Punta Arenas is a commune and the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. The city was officially renamed Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to Punta Arenas. It is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south. As of 1977 Punta Arenas has been one of only two free ports in Chile.
The southern finial of the South American continent is as fractured as frost crystals, but the inlets, bays, and passages around the Strait of Magellan are home to a million wonders. Punta Arenas is the threshold to them all. From here, cruise visitors can venture to the high scarps of Torres del Paine National Park, the penguin colony at Seno Otway, or the Martian volcanic topography of Pali Aike National Park. Punta Arenas worth lingering in, as well. Visit the tree-lined Plaza de Armas square or walk 10 minutes farther to the top of La Cruz Hill. The city of 150,000 people lies at your feet. 850 miles farther south Antarctica begins.