auckland, New Zealand. Flight times are typically 12-14 hours.

From Santiago you will then need to fly 3-4 hours to either of Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas. Puerto Natales is the nearest town to Torres del Paine National Park, however, flights are quite infrequent. Punta Arenas is a 4 hour drive south of Torres del Paine, but is a city so flights are much more frequent.

The best way to visit Patagonia is to hire a car from either Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas as you have the freedom to visit any location you desire. However, there are many long distance buses available in both Chile and Argentina which are a relatively cost-effective means of transport (~6-7 hours from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine).

Where to Elope in Patagonia

There are many locations to elope in Patagonia, but having travelled to both the Argentinian and Chilean sides I would highly recommend Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Logistically, it is easier to access Torres del Paine from Australia than Argentinian Patagonia and added bonus is the variety available within Torres del Paine within a relatively short distance.

torres del paine national park, chile

The mountains of Torres del Paine are possibly most famous for their depiction in the famous outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia. It is a paradise for anyone seeking adventure and those that love hiking in the mountains. The W and O treks as well as the day hike to the Base de Las Torres are the most popular activities.

Where to stay in Torres del Paine

There are limited accomodation options within the National Park and availability varies throughout the year with the park all but closing during the winter months.

We stayed at Hotel Lago Grey, which was just the most phenomenal experience. Our rooms looked out at Paine Grande, Lago Grey & the Grey Glacier. The hotel itself offer different packages, from purely accomodation to all-inclusive offerings with accomodation, dining and day trips included as well as an exclusive boat navigation to view the Grey Glacier up close and personal. The on-site restaurant at Hotel Lago Grey is high quality and the staff were incredible during our stay.

The view of the Torres Del Paine mountain range from Lago Amarga. This is the view that inspired the logo of the famous clothing brand, Patagonia.

Other accomodation options include:

It is also possible to stay in Puerto Natales and day trip to Torres del Paine. The drive is approximately 1.5 hours to each of the two park entrances, and approximately 1.5 hours to drive from one park entrance to the other. If you are short on time then making Puerto Natales your base is another option for visiting Torres del Paine. Below are my recommendations for accomodation:

  • Vinnhaus: European inspired luxurious accomodation with the added bonus of in-house dogs. The attention to detail with the styling and decor from the owners is 10/10. The size of the rooms was exceptional and our room had a beautiful window-bed (it's far too big to be called a window seat!)
  • Hotel Costaustralis: positioned on the watersedge, this hotel offers incredible sunset views over the Patagonian mountains. They have a focus on sustainability and the rooms were impeccably clean, well sized and the breakfast was exceptional.

Weather, Time of Year to Visit & preparation

There is a reason why Patagonia's landscape is so rugged and that is because the wild and unpredictable conditions of this location.

Summer (December - February) are the most popular months to visit Torres del Paine and all accomodation options and hikes are available. The weather is typically between 10-22 degrees Celsius and the days are long with sunrise occurring around 5:30am and sunset occurring around 10pm. The cons of visiting in summer are the crowds on the trails and the inflated cost of accomodation, as well as the strength of the wind. All of the locals I spoke to said the wind during the summer months is horrendous and can be enough to knock you off your feet.

Autumn (March - April) would be my top recommended time to visit Patagonia. The weather is cooler and the days are shorter, but there are fewer tourists. Not to mention the incredible orange and red hues creeping through.

Winter in Torres del Paine begins in May with many of the parks and Puerto Natales accomodation options closing from the 30th April. The W and O Treks also close and the only hike available is the iconic Base de Las Torres hike, however, it is mandatory to hire a guide as the ~8 hour, 22km return hike is partially completed in low-light conditions.

During winter the days are shorter with sunrise typically occurring around 9:30am and sunset occurring around 6pm.

Alli & Glen had their elopement during the first two weeks of May and the weather was absolutely perfect all five days spent in Chilean Patagonia. With tops of 8 degrees Celsius and lows of -3 degrees, we saw frozen waterfalls (pictured right) and hiked the majority of the Base de Las Torres hike in the snow, which for us Aussies felt other-worldly.

I could blog for days about planning an elopement in Patagonia, but check out some highlights from Alli & Glen's elopement below and stay tuned for my full Patagonian elopement guide which will be dropping soon with first-hand tips from logistics to payment tips to hire cars to specific locations to elope in both Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia.

If you are considering eloping and Patagonia is not on your list yet, it is absolutely worth considering for your destination elopement.