City Tour “Hotel Cabo De Hornos”

Upon stepping out of our Hotel you will find yourself at Punta Arenas’ kilometer zero, a central point and ideal start to a promising 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 will be stepping on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and 1,250 km to the south, the Antarctic continent awaits. Now that you are at the southern end of the planet, we are happy to invite you to take a stroll through the city, marvelling at the following 12 stops that you cannot miss.

Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Square

As you cross the street from our hotel, you step into the city's main square, where most urban development has unfolded. Nestled amidst a towering cypress and birch trees swaying in the wind, the focal point of the square is the monument honoring Hernando de Magallanes, perfect spot for the first photo of your tour. Dominating the monument is Hernando de Magallanes gazing towards the legendary Strait that carries his name, flanked by the statues of a young woman with outstretched arms and a bronze depiction of our mythical indigenous Ona man.
Legend has it that a few years following the unveiling of the monument, a Spanish sailor, awestruck by the size of the Ona man's foot, decided to immortalize it with a tattoo. Upon his return to Punta Arenas years later, fortune smiled upon him. Since then, local folklore dictates that any passerby in Muñoz Gamero Square should plant a kiss on the Ona man’s toe to ensure their return in good fortune... try your luck and kiss it.

Architectural tapestry surrounding Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Square

By observing the constructions surrounding Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Square you will embark on a charming tour through the origins of the city’s urbanization in the early 20th century, delving into the roots of our region's history. This period witnessed the arrival of numerous European families, drawn by the booming commercial development brought by the strategic position of the Strait of Magellan as a vital link between Europe and the East.
Start exploring in a clockwise fashion, commencing at our Cathedral, inaugurated in 1901, which still preserves its original construction and distinctive characteristics. Adjacent lies the Intendencia, once the bastion of the city's inaugural governance. Crossing the street you will find the Sara Braun Palace, now the esteemed venue of the
Punta Arenas Union Club. To the right stands the imposing José Menéndez Palace, presently home to the Military Club. The block culminates in the Menéndez Behety Society building, former center of maritime provisions to the navigators of the Strait of Magellan, now transformed into Santander’s Bank Work Café.

Continuing your tour around the square, you will find our Cabo de Hornos Hotel, a testament to the region's economic prosperity, commissioned by the Tierra del Fuego Livestock Society, which once boasted a staggering four million head of livestock, fueling global exports of wool and meat. Adjacent stands the Blanchard Palace, which currently houses the Chilean Antarctic Institute. At the corner of this block is what used to be the Bank of London, today a branch of Banco Santander. We conclude our tour in the fourth quadrant, where three iconic structures beckon: the headquarters of the Braun, Blanchard, and Menendez Society, first inter-oceanic trade
company, now home to Banco Estado; the Montes Palace, residence of wealthy cattle rancher Don José Montes, repurposed as the Municipalidad de Punta Arenas; and the Empresa Nacional del Petróleo building, the city's first high-rise edification erected in 1948.

Braun Menéndez Regional Museum

Visiting the Braun Menéndez Palace is an enchanting journey through time. Stepping footinside is immersing in  the grandeur of Punta Arenas during the early 1900s, when the Strait of Magellan, with its bustling port and the city itself, comprised a singular maritime nexus bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This luxurious mansion served as the esteemed residence of one of the region's most iconic pioneer families, formed by the marriage of Don Mauricio Braun and Doña Josefina Menéndez, along with their numerous descendants. Within these walls, visitors can appreciate the splendorous ambiance infused into each room, with artifacts that vividly illustrate the customs and societal, cultural, economic, and political attributes that defined
this illustrious era.

Sara Braun Palace

The Sara Braun Palace stands as a captivating emblem of luxury, worth visiting as part of your tour of the city. Designed in the distinguished French neoclassical style, it was commissioned by Mrs. Sara Braun to architect Numa Mayer. Inaugurated in 1905, it has epitomized the exuberant elegance of its era. During your visit you will feel embarking on a journey through time as you admire its furnishings and ornaments sourced from Europe. Each room reflects refined taste, from the music chamber to the golden salon, the billiard room, the library and each of the bedrooms. Recognized for its architectural significance and as a testament to the legacy of the foreign communities in the region’s history, the palace was bestowed with the title of Historic Monument in 1981.

Kiosko Roca

To truly immerse yourself in the heart of our city, a visit to the iconic Roca Kiosk is an essential stop on your city tour. Originally from Punta Arenas, this beloved picada of food-to-go has garnered such renown over time that in 2012, it was honored as the best "picada" in Chile, through a popular vote conducted by the Ministry of Culture and the Arts. Embrace the rich Magellanic traditions by indulging in their classic chorizo sandwich paired with a glass of banana milk to gather the strength and warmth to continue your journey.

