(*)Take a trip back in time at Fort Bulnes, the first southern Chilean settlement comprised of a jail, water well, post office, and stables.
(*)Thirsty? Visit the Austral beer brewery, formerly Patagonia beer, founded 110 years ago in the same site. Take a tour and learn about the special processes involved in crafting this special brew.
(*)Hop on a boat and head over to the Magdalena and Santa Marta Islands where you can observe colonies of frolicking penguins and sea lions.
(*)Visit the Braun Family palaces, representative of the architecture used by one of the most prominent pioneer families of the region. (*)Visit Parque Nandu and learn about the project dedicated to raising these birds, relatives of the ostrich, in their natural habitat.
When to go
Punta Arenas is not exactly the tropics, with winter (Jun-Aug) temperatures that reach below freezing and summer (Dec-Jan) highs of only about 60^F. The city is known for strong winds, which occur mainly in the summer, and is generally dry all year. With cool but windy summers and cold winters, choose any time to visit Punta Arenas but just make sure to stuff your backpack with weather-appropriate items.
How to get there
(bus) Regular flights are available to the Punta Arenas airport from Santiago, Puerto Montt, Balmaceda, and the Maldive Islands, among other places. Flight reservations should always be made ahead of time as there is high demand during tourist seasons. For the budget traveler, inexpensive buses are available to Punta Arenas from major cities in Chile and the south of Argentina.
Visas are not required for citizens of most countries,, with the exception of New Zealand, Cuba, most African and some Eastern European countries. Travelers from other countries will be granted a 90 day tourist visa when they enter the country. When crossing into Chile at the Santiago airport, a ?reciprocity fee? may be assessed depending on the country of origin. This fee varies based on what the country of origin charges Chilean citizens for entering their county, but is around US$100 for US citizens, US$132 for Canadians, and US$30 for Australians. This fee is normally not assessed when crossing into Chile by boat or land.
At restaurants the normal tip is 10%, though 15% is always appreciated for excellent service. Slightly less is generally given in bars and cafes, and porters generally receive an amount corresponding to 50 cents per bag. Taxi drivers are not tipped.