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.


Top experiences in Punta Arenas

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Recent articles

Punta Arenas activities

$160 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Magdalena Island Penguin Boat Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas

Dress warmly and get ready to join this tour which will start at a meeting point in Punta Arenas and then travel with the rest of the group to the pier. Climb aboard a large powerboat and head north for about 40 minutes on the Strait of Magellan. If you’re lucky, you may glimpse panda dolphins leaping out of the choppy grey waters. Arrive at the small and rocky Magdalena Island, also called Los Pinguinos Natural Monument, a protected nature reserve and park since 1982, and a breeding site for Magellanic penguins. Even before the boat docks, you’ll see thousands of penguins crowding the shores and hear their squawking. During the summer, approximately 120,000 penguins occupy the island. Disembark and spend about an hour here with your guide, keeping to the designated trail roped off for visitors. These curious birds, about 2 feet (61 cm) tall, will cross your path and may approach you, but you'll be instructed not to touch or feed them. On either side of the trail, see hundreds of burrows in the ground, about a foot (30 cm) in diameter, each populated by a pair of penguins. Watch penguins pop in and out of the holes, where eggs are laid, and others excavate new burrows by flinging aside heaps of dirt with their webbed feet. Your guide may point out cormorants and Andean seagulls on the island as well. Reach the highest point on the island and enter a lighthouse, which houses exhibits explaining the penguins’ habitat and breeding cycles, the history of the strait and the rich ecosystems of nearby islands. Then warm up with coffee and snack on biscuits (provided) before leaving the island. On your way back, if the weather permits, your captain may pass by Isla Marta, where you can snap shots of sea lions and elephant seals lounging on the rocky outcrop. After a marvelous morning with penguins, your tour will end in Punta Arenas at the same meeting point in the morning.

$969 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Day Chilean Patagonia with Torres del Paine National Park

From glaciers to alp-fringed Lake Pehoe and the craggy Torres del Paine mountains, experience the vast wild country of Chilean Patagonia on this four-day excursion. With airport bus transfers included, you have a choice of three four-star hotels; breakfast is included, as are a few other meals.Itinerary:Day 1: Punta Arenas -- Puerto NatalesAfter being met at Punta Arenas airport, catch the bus to Puerto Natales bus station, from where you’ll be transferred to your evening’s accommodation at your selected hotel. The rest of the day and night are yours to explore on your own.Accommodation: Saltos del Paine Hotel (four-star, choice of twin or single room), Costraustralis Hotel (four-star, with ocean view and choice of twin or single room) or Indigo Hotel (four-star, choice of twin with ocean view or single room) in Puerto NatalesDay 2: Puerto Natales -- Balmaceda and Serrano -- Puerto Natales (B, L)After breakfast at your hotel, a full-day trip starts with an early morning cruise from Puerto Natales to Ultima Esperanza Fjord. The three-hour cruise takes you through stunning Patagonian scenery to the 1,000-year-old Balmaceda glacier, home to cormorants and sea lions. At the head of the fjord, disembark to take a short 20-minute walk through forest to the foot of the Serrano Glacier, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and walls of ice. Stop for lunch at Estancia Perales, a traditional cattle ranch, on the return trip to Puerto Natales, where the rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore on your own.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 3: Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine -- Puerto Natales (B, L)An early start after breakfast takes you on a full-day excursion to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere. Traveling through Patagonia’s rugged steppe country, an important habitat for many endangered species. See herds of sheep and native guanacos (animals that look like a cross between a llama and a camel) and notice the rugged snow-capped Torres del Paine mountains towering in the background. Visit Salto Grande waterfall on the Pehoe River and Patagonia’s lovely lakes Pehoe and Grey, overlooked by the snowy white peaks of Grey Glacier. The excursion returns to Puerto Natales in the evening.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 4: Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas (B)After breakfast, a transfer takes you to Puerto Natales bus station to catch an onward bus to Punta Arenas airport. (Earliest bus is at 7:15am with an approximate travel time of 3 hours to Punta Arenas. Please plan flights accordingly).

$133.40 Shore Excursions

Magellan Penguins Natural Reserve from Punta Arenas

Both islands form an interesting ecosystem, making an obligatory visit for any visitor, whereas Marta Island lodges more than 1000 Sea lions, Cormorants, Skuas, Austral seagull, Antartic pigeon and Sea elephants. The Magdalena Island allows you to observe one of the majors colonies of Magellan Penguins, going beyond the 150,000 birds. During the navigation it is possible to see Austral Dolphins and Overas Toninas (kind of dolphins). To protect wild life, Marta Island is only circumnavigated to admire and photograph the Colony and the diversity of marine birds that live there. However in Magdalena Island it is possible to disembark for about one hour, to walk and to observe the colony. This excursion departs daily, depending on weather conditions. The journey is approximately 4 hours long.

