Province of la Antartica Chilena (Chilean Antarctica)
This province includes Navarino island, where Puerto Williams is, Diego Ramirez islands and the archipelagoes that make up the Alberto de Angostini and Cabo de Hornos national parks.
Puerto Williams, the capital of the province, is found on the north shore of Navarino island. In addition to its impressive landscape, other tourist attractions that stand out are the Regional Naval Museum and the Martin Gusinde Museum. Among its pieces, stand outs include elements with archeological value that belonged to the yamana, selk’nam and kaweshkar cultures.
From Puerto Williams, one may gain access to Villa Ukika, a place inhabited by descendants of the yamana culture who dedicate themselves to fishing or handicraft activities and also to the construction of boats.
In addition, three kilometers from Puerto Williams, on the north shore of Navarino island, one may find the Omora Ethnobotanical Park, which safeguards the forests of the Magallanes archipelago, the southernmost forests on the planet. Also, it houses the main habitats of the southern zone, like the forests of coigües, lenga beeches and írres. It has clearly marked trails and signs with information in yagan, Spanish and English.
Province of Ultima Esperanza
The provincial capital, Puerto Natales, was founded in 1911. Despite its faraway location, it is recognized a an urban center that is full of life and it is the place where foreign tourists arrive in order to board the ferries that join the region of Magallanes with Puerto Montt, several kilometers up north.
From Puerto Natales, one may also start the trip to the Torres del Paine National Park or to the Cueva del Milodon Natural Monument.
In addition, in this southern city it is possible to sail by boat along the heart of Ultima Esperanza, or, one may visit the Balmaceda and Serrano drifts.
Puerto Eden is another important regional destination, a town located on Wellington island, along the Messier channel. It is the last town before reaching Puerto Natalaes if one is sailing from Puerto Montt.
Province of Magallanes
The provincial and regional capital, Punta Arenas, is a must see of the southern route and is also the starting point for the journey to Antarctica.
A few of the most interesting spots are the plaza, the monument to the sheep farmer and the Museo del Recuero (Memory Museum), which exhibits old vehicles and carriages. The city also has a botanical garden and the old Maggiordino Borgatello Salesian Regional Museum, founded in the late XIX century. There are samples of flora and fauna unique to the region, archeological pieces and historical documents.
South of Punta Arenas is the Maria Behety Municipal Park. This place has a zoo devoted to animals that are characteristic of the local wildlife.
Finally, we have the Punta Arenas Free Trade Zone. Located north of the city, it allows for the purchase of products that are free from internship taxes.
– Fort Bulnes: it was founded in 1843, under the government of Manuel Bulnes, to safeguard Chile’s sovereignty in the straight of Magellan and the surrounding territory. The fort was restored in 2002 and is located 60 km south of Punta Arenas. It has been a National Monument since 1969, and in addition to its fascinating surroundings, those who visit can get to know a museum that shows the past of this historical site.
– San Gregocio Estancia: it is found at kilometer 120 of the Monte Aymond International Road and it dates back to the XIX century. In the old days it had its own dock and railroad.
– Puerto del Hambre: it is on the coast of Bahia Buena and its existence is the result of a botched attempt of European colonization in the XVI century. The hardships of the climate and the lack of resources for survival in this place caused the death of the foreigners. When corsair Thomas Cavendish arrived to this site, he noticed the settlers died of starvation. It was at this moment that the place took on the name of Puerto del Hambre (Starvation Port).
Province of Tierra del Fuego
Porvenir, the provincial capital, is located on Tierra del Fuego island, almost in front of Punta Arenas. It was founded in 1894 and one may access it by boat or by plane.
In the city plaza, one finds the obelisk erected as a tribute to the settlers that arrived here hoping to benefit from the exploitation of copper deposits or in search of a brighter future.
Next to the plaza is the San Francisco de Sales church, a construction that dates back to the late XIX century. Other stand outs include the Fernando Cordero Rusque Museum, with its exhibitions of Tierra del Fuego wildlife and the mummified remains of an aborigine of Tierra del Fuego island, among other interesting things.
At the same time, the shores of Porvenir house the Plaza de las Banderas and the Parque del Recuerdo, which exhibit vehicles from the XIX century.
Other attractions of this province are:
– Lake Blanco: surrounded by trees and hills of the Tierra del Fuego mountain range, this lake presents excellent conditions for sports fishing. It is found a little bit over 200 km south of Porvenir, and in its surroundings, it is common to see an assortment of birds and beavers.
– Bahia Lomas: it is 12 km away from Cerro Sombrero and it is a location found atop a small hill where a diversity of bird species arrive to nest. Some of them are migratory, for example, red knots, gulls and angel fish.
– Rio Verde: a few attractions of this comuna (county) are Villa Rio Verde, the Virgin Sanctuary of Montserrat and Riesco island, a place where one may see typical southern estancias.