Friday, March 25, 2016

A brief stop in Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is a small town in Chilean Patagónia. It serves mainly as a port and as a transit point to the Torres del Paine national park.

It is a very sleepy town with few attractions within the town itself, however it is known for a historic fort and a large Penguin colony. 

Sadly, I'd been struck down by a cold and so I restricted my activities to the town rather than take a bus to these attractions.
In the centre of town there is a main Plaza with a small artisan market and a statue of Magellan. Apparently if you touch the statue you will return to Punta Arenas.

Magellan's Statue

The town also has a long boardwalk that runs all along the foreshore, however, sadly it is not well maintained and parts of it are heavily graffitied and damaged. At least it dies provide nice views of the beach.

Punta Arenas beach

In the hills behind the town is a lookout that gives a vista across the whole city.

Punta Arenas from Avenida San Cristobal

Punta Arenas from the lookout

Punta Arenas casino next to the sea from the lookout

The town is also known for its well-maintained historic cemetery. It is similar in style to the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires and like there, houses many historic figures from the town. The interesting thing about the Punta Arenas cemetery is the variety of origins if the people buried here. There were large numbers of Eastern European (especially Croatian) names as well as many English, Jewish and German graves.

A Croatian family vault

The Punta Arenas cemetery

The final thing Punta Arenas is known for is its beers - the Austral brewery is in Punta Arenas and it manufacturers the very delicious Calafate larger - a beer flavoured with Calafate berries. I'm not usually a fan of flavoured beer - but this one is a winner :)

Austral Calafate Ale