$150 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Parque Del Estrecho De MagallanesThe Strait of Magellan Park is a protected area of almost 250 hectares. The main objective is the conservation and dissemination of the natural and historical heritage within it. The places of interest within the Park are: - Museum of the Strait (Interpretation Center): Sentinel of the landscape that in its 1,600 m2 houses cafeteria, shop, panoramic terrace and interpretive and multimedia sample. - MHN Fuerte Bulnes Site: Covering an area of 4 hectares is the historical re-construction of the first Chilean settlement in the territory. - Path of the Coast: Footpath of 1.5 kilometers of extension, of low to medium difficulty that crosses the forests and roqueríos around the Fort. - Forest of the Wind Trail: Pedestrian path of almost 300 meters in length, low difficulty leads to where you can see the passage of boats, birds and whales.Duration: 3 hoursStop At: Palacio Sara Brauninaugurated in February 1983, in the magnificent setting of the Braun-Menéndez Palace in Punta Arenas, it gathers an important collection of objects that are testimony to the passage of man in his historical journey through the region.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Cementerio MunicipalThe Municipal Cemetery of Punta Arenas, officially Sara Braun Municipal Cemetery, 1 is a four-hectare cemetery located on Avenida Bulnes, in the northern sector of the city of the Magallanes Region, Chile.Its entrance is formed by a portico donated by the benefactress Sara Braun, that ends in a square that distributes the avenues of cypresses.It was declared a National Monument in Historic Monument Category by Decree 499 of November 26, 2012.Various international publications have cataloged it as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Mirador Cerro De La CruzViewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the bay and the landscapes that surround the city.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Plaza de ArmasPlaza Muñoz Gamero is today an urban complex of exceptional heritage value, which embodies the history of the hardworking inhabitants of Magallanes.Duration: 15 hours

$49.13 Shore Excursions

Punta Arenas Private City Tour Shore Excursion

This tour will introduce you not only to the local history but the classic style of life of people in a far away country called Patagonia. This tour starts in Plaza de Armas and pause to admire the European buildings lining the city center and the statue in honor to the discoverer of the Strait of Magellan in 1520  which links the Atlantic and the Pacific. Downtown streets off the Plaza de Armas sell handmade carving woodworks,  stoneware from local artisans and knitwear. A short drive up to Cerro de la Cruz   before wandering over to  enjoy the great view where  the city draws cruises and the mysterious and captivating Island of Tierra del Fuego.  A ten minutes photo-stop overlooking the city and we head towards the beautiful promenade to enjoy an amazing speech about history and the geology of the área. After a 10 minutes drive we get to the well worth visiting museum known as  Nao Victoria, where we will find a recreation of the ship in which Magellan  navigated and discovered the Strait, complete with a complimentary audio with information of the four ships so important in the local history such as the Beagle, where Charles Darwin was part of the crew, the small James Caird part of the expedition of the Endurance being Punta Arenas the central headquarters for Shackleton to plan the rescue operations for the crew on Elephant Island. Time to leave not before a glimpse of  Ancud the small schooner  used by the first garrisons to arrive claiming the territory as chilean in 1843. A world-recognized must see stops in Punta Arenas is the National Monument Cementery not only for the architecture and impressive mausoleums. but walking amongst the perfect lined tall  cypress trees brought from Europe in the 19th Century.  For the ones who want to stretch their legs, a 10 minutes walk will lead us to the Unknown Indian´s tomb  which is believed to grant miracles. Time to head back to the pier/hotel after we've got some discoveries to share with the ones we love in the southernmost city in the world.

$187.99 Walking & Biking Tours

Punta Arenas Small-Group Mountain Bike Adventure

Your tour starts with hotel pickup in Punta Arenas. Meet your guide and drive to the trail where your ride begins which is about 20 minutes away from hotels in Punta Arenas. Once there, you will receive a safety briefing, set your bike and equipment up for maximum comfort and start your adventure. The trails where the tour takes place are located next to the city. The tour is divided into 3 areas which are: La Araña trail, Reserva Forestal Magallanes and the Ski Center. Each of these will offer different soils, views and abilities. You will start in La Araña trail, an old logging road, crossing through lenga and coigue forests. You and your group will ride up to the highest point where you'll get a spectacular view of the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego Island and the Otway sound. Then, you'll begin the first 12-minute decent filled with action and adrenaline as you ride between forests, tobogans and magical Patagonian colors.After crossing a small stream, you will continue towards Reserva Fprestal Magallanes where you can enjoy a full energy snack in a protected native forest. From there, you will start riding towards the ski center, along the north side of Rio de las Minas, the most important river in Punta Arenas. This decent will take approximately 20 minutes and you will make some stops to appreciate the spectacular views of the Magellanic landscape.The Punta Arenas ski center (Club Andino de Punta Arenas) is one of the first ski centers in Chile. Today, it is giving way to the development of mountain biking. It has several tracks designed to enjoy this adventure. After a short break, you will enjoy riding through the last portion of the tour, using these southern mountain bike trails in the ski center. After a fun-filled time, you will be taken back to your hotel in Punta Arenas.