Presidente Jorge Montt 847,, Punta Arenas, Chile
More about Punta Arenas
souvenirshops in the port-building
the luxury home of the Braun-Menendez-family
Tours to Ushuaia in June
My friend and I are travelling around South America and expect to be in Santiago at the beginning of July. We would like to travel to Southern Patagonia and, if possible, Ushuaia, however, we are struggling to find any tour companies that operate at this time of year. We would be very grateful for any advice as to whether it is worth attempting the trip when tour companies in the UK are advising against it and for any suggestions regarding the best way to travel down. Would the best route be to fly to Punta Arenas? Are we likely to be able to find any accomodation on arrival or can anyone suggest somewhere we could book in advance (transport permitting!)? We understand that the weather can be very unpredicatable and we are prepared to face the freezing conditions in order to be able to see the magnificant scenery. We would be grateful for any any assistance. Many thanks in advance!
Re: Tours to Ushuaia in June
Yes, best would be to fly into Punta Arenas. The bus from there to Ushuaia, Argentina usually takes about 12 hours.
In summer three companies do the route Punta Arenas to Ushuaia but you would have to ask about the winter schedule. They don't go every day of the week anyway. If you find other companies going to Rio Grande, it should be easy to find a smaller bus on to Ushuaia from there.
Part of the trip involves crossing the Straits of Magellan.
Finding lodging should not be a problem at that time of year.If you have the time for some flexibility, it could be a cold but excellent adventure! Just check what buses go in the winter. I think not more than one or two a day.
Re: Tours to Ushuaia in June
Unless you just feel more comfortable on a tour, making independent arrangements are rather easy. Here is a link for a good site that should help you in making your hotel choices in Ushuaia http://www.welcomeargentina.com/ushuaia/lodging.html
As long as you realize that the weather will be rather difficult go ahead and enjoy the trip :) That cold, damp weather is a rather good excuse to uncork another bottle of vino tinto :)
Travel Tips for Punta Arenas
graves of children
While it is interesting to see the giant monuments errected for the rich people like Memendez and Sara Braun it is a lot more touching to walk as well into the side-parts of the cemetery and see the graves of the ordinary people, especially touching are the graves of babies, that will have small windows with all kinds of toys etc.
The Salesianer church
The Salesianer church is in a distance of 800 meters from the centre of town and it has an interesting interior that is worth seeing. Salesianer Monks were in charge of education and development at the end of the world, unfortunately not always following the principles of mankind and the catholic religion, when it comes to the native population of Patagonia. For many centuries the indios were seen as wild creatures without human rights. A bitter heritage of the church !
Palacio Jose Montes
Palacio Jose Montes is another one of the many former Palacios of people who became rich in that end of the world. Nowadays this lovely building is used by the local community and you can get inside in order to take a look at the entrance-hall.
Dont forget to take a look around the house as well, in the back of the garden there is a small collection of nice bonsai-trees , you can just walk there and take a look.
The cemetery - Le cimetiere
A very specific way to burry his friends : buy them a small apartment in this block, put a picture of him in front of the door, with a little summary of his life and a flower... and this is it !
Une facon bien particuliere d'enterrer ses potes : acheter un petit appartement dans ce bloc de beton, mettez une photo de lui devant la porte, un petit resume de sa vie et une fleur... et voila le travail !
Museo Regional de Magallanes
Museo Regional de Magallanes is another one of the former palacios of the Braun-Menendez-dynasty and it was given as a donation to the city of Punta Arenas in 1983 and it was made into a museum :
a small part of the museum is about the early days of Patagonia, the native inhabitants, fossils, weapons etc. , but the main part is the unique furniture, tapestries, works of art etc. of a luxury home of one of the richest families at the end of the world.
On my pictures you will see the outside of this Palacio, that was built in 1903. On my last photograph : the lift for wheel-chairs in the back of the park.
Popular Hotels in Punta Arenas