There are two penguin colonies near Punta Arenas: Seno Otway and Magdalena Island. Both are packed with Magellanic Penguins that make these locations their nesting sites. Magdalena Island is the most important breeding site and has been made into a national nature reserve. The island allows you to get surprisingly close to the penguin colonies, although you do have to take a ferry ride to get here. The Seno Otway penguin colony is reached by road. There are roped walkways and lookout posts so you can see the penguins congregating and diving into the open. Visit around 10 in the morning, when the penguin couples change shifts—one waddles to the sea to fish while the other returns from fishing to care for the young.
Punta Arenas holidays offer you the unique experience exploring the wind-bitten port of Chile’s southernmost Patagonia region. Punta Arenas is brimming with a unique culture and history, as well as spectacular natural sights.
Found on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, Puntas Arenas is often used as a gateway your cruise exploring Antarctica and the surrounding wilderness of the city. On the Southern ice cap, plenty of lofty glaciers are found dominating the horizon.
One of the most popular spots to visit in Punta Arenas is the Nao Victoria Museum, which houses full size replicas of historic ships. This includes the famous Nao Victoria ship commanded by legendary Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. As well as this, fascinating replicas of weapons and ancient navigation tools can be observed, along with an abundance of documents and books relating to the historic ships of the area. And while it may be nail-bitingly chilly in Puntas Arenas, between sightseeing you can retreat to one of the various cosy and luxurious Punta Arenas hotels for some rejuvenating down time.
Discover wilderness and rugged scenery on Punta Arenas holidays
If you’re seeking wild, rugged and raw scenery and adventure then Punta Arenas holidays are an ideal option for you. For striking landscapes, head to Magdalena Island by boat to discover the exciting wildlife that inhabits the island. It’s here that you can observe the largest penguin colony in Chile. Every year approximately 60,000 Magellan penguins freely roam these windswept grounds.
Besides the penguins, keep an eye out for several other seabird species and marine life. Imperial cormorants, rock cormorants, dolphin gulls, kelp gulls, Chilean skua and many other native South American birds also nest on the island. Don’t forget the lounging sea lions either. Observe the weathered beaches where these huge creatures enjoy sunbathing lazily as birds hover curiously above them.
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‘Go back in time by taking a stroll around Punta Arenas’ cemetery. The beautiful gardens bring an air of elegance to the tombs of famous historical characters. And if you love to shop, the duty-free area is the ideal place to find souvenirs to bring home from your trip.’
‘Take a boat or a kayak along the Magellan Straits and you’ll be surprised how many friendly penguins welcome you to Magdalena Island.’
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Punta Arenas holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
Pastel de choclo pie
Pastel de choclo pie is one of the most popular local dishes in Chile. Traditionally, the pie is full of flavoursome ingredients such as onions, raisins, olives and roasted chicken. The pie is then topped with a creamy layer of choclo - corn.
Completo is the classic loaded American hot dog, with a unique Chilean spin. This local favourite typically consists of a hot dog on a bun topped with sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, crushed avocado, and a generous dose of mayonnaise. The best place to find completos is from a local street vendor or a casual eatery.
Chilean empanadas are filled to the brim with beef along with other ingredients like raisins, olives and hard-boiled eggs, and are an ideal on-the-go snack. Like completos, you can easily find them cooked from a street vendor or in a casual restaurant.
Packed full of nutritious vegetables such as butternut squash, onions, northern beans and Lima beans, porotos granados is a healthy soup and the ideal warming comfort food dish for those frosty nights in Punta Arenas.
Chile is renowned for producing fine wines. Sample a delicious glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir – the grape varietals Chile is most famous for producing.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
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