Many pass right through Punta Arenas, but it’s worth a trip all on it’s own.
Bordered by the Magellin Straights near the souther tip of Chile lies a town called Punta Arenas. Stationed on the last land mass before the islands begin, this town has a rich history. There is much to do in Punta Arenas, including visiting a museum that houses an exact replica of The Nao Victoria. This ship, captained by Magellan, was the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
I chose to come during the Autumn, but in the summer there is a ship that departs from town and takes travelers to Isla Magdelena, a Chilean National Monument. This island is home to a colony of friendly penguins. There are marked routes that people can take in order to protect the penguin nesting ground, but the penguins will often come right up to the path.
Although unable to meet any penguins, I was in Punta Arenas during the perfect time of year to visit the Cementerio Municipal de Punta Arenas. It was overcast and gently sprinkling as I set out for my walk to this cemetery. Outside the large, regal gates was a bright and lively flower shop full of people buying gifts to leave for their departed loved ones. As I entered the gates I was awed at the scale and vastness of it. As I began exploring the intricacy of each and every plot was breathtaking and fascinating. The graveyard covers over 4 hectares (2 acres) of land and each step held a new discovery.
To view images I took at the Cementerio Municipal de Punta Arenas, check out my album of the same name (Colorful Cemetery at the End of the World).