Where to stay in Punta Arenas?

Punta Arenas, Chile

Want to explore Chilean Patagonia? If you don’t know where to stay in Punta Arenas, here’s our selection of the best places to stay!

At the southernmost tip of the South American continent, Punta Arenas is a metropolis with a population of 130,000. At once exotic, rustic and dynamic, it is an excellent starting point for visiting the Patagonian region. Founded in 1848 by José de los Santos Mardones, the town experienced strong growth from 1890 onwards, when many Europeans came here in search of gold.

Staying in Punta Arenas means you can easily visit nearby national parks, such as the Magallanes National Reserve or Torres del Paine Park. You can also take a whale-watching boat or cruise to Ushuaïa. The city itself boasts excellent tourist and hotel facilities.

Its colorful houses, historic mansions and museums all contribute to making Punta Arenas an ideal stopover on your journey. It’s easy to find accommodation in Punta Arenas, especially around its central square. There’s also a good choice of restaurants and bars. Here’s our selection of the best places to stay during your stay!

Also read in the Punta Arenas guide :

The historic center

Centro Historico, Punta Arenas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Natalia Ramirez Roman

The Plaza de Armas, or Plaza Muñoz Gamero, is the focal point of the historic city. It concentrates the majority of Punta Arenas’ places of interest and accommodation. Travelers like to stay in this area because they can get around on foot. Monuments, museums, restaurants and travel agencies are all within easy reach.

Staying in the historic center, the first thing you’ll discover is the main square. Surrounded by centuries-old conifers, it features an imposing bronze statue of Fernand de Magellan and an old kiosk dating from 1910. At its northern end are two French neoclassical mansions built between 1895 and 1905: the Palacio Braun-Menéndez and the Casa Sara Braun. Materials, furnishings and decor were imported from Europe. Today, Sara Braun’s former home has been converted into a hotel.

In the basement, the La Taberna restaurant-bar is the perfect place to sip a pisco sour, Chile’s emblematic drink! The Palacio Braun-Menéndez houses the Magallanes Regional Museum. Other must-sees include the Palacio José Montes, the Blanchard Residence and the Tarapacá Bank building.

Find a hotel in the historic center

Find an Airbnb in the historic center

The Croatian quarter

The gold rush of the 1890s saw many Croats settle in Punta Arenas. Located to the east of the central square, the Croatian quarter today retains the architecture typical of the houses in their country of origin. To immerse yourself in the history of these immigrants, visit the Los Inmigrantes café! Many souvenirs of the first Croatian inhabitants are on display.

Finding accommodation in Punta Arenas in this part of the city also means you’re very close to the port. One of the most charming pedestrian streets, Calle Presidente Roca, leads to the pier, facing the Strait of Magellan. Watch the ballet of cruise ships as they dock, and let yourself be transported by the legends of the sailors! Passengers from the South Pole leave their ships here, heading for the port bars, to share their adventures with their fellow passengers.

A municipal and craft market sells seafood, fish and other fresh produce, as well as handicrafts. On the top floor of the building, restaurants offer local specialties with panoramic views of the Strait of Magellan. In the evening, the port district is also the place to play the casino!

Find a hotel in Croatian district

Find an Airbnb in the Croatian district

North of Plaza de Armas

Cimetière Municipal, Punta Arenas

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Yevgenia Gorbulsky

Another option for accommodation in Punta Arenas is to head north away from the historic center. You’ll enjoy a quiet location, with a wide choice of restaurants and tourist attractions. These include the municipal cemetery, recognized as one of the most fascinating in Latin America. After passing through the monumental gateway, cypress-lined paths lead you to the mausoleums and chapels built for the region’s wealthy families. Luxurious ornaments of marble and bronze surround the sumptuous edifices where the city’s illustrious figures are laid to rest.

If you stay in this area, you’ll also be in the immediate vicinity of the Salesiano regional museum. Founded by the Salesian order, it exhibits an impressive collection of ethnographic objects belonging to Patagonia’s indigenous populations, such as the Onas and Yagans. Further north, you’ll come to the Punta Arenas free trade zone: over 100 stores selling tax-free goods. It’s the ideal place for low-cost shopping!

Find a hotel north of Plaza de Armas

Find an Airbnb north of Plaza de Armas