Puerto Natales is known as the gateway to Torres del Paine; a place of passage for attractions that are not necessarily inside the city.
However, in recent years it’s positioned itself as a destination worth stopping by.
Its appetizing gastronomy alternatives, hotels and culture activities have made this area a tourist hub that deserves a slot while touring Patagonia.
These are some of the points that you must visit on your next trip to the southernmost tip of Chile.
Monument to the wind
If you are in the city for a couple of days, sooner or later you will pass by this attraction, a sculpture is located by the waterfront, at Bories street.
Created by artist Marcela Romagnoli, the statue pays homage to the distinctive wind that blows in this city. It’s made up of bronze human figures that seem to be suspended in the air, while hanging from two arches that rise 9 meters up.
If you want a classic postcard from Puerto Natales, this is the place. In addition, if you continue walking the same road, you’ll reach the old pier, another incredible place to take the best pictures of the Última Esperanza sound.
Galpón Patagonia Cultural Center
It is a cozy space for the arts, located in the waterfront. Inaugurated in December 2014, it is one of the most outstanding entertainment places in the city, according to travel guide Lonely Planet.
Here you can engage in different activities, from exhibitions to dance workshops. If you get hungry, you can also enjoy delicious food in its cafeteria.
This is a place of historical relevance also; it hosted some of the first social and political upheavals of the 20th century that emerged within the livestock industry.
Municipal Historical Museum
The Museo Histórico Municipal is a mandatory stop if you want to learn more about the indigenous cultures that lived in this territory.
Here, ancient craft and tools offer testimony and make visitors ponder about what life was like for the first inhabitants of Magallanes region. You will be able to see utensils used by the Kawéskar and Aonikenk kept in perfect condition.
This museum also contains the history of the colonization process of the area, mainly led by the Germans and English. The collection includes personal objects belonging to Captain Hermann Eberhard, responsible for the first settlements in Patagonia.
Cave of the Milodon
This natural monument is located less than 25 kilometres from the centre of Puerto Natales and is a protected area in charge of Chilean forest service CONAF. Hundreds of tourists arrive at the cueva del milodón on a weekly basis, attracted by the myths and legends that surround this cavern.
More than one hundred years ago, Eberhard discovered the skin of a milodon, also known as giant ground sloth (Mylodon darwini) extinct more than 10 thousand years ago. So, it became a site for scientific research. At the entrance there is a replica of the animal, so visitors can gauge how large its size was.
As the Huffington Post states, "no visit to Patagonia is complete without visiting the Cave of the Milodon".
This is just a sample...
These are just few of the must-sees that Puerto Natales offers visitors looking to venture into Patagonia.
If you are planning to travel to Torres del Paine, make sure you take a couple of days to discover this wonderful city, where you will be able to learn about the local culture, arts and history.