The Chilean city of Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, in Argentina, are the main urban areas of southern Patagonia, and they represent the embarkation and disembarkation points for all Australis cruises. In addition to an interesting historical past that you will still perceive on the streets and in the museums, these charming cities at the end of the world also offer attractive tourism services. These include shopping, cultural activities and restaurants where you will delight your palate with local products such as centolla, also known as the southern king crab. In addition, it is possible to plan excursions and naturalistic tours nearby, as well as sporting activities like skiing, cycling and fishing.
With almost 132,000 inhabitants, Punta Arenas is the capital of the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region. It is located on the continental shore of the Strait of Magellan, just 1,864 miles away from Santiago, the capital of Chile. Until the construction of the Panama Channel in 1914, the city was the main navigation harbour between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, which explains why it has bloomed into a big cosmopolitan centre in the southernmost corner of South America. How to reach Punta Arenas: Usually there are at least four daily flights directed to Punta Arenas and departing from Santiago. The journey for non-stop flights will take approximately 3 and a half hours. The companies that operate national flights toward this city are Latam Airlines (latam.com), Sky (skyairline.com) and JetSmart (jetsmart.com). Tourist attractions: Strait of Magellan Park (also home to Fuerte Bulnes National Historical Monument), Plaza Muñoz Gamero and surrounding buildings, the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum, the Municipal Cemetery and Los Pingüinos Natural Monument of Magdalena Island.
Capital of Tierra del Fuego Province, Antarctica and Islands of South Atlantic in Argentina, is considered the southernmost city in the world. Located in the Ushuaia bay, above the Beagle Channel, it gives home to approx. 75,000 inhabitants and it represents an important industrial, port and touristic centre. How to reach Ushuaia: Latam and Aerolíneas Argentinas operate daily direct flights from Buenos Aires (4 hour flight). DAP Airlines offers flights from Punta Arenas twice a week (on Fridays and Sundays), starting November 2nd through March 14th. In addition, there is the option to use bus companies that connect both cities in approximately 10-hour bus drives, by crossing the Strait (bussur.com). Tourist attractions: End of the World Museum; Tierra del Fuego Nacional Park, Cerro Castor (ski resort), San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse (End of the World lighthouse), Martial glacier.
Located 155 miles north from Punta Arenas, this port city in the municipality of Natales, Chile, is the main gateway to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park.
How to reach Puerto Natales: Latam Airlines operates weekly direct flights from Santiago to Puerto Natales, during high season. In addition, it is possible to reach the city by sea leaving from Puerto Montt on board of the Navimag Ferries (www.navimag.com). It will be an unforgettable 4-days and 3-nights trip through the Patagonian channels.
Tourism attractions in Puerto Natales: Milodón Cave, Muelle Historico, Monumento de la Mano.