Punta Arenas Cruise Port
The Punta Arenas Cruise Port on the Strait of Magellan serves as the gateway to Punta Arenas, Chilean Patagonia’s largest and most commercially important city. A port of call for passengers looking to explore the region and a jumping-off point for expeditions to Antarctica and Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas Cruise Port is a must-visit for adventurous travelers.
After disembarking at Punta Arenas, most travelers head out on foot to explore the walkable city center. Highlights include the Municipal Cemetery, the Nao Victoria Museum, and Fort Bulnes. However, Punta Arenas is best enjoyed via half-, full-, or multi-day shore excursions to top attractions such as Torres del Paine, the Strait of Magellan, Ushuaia, Magdalena Island (home to Magellanic penguins), and Antarctica. Kayaking, walking, and cycling excursions—both shared and private—are also popular.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most cruise ships dock offshore and passengers reach Punta Arenas via ferry and then tenders (small boats)—the tender pier is located at Puerto del Estrecho, in the city center.
- The cruise terminal has restrooms and an internet café, but little else; Plaza Muñoz Gamero is the best place to get maps and tourist information.
- Disembarking can be cold and windy, so plan accordingly.
- Shore excursions are the best way to make the most of limited time in Punta Arenas.
- If you only buy one souvenir in Punta Arenas, make sure it’s a cozy alpaca wool sweater or rug.
How to Get to Punta Arenas From the Punta Arenas Cruise Port
Cruise ships dock offshore at Punta Arenas and ferries and/or tenders transport passengers to the small cruise terminal. From there, the city center is a short walk, although taxis are also plentiful. Shore excursions with transportation included are more convenient for travelers planning to visit islands, wider Chilean Patagonia, and beyond.
The official language of Punta Arenas is Spanish and very little English is spoken. The local currency is the Chilean peso, but US dollars and even euros are widely accepted at tourist-oriented establishments. Credit cards are also commonly accepted and several ATMs are located around the city’s main plaza.
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- Maggiorino Borgatello Salesian Museum (Museo Salesian)
- Magallanes Regional Museum (Braun-Menendez Palace)
- Plaza Muñoz Gamero
- Magdalena Island (Isla Magdalena)
- Punta Arenas Municipal Cemetery
- Tres Puentes Wetland (Humedal Tres Puentes)
- Nao Victoria Museum (Museo Nao Victoria)
- Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)
- Strait of Magellan
- Fort Bulnes (Fuerte Bulnes)
- Channel of Last Hope (Ultima Esperanza)
- Torres del Paine National Park
- Milodon Cave (Cueva del Milodon)