Punta Arenas Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Punta Arenas is a city located in the extreme south of
continental Chile, on the Straits of Magellan. The city gained
prominence first as a penal colony and later as a coaling port for
ships passing between the Atlantic and Pacific, until the advent of the
Panama Canal. Toward the end of the 19th century the region
experienced a small gold rush along with the beginnings of the sheep
raising industry, which declined significantly following WWII.
The discovery of petroleum in the Straits and on Tierra del Fuego has
improved the economic significance of Punta Arenas. The city
tends to be cold and often windy, but is popular with tourists and
While you are in the area, you ought to visit the southernmost point in mainland Chile (other than the Antarctic territory) It is called Fuerte Bulnes... and you probably need a rental car to drive there...about 20-30 mins south of town. GO early in the morning, the ocean views are incredible! You can also check out the small fort, the small chapel, etc...
Near Punta Arenas, you can also check out the Penguin colonies. These are pretty cool, and most of them only seen in the wild in the southern hemisphere. So, check it out while you are there.
And, absolutely NOT to be missed, about 6 hrs by car from Pta Arenas, is Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. The place is just incredible...it is like the equivalent of Alaska in the southern hemisphere, glaciers, lakes, awesome hiking trails, beautiful mountain peaks.... you will need at least a good 2-3 days to enjoy this place. Halfway to Torres del Paine is the town of Puerto Natales, a good place to rest and visit, and book your bus or tour to the Torres del Paine Park. If you choose to travel from Puerto Montt on the Navimag ferry, Puerto Natales is your ferry endpoint, after a 3 day ferry ride those Chile's "inside passage"