Punta Arenas and Crossing the Straight of Magellan

Punta Arenas is a big shipping port and cruise stop in Chile that lies along the famed Straight of Magellan. We were only here for a few hours (and an overnight) as Ushuaia is the big destination goal.


Honestly a few hours in Punta Arenas is really all you need. A walk along the waterfront, some great architecture in town, and some relaxing in the town square park was a good overview.

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Mostly Punta Arenas was about food for me! After spending a few days camping and hiking we were hungry!  (and thirsty for something that wasn’t water)


A late lunch at the Amaranta Tea Room followed by a late dinner (because they eat late in Chile too!) at La Marmita with the gang.


The Amaranta Tea Room provided coloring books and colored pencils so I got to work on my creation to hang on the wall. I ordered a much needed salad (yay for vegetables!)and it hit the spot. I’m in the white coat again on the left.


La Marmita was one of my favorite restaurants on the trip. I had wine but some ordered the basil pisco sour for a change of pace. They loved it. I loved my Chilean wine.

My soup had a big rock in it on purpose. It was in there to help keep everything warm I think. The ceviche + soup may not look like a lot of food but keep in mind that most restaurants will give you delicious homemade bread and butter. And of course I can’t say no to that!


The ceviche was awesome but the star of this meal was this dessert. I’m not a big dessert person but everyone else was ordering it so I bowed to peer pressure and went for the calafate and dulce de leche ice cream. Calafate ice cream is awesome! Two thumbs up for this dessert.

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The big reason why we stopped in Punta Arenas was is locality between Torres del Paine and Ushuaia. The journey between the two is very long (16-20 hours driving/ferrying/crossing borders) so spending the night here helped us break up the trip.


Bright and early the next morning at the bus station we hopped a bus which would be my home for the next 12 hours. After a bit of driving we arrived at the ferry port to cross the Straight of Magellan.


Buses first, cars second, people third, and trucks last!


It was really neat to get to cross the Straight of Magellan- something we learned about in every Western Civilization history class almost. I positioned myself along the railing for some good Straight of Magellan views. The hope was to see some whales or other sea life but not today.


This was for a long time one of the most heavily trafficked shipping lanes in the world. Now not so much (thanks Panama Canal).

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Once safely crossed, and it was surprisingly calm water, we continued on for hours and hours more until Ushuaia came into view. We made it to the End of the Earth!


Reader Question: On a 12+ hour bus ride are you napping, reading, watching movies, working, or other?  I am mostly a reader/napper on long trips.

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