Punta Arenas, the biggest city by far in Magallanes, the southernmost region of Chile, has a history of extremes – as an early base for exploration and later as a penal colony. But today it’s mainly a jumping-off point for epic wilderness explorations, such as cruising to Antarctica or trekking the starkly beautiful Alberto de Agostini National Park. It has the best traveler facilities of any settlement this far south, including a varied selection of lodgings. Here’s our guide to the best hotels in Punta Arenas, bookable with Culture Trip.
One of the most stately-looking hotels south of the 46th parallel, this bang-in-the-center accommodation constantly tops lists of the most seminal pieces of architecture in the far south, and delivers exemplary standards within too. Rooms are not elaborate, but they are smart and spacious, with high-quality room service, turn-down services and blackout blinds, plus there’s a well-regarded restaurant-bar. Quiz the staff on nearby adventures, and get a box lunch to take on a day exploration.
This modern-looking lodging with a pared-down style has just eight rooms; its myriad windows letting in oodles of sharp far-south Punta Arenas light, the bright facades of the city buildings and the distant sea (murky grey or brilliant blue depending on the fickle weather). Ilalia means ‘further, further south’ in the indigenous Yagán language, and boutique certainly doesn’t reach more southerly than this. Breakfasts are delightfully fresh and cater to those with allergies.
This eye-catching option sits below the viewpoint of Cerro de la Cruz, offering perhaps the best panoramas of Punta Arenas. This winsome, terracotta-roofed building was originally a 1929-built English court: now it’s a 15-room lodging where bedrooms are tributes to trades and professions of yesteryear Patagonia (cue the likes of ‘The Coachman’ and ‘The Shearing Shed’). The cuisine in the inviting restaurant melds signature dishes with the recipes from the patchwork past and peoples of the region.
The red door after which the hostel is named is the charming entrance to this fetching premises on the northern side of the city center. The low-level abode is typical of 1920s Magallanes houses but inside it’s a tasteful modern conversion, with a pretty terrace garden in which a fire pit helps warm those chilly far-south nights. There’s a fantastic collection of books and maps on this wild region: a useful reference before setting off on an adventure.
You might be extremely far south in Punta Arenas, but a stay at the Rey Don Felipe is far from the end of the world. Halfway between Cerro de la Cruz and the leafy Plaza de Armas Muñoz Gamero, the lodging has an attractive half-timber-framed facade and snug mustard-hued rooms. The Restaurant Nao Victoria proffers pleasant meals, plus you get welcome drinks on arrival and there’s a gym/spa with a sauna and Jacuzzi.
The Albatros is a great port of call for wanderers in Punta Arenas. Half wood-paneled rooms are simple but attractive, ticking all the boxes for the tired traveler (private bathroom, complimentary mineral water, security safes and strong wifi). The hotel provides free parking as well as good tourist information on activities within the city and the wild outdoors beyond.
The ‘hostal’ in Chile is not what the English-speaking world knows as a hostel but more akin to a budget private lodging, usually with breakfast included in the price. North of the city center across the river, Innata Patagonia follows the script with aplomb: rooms are cozy, neat and regularly serviced, while the continental breakfast is tasty (the hosts make their own bread). Staff can help with tours, too, from city sightseeing to penguin-watching and trips to Torres del Paine National Park.
Charming dark wood paneling and sophisticated teal tones make the Kran Kréen, at times, resemble a well-to-do sea captain’s cabin, especially in the dapper little restaurant. Sitting on the eastern edge of the city center, there are just 11 rooms, but you can continue that sea-faring theme with a visit to the Naval and Maritime Museum, which is just a few blocks away. Alternatively, it’s just two blocks from the bus terminal.
This is a brightly colored collection of apartments at a street junction by the river just outside the city center and close to the bus station. It has four one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments – good options for travelers who like their private space. There is decent parking and, despite well-appointed kitchens in every apartment, a breakfast served to the room is included in the tariff.
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