Blogs from Punta Arenas, Magallanes, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 21st 2023

We are going to Patagonia! John and I do a lot of trips to try to get Delta credit for diamond status (most requiring business class fares), but this might be our last because of some changes Delta is making. We are going out with a bang! Jamison is a great sport and has joined on all of our recent adventures (and just made platinum status himself!) Business class flights to Chile from Seattle are pretty cheap in Nov-Dec each year. This is our second year. Last year we just saw Santiago (capital of Chile) and went to the coast for a few days. This time we are going to Patagonia! It's the Sourhern-most part of South America (the bottom 1/3rd) and has a Chilean side and an Argentinian side. We read that flying within the ... read more
Very lifelike ad
Amazing tacos in Mexico City airport

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 21st 2023

Tuesday was an early day. We grabbed our bagged brunch from the hotel (what a nice thing they did!) and walked the 2 blocks to the office for our penguin tour. We were supposed to get there at 6:15, but we stood in the line to pay for the tour until at least 7. They would really benefit from a online payment system. I thought there was only the 1 tour company that went to the island but we saw a couple there. Ours was Solo Expediciones. After a very warm bus ride to the marina, we boarded boats to head to Isla Magdalena. There are several species of penguins in the area, but the Magellan penguins are what nest on Isla Magdalena. They mate for life and come back in Sept each year to the ... read more
Chilling on the beach
Penguin burrow

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas August 5th 2023

Has it ever happened to you that sometime you visit a small town and you fall in love with the place? You start thinking - “I wish I could live here”. I don’t know about others, but this has happened to me a number of times. Once I was visiting Sapa in extreme North Vietnam and I loved the place. I started looking into rental property in Sapa. And I just stayed there for 2 nights only! I know what you are thinking – “what a crazy dude you are”. Maybe, I am. The same thing happened to me when Ryan and I flew to Punta Arenas. We only stayed there 3 nights and the place felt like home to me – coffee shop in patio, convenience stores in downtown, bank line ups, travel stores, small ... read more
Punta Arenas  - from viewpoint
Celebration of Battle of Iquique - 21st May
Hotel Plaza

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 1st 2023

Le voyage tire sur sa dernière partie : l'extrême sud du continent, avec notamment les Torres del Paine, la Terre de Feu et le détroit de Magellan, à quelques encablures seulement du pôle sud. Difficile pour moi de rester insensible à l'appel de ces noms mythiques entendus depuis le collège. Mais il nous faut avant tout regagner le Chili et retraverser une dernière fois la frontière. 300km à peine de route: ca ne devrait pas être une journée trop compliquée. Alors qu'Alexis s'efforce tant bien que mal de rattraper ses bêtises à coups de bouquets de roses, on prend la route pour pouvoir traverser la frontière et commencer l'ascension des Torres del Paine dès le lendemain. La Patagonie nous avait habitué à des routes difficiles, mais là la piste est vraiment détestable: trous, grosses pierres, bosses... ... read more
Situation de crise
J'apprends à changer une roue
No church in the wild

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas January 28th 2023

By the time I had finished coffee in my cabin and had made my way to the Lido Café for breakfast on Thursday, January 26, 2023, the ship already had made its way into one of the Chilean fjords. So just what is a fjord? The Oxford English Dictionary says, "a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley," while Wikipedia says, "a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier." The common threads in the several definitions I examined seems to be long, narrow, deep and glaciated. Over the course of the next 48 hours or so, we would see many fjords as we passed Laguna San Rafael National Park, Torres del Paine National Park and ... read more
Cruising the Chilean Fjords
Cruising the Chilean Fjords
Cruising the Chilean Fjords

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas January 21st 2023

This and all my blogs are available on my website with more photos Say Hueque organized my penguin and whale watching tours. I went with them because of their environmental mission to go beyond sustainability. They were also super easy to work with! Highly recommended! The three most popular tours from Punta Arenas are also my favorites. This isn’t always the case. I often find the most popular places have become overly commercial, overly crowded or just plain boring. These tours are worth your time. The half day tour to see Magellanic penguins on Isla Magdalena, the full day tour to Tierra del Fuego and the full day whale watching tours truly are fantastic. I also recommend independently visiting Pali Aike National Park a... read more
Penguins by the path!
Humpback Whale and Sea Lions
King Penguin Colony, Tierra del Fuego

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 4th 2019

R: So this blog is going to be a bit of a slow burner. I also forgot to mention - I found a Hindu temple in Punta Arenas - who knew? The next day started with a 6am start. Kevin from Canada, who I had sat with last night was conspicuously absent - he had swapped his steak for a crab lasagne last night with someone else who had ordered wrongly - turns out it was poison! So not a good start for the group as we were down one already. We were supposed to be heading out to an island where there was a penguin colony to see. However, the weather was against us (apparently). Although it seemed quite calm in Punta Arenas, apparently there was plenty of wind over at the island and the ... read more
Patagonia Landscapes
Patagonian Wildlife
Condor in Flight

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 1st 2019

Really early start today ? - breakfast at 6.15am and I’m up well before worrying about getting the stupid cases shut. Shove everything in and Rodolfo is ready and waiting to take us to the bus station at 6.30am. So nice to see him and say goodbye. He was fun to be around and had great playlists on our drives! We’re on Bus Sur this time. Not the luxury double decker we’re used to, but it’s comfortable, warm (nice!) and has overhead usb chargers which is handy. Unfortunately it also has piped audio linked to a tv screen at the front which is on an endless 5 minute loop of ads and music. David lasts about 30 minutes then goes to the front to ask the conductor to turn it off, which he does - phew. ... read more
Views towards the sea from the older barrios
Anti-Piñera signs

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 1st 2019

R: So it has taken me a while to get round to the blog for this with Christmas in the way, but I took a lot of notes when I was away on this trip so I hope I can re-create the experience for you. The next 10 days was going to be a whirlwind trip to Patagonia - somewhere we failed to get to on our world trip. This time I was travelling solo (being in term time so Cate couldn't join, plus it involved a lot of hiking, which Cate is not a fan of). So on Friday 1st November, I headed to Heathrow after work, rucksack packed, seemingly with too much stuff for my 10 day trip. I would be camping on this trip so there was more to think about than on ... read more
Street Art
Plaza des Armes
Magellan Strait

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 28th 2019

Lunes cerrado/closed Mondays! What the ….? We had just driven 250km on dirt roads in our little rentacar to find that the only king penguin colony outside of the Antarctic was closed on Mondays and it was Monday! Jane was turning crimson and I started to laugh (which probably didn’t help). The place was deserted. There was no one to plead with. We had arrived at the end of Bahia Inutil/Useless Bay (sic) a great gash in the Western side of Terra del Fuego. What tempered our frustration was the picturesque surroundings and the blue sky sliced by waves of high cloud. In the distance the snow-capped mountains of the Darwin range were visible behind the closer peaks of Dawson island. The Magellan Straits, apparently up to a kilometre deep at this point, spread ... read more
rusting hulk on the shore of the Magellan Straits
Lava cliffs at Pali Aike
the elegant guanaco

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