Punta Arenas is 3,090 kilometers south of Chilean capital Santiago.
It’s Magallanes Region’s most important city and the southernmost city on a continent in the world. Also, it’s a supply port for growing bi-oceanic traffic, which manifests itself in the city’s streets, markets and squares.
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How to get to Punta Arenas
Located 260 kilometers south of Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas is the capital of Magallanes Region. This southern city is 3,090 kilometers south of Santiago and can be reached by flying to Carlos Ibañez del Campo airport.
You can also get there by ferry. Navimag Ferries makes the journey from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales and back on a trip that navigates through beautiful Patagonian landscapes. From Puerto Natales, you can reach Punta Arenas by land.
The ferry departs from Puerto Montt on Fridays and from Puerto Natales on Tuesdays throughout the year. (You’ll have to make your own travel arrangements between Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas as Navimag only covers the ferry routes mentioned above).
Activities in Punta Arenas
An unmissable Punta Arenas attraction is Bulnes Fort, founded in 1843 on the Magellan Strait. It’s a historical reconstruction of the fortified settlement where the first Chilean colonies were established.
Los Pingüinos Natural Monument located on Magdalena Island covers 97 hectares and is one of the most important penguin colonies in the country. More than 60,000 penguins have been recorded.
Another must-do activity in Punta Arenas is the Pali Aike National Park, a protected area in Magallanes Region on the Chilean side of the Pali Aike volcano field. Rich in native wildlife and birds, a large part of the park is covered in volcanic lava.
Where to eat in Punta Arenas
Suspiro de Limeña:
Peruvian restaurant prized for its wide variety of dishes.
Address: O’ Higgins 974 – Punta Arenas.
Santino Bar e Cucina:
Specializes in pasta but you can also find pizza, sandwiches, shellfish, fish and national and international food.
Address: Avenida Colón 657, Punta Arenas.
Good food at the best price.
Address: O’Higgins 1017, Punta Arenas.
Where to sleep in Punta Arenas
Hotel Cabo de Hornos
Patagonia Hostal Turismo
Flora and Fauna in Punta Arenas
The fauna that can be seen around Punta Arenas includes puma, condor, lesser rhea (Ñandú of Magellan), orca, dwarf armadillo, Magallanes penguins, Magellan geese and southern Andean deer (known locally as huemúl). Among its flora, some of the highlights are Magellan and Antarctic beech forests, pilgerodendron cypress trees, box-leaved barberry shrubs, and fuchsia.
Punta Arenas climate
Punta Arenas has a semi-arid climate that is characterized by low annual rainfall. There is snow throughout winter.
Average summer temperature is 17ºC, while it drops to 7ºC in winter. During cold spells, minimum temperatures can plummet as low as -18.7 ºC and frequent strong wind can reach to over 100 km/h.
These are the basic tips that you should consider when organizing your trip to Punta Arenas. And if you’re interested in visited other equally charming towns you can look at our blog Six unmissable towns in Chilean Patagonia.