Punta Arenas Public Cemetery

Our cemetery stands as a beautiful testament to the city's rich heritage and cultural significance, earning the title of Historic Monument in 2012, owing to its harmonious blend of towering cypress trees pruned in tubular fashion, captivating architecture, narrowpathways, and the profound narratives enshrined within the resting places of its
inhabitants—trailblazers and settlers who contributed to the city's grandeur. Of notable mention is the tomb of its benefactor, Mrs. Sara Braun, whose generous contributions, including the elegant fences and main gates, bestowed upon the sacred grounds the dignified magnificence it possesses today. Within its confines, we recommend a visit to a site of particular significance to the people of Magallanes: "El Indio Desconocido" (The Unknown Native). According to local lore, on August 28, 1929, David Leal, a Chilean from Chiloé, and an unnamed Kaweskar native were laid to rest beneath its earth, the former with a spear and the latter with a bullet, after being brought from Cambridge Island (now known as Diego de Almagro Island). This animita (shrine) serves as a focal point for prayers and expressions of gratitude. We invite you to leave a token of remembramce from your trip to Patagonia.

Sheepherder Monument

Capture a photo of yourself standing proudly at the life-size Ovejero monument and join us in honoring our hard working man, his sheep, horse, and loyal dogs. Only a few know that this man really existed, named Abel Oyarzun, a lifelong laborer at Estancia Mina Rica. It is for this reason that our renowned poet from the region, José Grimaldi Acotto, immortalized him with these poignant 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 shepherd of my land"

Cerro La Cruz Viewpoint

For the ultimate panoramic view of our city, look no further than the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint. You will be treated to a breathtaking spectacle, with the vibrant hues of our rooftops, the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego Island and, weather permitting, Mount Sarmiento, which delineates the border between the Darwin Mountain Range and

Popular belief states that if you can see Mount Sarmiento, it is a signal of impending weather. We suggest you put a jacket on and embrace it as a part of the natural rhythm of our region in which the weather will guide you onwards.

Salesian Museum

The colonization of Patagonia, spanning both Chile and Argentina, owes much of its development to the invaluable contributions of the Salesian Congregation, particularly in the realms of education and agriculture.
One of its missionaries, Don Bosco Alberto Maria de Agostini, is recognized in present days as a pioneering figure in Patagonia, known for his diverse talents as a photographer, documentarian, mountaineer, and geographer. His exploration and documentation of the region's pristine beauty left a lasting legacy, which are housed in this museum founded by Salesian missionaries in 1893. The museum showcases unique collections spanning ethnography, history, and the rich tapestry of flora and fauna that blankets the entirety of the Patagonian landscape.

Nao Victoria Museum

We love suggesting a visit to this open-air museum which showcases original size replicas of important vessels that are part of maritime history in our region. Climb aboard to immerse yourself in the legendary journeys of renowned adventurers: from the HMS Beagle, the vessel that carried Charles Darwin on his groundbreaking
expedition, to the James Caird, the auxiliary boat from Shackleton’s Antarctic voyage. You can experience the legacy of the Schooner Ancud, which heralded the arrival of Chilote settlers to to claim sovereignty for Chile. And don't miss the chance to step onto the decks of the Nao Victoria, Hernando de Magallanes’ iconic ship, where vivid representations of sailors, adorned in period attire, bring to life the era of exploration.

Museum of Remembrance

A tour of this open museum will transport you to another era, when the first settlers came to our land. Its constructions, objects and machinery will retrace you to life in the late 19th century as a testament of the city’s development over the years. Immerse yourself in the experience of our settlers and how their work gave birth to the evolution of the city between 1880 and 1950. It would be impossible not to marvel at how they overcame the inclemency of the weather and the challenges of isolation to make Punta Arenas the greatest southernmost city in the country.

Costanera del Estrecho

To take a stroll along Punta Arenas’ waterfront is a recreational journey for the soul. A coastal avenue of almost 3 kms by the sea, it connects Punta Arenas from south to north. As you walk you can admire the Strait of Magellan and the Tierra del Fuego Island, as you watch cormorants and seagulls playing with the wind, as well as southern dolphins, sea lions and, if you are lucky, even whales swimming in its waters. It is also a tour of the city’s history through its weathered docks and monuments. Among these landmarks you can admire the sculpture of Chilean Navy officer, Luis Pardo, who heroically led the rescue of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance team from the icy grip of Antarctica. You will also find the Ancud schooner, which honors the pioneers from Chiloé who first settled in the region, and the bust of Hernando de Magallanes. The most recent sculpture, Circunnavegación, was inaugurated in 2020 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait.