Punta Arenas – Beagle Channel
Chile’s Patagonia doesn’t end in the majestic Torres del Paine National Park. Venture further south and the surprisingly big city of Punta Arenas has something very special up its sleeve for visitors. Perched on the shores of the Magellan Strait, this once frontier city is today a bustling metropolis amid some of the most remote, rugged, and jaw-dropping landscapes on the planet.
For centuries Punta Arenas was the main port for ships navigating the choppy waters of Cape Horn, linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. With the opening of the Panama Canal, the city has had a new lease of life. Today, museums tell the story of its sea-faring heritage, and fishermen haul some of the world’s finest king crab off their boats – be sure to try it served fresh in the local restaurants.
Nearby nature reserves are teeming with wildlife, where visitors can see Magellanic penguins come ashore in their thousands, or watch dolphins, whales, sea lions, and southern elephant seals frolic in the cold waters. For those who long to explore deeper into this untamed region, Oyikil arranges cruises into the fjords or to the legendary Cape Horn. A better travel destination during the summer months, this small town is still a huge port to Chilean fjords and Antarctica.