Blogs from Punta Arenas, Magallanes, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas March 13th 2017

Isla Magdalena was reached by the Melinka, afternoon departure of 4pm. it was a 5 hour round trip to the island with a circuit hike to see first hand experience of Magellanic penguins. approximately 58, 000 couples nest on the island. we witnessed the hatchlings at full independence, in shedding process and ready to migrate. Not returning until September. The island has permanent presence of pserk ranges and a lighthouse with information about the fauna. Created in 1966 it is a Natural Monument. However , history dates back to 1520 where these islands were used for supplies of eggs and meat to the early explorers. ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 28th 2017

Our only goal in this port was to see Magellan penguins and from the ferry and on the island we also saw dolphins, petrels, skuas, cormorants, kelp gulls and small starling-like birds. The weather was intermittent rain but that did not affect our enjoyment of the trip. We had heard that cruise line companies charter the ferries so booked with them although speedboats with independent travelers did arrive whilst we were on the island. Loading and unloading the ferry was a tedious affair with a single file stairway and walk from the entrance to the seating area and almost 200 people doing so. Chile does not allow any foodstuffs to be brought ashore so lunchbags were issued as we boarded containing a sandwich, mini biscuit pack and drink. Boredom on the ride meant that we ate ... read more
Magellan penguins

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 20th 2017

Geo: -53.1548, -70.9113Punta arenas claims to be the Southern most city in South America, the end of the world. It is a quaint city of 127,000 inhabitants. It takes 4 hours by air to get Santiago it takes days to get there driving, because you have to take boats, fairies, and roads. There industry includes fishing mining for copper, and tourism. They cannot grow fruits and vegetables so they import them all making them very expensive. The city has 3 universities We actually started today with sunshine, but it faded quickly. We had a 3 hour city tour this morning. Saw the downtown area where there was a market, city center with huge trees, and a large statue of Magellan. We drove to one of the high points to view the city from above. We stopped ... read more
Straits of Magellan
Strait of Magellan

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas January 28th 2017

After Isa´s departure, I went to Punta Arenas, on the Magellan Strait. I got to see some Magallanes penguins on Isla Magdalena reserve, it is the season when the babies come out and start taking their fur off. It was so cute to see them. They are the same size as the parents but furry! Penguins are so funny, they have become one of my favourite animals. I took the time to also visit a museum containing 4 boats replicas: - the first one was "Magellan´s" boat. He did not actually captain this one as their were 5 boats leaving from Spain that year but this is the boat that made it all around the Globe for the first time in History. Magellan died in Asia along the way so his boat did not make it ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas October 24th 2016

Another big South American hello to you all, this time from a rather chilly Chile, where we have so far spent a week marvelling at this country's simply stunning natural landscapes. We arrived in the country by coach from Argentina, a five hour schlep that included two border checkpoints vehemently reminding us that the 'Malvinas', or Falklands to us, are in fact Argentinian ruled. At the second checkpoint, Vicky's backpack was singled out and searched thoroughly by several guards, adding delay to the coach party. Once it was established that Vicky's entry was indeed legitimate, and our beloved scrabble-like game of 'Bananagrams' was in fact a game in the shape of a banana, rather than a banana itself, we were able to enter Chilean territory. We stayed that night in Puerto Natales, a small town that ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas April 2nd 2016

It's going to be a long, long day today as we commence our journey home. We are not flying to Santiago until 7.35pm tonight so we have some time (quite a lot actually!) for a last look around Punta Arenas before we are driven to the airport mid-afternoon. It was cold, but sunny today so it was reasonably pleasant for our last minute sightseeing. We wandered back 'downtown' to visit the Palacio Sara Braun a stately home built in the 19th century on wealth garnered from the wool trade. Judging from the opulence of the residence wool was a very lucrative industry to be involved in. Our next stop was the Punta Arenas Cemetery officially named the Cementerio Municipal Sara Braun. The huge stone gateway was donated in 1919 by Sara Braun, the richest and most ... read more
Catedral Sagrada Corazon
Palacio Sara Braun, Punta Arenas
Palacio Sara Braun

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas April 1st 2016

This morning we were able to sleep in a bit after four mornings in a row where we were up at 6.00am or earlier!! We were on the move again today, heading back down to Punta Arenas. We were in Punta Arenas 20 days ago when the m.s. Zandaam docked there for the day. Well, Bernie and Meredith made it into Punta Arenas, that was the first day of my confinement to our cabin. Punta Arenas was going to be all new for me! Fortunately for us today's coach was departing at a more civilised hour and we didn't have to rise before the sun. After a relaxed breakfast, we were collected from Hotel Glaciares and driven back across town to the bus depot. Our seats were numbered the same as for the trip down from ... read more
Nao Victoria
Nao Victoria

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 15th 2016

Marie Il est tard quand nous atterissons ce samedi 14 février à l'aéroport de Punta là tout de suite le froid nous saisit...On comprend mieux pourquoi nous sommes les seuls en short ! Après quelques minutes de taxi, on débarque dans une auberge dans un piteux état, pas de fenêtre à notre chambre, des murs aussi fins que des feuilles de cigarette, un lit superposé sans échelle... le lendemain matin, en bons français que nous sommes, nous partons à la recherche d'une boulangerie ! Les rues sont absolument désertes, on s'approche du port et du centre ville et toujours pas plus d'animation... On finit par demander à un rare passant ou peut-on acheter du pain, on comprend que seul le supermarché ouvre à 10 heures... oulala voilà note programme de la journée chamboulé! ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas February 2nd 2016

Tuesday 2nd February, 2016. Not Punta Arenas, Magallanes, Chile Famous last words in the previous blog! We arrived at Punta Arenas (at least we were off the coast of the town) pretty early. D went to have a sniff as usual and saw the pilot on the telephone on the bridge wing about 7.15. Returning to the cabin shortly thereafter he was surprised to see that a tender notice had been printed and put up stating that the tender operation into Punta Arenas would run every 20 minutes until 4.30 pm. This was all a bit odd as this was NOT a tender stop - we were supposed to birth here. However, although the tender guys were hanging around waiting to put out the infrastructure - no tenders were released from the ship. We went and ... read more
130.  Chilean Fjords
80.  D Enjoying Chilean Fjords
83.  Sandra, Phill and M

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas December 18th 2015

And so we hit the far south of Chile and Punta Arenas, the capital of the Magallanes region which also includes Chilean Antarctica. This area is commonly known as the end of the world and the cold and wind made it feel rather like that when we first arrived. The other thing that struck us was how solid the city seemed with substantial late 19th/early 20th century buildings making it look a little like a European city - very different from the simple wooden buildings we have seen in most other parts of Patagonia. These were largely built by Europeans who moved there to at various points to set up large scale farms, search for gold or benefit from the Magellan Straits which allowed ships a safer passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It felt ... read more

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