Things to consider
- You can walk around the main sights/viewpoints of the city in an afternoon
- With a full day, you might like to take an organised excursion with a group to see birds, penguins, or go kayaking (not in winter)
- If you're into museums, you could squeeze a few into an afternoon
A Few Hours
Plaza Muñoz Gamero
The Central Plaza in Punta Arenas: Muñoz Gamero, and it’s surrounding area is an interesting place to visit, with many beautiful buildings to take in, including the government buildings and cathedral. For some good luck on your trip, rub or kiss the toe of the statue of the indigenous Ona man in the centre of the Plaza!
Mirador Cerro de la Cruz
For a stunning panoramic view of the city, the straight of Magellan, and the island of Tierra del Fuego in the distance, climb to Mirador La Cruz Hill Viewpoint (Mirador Cerro de la Cruz). This spot is just a ten-minute walk from Plaza de Armas (Plaza Muñoz Gamero) and is one of the most iconic places in the city, particularly beautiful at night.
This is the southernmost brewery in the world, where you can learn about the production process of the traditional Austral beer (the most popular beer in this part of the country) and enjoy a beer tasting session.
Address: 508 Patagona St
This traditional monument is located in Bulnes Avenue, 11 blocks away from Plaza de Armas, and is one of the many iconic places of the city.
Punta Arenas Cemetery
It might sound strange to visit a graveyard on your holiday, but this cemetery dates back to 1840’s, and is internationally famous for its magnificent mausoleums, beautiful European architecture, and perfectly shaped pine trees.
Many local aristocratic families and European immigrants are buried here, particularly English and Croatians. We’d definitely recommend a visit.
There is a new colony of king penguins establishing at Tierra del Fuego, the only king penguin colony to be found outside the Sub-Antarctic islands. King penguins are usually only found on the Sub-Antarctic Islands, such as the remote and difficult to access South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. Observing them in Tierra del Fuego, therefore, is a very unique opportunity!
Museums (Half Day)
Palacio Mauricio Braun
This palatial mansion houses a regional history museum, which shows great evidence of the wealth and power that Punta Arenas had in its heyday (perhaps not so obvious today). The house’s original owners, the Brauns, were a family of huge importance throughout the Southern Patagonian region. The museum is divided into two sections, one displaying regional history and the other displays the family’s original opulent furnishings.
Address: Magallanes 949
Open: Mon-Sat 10:30 – 17:00; Sundays & Public Holidays 10:30 – 14:00
Museo Regional Salesiano Maggiorino Borgatello
This museum is considered one of the most complete on the natural and human history of Patagonia. Its four stories house collections of stuffed animals, a history of the indigenous inhabitants of the region, displays on missionary history, and exhibitions on Antarctica and its explorations.
Address: Av. Bulnes 336
Open: Tues – Sun 10:00 – 12:30 / 15:00 – 17:30; Closed on Mondays
National Maritime Museum
An in-depth look into the extensive maritime history of Chile. The museum also has specific displays on the War of the Pacific (1879) and its great naval hero Arturo Pratt.
Address: Av. Pedro Montt 981
Open: Daily 09:30 – 12:30 / 14:00 – 17:00
Museo de Recuerdo
The Patagonian Institute (Instituto de la Patagonia) houses the Museo del Recuerdo, with a collection of antique farm and industrial machinery imported from Europe, a typical pioneer house and shearing shed (both reconstructed), and a wooden-wheeled trailer that served as shelter for shepherds. The library also has a display of historical maps and a series of historical and scientific publications.
Address: Av Bulnes 01890 (best to take a taxi)
Open: Mon – Fri 08:30 – 12:00 / 14:30 – 18:00; Sat 08:30 – 12:00; Closed Sundays
Museo Nao Victoria
An interactive museum, allowing visitors to relive the history of the great navigators and explorers of our region (Magallanes, Williams and Shackleton). Their reconstructed ships feature accurate sailing equipment, mannequins, clothing and weapons from the their age.
Address: 7,5km north of town on Y565 route to Rio Seco (best to take a taxi)
Open: Daily 9am-6pm
Places to Avoid
We’d recommend avoiding Zona Franca if you can; it is a very commercial shopping experience, although seemingly popular with the locals!
Sightseeing activities listed don't need to be booked through Swoop. They are time fillers, perfect for a spare afternoon or day in the city.
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