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Punta Arenas

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Adventure and Tradition at the Strait of Magellan

Punta Arenas is the ideal starting point for adventure seekers planning visits to the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego.

Start your tour of Punta Arenas by taking part in an old tradition: touch or kiss the Aónikenk Indian's foot on the monument honoring Magellan in the Plaza de Armas Muñoz Gamero. According to local legend, those who do will be sure to return to Patagonia.

Visit the Magellan Regional Museum, which is housed in an art nouveau palace, and have a coffee in the basement (which used to be the servants' quarters). The building was commissioned in 1903 by businessman Mauricio Braun and built using wood brought exclusively from the Old World. It now houses a permanent art exhibition as well as period furniture collections.

A more melancholy tour will take you down the silent paths of the Municipal Cemetery, one the most striking in South America. Its cypress trees are beautifully arranged and its mausoleums, gardens and the extravagant tombs blend in with the memories of the many hardworking immigrants and sailors who made Magellan their final destination. This is the final resting place of such colorful characters as José Menendez, who ruled a sheep herding empire centuries ago.

Punta Arenas is also a Free Trade Zone. The 13-acre tax-free shopping area is the perfect place to buy souvenirs or gifts or pick up something you might need while traveling.



Featured Destinations of Southern Patagonia


bStrait of Magellan
c   Punta Arenas

d   Tierra del Fuego
e   Torres del Paine National Park

fPuerto Natales

Touristic Services

Car Rental
Tourism Agencies

Tours you can do

Hiking Torres del Paine

The Mylodon Cave
Dientes de Navarino

Magdalena Island
Marino Francisco Coloane Park

Puerto Edén
Última Esperanza - Mariano Glacier

Cruises to Puerto Williams and Cape Horn


Getting There

en avion
By Plane
Daily flights depart Santiago (4h 15min, depending on stopovers) to Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Airport (21 km north of the city) and from Puerto Montt.
By Bus
You can get to Punta Arenas by way of Argentina through one of five border passes. Some ground transportation companies cover the Osorno-Punta Arenas leg; the journey takes approximately 36 hours.
Go to the Central de Pasajeros (at the corner of Magallanes and Columbus) to book your other trips. You can buy tickets at the offices located one or two blocks away from Calle Colón.
en auto
By Car
You can get to Punta Arenas from Argentina by taking one of the area's five border passes. From Santiago, take Route 5 to Osorno and then follow the international highway to Puyehue. You will cross into Argentina via the Cardenal Samoré Border Pass and then back into Chile on Route 225, which goes to the Monte Aymond Border Pass.




Cerro La Cruz

Naval and Maritime Museum Sara Braun Palace

Discover Punta Arenas from the top of Cerro La Cruz. Its panoramic view of the red roofs and yellow and blue hues of Tierra del Fuego, Monte Sarmiento and the area south of the Brunswick Peninsula is especially stunning when the sun rises over the Strait. Visit the Naval and Maritime Museum of Punta Arenas on Pedro Montt 981. Its collection of 1,600 historical artifacts includes remains of vessels like the Doterel, an English corvette submerged 15 m below the water about 300 m from the Arturo Prat Pier. Visit the Sara Braun Palace in Punta Arenas, where you can learn how ranchers lived at the beginning of the 20th century.


Spider crab

Rain in Punta Arenas

Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello Museum
Enjoy spider crab. If you have a local friend with good connections in the port, you can try buying spider crab directly from a fishing boat. Otherwise, head to a local restaurant. This red crustacean is considered one of the finest ingredients in Chilean cuisine. Don't bother with an umbrella if it rains- the Strait of Magellan's strong winds will rip it right out of your hands. Instead, bring waterproof clothing and enjoy the feel of the rain on your face. Visit the Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello Museum and its exhibits on the area's history, flora, fauna and trade. Highlights include the exhibit on Father Alberto de Agostini, a missionary, climber and documentarian who owned the only existing pictures of the region's first inhabitants.


Choripán and banana milk
Bite into a crispy choripán (a chorizo hot dog) and wash it down with a glass of banana milk. It's not an easy mix to sell if you're not from the area, but is one of the most popular meals in Punta Arenas.



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