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Punta Arenas is the regional capital of the Magallanes y Antártica Region located in Chilean Patagonia. Punta Arenas (formerly Punta Arenosa, "Sandy Point") is located on the Brunswick Peninsula and was founded in the 17th century by Englishman J. Byron who gave it the name of Sandy Point. With a population of around 120,000 (2002) it is the largest settlement on the Strait of Magellan and is located 1418 km from the coast of Antarctica. The history and economic growth of the city is based on maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep breeding. The city has all kind of facilities, in particular an abundance of banks, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hiking gear shops and a duty free zone called "Zona Franca". Don't trust the weather forecast, usually you can get rain, wind, and sun all in the same day. Snow is always expected to fall in the winter. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Punta Arenas
- A 10 minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, the Hill of the Cross viewpoint (Cerro de la Cruz) gives a panoramic view of the city.
- Austral Brewery, Patagonia 508, ☎ +56 061 245727. Come learn and enjoy the traditional production process and a beer tasting session at the southernmost brewery in the world. Call ahead for tour times and availability (minimum 2 people). 3.500.
- Regional Museum, with historical artifacts and part of the Braun-Menéndez Mansion
- Museo del Recuerdo, Avenida Bulnes 01890, ☎ +56 061 207056. 8:30AM-11AM, 2:30PM-6PM M-F. Houses an outstanding collection of old steam engines, horsecarts, cars, historic houses furnished in the 1870s and farm implements.
- Visit the numerous lighthouses in and outside of the city, such as Faro San Isidro and Faro Punta Dungeness.
- The Shepherds' monument is a traditional monument located on Avenida Bulnes 11 blocks away from the Plaza de Armas. It is one of the many traditional places of the city.
- Maggiorino Borgatello Museum, Avenida Bulnes 336, ☎ +56 061 221001. 10AM-12:30PM, 3PM-6PM Tu-Su. A Salesian Society museum of natural history and pre-Colombian ethnic groups. 2.000.
- Punta Arenas Municipal Cemetery, ☎ +56 061 212777, fax: +56 061 218418, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 730AM-8PM. Famous for its magnificent mausoleums, architecture, and shaped pine trees, the municipal cemetery dates back to 1840's and is blessed with the remains of many local aristocratic families, as well as English and Croatian immigrants.
- Museo Nao Victoria, Km 7.5 Norte (In Sector Humedal de Tres Puentes), ☎ +56 09 96400772, e-mail: email@example.com. 9AM-7PM Daily. A nautically-themed museum that hosts replicas of the Nao Victoria, James Caird, Schooner Ancud and is building the first ever replica of the HMS Beagle. To arrive take the bus with destination Río Seco from the corner of Chiloé and Ignacio Carrera Pinto in town for $400. $1.000-3.000.
About Punta Arenas
- Seno Otway (penguin rookery). Located 70 km north of the city, each spring Seno Otway hosts hundreds of Magellan Penguins returning home to their birth place in order to breed. Many travel agencies offer day trips from Punta Arenas that leave you very little time at the colony, so it's best to visit in your own car.
- Isla Magdalena Pinguinera (penguin rookery). A five hour trip. Two hours each way by boat and one hour on the island. Humans must stay on the path, but the penguins ignore it and will practically step on your feet as they waddle by. October - April.
- Kiosko Roca, Presidente Julio Roca 875, ☎ +56 061 223436. 7AM-7PM M-F, 8AM-1PM Sat. A very small place located near the Plaza de Armas. Here you can eat "choripan", grilled sausage on French bread, and "leche con plátano" a milk beverage with the addition of bananas. The food is so good that the place is full almost all day.
- Dino's Pizza, Bories 557, ☎ +56 061 247434. 12PM-11PM MWF, 12PM-12AM ThF, 12:30PM-10:30PM Su.. Locally famous pizza and sandwich restaurant. Try the delicious rhubarb juice or a "Barros Luco" (a beef and cheese sandwich).
