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A City Overlooking the Sea

 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Jorge González
City Tour around Punta Arenas

We went around the main sights in town in order to learn about its past and its present.

With the blue sea percolating in each picture of the city, we began to walk across the urban center to visit the most representative buildings and spots.

The must-start was the main square known as Muńóz Gamero and sheltering the monument to Hernando de Magallanes, which faithfully expresses the colonizing conception. The sculpture of the conqueror rises above the image of a sélknam (ona) which, according to the local legend, visitors must kiss on its foot in order to return to Punta Arenas.
City Tour around Punta Arenas
The residences of the most prestigious families in town were built around this main block. These families fostered the economic development and made fortune from sea trade and sheep-cattle exploitation. The sumptuous palaces that belonged to the Braun Menéndez family, Montes, Stubenrauch family and the Blanchard House were built in 1892 and they still show an impressive architectural design.

Several Looks
Getting away from the main square towards the North, we moved along Colón Avenue up to Arauco until we reached the vantage point located on Mount La Cruz. This point presents a beautiful view of the city, with its colorful roofs that reach the strait and the faraway sceneries of Tierra del Fuego, Mount Sarmiento and the Southern area of the Brunswick Peninsula.
City Tour around Punta Arenas
After beholding the city from the heights, we went down Colón Avenue towards the seafront. To the South, the ancient ship hulls sleep in silence. One of them belongs to the English frigate called Lord Lonsdale which brandishes a sign reading:“ “Homage to the sailors of all nationalities who crossed the Magellanic sea and made it possible to get to know the region better and colonize it”. In the area of the port, the Muńóz Gamero pontoon shelters other remains of crafts that shipwrecked in the seas of Magallanes.

We continued along the waterfront up to María Behety Park, which offers several recreational areas ideal for a picnic and some lagoons that are frozen in the winter and used as ice skating rinks.
City Tour around Punta Arenas
Back on the seafront, at the height of Independencia Avenue, we went up heading for Mount Mirador, where the ski resort is located and a fascinating spot offers a wonderful view of the urban scenery and the sea.
Useful Data
take your time to visit all the city museums; there is a great heritage collection that reflects the origins of the Magallanes region.
Inter Patagonia

Level of Difficulty
half day.
Tour Kind
city tour.
Useful Data Useful Data


The Detail

Situated on the border of the Magallanes National Reserve, the Punta Arenas winter resort is one of the few privileged venues featuring trails with a view of the sea, the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego. It offers 11 trails specially conditioned for various levels (some of them laid out across the forest), lifts and a kind of snow that, due to the wind and the environmental characteristics, acquires special features for skiing.
To access the mount, there is also a hiking trail that crosses the ancient coal mines in the Magellanic forest.
Finally, from the top, the entrance to the Strait, Dawson Island and a part of Otway Inlet may be observed.

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