Punta Arenas Travel

Punta Arenas, a city studded in southernmost Chile, is an excellent base for exploring wild and wonderful Patagonia.

With a southerly location on the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas is a hub for outdoor adventure into Chilean and Argentine Patagonia – particularly Torres del Paine. The town itself is a vast place, yet locals are friendly and the clutch of highlights – including hanging out with Penguins and learning of the regional history at various museums –make Punta Arenas well worth a stay for at least a day or two.

Punta Arenas has a relatively long history in Patagonian terms; it was established some 150 years ago, as the first Chilean outpost in Patagonia. Once a thriving mecca for farming and mining, today the city is an important stop on any self-respecting adventure traveller’s route, positioned as it is within a few hours’ drive from favourite destinations such as Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Los Glaciares and Tierra del Fuego National Parks in Argentina, and beyond that: Antarctica.

The local Penguin population is a real highlight for visitors, and it’s also worth strolling through the central streets to gain a sense of the town’s prosperous past, reflected in the grandeur of Muñoz Gamero Square and its surrounding townhouses. Learn more about the region’s natural and anthropological history at the Salesian Museum, before heading up to the Mirador Cerro La Cruz for a privileged view of the colourful rooftops, and Magellan Strait beyond.

Highlights of Punta Arenas:

Historic tour of Fort Bulnes

Few places better outline the struggle of early Patagonian colonisers than the bleak, barren plains around Fort Bulnes, though the wooden barricades, cannons and guard towers of this mid-19th century stronghold have been restored to an extent which is so true to the original structure, that you can’t help but feel a real sense of history as you walk its walls!

Exploring King Penguin Park

Wildlife-lovers will be in heaven at the King Penguin Park in Tierra del Fuego, across the border in Argentina. The King Penguins are regal creatures indeed and here, at the mouth of the Marassi River, these majestic birds have only just returned (around a decade ago) to make the most of Useless Bay as their breeding and feeding ground.

Punta Arenas city tour

Often the boarding point for expeditions and boat tours to Antarctica, Punta Arenas – Chile’s southernmost city in Patagonia – is awash with its own intriguing history and places of cultural interest, such as the Cerro Mirador, Plaza Muñoz Gamero, the Museo Regional Salesiano and Braun Menendez Palace.

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