Known for being the southernmost city in Chile, Punta Arenas attracts plenty of travelers en route to the icy shores of Antarctica. And while most cruise through this port town without spending so much as a night, it’s worth bunkering down in this bustling hub for at least three days of exploring.
Day 1: History
Kick off the morning with a visit to the iconic Plaza Munoz Gamero, where locals and travelers gather to kiss the feet of the statue of Magellan in hopes of changing their fortune. Wander the stalls of handcrafted goods made by local artisans before heading to nearby Magallanes Regional Museum. This immaculately restored private residence showcases how wealthy pioneers lived. Explore the well-kept rooms that display not only personal items from the Braun Menendez
family, but historic artifacts, photos and maps as well. Round out the day with a stop at Punta Arenas Municipal Cemetery, where a state-of-the-art electronic database can lead visitors straight to the burial plots of influential colonizers.
Day 2: Out Into the Waters
After delving into the history of Punta Arenas, head further into the waters. Take a journey through the Strait of Magellan to see one of the most unforgiving passages early explorers struggled to navigate. Travelers looking to avoid such treacherous waters can instead head to Magdalena Island, where friendly penguins wander the coast. The two-hour journey from Punta Arenas takes visitors along scenic coast, and after disembarking from the ship, it’s possible to explore the rocky coasts, trek through well-marked paths, climb to the top of a lighthouse and even get up close to with some of the tens of thousands of penguins that call Magdalena Island home.
Day 3: Adventure on Two Wheels
Start your day with breakfast on the Punta Arenas waterfront before meeting one of our Viator guides for a two-hour electric bike tour through some of the area’s most popular sites. Visit a replica of the first ship to navigate around the world at the Nao Victoria Museum and then cruise through the natural landscape of Tres Puentes Wetland, an area some of the country’s most rare birds call home. With an expert guide and an extra small group, travelers are sure to learn plenty about history and culture while exploring the incredible geography.