Chilean city beside the Strait of Magellan

15mrz08 P Arenas 08.jpg

Punta Arenas is the regional capital of the Magallanes y Antártica Region, in Chilean Patagonia, one of the southernmost cities in the world.

UnderstandEdit

Punta Arenas (formerly Punta Arenosa, "Sandy Point") is located on the Brunswick Peninsula and was founded in the 17th century by Englishman J. Byron who gave it the name of Sandy Point. With a population of around 125,000 (2015), it is the largest settlement on the Strait of Magellan and is located 1418 km from the coast of Antarctica. The history and economic growth of the city is based on maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep breeding.

The city has all kinds of facilities, in particular an abundance of banks, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hiking gear shops and a duty free zone called "Zona Franca".

Don't trust the weather forecast, usually you can get rain, wind, and sun all in the same day. Snow is always expected to fall in the winter.

It's the largest city in Chilean Patagonia, and has developed into a tourist center in far southern America rivaling Ushuaia. In addition it's an important starting point for trips to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

Punta Arenas is on the Brunswick Peninsula on the shore of the Magellan Strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and separating the South American mainland from Tierra del Fuego. A city of 140,000 inhabitants, it was founded by immigrants both from Europe and Chileans from further north. It boasts many grand buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the golden age of the city.

Geography and climateEdit

Punta Arenas is in the Magellanic pampa (pampa magallánica), that is, steppe with low hills. As such sheep grazing is the main agricultural business. West and south of the city the terrain gets more forested and mountains higher – this is the southern end of the Andes and where it "sinks" into the ocean with summits forming islands. South of the city is also Cape Froward, the southernmost point in mainland South America.

The climate is subantarctic – cold and rainy. The cold Humboldt current, as well as chilly, strong winds influence the local climate, so while Punta Arenas is at a comparable latitude to Manchester, it's much colder. The summer from December to March is the best time to visit, it's windy but the average temperature is around 9 °C (48 °F). During winter it's less windy but average temperatures are below freezing, and nighttime lows of −15 °C (5 °F) are common. Rain is spread evenly throughout the year with 425 mm of yearly preciptitation. Snow and frost may occur during most of the year.

HistoryEdit

 
Magellan exploring the strait nowadays named after him
 
Fuerte Bulnes, founded in 1843, was the first European permanent settlement in the region

Despite the harsh climate, many Native American peoples including the selk'nam, yámana, aonikenk, and kawésqar inhabited the region before the arrival of the Europeans. The first Europeans showing up were Ferdinand Magellan's expedition sailing through the strait in 1520. Over the years the strait became an active shipping route, but European settlement in the region didn't take off, aside of an 1584 attempt which later became known as "Puerto del Hambre" (lit. Port of Hunger).

It would remain so until the mid 19th century when Argentina and Chile had border disputes in the region, and the Chilean garrison of Fuerte Bulnes was set up in 1843. In 1848 a civilian town was established a few kilometers north in an area then known as Punta Arenosa.

The city grew quickly with sheep farming, mining and other commercial activities, and in 1879 a gold rush attracted immigrants from Europe, particularly Croatia. But at the same time the region's native selk'nam people, whose presence farmers and companies regarded as a "problem impairing the region's development", were at best mistreated and in the worst cases deported or killed – hunters were even paid for selk'nam bodies. Due to this genocide, the number of native people in the region was down from 4,000 to 100 by 1930, and the last selk'nam died in 1974.

When the Panama canal opened in 1914, the importance of the strait for international shipping declined, but it still remained a notable shipping route, and Punta Arenas one of the most developed cities in Chile. It was also an important base for Antarctic explorers during the early 20th century - Amudsen, Scott and Shackleton all passed through here. Today, though, tourism is an important part of the economy as the city is in the middle of the natural attractions of Patagonia.

Get inEdit

 
A NASA plane on the airport heading to Antarctica

Punta Arenas can be reached by air, land, or sea.

By planeEdit

  • 1 Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport, Presidente Ibanez Apo (20 km north of city), +56 61 - 219131. Due to its remoteness, plane is the main way for getting to Punta Arenas. The airport, used both by civilian and military aircraft, is about 20 km north of the city and is the main airport of Chilean Patagonia. The airport is served by LATAM Chile, Aerovías DAP, JetSmart and Sky Airline, and there are flights from Santiago de Chile (your best option for coming from the rest of the world), minor airports in southern Chile and Argentina, and the Falkland Islands. There are also charter flights to Antarctica.    

