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 Muñóz 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. 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.
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. 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 Muñóz 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. 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.