You can travel to the “end of the Earth” in Punta Arenas, as this sprawling metropolis sits at the southern tip of Chile. Punta Arenas serves as a base for exploring Southern Chile’s Patagonia, but also offers beautiful mansions, the Magellan Straits and penguins.
Things to do in Punta Arenas
Stroll to the main square, Plaza Munoz Gamero, to see its European-style buildings and statue of the famous Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. Discover the picturesque plaza filled with ornate 19th and early-20th-century mansions that arose from the prosperous wool industry.
Learn more about the history of Punta Arenas at Museo Salesiano, which highlights the region’s native flora and fauna and displays historic artefacts, such as indigenous objects and maps. See one of the most famous ships in the history of navigation at Museo Nao Victoria, which boasts life-size replicas of historic characters and the ship that discovered this area of Chile.
Want to see penguins? Ride on a boat to Magdalena Island, home to cute penguins. Watch around 150,000 penguins waddling about and keep a lookout for sea lions.
For the best view of Punta Arenas, trek 15 minutes from the city centre to Cerro de la Cruz. Sitting at the top of the Hill of the Cross, this lookout rewards hikers with panoramic views of the city and Magellan Strait.
Getting around Punta Arenas
You can fly into Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport, then take a taxi or bus to the city centre in 15 minutes. The streets of Punta Arenas are compact and walkable, while minibuses and taxis are also available.