Welcome to Punta Arenas
A sprawling metropolis on the edge of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas defies easy definition. It's a strange combination of the ruddy and the grand, witnessed in the elaborate wool-boom mansions and port renovations contrasted with windblown streams of litter and urban sprawl. Set at the bottom of the Americas, it is downright stingy with good weather – the sun shines through sidelong rain.Magellanic... Read More
Top experiences in Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas activities
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks
Starting in El Calafate, your 13-day Patagonia adventure tour begins as you are taken to your chosen accommodation and have free time to get settled and explore on your own. The following 12 days will be filled with outdoorsy fun, plus free time to explore on your own or relax. Guided tours of Los Glaciares National Park, Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego National Park will open your eyes to Patagonia’s spectacular natural attractions, including glaciers, jagged mountain peaks, lakes, lagoons and native wildlife! From canoeing to trekking to boating, you’ll have your fill of first-class outdoor adventure as you travel from El Calafate to El Chalten in Argentina, then to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas in Chile, and back to Ushuaia in Argentina. You have your choice of four accommodation types; please see below for a list of possible accommodation for each level. All breakfasts and one lunch are included; depending on the day, you will eat lunch and dinner (own expense) in one of national parks or in town.There are a variety of optional activities you may choose to do if you wish, including hiking, 4x4 countryside tours, glacier climbing and walking with penguins. These are listed in the Itinerary section below and are at an additional expense; if you are interested in any, please say so when booking or contact the local tour operator after booking (contact details will be provided after booking). For details on each day of the tour, please see the Itinerary below.
Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat
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 main square Plaza Muñoz Gamero.
4-Day Chilean Patagonia Tour: Puerto Natales, Serrano Glacier and 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).
Private Fuerte Bulnes and Punta Arenas City Tour
You begin the tour from your hotel in the city of Punta Arenas (or port!) at 8:30am. approx, bordering at the Strait of Magellan and traveling 60km south towards the historic Fuerte Bulnes.You stop at the geographic landmark that represents the center of Continental Chile, Insular and Antarctic, which is strategically located to indicate departures from the ruins of the city Rey Don Felipe or Port Famine, to Fuerte Bulnes and the San Juan River.Visit Port Famine (Puerto del Hambre), so called because of the tragic death of all its inhabitants, who first attempted to colonize the Strait of Magellan in 1584 and later died from starvation in such inhospitable place. You will see its monuments and visit its surroundings.Afterwards, you will travel through forests of Lenga and continue to Fuerte Bulnes. There will visit the various buildings such as the chapel, the prison, the Court of cannons, stables, dining rooms, built in native wood with an ax and grass huts.You will have a lunch break (not included).After an hour, you will continue with the city tour of Punta Arenas by visiting the Plaza de Armas, home of a monument to Ferdinand Magellan. There are beautiful buildings around the plaza such as the cathedral, the government, the Horn Hotel, the Sara Braun Palace and Braun Menendez Jose residence where the latter remind us of the historical past of this city, the southernmost continental city in the world.Visit museums; Braun Menendez Palace showing the lifestyle of a family pioneer in Patagonia in the early twentieth century and Salesian Museum Maggiorino Borgatello bringing together collections of specimens of Magellan flora and fauna, history and utensils Patagonian Indians.Later, you will visit its main streets and avenues to appreciate the traditional Shepherd Memorial, the mansions of the suburbs and the Costanera Avenue, until you get to the Regional Cemetery, where you will travel through streets with beautiful gardens and luxurious mausoleums.Finally, you will go to the Mirador del Cerro de la Cruz, where you can see the colorful roofs of the city of Punta Arenas, the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego Island and Dawson Island. A must see!
Marta Island, Magdalena Island and Punta Arenas
The route starts from the office after your hotel pickup. We move to Port and sail through the Strait of Magellan to the Magdalena You will have a break for lunch (not included in the price)Visit Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the American continent, is a walk through the history of Patagonia. The first stop is at ‘Cerro de la Cruz’ lookout, from where you get a marvelous general view of the city and its colorful roofs, the Strait of Magellan and at the back the great Tierra del Fuego. Here, the local guide will give you important information of the city. The tour continues along the streets of the city, up to the main square, a place surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, also you can see the monument to Hernando de Magallanes and buy some local handicraft. After that, we will visit Museum the Patagonia. The last part of the tour includes a tour in the northern part of the city, allowing you to see the great amount of monuments, such as the monument to the shepherd, the Croatian square, the Antoine de Saint Exupery square and the different neighborhoods in Punta Arenas, and finally returning to the hotel.
Shore Excursion: Magellan Penguins Natural Reserve
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 interact with 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 interact with the colony. This excursion departs daily, depending on weather conditions. The journey is approximately 4 hours long.