Punta Arenas, Chile

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Main port photo for Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas lies atop rolling hills, looking out over the Strait of Magellan. In the days before the Panama Canal, this was a major port as ships plied the waters of Cape Horn. Punta Arenas remains a prosperous town today, thanks to its rich natural resources. The city is also the gateway to Chilean Patagonia, a maze of fjords, rivers, steppes, and mountains to the north. To the south lies the great frozen mass of Antarctica. Adventure awaits in any direction at this port located near the end of the earth.

Across the Strait of Magellan lies Tierra del Fuego, the lonely, windswept island discovered by Magellan in 1520. The region was settled by Yugoslavian and English sheep ranchers in the 19th century.

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  • Sara Braun Museum (Regional Museum) & Plaza Munoz Gamero Sara Braun Museum (Regional Museum) & Plaza Munoz Gamero

    Visit the former palace of Sara Braun, one of the most powerful women in 19th-century Patagonia, then head to the city's main square, Plaza Muñoz Gamero, with its monument honoring Ferdinand Magellan.

  • Museo Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello Museo Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello

    The museum, maintained by Salesian friars, boasts a truly mesmerizing display of native flora and fauna, and cultural artifacts from regional Indian tribes, including the extinct Fuegian Indians.

  • City Cemetery City Cemetery

    Dotted with sculpted European cypress trees, this resting place is much like a city, with avenues that connect the magnificent tombs of the region's founding families and immigrant colonies.

  • Patagonia Institute (Instituto de La Patagonia) Patagonia Institute (Instituto de La Patagonia)

    The institute presents an engaging exhibit of colonial artifacts called the Museum of Memories. Highlights of this open-air museum include antique machinery, pioneer houses and antique cars.

  • Fuerte Bulnes Fuerte Bulnes

    A replication of this hilltop fort originally built in 1843 offers sweeping views of the Strait of Magellan and a glimpse into challenging pioneer days.

  • Patagonia Estancia Patagonia Estancia

    This century's old cattle ranch is a living museum of the history and traditions of Chile's baqueanos, the sheep ranchers who settled Patagonia.

  • Magellanic Penguins at Magdalena Island or Otway Magellanic Penguins at Magdalena Island or Otway

    The reserves on Magdalena Island and Otway offer an up-close look at a colony of these entertaining birds.

  • Torres del Paine National Park Torres del Paine National Park

    Take in the surreal beauty of the twisted mountains, glacier and lake in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park.


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