- La Chocolatta, Bories 852, ☎ +56 061 248150, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A grandma-style café, very cozy and usually full, that serves a large variety of homemade chocolates, ice cream, tea, and coffee.
- La Luna, O'Higgins 1017, ☎ +56 061 228555, e-mail: email@example.com. Special cuisine made with fresh regional products. Its specialties are seafood and lamb.
- Puerto Viejo Seafood and Grill, ☎ +56 061 225103, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fresh and savory food focusing on fish and seafood, and a variety of grill dishes that includes the famous Magellian lamb.
- El Remezón Restaurant, Calle 21 de Mayo 1469, ☎ +56 061241029, e-mail: email@example.com. Magellian Ethnic Food in a warm environment.
The city is also known for its number of cafés, to name a few:
- Café Pub Cyrano, Bulnes 299, ☎ +56 061 242749, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy a fabulous "Twinnings" teapot or one of its varieties of coffee or chocolate drinks with local pastries. Good coffee and Wi-Fi access.
- Santo Remedio, Bulnes 040. Local pastries, in the evening it becomes a pub and serves good "tablas" and "picoteos" (snack platters).
- La Marmita, Plaza Sampaio 678, ☎ +56 061 222056. La Marmita has trendy decor, awesome food, and an all-around great atmosphere. An awesome place to relax with friends or family after a day of activity. A great find and a great choice for vegetarians.
- Jekus, O'Higgins 1021, ☎ +56 061 245851. 10AM-3AM Daily. A restaurant/pub with good service and creatively decorated inside with beautiful wood carvings. Good selection of wines and beers. Unfortunately the food is boring with soup from packets not quite dissolved and basic meat and potatos entrees. 15000.
- 1900 Pub, Avenida Colón 617, ☎ +56 061 226500. 10AM-2AM Daily. A small place located in the Tierra Del Fuego Hotel in the center of the city.
- Bull Blood, Avenida España 0480, e-mail: email@example.com. Nice environment, with great drinks and food. It has a small dance hall and karaoke all night.
- Kamikaze Club and Madero Pub, Bories 655. Japanese WWII-themed nightclub may be unusual but makes for an entertaining evening. The pub plays a mixture of Western/Latin and Reggaeton music is played into the early hours and is attended by enthusiastic locals and tourists alike. At the top is the "Madero Pub", with karaoke and live music. Cover includes a free drink but is a bit expensive at 6,000 CLP on the weekends.
- Notre Dame, Croacia 1007, ☎ +56 061 228786. A nice place to have a drink with friends, this place gets busy every day after about 11pm. Karaoke on the main floor Friday and Saturday nights.
- Olijoe Pub, Errázuriz 970, ☎ +56 061 223728. A traditional local venue, it has a big bar made of wood from "lenga", the signature tree of the region.
- Santino Bar e Cucina, Colon 657, ☎ +56 061 710888. 6PM-3AM Daily. Quality Italian food and good drinks alongside stunning decor. Live music on Saturdays.
There’s a small open market ("feria") for touristy merchandise downtown. You can find department stores, supermarkets, and a lot of outdoors shops (like Timberland and The North Face) on Calle Bories nearby.
There is a large outlet mall on the outskirts of the city, called "Zona Franca", a duty-free zone, with supermarkets, perfume, clothing, and outdoor stores, all with very reasonable prices. Also on the outskirts of the city, the recently-opened Mall Espacio Urbano Pionero (Pioneer Urban Space Mall) offers three department stores (Falabella, Ripley and La Polar), a food court, various smaller stores, and a "Lider" supermarket.
- Open Market. Muñoz Gamero Main Square, Downtown.
- Zona Franca Outlet Mall. Km 3 1/2 Norte, Bulnes Av.
- Espacio Urbano Pionero Mall. 01110, Eduardo Frei Av.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Punta Arenas on Wikivoyage.