Punta Arenas is located at the southern tip of South America, just north of the Strait of Magellan. The city, often called “the end of the world”, was founded in 1848 as a penal colony for Chile.
Today, Punta Arenas is a bustling port city and a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to places like Torres del Paine National Park and the southernmost city in the world, Puerto Williams.
But Punta Arenas is also historically important, with numerous monuments and museums detailing its past as a center for whaling and sheep farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Whether you are looking for adventure or history, Punta Arenas offers visitors a unique view of life at the end of the world.
How to get to Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas, located in the extreme south of Chile, is not easily accessible by traditional means of transportation.
The most common way to get there is to fly to the Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport. Other options are to take a ferry from Punta Delgada, in Argentina, or to embark on a cruise ship that calls at the city.
Once there, visitors can explore the stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage of this remote town on foot, by public transport or by rental car. Regardless of how you arrive, a visit to Punta Arenas will undoubtedly be a unique and unforgettable experience.
What to do in Punta Arenas
One of the most popular activities in Punta Arenas is a visit to the nearby Strait of Magellan, where visitors can take boat excursions to see penguins and other marine species. The included visit to Magdalena Island, home to more than 60,000 Magellanic penguins, is a must for any wildlife enthusiast.
The Salesian Museum of Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers a historical overview of the area and its inhabitants, including indigenous cultures and early European settlers. Nearby Magdalena Island serves as a natural reserve for more than 100,000 cormorants and other bird species. For those interested in more adventurous excursions, Punta Arenas also serves as a starting point for trips to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park.
Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast or just looking to soak up the unique atmosphere of this charming coastal city, Punta Arenas has something for everyone.
The city of Puerto Natales is located on the shores of the Skyring Seno and in recent years has developed due to the tourist demand generated by the nearby Torres del Paine Park and other national parks accessible only by sea cruises. Most visitors fly to the airport in the neighboring city of Punta Arenas.