Full day excursion or spend several days in the area. Take road 11 to 40 east from El Calafate and drive 158 km to La Esperanza. We recommend filling up the tank at the gas station available, then continue on road 40 south, passing thru Ea. Tapi Aike until you reach the argentine border at Ea. Cancha Carrera (6km gravel). Once you clear out customs on the argentine side, you continue to Rio Don Guillermo or Cancha Carrera to enter into Chile.
Right after the customs office you will find a small grocery store named El Ovejero, where you can have lunch or buy supplies and mountain gear.
Continue on road 9 to Cerro Castillo (30 km gravel) and take the detour to arrvive to Torres del Paine National Park. The park charges U$D 12 as an entrance fee and there's camping sites and lodging available. It is recommended to reseve with anticipation. The Torres del Paine National Park is known by its incredible mountain landscapes, waterfalls and walking trails with different degrees of difficulty. Some nautical excursions are also available.
Distance from El Calafate to Torres del Paine: 340 km
No gas station or grocery supplies inside the national park.
Leaving Torres del Paine National Park, you can take road 9 south and travel 110 km to Puerto Natales (Chile), where you will find gas stations, lodging and eating options. Recommended areas to visit: Plaza Central, old Boris meatpacking plant (now turned into Hotel The Singular) and Milodón Cave.
To return to El Calafate from Puerto Natales, you can take an alternative road going thru Paso Dorotea into Rio Turbio (Argentina), town of the most important coal mining production of the country.
Distance to El Calafate from Puerto Natales: 350 km
Round trip distance: 700 km
Most of the roads are in good condition, expect some gravel roads. It is advisable to carry cash to pay custom fees and don't forget all documentation needed to enter and exit the country.