Punta Arenas is a city located in Patagonia's most southerly region. Anchored on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it's often used as base for excursions to the surrounding wilderness and Antarctica. A memorial to explorer Ferdinand Magellan rest proudly at the Plaza Muñoz Gamero and the Museo Nao Victoria features a replica of one of his galleons.
How to get to Punta Arenas
From Ushuaia - There is 12 hour bus service with reccorido.cl. The journey is split up with a border and channel crossing.
From El Calafate – A 5 hour bus ride to Puerto Natales, followed by a further 3 hours after the border crossing to Punta Arenas.
FLY – You can fly in using local airlines from Ushuaia, these fights only happen a few times a week and carriers use very small planes.
Getting from the airport to Punta Arenas:
Taxi - The best and easiest way to get around this town is by taxi, they are readily available from outside the arrivals hall at the airport.
We took a bus to get to Punta Arenas from Ushuaia, the company we used were reccorido.cl. The bus was very comfortable even though it was a 12 hour journey split by a ferry and border crossing.
Crossing the border was a COLD experience, we were at the border where we departed the bus to get our passports stamped out of Argentina, and this was quick and easy. The Chilean side however was a different experience all together! We waited outdoors in a 'make-shift' line in what can only be described as a wind tunnel!! Our bags were x-rayed and we were stamped into Chile. Once we were across the border we jumped back on the bus and headed on with our journey.
Where to stay in Punta Arenas
This is a very sleepy town, there was not much happening while we were there. Accommodation is spread across the city. We opted for a home stay outside of the city with the aim of walking to the town.
We stayed at department Punta Arenas, it was an actual house via booking.com. This was very nice as there was a separate kitchen, living room and 2 bedrooms upstairs.
It was a little far from town but easy enough to walk. NB: Be mindful when looking for accommodation that all cities have 'good' and 'bad' areas. Although the neighbourhood in which we had booked to stay was lovely, we were unable to reach downtown on foot without cross some less favourable areas.
There are many other places to stay closer to the town but as you can imagine these do get pricey.
Things to do in Punta Arenas with children
Magdalena Island - Magdalena Island is a small island in the Strait of Magdalena. If you go on a tour on the Magdalena straight there is a high chance you will see penguins.
Plaza Armas – Main Square of the city.
Torres Del Paine National Park - Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile’s Patagonia region, is known for its soaring mountains, bright blue icebergs that cleave from glaciers and golden pampas (grasslands) that shelter rare wildlife such as llama-like guanacos. Some of its most iconic sites are the 3 granite towers from which the park takes its name and the horn-shaped peaks called Cuernos Del Paine.
Penguin Tour – there a number of tour agencies and operators we offer full and half day penguin tours. They will take you to a colony of around 150000 penguins.
Templo Hindu - The worlds most southerly Hindu temple.