Suggestion on what to do in Punta Arenas, Chile

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#1
On Cruise Ships and in Australia & New Zealand
8,174 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We have never been to Punta Arenas, Chile before.

I was wondering would you recommend doing here for the day??

If you have been to Punta Arenas before, what did you do there for the day??

Does the cruise ships dock near the city? or do we dock a long way from it?

Any ideas / suggestions are very welcome
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#2
Tulsa OK
8,289 Posts
Joined May 2006
Punta Arenas is very windy most of the time. Really need to be prepared for that.
We were there about 10 years ago on a land trip. We walked around the town, which is a very pleasant nice town with a great Patagonia store and lots of crab restaurants. They have a little local crafts market on the main square some days. We went out to the place where the penguins are one day. It is a bit of a long drive, but you get to see lots of penguins close up.
#3
772 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
There are a couple of museums within walking distance, as well as the cemetery, which is considered to be one of the 3 most beautiful cemeteries in South America. From there, you can catch a taxi out to Museo Nao Victoria , where you can see and explore replicas of several ships like the HMS Beagle. Well worth the $7 admission fee (and I'm generally bored by historical sites like this).
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#4
New Hampshire
803 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We took the ferry to Magdalena Island which is a penguin reserve (Monumento Natural Los Pinguinos). It's about 2- 2 1/2 hours by slow ferry and less then half that by the fast boat. We took the slow (and less expensive ferry).

The island has one small building on it and the rest is all penguins and paths, very open, I can't remember now if there was even one tree.

We loved it. It's not a cheap excursion even with the slower ferry. I don't know how doable it is on your own, I'm pretty sure our buses from the ship filled up the ferry. They do provide lunch on board as part of the fare. Guides were also available to answer questions and give you information.

I don't know how much the fast boat was, I did see them arriving on the island it looked like a nice boat.
#5
Sydney, NSW Australia
583 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
The trip to Magdalena Island on the ferry is a must in my opinion. Our visit was a truly wonderful experience and worth every dollar we paid. Thousands of penguins and birds. While there is a roped off pathway on which you walk, it seems that the penguins don't take any notice of the instructions that the pathway is for pedestrians as they walk right past you and come up to you regularly. Don't miss it.
#6
Brazil
375 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We stayed for couple of days, so we went to Magdalena(fast boat), museums, and to an Estancia (for sheep farming). From there wewent for Torres del Paine for a week of hikings. Torres del Paine is forSouth America like Milford Track is for New Zealand. But it is far for an oneday tour.
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#7
Southern California
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Joined May 2009
Another vote for Nao Victoria Museum. We also toured the cemetery and had lunch in a quaint spot- Shackleton’s Bar. It’s in the Brain building across from the plaza de Armas
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#8
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
12,375 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We had some time to explore the small city of Punta Arenas and found it charming, but not a lot to do staying in the town.

I would highly recommend doing what we did, which I provide from my cruise review:

PUNTA ARENAS


Our next port was Punta Arenas, where we tendered. This was the most problematic tender port. Lines were long and it seemed to take longer to make it to shore. Our tour was with SouthExcursions and only a half day tour, so we were not apprehensive about having time to return to the ship on time. The tour was described, as follows:


Otway Sound Penguin Colony


Half Day Activity (This tour can begin at 09:00 or 13:30)


Leaving Punta Arenas, you’ll head north on to the Brunswick Peninsula, along the Straits of Magellan. From there, you’ll take a detour to Otway Sound, a beautiful landscape of plains, bays and fjords.


Next, the tour will take you to the Picket Mine, an important open-pit mineral deposit in the region’s gigantic coal mantles.


Finally, you’ll arrive at the pingüinera, the nesting ground of the Magellan penguin (Spheniscus magallanicus). Thousands of birds, which are called “******* penguins” due to the donkey-like braying sounds they make, come ashore in the spring, to breed, and lay eggs here.


Our tour included most of the same people on our Puerto Madryn tour. Cost was $67 per person, which was a good savings over the Celebrity tour. The Otway colony was larger than the group of penguins that we saw at the Peninsula Valdez. The drive to the colony was not a long as in Puerto Madryn. We passed the mine on the way to the colony. We walked some distance over a boardwalk with some bridges that allowed penguins to move under the boardwalk. The boardwalk took us to first to a viewing stand close to the beach were we watched the birds on the beach, some swimming. Then the boardwalk took us in a kind of triangle, walking closer to some of the penguin nests with more viewing stands. The viewing stands were small and only allowed three persons at a time to use. It took over an hour to make the circuit. We learned that Punta Arenas had a population of about 130,000, about twice the size of Ushuaia. The city looked prosperous, but then we felt that Chile generally looked more prosperous than Argentina.


We returned to Punta Arenas and spent some time in and around the town square. There was a festival type atmosphere with a local band and lively music. Also, there were stall were souvenirs were on sale.


In route to Puerto Montt, our ship passed through the Chilean Fjords, which included more scenic mountains and hills on both sides of the ship.
#9
Chester, Maryland
779 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
From what I have heard Otway Sound Penguin Colony is closed due to the lack of penguins. I just googled it an it does say it is closed.
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#10
Southern California
3,951 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by cruznqueen
From what I have heard Otway Sound Penguin Colony is closed due to the lack of penguins. I just googled it an it does say it is closed.
It’s been closed some 3-4 years now.
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#11
Ontario - Canada
1,833 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We went to the National Forest (on our own). It was half the price of the Cruise Line shore excursion and we were able to spend a relaxing, not rushed, adventure to the Mirador. We shared a taxi with another couple. VERY easy to get to and VERY easy to get back to the ship

My review of Punta Arenas is here: Punta Arenas, Chile

Heather
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