By carEdit

Punta Arenas doesn't have a road connection to Chile north of Patagonia (road construction is impossible due to the icefields), so you need to cross through Argentina. From northern and central Chile, the most common route goes via Osorno, turning east into Argentina, to San Carlos de Bariloche from where you continue by Ruta 40 southwards.

Alternatively you can continue along Carretera Austral on the Chilean side and cross the border as far south as near Coyhaique. In Argentina, Ruta 40 follows the Chilean border, and near Puerto Natales you can cross back into Chile. Alternatively you can continue all the way to Río Gallegos on the Atlantic coast.

From Puerto NatalesEdit

 
View of the road between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales.

Crossing at Río Turbo near Puerto Natales, you will travel past some of the most impressive parts of Patagonia on both sides of the border; the Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine National Park. Fron Puerto Natales, the drive along Ruta 9 takes about three hours; the road is in a good shape and the landscape is pretty flat. A little before Punta Arenas, the road merges with the road from Río Gallegos.

From Río GallegosEdit

If you've started your roadtrip in eastern Argentina (e.g. Buenos Aires), followed Ruta 40 to the end, or crossed Argentina to the Atlantic coast and driven south along Ruta 3, you will pass Río Gallegos. From there it's a one hour drive along the same highway to the Chilean border at Monte Aymond. From the border, Ruta 255 leads to Punta Arenas – this leg will take about two and a half hours.

From Tierra del FuegoEdit

Starting your drive from Ushuaia and other places on Tierra del Fuego, there's one major road northwest, known as Ruta 3 on the Argentinian side. It's paved to San Sebastian just before the Chilean border, then gravel. The road, now Chilean Ruta 257 goes through steppe landscape to the Bahia Azul/Ponta Delgada ferry crossing. The crossing takes 20 minutes and no reservations are required, but bad weather can cancel the ferry traffic. On the northern side of the strait, the road joins the one from Río Gallegos.

It's also possible to drive along minor roads to Porvenir and cross directly to Punta Arenas (see below).

By busEdit

Despite its designation as a regional capital, there is no centralized bus station in Punta Arenas. Bookings should be made at the offices of the bus companies.

  • 1 Terminal Bus-Sur, Av. Cristobal Colón 842, +56 61 261 4224. Bus station for the regional bus company Bus-Sur. Nearby there are the termini for other major bus companies.

There are buses from Patagonia's major cities, and some services from further away. There are frequent buses from Puerto Natales, from other places much less frequent. There are also buses from Ushuaia, with a trip time of 15 hours and including a ferry crossing. Important bus companies are Bus Sur, Buses Pacheco, Buses Fernández and Turibus.

  • Turibus and Quielen Bus have departures to Punta Arenas from Osorno crossing through Argentina. The trip takes about 36 hours, but it largely depends on how quickly you get through the two border crossings.

By boatEdit

There's a ferry a few times a week from Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego across the strait (sailing time 2h 20 min), operated by Transbordadora Austral Broom. The ferry takes both cars and foot passengers. The same company also sails from Puerto Williams (once or twice a week, sailing time 32 h) and Magdalena Island.

Cruise ships visit it often, especially in the austral summer from December to March. Mostly they start out of Ushuaia, but there are some cruises from as far away as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Valparaíso.

Get aroundEdit

The city is built around its main square "Plaza de Armas" where the imposing monument of Hernando de Magallanes is located. There is also a monument of a Magellan native, or Ona, that according to local legend if a tourist touches his foot it will return once again to the city. Another local legend to come back to the city is to eat Magellan Barberries (calafate), similar to blueberries.

Many of the main public buildings such as the town hall or the Union Club (Club de la Union) are found around Plaza de Armas. In general, Punta Arenas is compact and walkable, but it can get really windy. You will only need transportation for lengthier trips outside of it. For these trips, you can ask for a cab (taxi), a minivan (minibus), or a collective taxi (colectivo).

By busEdit

There's a public bus system, Movigas with 4 lines. Lines star out from downtown to the suburbs, and therefore not so good for getting around the central parts of the city, where most points of interest are.

By taxiEdit

Taxis are readily available and fares are affordable. There are also colectivos (route taxis).

By carEdit

To get to attractions outside the city, consider renting a car. Popular tourist attractions outside the city can also be accessed by tour.

