Punta Arenas is situated at the Strait of Magellan, at Brunswich peninsula. In the past, it had been named “Punta Arenosa”, literal English translation for “Sandy Point”, this small area had been discovered by J. Byron in the 17th Century. Before the opening of the Panama Canal in 1920, this had been the main port concerning to navigation across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans; its period of glory dates from those times, which made of it a big cosmopolitan and business center in the austral extreme of South America. Thus, European features were left in the design and architecture, which cannot be compared to any other city in Chile.
It is the uttermost continental city in the world, and it works as a supplying port for the increasing bioceanic traffic. Among its main tourist attractions there can be find: the Salesian Museum Mayorino Borgatello, the Shepherds Monument, with its horse, its dog and sheep; the cemetery; the Patagonia Institute (a research center of the history and the resources of the region, along with the Memory Museum placed within its gardens); the Municipal Theater; Muñoz Gamero Square with its sculpture to commemorate the discovery of the Strait of Magellan by Hernando de Magallanes, and splendid works that preserve tradition such as the Grand Hotel Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn Grand Hotel).
Apart from being the core of most of the access routes to the southern zone of Chile, this city is also the capital of the Chilean Patagonia.The tourist attractions of the huge area are diverse:there are penguin colonies nearby, the Bulnes Fort and various trekking circuits in native forests; in the surrounding areas of the town of Río Verde, famous for its beauty and birds variety, there is a wide choice for rural and agricultural tourism; in the eastern area of the Strait of Magellan it is located the National Park PaliAike, the Dungeness lighthouse, meeting point with the Atlantic Ocean, old shipwrecks and the pioneer town of San Gregorio.