Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile

We can arrange Torres del Paine itineraries that include a logistical rest night in Punta Arenas, as well as visits to penguin colonies and / or whale watching.

This is also the start and end port for the Australis Cruise, in addition to some Antarctica departures, which we also offer.












Punta Arenas Patagonia, Chile

Where is Punta Arenas Located?

Punta Arenas is accessible by a 4hr flight from Santiago, often with a short stop-over in Puerto Montt. It is the southern-most city of the American continent. It is situated on the northern bank of the Straits of Magellan, opposite Tierra del Fuego, and is a relatively clean, modern city with an unusual history based on maritime trade, sheep ranching, coal mining and more recently petroleum extraction.

The architecture around the central plaza area hails from a European style, which of course is the result of the early European settlers who colonized the area.

A Brief History About Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas, meaning sandy point, was officially founded in 1848 when the population from the previous-established settlement at Fort Bulnes was relocated to its current position. Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 Punta Arenas was a vital and major seaport for shipping coming from Europe to the western side of the Americas via the Strait of Magellan (a natural sea passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans avoiding the need to circumnavigate around Cape Horn).

However, the Clipper class ships still used the Drake Passage around Cape Horn in order to have enough space for navigation positional maneuvers. Today, in terms of its maritime importance Punta Arenas is a key stop over for large cruise ships and also the departure point for maritime cruises to Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia and Antarctica.

Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Punta Arenas

We Offer

If you need a logistical night in Punta Arenas, we will be pleased to incorporate this into your Patagonian itinerary.

In addition, we can add in any of the excursions such as a half day excursion to see the penguins on Santa Magdalena island, or the more colorful King Penguins over on the Tierra del Fuego Island – but this is a very long day. In addition, there is also a long, full day whale watching option from Punta Arenas.


Another reason to stay in Punta Arenas will be if you are boarding one of the Patagonia Cruises or a trip to Antartica. In each case we will sort it all out for you.

If you would like us to arrange a custom-itinerary for you, please send us an enquiry.

Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Arriving to Punta Arenas

When Arriving to Punta Arenas

Arrivals to Punta Arenas are usually from Santiago on a flight that takes about 4hrs if direct and 4.5hrs if there has been a stop off at Puerto Montt.

The other ways to get here are by way of the Australis Cruise ship from Ushuaia in Argentina. Also, by a 12hr bus trip from Ushuaia in Argentina.

From Puerto Williams (Chilean territory opposite Tierra del Fuego and the other side of the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia) there is a 2hr flight or even a 2 night ferry boat trip also from Puerto Williams.

Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Punta Arenas Places of Interest

Main Places of Interest from Punta Arenas

The area around the main plaza has some historic architectural interest, as some of the buildings have a similar look and style found in some northern European countries.

Should you have the time a city tour will usually include a visit to the Bulnes Fort because it is the “birthplace” of Punta Arenas, although it is a quite a basic to look at. It is the location of the first settlement until the population moved to where the city is now. Further southwest of Punta Arenas is Point Froward – the southern-most point of continental South America, marked with a nearby lighthouse.

In this part of the world the forests still come down and meet the beaches. Then there is the actual Magellan Stretch which, of course, is of incredible historic importance because it became the main water way for ships to navigate between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Penguins & Whales

However, perhaps the main “things” of interest are the various types of marine life that can been seen at close quarters. Magellan penguins can be seen on Santa Magdalena Island (home to thousands of Magallanes penguins); King Rey penguins can be seen via a long full day trip over to Tierra del Fuego and Hump-back whales can be seen in the Francisco Coloane Marine Park.

Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Half Day Trip to Magallanes Penguins

– Destination Punta Arenas Patagonia Chile

Full Day Whale Watching

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Full Day Tierra del Fuego King Penguins

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Travelling on to Puerto Natales

Getting from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales

There is a good, paved road that connects Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas, which takes 3hrs to drive.

There are numerous regular buses that depart from Punta Arenas center as well as Punta Arenas airport. In addition, Experience Chile can arrange a private transfer or rent a car, if you feel like self-driving.

Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Punta Arenas: Gateway to Torres del Paine

Punta Arenas is a great option to get to Torres del Paine if flying down from Santiago. Although the flight is longer than going to Puerto Natales, and you will also need a 3hr road trip to get to Puerto Natales, there are many more flights between Santiago and Punta Arenas than there are to Puerto Natales.

In addition, if you wish to add other elements to your Torres del Paine itinerary, such as penguins and / or whales, then a stay in Punta Arenas will allow this. Also, if you have decided to combine Torres del Paine to an Antarctic expedition or a Patagonian cruise, then Punta Arenas will need to be in your itinerary.

And, as you know by now, Experience Chile is here to sort it all out for you. ust send us an email!



Punta Arenas Accommodation

Places to Stay in Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas offers a small selection of hotels for the visitor. Most of these we would class as “mid-level”, the majority of which are located near the center of the city.

Here below are some of the options.


Send Your Enquiry to here: request@experiencechile.org

Hotel Cabo de Hornos Punta Arenas

– Destination Punta Arenas Patagonia Chile

Dreams Hotel Punta Arenas

– Destination Punta Arenas Patagonia Chile

Alma Sur Hotel Punta Arenas

– Destination Punta Arenas Patagonia Chile

Please Send Us Your Enquiry

For the best service please supply us with as much information as you can. For example, where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)


In the event that you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention”. For example, privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.


Ask us to handle ALL of your South America, or Chile trip and we WILL include some items for free or at special lower-than-public rates. How much we can offer you depends on how much we can arrange and book for you. REQUEST@EXPERIENCECHILE.ORG

Remember, our specialty is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

– Destination Punta Arenas Patagonia Chile
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