City Tour “Hotel Cabo De Hornos”
Leaving our Hotel Cabo de Hornos, you will be at kilometer zero of Punta Arenas, a central and ideal point to start your tour of the city.
Imagine that from here, 250 km to the north is the city of Puerto Natales and the gateway to Torres del Paine. 316 km to the east, crossing the waters of the Strait of Magellan, is the city of Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego. To the west you are stepping on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and 1,250 km to the south awaits the Antarctic continent.
Now that you are located in this southern part of the planet, I invite you to travel together through my city where I will show you the 12 stops you cannot miss!
Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Square
Crossing the street from our hotel, you are already in the main square of the city and its urban development.
In the center of it, among its huge cypress and birch trees blown by the wind, you will find the monument in honor of Hernando de Magallanes, the first photo of your tour. As the main figure of the monument, you will see Hernando de Magallanes looking towards the Strait of Magellan and at his sides are the figure of a young woman with her arms raised and the bronze sculpture of our mythical Patagonian Indian.
Popular legend has it that a few years after the monument was unveiled, a Spanish sailor approached it and, impressed by the size of the Patagonian foot, decided to have it tattooed. A few years later, the sailor returned to Punta Arenas with good fortune. From that moment on, our Magellan myth says that whoever passes by Muñoz Gamero Square should kiss the toe of the Patagonian Indian and guarantee his return to our city with good fortune... try your luck and kiss it!
The buildings surrounding the Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Square
By observing the buildings surrounding the Muñoz Gamero square, you will have a perfect tour of the beginnings of the urbanization of the city in the early twentieth century and the origins of the history of our region. It was during this period that several European families arrived to conquer these lands, attracted by the commercial development boom that the Strait of Magellan meant as a connection point between Europe and the East.
Following the clockwise direction, start your visit at our Cathedral, which was inaugurated in 1901 and still preserves its original construction and characteristics. Then you will find the current Administration of the region, which in its beginnings represented the house of the first government of the city.
Crossing the street you will find the Sara Braun Palace, current meeting place of the Punta Arenas Union Club. On your right you will find the José Menéndez Palace, currently the Military Club. The block ends with the commercial house of the Menéndez Behety Society where maritime supplies were sold for the navigators of the Strait of Magellan, today Work Café of the Santander Bank.
Continuing your tour around the square, you will find our Cabo de Hornos Hotel, the result of the commercial boom in the area and built by order of the Tierra del Fuego Livestock Society, which came to have 4 million animals from which it exported wool and meat to the whole world. Next to it is the Blanchard Palace, where the Chilean Antarctic Institute currently operates, and finally the former Bank of London, today a branch of Banco Santander.
Finally, we finish the tour in the fourth quadrant where we are confronted with three emblematic buildings: the offices of the Braun, Blanchard and Menendez Society, the first inter-oceanic company in the country and where today the Banco Estado operates; the Montes Palace, home of the wealthy cattle rancher Don José Montes, today the Municipality of Punta Arenas; and the building of the Empresa Nacional del Petróleo (National Petroleum Company), the first high-rise building constructed in the city in 1948.
Braun Menéndez Regional Museum
Visiting the Braun Menendez Palace is a trip back in time. Just entering it is to be in the glory of Punta Arenas in the early 1900s when the Strait of Magellan, its port and city were the unique maritime circuit that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
This surprisingly luxurious mansion was the home of one of the most emblematic pioneer families of the region formed by the marriage of Don Mauricio Braun and Doña Josefina Menéndez and their numerous descendants. Here you can appreciate its atmosphere of splendor in each of its rooms and objects that describe the customs and social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that marked this glorious era.
Sara Braun Palace
The Sara Braun Palace is another luxury mansion worth visiting on your tour of the city. Of French neoclassical style, it was commissioned by Mrs. Sara Braun to the architect Numa Mayer and inaugurated in 1905 with the exuberant elegance of the time.
During your visit you will be able to admire its furniture and ornaments imported from Europe, which decorate different rooms such as the music room, golden room, billiard room, library and bedrooms. In 1981 it was declared a Historic Monument due to its architectural value and the contribution of the foreign colonies to the history of Magellan.
To get to know our city from the inside, a stop at the emblematic Kiosko Roca is a must on your city tour. This "picada", a typical food from Punta Arenas, became so famous in time that in 2012 it was chosen as "the best picada in Chile" by popular vote by the Ministry of Culture and the Arts.
