Places of Interest in and around Punta Arenas, Patagonia


Apart from the exiting activities that you can participate in when staying in Punta Arenas, there are also some museums that will show the historical importance of the city, both on the World stage and locally.

These we detail below.

Main places of interest

The Regional Braun-Menendez Museum


The Magallanes Historical Museum, inaugurated in February 1983, in the magnificent setting of the Braun-Menéndez Palace in Punta Arenas, brings together an important collection of objects that are testimony to the passage of man during his historical journey through the region.

Today, its magnificent palaces are two of the most representative places of the city's architecture and past.

The Family

Mauricio Braun Menéndez's palace was the residence that housed the union of the Braun family - from Russia - and the Menéndez family, wealthy Chileans, and important merchants from Patagonia. The residence was built between 1903 and 1906 under the charge of the French architect Antoine Beaulier, who also designed other important buildings in the city.

The Maggiorino Borgatello Museum


This is a museum that illustrates the history of when various indigenous people lived in the region.

The Salesian order, which landed in Punta Arenas in 1887, initiated the task of collecting evidence of the various indigenous cultures who previously lived in the area with the aim of creating a museum. It would serve as a legacy for future generations to learn about the expressions and ways of life of native peoples, their environment, and the colonization process. Therefore, the museum was created in 1893.

Faithful to a meticulous work, the various rooms in the museum reflect the cultures of the Onas, Tehuelches, Yámanas and Alacalufes, peoples as well as the suffering they endured upon the arrival of the Spanish colonizers and then the European pioneers.

In turn, the museum has areas dedicated to pioneers, including the time of the gold rush that marked the region at the end of the 19th century.

On the other hand, there is a careful collection of personal objects of Father Alberto De Agostini, a great explorer of the region, and the instruments of the first meteorological observatory in Punta Arenas.

The Nao Victoria Ship


This was the first ship to circumnavigate the world!

The Nao Victoria Museum is, effectively a dry dock, located on the outskirts of the city in the direction towards the airport. However, despite being a bit off the beaten track, the Museum is easily accessible.

This is a nautical museum with replica ships sat in dry dock (as in on the ground and not in the water), that played a significant part in the history of Punta Arenas and southern Patagonia. One ship, the Nao Victoria, is a replica of the one commanded by Hernando de Magallanes, who, in 1520, participated in the expedition that discovered the Strait that was named after him “Magallanes Strait”.

The Nao Victoria is a full-scale replica of Hernando de Magallanes' ship. A cultural tourist attraction, unique in Magallanes, that can be visited by the public and allows the experience of life board to be lived through environmental sounds, replicas of everyday objects, navigation instruments and artillery covering the period 500 years ago.

You can also visit the replica of the Schooner Ancud and the spectacular HMS Beagle, the ship that was used by Charles Darwin on his trip to Patagonia.

Fort Bulnes (Fuerte Bulnes)


Fort Bulnes an historic fort, created by the Spanish colonizers in 1843 in order to protect their settlement from any unwelcome visitors.

It is a small place with cannon mounts and some old cannons in place.

The location has undeniable advantages from a strategic, defence, point of view, but it did not allow for a full settlement of the area because the nearby land was completely unsuitable for agriculture. This reality motivated the foundation, in 1848, of Punta Arenas, 60km north, where the entire colony of the Fort was transferred.


How to get there:
  • To get to Fort Bulnes from Punta Arenas, you must drive 60km south.
  • Every day from 9.00 to 18.00 hrs.
Entrance fee:
  • Ch$12.000 per person (2021)

The Sara Braun Municipal Cemetery


Cemetery’s are not a usual “place of interest”, however, in South America they draw in visitors because of the ornate mausoleums and, often, the historical names that can be found on the tombs.

The Punta Arenas (Sara Braun Cemetery) is no exception and here there are numerous, European names that played an integral part in the development of Punta Arenas and other settlements throughout Patagonia. The cemetery silently recounts the history of the city.

The construction of the Cemetery is part of the historical context of European migration to the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica at the end of the 19th century. The desire to come to this land, so far away from everywhere else was motivated by the discovery of gold in Tierra del Fuego. This was followed by the introduction of the sheep farming.

The Chilean government also enticed adventurers, by way of free land, to come here for the purposes of settlement and development of economic activities as a way for Chile to claim this as its territory.

In this place the remains of these pioneers, settlers, and merchant’s rest, leaving behind an historical record of the various nationalities of immigrants who came to the region and that make up the Magellan culture today.


Opening hours:
  • Monday to Thursday from 08:00hrs to 13:00hrs & from 14:00hrs to 18:00hrs
  • Friday from 08:00hrs to 17:00hrs
  • Saturday and Sunday from 09:00hrs to 17:00hrs
  • Free
  • Avenida Bulnes s/ número (with no number)

Note: Experience Chile can arrange the above activities as part of the rest of your itinerary that we will have arranged. However, we do not arrange these services as standalones.

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