Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

Punta Arenas, Chile


Punta Arenas is another beautiful, colorful city and the gateway to Chilean Patagonia. The dividing line between Antarctica to the south and Patagonia to the north, Punta Arenas is the capital of Chile's wool industry and first became a thriving city during the California gold rush when it served as a port for clipper ships. Perhaps one of the most dazzling places on earth, Chilean Patagonia boasts many islands, mountains, glaciers and icebergs in a truly beautiful arrangement.

There are several different ways to explore Punta Arenas and its dramatic seascape. One option is by kayak through one of the guided trips offered in a two-man tandem kayak. The other is to ride 4,500 feet up the local ski area on a chair lift and then to walk down with a professional guide. Since not much English is spoken, it's best to hire a guide for a three hour walking tour if you really want to explore Punta Arenas.

Port Orientation

Cruise ships dock at Arturo Prat, less than a mile from downtown Punta Arenas.


The cruise port terminal is a 10-15 minute walk or a short taxi ride to the plaza in downtown Punta Arenas.


Early March is when the penguins typically start migrating so penguin viewing will not be at it's peak during your visit to Punta Arenas. There are several great museums in Punta Arenas including the Centro Cultural Braun-Menendez, which is an old mansion that offers a feel for how a wealthy trading family lived. The main attractions are the Mayorino Borgatello Salesian Museum, started by Italian missionaries and the Centro Cultural Braun-Menendez which is located in one of the city's most prosperous family mansions. Sara Braun was a Russian who married a wool baron from Porugal and her story has become quite s tourist draw in Punta Arenas.

Just nine blocks north of the Plaza, The Cemeterio Muncipal is the resting place for a good mix of cultures. This cemetery is practically an outdoor museum with extensively sculpted cypresses, ornate mausoleums, and crypts planted with pains and marigolds.

p>After leaving Punto Arenas, the ship will cruise through the Strait of Magellan which is often compared to the Inside Passage of Alaska. Between two stunning snow-capped mountains in Tiera del Fuego, Chile is the waterway called Canal Sarmiento . The color of the water seems to change color with the change in natural light. Once through the Canal, the ship will head towards the Amalia Glacier, which is 20-30 feet above the water's edge and continues to the bottom of the fjord. The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is the largest adjoining icefield, outside of Antarctica, in the southern hemisphere. The area covers 73 miles and descends from the Andes.

As the ship must travel slower to avoid hitting floating icebers, take the change to enjoy watching the playful dolphins as they leap out of the water. Perhaps more spectacular than the scenery through the Inside Passage in Alaska, the Chilean fjords have such narrow channels that one can practically touch the glaciers.

Average Temperature

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun.   Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov Dec.
  51 51 48 44 39 36   35 37 41 44 47 50

Average High Temperature

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun.   Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov Dec.
  57 57 54 49 44 39   38 41 46 50 53 56

Average Precipitation

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun.   Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov Dec.
  1.4 1.1 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.3   1.3 1.3 1.1 0.9 1.1 1.2