After hearing and reading negative reviews about this place, I was quite surprised when we arrived in Punta Arenas. Surprised in a good way that is! This town is much older and larger than its sister Puerto Natales, who has the international draw card. It also has plenty of great plazas, ye old architecture, a brewery, and a duty free shopping zone.
This main plaza is amazing and it’s easy to buy some delicious churros from a nearby vendor and chill here for at least 30min to 1hr.
A great way to spend a few hours in town is to visit the local brewery and do a tour, starting everyday at 3pm. The tour was only 3000CLP and includes a guided tour and tasting of the 8 different Austral beers produced here.
There’s an easy to follow walking tour of all the cities sites, which includes this lookout over the city. From here it’s a short walk to the brewery so you can combine the activities into one. Visit the local tourist information office for your map. Chile has one of these offices in most towns and supplys an array of well designed information brouchures.
Punta Arenas is mainly a port town, with a long stretch of water front esplanade that makes a nice afternoon walk. Within the port area of Punta Arenas there’s also an excellent duty free shopping zone, where many bargains can be found. From Calle 21 de Mayo in centro Punta Arenas you can get a Collectivo number 15 or 20 ($450clp pp) to drop you on the main road where you see a large building with a Sanchez y Sanchez sign.
This place is also one of the main transportation hubs in Southern Patagonia, with an airport, ships port, and bus terminal you are likely to find yourself here at some point in your Patagonian adventures.