Established in 1848, Punta Arenas is the capital of the Magallan Province in southern Chilean Patagonia. It is believed that the town was named 'Sandy Point' by a British sea captain called John Byron who sailed to Patagonia and claimed to have seen giants inhabiting the land and the name was later changed to the Spanish Punta Arenas.
Many travellers visiting Torres del Paine National Park or flying to Antarctica first fly to Punta Arenas airport; Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International (PUQ), which lies some 13 miles north of Punta Arenas and serves Chilean Patagonia. The main airlines operating here are Lan Chile and Sky Airline, which offer regular flights to Santiago and Puerto Montt. Once at Punta Arenas, travellers then take the 3-hour bus journey directly to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine. Puerto Natales is known for its beautiful fjord, the Seno Ultima Esperanza which is perfect for kayaking.
Map of Punta Arenas
Trips that visit Punta Arenas
Uniquely focused on just South Georgia and The Falkland Islands, without Antarctica, spend 8 full days exploring these bountiful Sub-Antarctic Islands, brimming with both wildlife and history. Limited to spring and late summer month departures only, when both wildlife and…