Punta Arenas

Photo of Punta Arenas

About Punta Arenas

Perched in the extreme south of Chile stands Punta Arenas, a sprawling metropolis 1000 miles from Antarctica - the ideal holiday destination for nature lovers seeking adventure. Founded in 1848, it is the largest town on the Strait of Magellan and is home to colonies of penguins, fascinating museums and several indigenous tribes. Check out our collection of the best places to stay in Punta Arenas below, from intimate chic to classic grand dame.

At the centre of the main square stands the Statue of the Native. Legend has it that if you kiss the feet of the statue, you will return again. Surrounding it are the grand townhouses built by the city's founders in the late 19th century, and to the east is the harbour, where travellers dock from trips to the South Pole, thronged with quayside bars. Due to its extreme southern position, there is a duty-free zone called the Zona Franca, where you can buy a huge variety of international goods available at unbelievably cheap prices.

There are a great many museums in Punta Arenas. The Nao Victoria Museum boasts life-size replicas of the ships used to circumnavigate the globe, using immersive and interactive multimedia displays for a lively experience. The Braun-Menendez Museum is where you go to learn about local history - from the original tribes that lived in the region to the Europeans who displaced them. It also boasts some beautiful artworks from the last few hundred years.

People tend to come to Punta Arenas to experience a natural world unlike anywhere else on the globe. You can kayak to Magdalena Island, or head 70km north of the city to see the spring time penguin colony of Seno Otway. Hiring a boat and gliding out to Carlos III Island to spot whales should also be high on your priority list. If you're a fan of hiking, be sure to trek through the Tierra del Fuego, where the indigenous tribes of the Kawesqar and Selk'nam people live; for beautiful walking spots, look no further than the Reserva Nacional Magallanes, only 5km outside town and full of utterly spellbinding scenery.

Punta Arenas is the quintessential base for an adventure holiday, whether you're hiking, sailing or kayaking. If you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Punta Arenas, do your homework and book well ahead - this is a suprisingly popular destination!

The best places to stay in Punta Arenas

Chic boutique

  • La Yegua Loca: a charming property, quirky with personality, of just 8 rooms with magnificent views, decorated in rustic-chic style, with wood-panelled walls, antiques and objets d'art. Dine at the superb restaurant and explore the town from this centrally located base.

For families

  • The Almasur Punta Arenas hotel offers good family suites in a central location. Rooms are spacious, there's an excellent restaurant, and they have a spa.

For romance

  • Hotel Jose Nogueira is a classic grand dame, an elegant hotel which was formerly the residence of royalty and which makes for a perfect romantic getaway. Built in the neoclassical style with a wood panelled bar, the hotel offers fine dining and access to a range of expeditions in the area.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area, if you think that you'd prefer a self-catering option.

Travel information

  • During the winter, it snows a great deal; during the summertime, you should expect wind, rain and sunshine in a single sitting. During the summer, (from November to February) the temperature ranges between 6 and 16 degrees.
  • Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushaia, from where you can take a flight to Punta Arenas.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Punta Arenas

Best Hotels in Punta Arenas

  • La Yegua Loca Punta Arenas (Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena) 15 rooms from £78

    Active Holiday  -  The countryside beyond the city provides excellent terrain for adventure pursuits.
    Local exploring  -  Boasting an enviable location within the city near "Cerro de la Cruz".
    Restaurant  -  Enjoy Patagonian cuisine at La Cocina de la Nonna Restaurant
    Full of character
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    A boutique hotel with magnificent views. Rooms, inspired by Patagonian ranches, are filled with antique furniture and memorabilia set against wood panelled walls. Feast on delicious regional dishes in the rooftop restaurant and find easy access to city attractions and the surrounding countryside. See More

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  • Almasur Punta Arenas Punta Arenas 45 rooms from £87

    Local exploring  -  This hotel is a great base for local exploring in the region, including the Torres del Paine National Park and the Patagonia
    City Style  -  Located in a property that reflects the tradition of the Magallanes Province, this hotel has lots of local city style
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the romantic rooms at this hotel; book a luxury suite for a private spa bath
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    RestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    This four-star, family friendly hotel is in the world's southernmost city, Punta Arenas. Guestrooms are spacious and comfortable, with plush carpets and high-quality linens; book a suite for living space and a spa bath. Dine in the gourmet restaurant or book into the spa; a chic city hotel. See More

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  • Hotel Jose Nogueira Punta Arenas 22 rooms from £150

    Romantic Break  -  This elegant hotel, the former residence of royalty makes for a perfect romantic getaway
    Business meetings  -  Hotel Jose Nogueira offers a range of small and large meeting rooms in palatial decor
    Great walks  -  Punta Arenas serves as a great base from which to explore Patagonia with a wealth of great walking trails and natural beauty
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the sights of Punta Arenas from this central location just off the plaza
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessParking

    An elegant neoclassical hotel in central Punta Arenas offering plush and spacious rooms. The Pergola Restaurant offers fine local delicacies in a gorgeous setting surrounded by grapevines whilst the Shackleton Bar is the perfect place to relax and boasts an impressive selection of wines. See More

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