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Punta Arenas is one of the more famous Chilean cities for tourism. Most of its attractions are natural rather than man-made, as the city lies near the famed Strait of Magellan and several other important landmarks. The Torres del Paine National Park (Cordillera del Paine) is near Puerto Natales, not too far away. It is a small group of mountains with some very scenic peaks and a favorite among hikers and backpackers. You can also see penguin colonies in Otway Sound (about an hour away by car) or observe whales from the Rey Jorge Island Natural Sea Park.
The city is also home to the former British Navy base and early Spanish colony of Puerto Hambre, a regional museum housed in a former mansion, the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum (dedicated to natural history and anthroplogy) and a popular ski center that overlooks the Strait of Magellan. Also spend some time in the city’s main square, Muñoz Gamero. Some of the city’s most important buildings are located around this plaza, which serves as a popular meeting place for locals. There is also the Zona Franca, or Free Zone, which is home to a large number of shops and businesses selling interesting goods and services for modest prices.