The last stop on my trip to Peru and Chile was Punta Arenas, Chile on The Strait of Magellan.  This was my base for visits to Fort Bulnes, the Nao Victoria Museum, and Patagonia.

Other posts about this trip:

LATAM Airlines 767-300 Business Class, Miami, FL (MIA) to Lima, Peru (LIM)

City Tour in 14 Pictures – Cusco, Peru

Machu Picchu – Trip Report

The Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado) of the Inka- Trip Report

Palacio del Inka, Cusco, Peru – A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel

LATAM Airlines 787-8 Business Class Lima, Peru (LIM) to Santiago, Chile (SCL)

Torres del Paine National Park and Cave of the Milodon National Monument – Pictorial Trip Report

Nao Victoria Museo, Estrecho de Magallanes, Chile – Pictorial Trip Report – And New Thoughts on Who Was the First Person to Sail Around the World

American Airlines 777-200 First Class – Santiago, Chile (SCL) to Miami, FL (MIA)

First Look – American Airlines Renovated D-15 Admirals Club, Miami International (MIA)

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is the capitol of the Magallanes and Antarctica Region of Chile.  It has a population of just over 125,000.  It is the largest city in the world below the 46th parallel south.  The coast of Antarctica is a mere 881 miles distant.

Punta Arena and the Estrecho de Magallanes from Mirador Cerro la Cruz. Punta Arenas was once known as the city of red roofs because a red colored paint provided the best protection from the elements.  La Yegua Loca (crazy mare?) Hotel was my base for exploring the area.
The central city park (above) with a monument to Magellan (below).


Punta Arenas has several smaller plazas and parks as well.

Casa Braun-Menendez on Plaza Munoz Gamera
Many of the official buildings have a European look.
A typical shopping street near downtown
There’s even a little art deco thrown in.
One of the main cathedrals in central Punta Arenas

Fort Bulnes (Fuerte Bulnes)

Fort Bulnes was the first Chilean outpost on the Estrecho de Magallanes.  Chile built this fort in 1843 to solidify its claim on the strait.

The story of the fort
Fort Bulnes

There are guided tours (en espanol).

Warm clothes are required. This site is extremely windy.
A living area at the fort
The Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego on the horizon

After a few years, Fort Bulnes was abandoned because of the harsh weather.  A new settlement was established at Punta Arenas.


Not far from the fort is a marker denoting the spot that is halfway between the northern border of Chile and the geographic south pole.


There are many other sights to see in Punta Arenas including the cemetery with a memorial to the crew of the German battleship Graf Spee that was sunk in the battle of the Falklands in 1914, Magdalena Island home to more than 120,000 penguins and a colony of sea lions, and a wonderful maritime museum with replicas of Magellan’s Nao Victoria, Darwin’s H.M.S. Beagle and other vessels.  I was unable to go to Magdalena Island due to high winds.

In the summer (December to April), it is also possible to take a flight to Antarctica.  I would love to return for that.