Punta Arenas, Chile: The most beautiful city in Patagonia
The Chilean city of Punta Arenas is the seat of government of the Magallanes province. The place is on the Strait of Magellan, further to the southwest there is only Tierra del Fuego. Punta Arenas is considered to be the most enchanting city in all of Patagonia. The best way to get to know the place is on a walk. How clearly the city center was laid out can be seen by those traveling to Chile from the La Cruz lookout point. From here you can look far into Tierra del Fuego, see the blue Magellan Strait and enjoy the colorful houses of Punta Arenas. A bronze monument to the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan has been erected in the Plaza de Armas. It is flanked by two bronze Indians who represent the natives of the Aonikenk and the Ona.
The sheep farmers came to great wealth
The Museo Braun-Menéndez is located directly on the Plaza de Armas. Based on this magnificent villa, the visitor can get an idea of the treasures that the pioneers of sheep breeding amassed in this region in the late 19th century. You can see the family’s original furnishings. For example, the wallpapers come from France, the vases from China, the marble of the washbasins from Italy and the leather for the armchairs from England. There is also a small museum in the magnificent building dedicated to the history of the region.
There is a marine and marine museum in Punta Arenas
One of the sights of Punta Arenas is the Museo Naval y Marítimo. There are historical exhibits, including a special exhibition showing the Chileans rescuing Sir Ernest Shackleton from Antarctica. The main attraction of the Naval and Maritime Museum is the replica of a complete ship with radio room and bridge. Also worth seeing is the Museo Salesiano, which is dedicated to nature, history and the culture of southern Patagonia. The ethnographic collection was compiled by the Salesian Order. The clergy were the driving force behind the settlement of the region. They also acted as intermediaries between the Indians and the white settlers.
The cemetery is one of the national monuments of Chile
You can follow in the footsteps of the pioneers in the Museo del Recuerdo, which belongs to the Universidad de Magallanes. You can see old industrial machines and agricultural equipment there. A replica of a typical settler’s house is also on display. The Punta Arenas cemetery is something very special. It is the most important and most beautiful in all of Chile and is one of the national monuments of the South American country. The avenues are lined with cypress trees, and magnificent mausoleums testify to the former wealth of the city’s most important families. The graves of the Germans who settled here are more of a simple shape. A simple memorial commemorates the indigenous people.
The Carnaval de Invierno heralds the winter season
The Carnaval de Invierno is one of the most beautiful festivals in Punta Arenas. The winter carnival, which lasts two days and takes place in the last week of July, makes it clear that the winter season has begun.
Punta Arenas is also an ideal starting point for worthwhile day trips. About 50 kilometers from the city is the Seno Otway Pingüinera penguin colony, where more than 10,000 animals nest. Far more animals live on Isla Magdalena, namely, believe it or not, around 200,000 Magellanic penguins. The animals stay here from the end of October to the end of March. A visit to the first settlements in the region near Puerto is also worthwhile.