SeeEdit

  • 1 Cerro de la Cruz. A 10 minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, the Hill of the Cross viewpoint (Cerro de la Cruz) gives a panoramic view of the city.
  • 2 Austral Brewery (Cerveceria Austral), Patagonia 508, +56 061 245727. Come learn and enjoy the traditional production process and a beer tasting session at the southernmost brewery in the world. Call ahead for tour times and availability (minimum 2 people). Lasts 60-90 minutes and tastings are generous with their pours. CLP$4,000.
  • 3 Museo Regional de Magallanes, Hernando de Magallanes 949. Regional Museum, with historical artifacts and part of the Braun-Menéndez Mansion.
  • 4 Museo del Recuerdo, Avenida Bulnes 01890, +56 061 207056. M-F 08:30-11:00, 14:30-18:00. Houses an outstanding collection of old steam engines, horsecarts, cars, historic houses furnished in the 1870s and farm implements.
  • Visit the numerous lighthouses in and outside of the city, such as Faro San Isidro and Faro Punta Dungeness.
  • 5 [dead link] Maggiorino Borgatello Museum, Avenida Bulnes 336, +56 061 221001. 10:00-12:30, 15:00-18:00. Tu-Su A Salesian Society museum of natural history and pre-Colombian ethnic groups. 2.000.
  • 6 Punta Arenas Cemetery, +56 061 212777, fax: +56 061 218418, . 07:30-20:00. Famous for its magnificent mausoleums, architecture, and shaped pine trees, the municipal cemetery dates back to the 1840s and is blessed with the remains of many local aristocratic families, as well as English and Croatian immigrants.
  • 7 [dead link] Museo Nao Victoria, Km 7.5 Norte (In Sector Humedal de Tres Puentes), +56 09 96400772, . 09:00-19:00 Daily. A nautically-themed museum that hosts replicas of the Nao Victoria, James Caird, Schooner Ancud and is building the first ever replica of the HMS Beagle. To arrive take the bus with destination Río Seco from the corner of Chiloé and Ignacio Carrera Pinto in town for $400. $1.000-3.000.
  • 8 Museo Naval y Marítimo, Pdte. Pedro Montt 981. Here you can learn about the city's history and the sailors and explorers passing through.
  • 9 Parque María Behety. One of the main green areas of the city with picnic facilities, and a lake with canoes and kayaks in the summer, and a skating rink during the winter (when frozen over).
  • 10 Monumento Hernando de Magellanes. Monument to the leader of the first European expedition to this part of the world, standing in the middle of Plaza de Armas.
 
Catedral de Punta Arenas.
  • 11 Catedral de Punta Arenas, Plaza Benjamín Muñoz Gamero, +56 61 224 1539. The city's cathedral.    
 
City view.
  • 13 Plaza Muñoz Gamero (Plaza de Armas). A green space right in the middle of the city with a statue of Magellan in the middle. Legend has that people who kiss the foot of the statue will return to the city. The park is lined with shops, restaurants and other businesses.
  • 14 Palacio Sara Braun. Grand neoclassical building on the northern side of Plaza de Armas, built between 1895 and 1905. It was the home of the owner of Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego, José Nogueira and his wife Sara Braun. Today it's a national monument, one of the city's most famous buildings and houses a hotel and the Club de la Unión. CLP 1000.
  • 15 Intendencia Regional. Next to Plaza de Armas.
  • 16 Monumento al Ovejero. The shepherd monument is a bronze sculpture showcasing a typical traditional profession on the magellanican pampa. Considered a symbol of the city, there isn't much to do here than to take a couple of pictures.
  • 17 Museo Histórico Militar Austral (entry from calle Zenteno). Museum in the military facilities showcasing the military history of the region. Free..
  • 18 Costanera del Estrecho. From the coastal road there are good views the strait and you can see cormorants and other birds.

DoEdit

 
Penguins at Seno Otway
  • 1 Seno Otway penguin rookery. 70 km north of the city, each spring Seno Otway hosts hundreds of Magellan Penguins returning home to their birth place to breed. Many travel agencies offer day trips from Punta Arenas that leave you very little time at the colony, so it's best to visit in your own car. As of 2018, there have been multiple reports that penguins no longer have a colony at this location. Check with locals before planning a visit.
  • 2 Isla Magdalena Pinguinera (penguin rookery). One of the top natural attractions of the region is the penguin rookery at Isla Magdalena, part of Monumento Natural Los Pingüinos. The island is a breeding site for hundreds of thousands of magellanic penguins. You can also see cormorants, seagulls and sea lions. The lighthouse has a small exhibition of the local fauna. A 5-hour trip. Two hours each way by boat and one hour on the island. Humans must stay on the path, but the penguins ignore it and will practically step on your feet as they waddle by. October - April. To get there, take the ferry from 2 Terminal de Tres Puentes. in the northern end of the city The ferry runs between November and April. The sailing takes two hours in each direction, with one hour on the island. As strong winds are common in this part of the world, seasickness can be a real risk on the ship. 61.000.
  • 3 Teatro Municipal José Bohr, Hernando de Magallanes 823.
  • Winter carnival (Carnaval de Invierno). Carnival is celebrated here during the Austral winter (in July), with parades, music and colorful costumes.

