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Puerto Natales

Description

Puerto Natales is the capital of the Ultima Esperanza province, in the Magellan's. Founded in 1911, about 19 thousand people live there now, and most of them work with cattle, in farms and orchards, and services related to tourism. The city gets its name after the latin term "natalis", which means "birth", because it was the first town to be seen when you get to Ultima Esperanza from the north. Its discoverer, Juan de Ladrillero, gave it the name of Puerto Natales, when he was desperately looking for a western exit to the Magellan's Strait.

Puerto Natales is located in one of the most privileged spots created by nature. It is surrounded by forests, ice floes, cliffs, archipelagos, valleys and deep fiords. At the same, its city structure presents all the modernity and comfort of any big city. It is equipped with restaurants, coffee houses, museums, stores, hotels, hostels, travel agencies and the most southern casino of the world. It also has a small airport, which maintains the connection between Puerto Natales and the rest of the world.

Attractions

It's the base city to prepare excursions and tours to all the National Parks, islands and other natural places in the area. You can also visit other places, some of cultural importance, like the Museum of the Salesian Order, which shows a permanent exhibition of flora and fauna; the Arturo Prat Square, where you can see an ancient train machine; the parochial church, which has in its interior a beautiful telar with drawings that show the history of the church in the area; the Ethnic Mural on Philipi Street, which shows drawings of the history of the most important ethnic group of Patagonia, the Alacalufes; and the Pier of Fishermen, in the costanera sur.

Activities

Puerto Natales is one of the most southern cities in the World, and in spite of the distance between the rest of the country and itself, it is still a fully equipped town. You can take a walk around the city; go on excursions, visiting museums, take pictures and getting closer to the animals and types of trees which adorn in the area.

Information

Location
152 miles from Punta Arenas.
How To Get There
In Punta Arenas there are four bus companies which make the trip to Puerto Natales, every day, but you can make the trip on your own if you rent a car. It is also possible to get to Puerto Natales from Argentina, using one of the three border accesses in the area: Dorotea (9 miles), Casas Viejas (11 miles) or Río Guillermo (37 miles).
By water, Navimag is the only company which has a charter available for this kind of trip, which goes to Puerto Montt and back once a week.
When To Go
All year.
Climate
Cold, template, lots of rain and fase winds.
Services
Accommodation, hostel, hotel, inn, camping, cabins, shelters, restaurant, coffee house, travel agency, transportation, car rent, tour buses, taxi, airport.
Surroundings
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Cueva del Milodón, Cerro Castillo, Puerto Bories, Sendero Mirador Dorotea, Calafate (Argentina).
Entrance Price
Free