Join the Magellan traditions and try their classic chorizo sandwich with a milk and banana and you will get strength and warmth to continue your journey.
Punta Arenas Public Cemetery
Our cemetery is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country and declared a Historic Monument in 2012 due to its perfect combination of its large cypress trees pruned tubularly, its architecture, its narrow streets and the history it houses through its inhabitants, pioneers and settlers who made our city great. Among them stands out the tomb of its benefactor, Mrs. Sara Braun, who gave the fences and main doors of the holy field giving it the majesty that we know today to the place.
In its interior we recommend you to visit a very special place for the inhabitants of Magallanes called "El Indio Desconocido" (The Unknown Indian). The story goes that on August 28, 1929 were brought from Cambridge Island (now Diego de Almagro Island) and buried under it a Chilean of Chiloé origin, David Leal, and a Kaweskar Indian of unknown name who caused each other's death, the first with a spear and the second with a bullet.
This animita (shrine) is the source of thousands of petitions and popular thanks. We invite you too to leave a nice souvenir of your trip to Patagonia in it.
Get on our Sheepherder Monument, take a picture of yourself on it and join us in honoring our field worker, his sheep, his horse and his faithful dogs.
Few know that this man really existed and his name in life was Abel Oyarzún, worker for life in the Estancia Mina Rica ranch. That is why our regional poet José Grimaldi Acotto referred to him with these words:
"He is not the gaucho of the pampas / nor the cowboy of the prairie; / he is not the huaso nor is he the charro, / the sheepman of my land".
Cerro de la Cruz Viewpoint
You will get the best panoramic view of the city from this place: Cerro de la Cruz Viewpoint. From here you will be able to appreciate the beautiful colored roofs of our houses, the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego Island and, weather permitting, Mount Sarmiento, which borders the Darwin Mountain Range and Argentina.
Popular belief says that if you can see Sarmiento Mount it is because bad weather is coming. If you saw it, embrace it, and if you didn't, don't worry, the weather will be with you ahead.
The development of colonization in Patagonia, both in Chile and Argentina, was greatly influenced by the contribution of the Salesian Congregation, especially in the areas of education and agriculture.
One of its missionaries, Don Bosco Alberto Maria de Agostini, was its main representative and, to contemporary eyes, we can recognize him as the first and great guide of the region: photographer, documentarian, mountaineer and geographer, he was the one who first discovered the pristine beauties of our region and documented them in important elements that you can find in this museum founded by the Salesian missionaries in 1893.
Here you will find unique collections of ethnographies, history, flora and fauna of the entire Patagonian territory.
Nao Victoria Museum
We love to recommend a visit to this open-air museum that contains original size replicas of important ships that made history in the maritime past of our region.
Here you can climb aboard them and dream of the daring adventures of sailors aboard the Beagle, where Charles Darwin sailed; James Caird, Schackleton's auxiliary boat on his voyage to Antarctica; Schooner Ancud, in which the Chilotes arrived to take possession of our lands for Chile and, of course, the Nao Victoria, Hernando de Magallanes' ship, where inside you can see representations of the sailors with their clothes and elements of the time.
Museum of Remembrance
Each of the buildings, objects and machinery in this open museum will transport you to the way of life and development of the city carried out by the first settlers of our lands.
Here you will be able to appreciate the first constructions, machinery and tools that gave birth to the evolution of the city between 1880 and 1950 and you will marvel at how they overcame the inclemency of the climate and the difficulties of isolation to make Punta Arenas the southernmost great city in the country.
Costanera del Estrecho
Walking along our waterfront is a recreational walk for the soul. It is an avenue of almost 3 kilometers by the sea, which connects Punta Arenas from south to north, and where you can enjoy watching the Strait and Tierra del Fuego Island with cormorants and seagulls playing with the wind, and animals such as southern dolphins, sea lions and, if you are lucky, even whales swimming in its waters.
It is also a journey through the history of the city through its old docks and monuments. Among the latter are the sculptures of Pilot Pardo, protagonist of the rescue of Ernest Shackleton and his ship Endurance from the ice in Antarctica, the Ancud Schooner that honors the first Chiloé settlers in the region, the bust of Hernando de Magallanes and the most recent of them, Circumnavigation, inaugurated in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait.
Our waterfront was conceived by the Chilean government as the southernmost bicentennial work of the country.