BuyEdit

There’s a small open market ("feria") for touristy merchandise downtown. You can find department stores, supermarkets, and a lot of outdoors shops (like Timberland and The North Face) on Calle Bories nearby.

Like elsewhere in Chile, the currency used is the Chilean peso. Downtown you can find some exchange bureaux, mainly exchanging US dollars, euros, and Argentinian pesos. Some places catering to tourists accept these currencies too, but at a bad rate.

The shopping district are centered on Plaza de Armas and the Bories and Magallanes streets. There are many souvenir shops here, and widespread souvenirs are small penguin plush toys and jarabe de calafate (syrup of calafate berries) to make calafate sour cocktails (a variant of pisco sour).

  • 1 Mercado, Ruta 9 1548 (Muñoz Gamero Main Square), +56 61 222 7771. M-Sa 09:00-20:00 Su 10:00-18:00. Public market and artisanal center.
  • 2 Zona Franca Outlet Mall (Zonaustral), Km 3 1/2 Norte, Bulnes Av.. There is a large outlet mall on the outskirts of the city, called "Zona Franca", a duty-free zone, with supermarkets, perfume, clothing, and outdoor stores, all with very reasonable prices.
  • 3 Espacio Urbano Pionero Mall, 01110, Eduardo Frei Av.. Also on the outskirts of the city, the Mall Espacio Urbano Pionero (Pioneer Urban Space Mall) offers three department stores (Falabella, Ripley and La Polar), a food court, various smaller stores, and a "Lider" supermarket.

EatEdit

Sheep are the only cattle that can be raised in the region and as such lamb meat has a central part in the local cuisine. It can be prepared in many ways, but the classical dish is asado patagónico, lamb barbecue. Seafood is also popular, common ingredients including salmon, trout, crab and other shellfish.

BudgetEdit

  • 1 Kiosko Roca, Presidente Julio Roca 875, +56 061 223436. M-F 07:00-19:00, Sa 08:00-13:00. A very small place located near the Plaza de Armas. Here you can eat "choripan", grilled sausage on French bread, and "leche con plátano" a milk beverage with the addition of bananas. The food is so good that the place is full almost all day.
  • 2 Dino's Pizza, Bories 557, +56 061 247434. M W F 12:00-23:00, Th F 12:00-00:00, Su 12:30-22:30. Locally famous pizza and sandwich restaurant. Try the delicious rhubarb juice or a "Barros Luco" (a beef and cheese sandwich).
  • 3 La Chocolatta, Bories 852, +56 061 248150, . A grandma-style café, very cozy and usually full, that serves a large variety of homemade chocolates, ice cream, tea, and coffee.
  • 4 Mercado Municipal, 21 de Mayo 1465. The market has some food stalls where you can enjoy freshly prepared traditional dishes at affordable prices.
  • 5 Cocineria Puelpun, Avenida Costanera 1466, +56 68 239 2004.

Mid-rangeEdit

  • 7 La Marmita, Plaza Sampaio 678, +56 061 222056. La Marmita has trendy decor, awesome food, and an all-around great atmosphere. An awesome place to relax with friends or family after a day of activity. A great find and a great choice for vegetarians.
  • 8 Lomito’s, José Menéndez 722, +56 61 24 3399. M-Su 11:00–midnight.
  • 9 Mesita Grande, O'Higgins 1001, +56-61-2244312. Pizzeria where pizzas made with regional products. Good prices and excellent service.

SplurgeEdit

  • 10 Jekus, O'Higgins 1021, +56 061 245851. Daily 10:00-15:00. A restaurant/pub with good service and creatively decorated inside with beautiful wood carvings. Good selection of wines and beers. Unfortunately the food is boring with soup from packets not quite dissolved and basic meat and potatoes entrees. Offers excellent salmon ceviche. CLP$15,000.
  • 11 Sotito's, O'Higgins 1138, +56-61-2243565. One of the city's most famous restaurants specialicing in seafood, in particularly dishes with southern king crab. A pretty expensive place, but the food quality and the service makes the prices worthwhile.

