Welcome to Punta Arenas
Magellanic hospitality still pervades local culture, undeterred and even nurtured by nature's inhospitality. Recent prosperity, fed by a petrochemical industry boom and growing population, has sanded down the city's former roughneck reputation. It would be nice if it were all about restoration, but duty-free shopping and mega-malls on the city outskirts are the order of the future.
Easy connections to Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine and Argentina and good travelers' services make Punta Arenas a convenient base. A growing volume of cruise-ship passengers and trekkers has effectively replaced yesteryear's explorers, sealers and sailors.