DrinkEdit

Punta Arenas has an interesting nightlife. You can go out to dance, have a drink, or gamble in the casino

  • 1 Café 1900, Avenida Colón 617, +56 061 226500. Daily 10:00-02:00. A small place located in the Tierra Del Fuego Hotel in the center of the city.
  • 2 Bull Blood, Avenida España 0480, . Nice environment, with great drinks and food. It has a small dance hall and karaoke all night.
  • 3 Kamikaze Club, Capitán Ignacio Carrera Pinto. Japanese World War II-themed nightclub may be unusual but makes for an entertaining evening. The pub plays a mixture of Western/Latin and Reggaeton music is played into the early hours and is attended by enthusiastic locals and tourists alike. Cover includes a free drink but is a bit expensive at CLP$6,000 on the weekends.
  • 4 Club Madero, Bories 655. With karaoke and live music.
  • 6 Casino de Punta Arenas, Costanera s/n, +56-2-2346 4300. A casino with gambling but also an entertainment center with national and international artists regularly performing, and multiple bars.
  • 7 [dead link] Celebrity Pub, José Menéndez 999.. Pub with live music.
  • 8 DejaVu Pub, Maipú 403.. Pub with karaoke.
  • 9 Opera Bar&Grill, Croacia 1007.. Bar and restaurant with good cocktails and a modern look.

SleepEdit

Punta Arenas has all types of lodging, from inexpensive backpackers hostels with shared everything, international chain hotels and unique boutique and design hotels. Beds fill up in the high season during austral summer (around Christmas, New Year's and early January), so book early.

BudgetEdit

  • 1 Hospedaje Costanera, Rómulo Correa 1221, +56 61 240175, . A very friendly, well-heated place located a 10-minute walk from the bus station includes breakfast, kitchen access, free internet, a lot of hot water, and laundry service. English is spoken. CLP$6,000-7,000.
  • 2 Hostal Patagonia House, Avenida Independencia 413, +56 61 242618, . Quiet, clean, seven minutes from the main square. Free internet and kitchen access. CLP$6,000.
  • 3 Hospedaje Independencia, Avenida Independencia 374, +56 61 222 7572. Very friendly owner, but the hostel is cramped and the kitchen is simple (wood-fired stove). Wi-Fi and laptops available. Eduardo is very helpful with tour planning. CLP$2,500 (camping).
  • 4 Hostal Ainil, Lautaro Navarro 230, +56 61 222 0962.
  • 5 Hostal Doña Irma, Caupolicán 578, +56 61 224 2568.

Mid-rangeEdit

  • 6 Hostal De La Patagonia, O'Higgins 730, +56 61 249970, . A quiet, clean, comfortable mid-range place. Within walking distance of the Strait of Magellan and the Buses Pacheco terminal. Free internet and abundant hot water.
  • 7 Hostal Adventure, Pdte. Federico Errázuriz 901-999.
  • 8 Hostal Hostel Keoken, Hernando de Magallanes 209, +56 61 2246376, +56 61 2244086.
  • 9 Patagonia B&B, Avenida España 1048, +56-61-222 7243, . Small but comfortable hotel with affordable rates, four blocks from Plaza de Armas.
  • 10 Apart Hotel Quillango, República 363, +56-61-224 8316, . Modern rooms and private parking, good for visitors who want to travel at their own pace.
  • 11 Hostal Maipu Streeet, Maipu 1270, +56 61 2227372, . Hostal Maipu Street is located in the city of Punta Arenas overlooking the Magellan Strait. There are more than 10 rooms and apartments to choose among, depending on your needs. Guests have total independence with their respective keys. The staff can provide information about the area and around Patagonia and are able to book trips for you. Rooms are equipped with their own private bathroom with shower, free WiFI, satellite TV with LCD TVs, a central heating system, a safety box and private secure parking plot free of charge for guests. Daily cleaning of your apartment. Breakfast is included in the price between 08:00-10:00. You can also prepare your own food if needed. Some of the apartments have a small frigobar and a kitchenette. Foreigners do not pay Chilean tax when booking with this hostel (21%).
  • 12 Hostal Patagónico, Natalio Brzovic 01242, +56 9 85032249, fax: +56 061 218322, . Quiet family-style accommodation. It has five rooms all with private bath. Close to transportation, supermarkets (For example Unimarc, which is about 2 blocks away.), restaurants, the Zona Franca, and the hospital. The manager is very friendly and helpful, and will answer questions about the city. Manager's son has even been known to take people around town himself to practice his English. CLP$20,000-40,000.
  • 13 Hostal Maria Isabel, Arauco 1066, +56 61 228926. Dorms and doubles at a central location, kitchen access, free internet, lots of warm water. A friendly, well-heated place.

SplurgeEdit

  • 18 [dead link] Hotel Patagonia Pionera, Arauco 786, +56 61 222045. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Located in a quiet and safe residential area of Punta Arenas, the hotel is blessed by its proximity to downtown and to Cerro de la Cruz, the main high point in town with an exclusive panoramic view of the city and the Strait of Magellan. This boutique hotel offers comfort and privacy in an authentic and magnificent European-style house, a relic of the pioneer era in the early 20th century. US$110-140.

ConnectEdit

Chilean operators Claro, Entel, Movistar and WOM have 3G and 4G (LTE) coverage in the city. Away from the built-up area, especially away from the main highway, don't expect any coverage at all.

Go nextEdit

Punta Arenas is the launching point for various expeditions to (relatively) nearby Antarctica.

Brunswick PeninsulaEdit

  • Lesser known places to see penguins are the rookeries on the west coast of the peninsula, around 60 km from Punta Arenas. Drive a few kms north of the city, take road Y-550 west across the peninsula to Y-530 (or drive to the airport and take Y-530 from there) and follow the coastline. In addition to penguins, you may also see guanacos and ñandúes as well as shepherds with sheep. On the west coast, further north, there's also an open pit coal mine, the Mina Pecket.
 
Puerto del Hambre.
  • 19 Centro Geográfico de Chile. The geographical center of Chile, as it's the mid-point between the northernmost point of Chile and the South Pole which the claimed Chilean Antarctic Territory reaches.
  • 20 Puerto del Hambre. daily 10-17. The ruins of Ciudad del Rey Felipe, the first Spanish attempt to colonize the region in 1584. It ended by the death of all 200 inhabitants and the name of the place now translates to "Port of Hunger".
  • 21 Fuerte Bulnes. W-Su 10-17. Military fort built in 1843 to protect Chilean sovereignty over the strait. foreigners CLP 12000, Chileans CLP 8000, 50% discount for children.
 
San Isidro lighthouse
  • 22 Mouth of Río San Juan. Here's a protected area for ruddy-headed geese (Chloephaga rubidiceps) gathering here during their breeding season.
  • 5 Monte Tarn. At 834 m ASL Monte Tarn is one of the highest mountains in the region, and from the summit there are spectacular views of the landscape with the islands. It was visited by Charles Darwin in 1834. The climb will take about four hours.

Cabo Froward, the southernmost point of the continent is 40 km of hiking from the endpoint of the road.

  • 6 Reserva nacional Magallanes. Reserva Nacional Magallanes, located 8 km from the center of town, this national nature reserve is covered by lenga (a species of southern beech, Nothofagus pumilio) and provides a beautiful overview of the city. Administered by Corporación Nacional Forestal (Conaf), here you can explore the beech forest of far southern America. Animals you may see here include foxes, cougars, deer, owls and woodpeckers. There are trekking trails (one of them forming part of Sendero de Chile), most of them easy. There are also picnic spaces and bodies of water. The park is accessible throughout the year, but during winter snowchains are mandatory. No public transportation.    
  • 7 Cerro Mirador (Club Andino). A small ski resort that is the second southernmost in the world (the one outside Ushuaia is further south) and with a great ocean view. There are 14 pistes, a ski school, a chairlift and a Nordic ski area.
  • Rey Jorge Island Natural Sea Park (whale observation).
  • Fuerte Bulnes, a historical reconstruction of the site were Chile took possession of the Strait of Magellan.
  • Seno Skyring
  • Cabo Froward, the southernmost point of mainland South America. Can be reached overland or by kayak. There are numerous companies in town that lead guided expeditions.
  • Puerto del Hambre, an early Spanish colony which failed and under the name of Port Famine became a Royal Navy base. It was here that Captain Pringle Stokes, the captain of HMS Beagle, shot himself in his cabin due to severe depression and temporary command was given to Lieutenant W.G. Skyring. Stokes' fatal depression was attributed to the boring nature of the local geography.
  • Estancia Lolita, Ruta 9 Norte km 42, +56 61 233057. A beautiful place for watching different species of native animals and birds.
  • Pali Aike National Park, San Gregorio (By car, take Route 9 North and then Route CH225 to the Aymond Mount custom border, and then to Punta Delgada.). description CLP$1,000.

Further awayEdit

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