Fort Bulnes & Port Famine

Historic tour – Half Day – by land
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: daily at 10:00 AM, year-round
  • Activity Level: Easy, possible for everyone of any age in general good health

Join a historic tour to Fort Bulnes & Port Famine.

In 1584, the Spanish navigator Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa founded the first settlement in Southern Patagonia to proclaim the region in the name of the Spanish crown. Gamboa’s colony “Ciudad de Rey Don Felipe” (King Philip City) turned out to be a disaster and did not last for long. About 300 people died of starvation, diseases or were killed in conflicts with the natives. The place soon became know as Puerto del Hambre (Port Famine).

In 1843, the Chilean government sent out an expedition to build the first Chilean settlement in Patagonia, Fort Bulnes, very close to Gamboa’s original settlement. The reason was quite similar, hence to emphasize the Chilean authority over these Southern lands, and, even more important, over the Strait of Magellan that was the only reasonable seaway between the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean until the Panama Canal was opened in 1914.

Today, the rebuild wooded fort and a hand full of cannons overlook the Strait of Magellan from a beautiful peninsula.

Every day at 10 a.m., pick up at Hospedaje Magallanes in Punta Arenas. Travel time South is about one hour. For most of the time, the road follows the coastline of the Strait of Magellan. Visit Port Famine & Fort Bulnes. Return to Punta Arenas at about 2 p.m.

Tour Includes

  • Transfer from/to Hospedaje Magallanes
  • English speaking tour guide

Additional Costs

  • Entrance fee CLP 16,000 per person
  • Optional tips to your tour guide and/ or your driver

Regular Departures

Our half-day tour to Fort Bulnes departs every day from September 01st through May 31st at 10:00 a.m. 

Price for Regular Departures

CLP 15,000 per person (about USD 22 – p/p*)

+ Park entrance fee CLP 16,000 per person (about USD 23 – p/p*)

* 2019 exchange rate

Pali Aike National Park

  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Departure: daily at 8:30 AM, from September to April
  • Activity Level: Easy, possible for everyone of any age in general good health

This full-day tour to Pali Aike National Park takes you through the immense Patagonian Pampa to a landscape that is dominated by the Pali-Aike Volcanic Field. The last volcanic eruptions in and around Pali Aike National Park happend about 12,000 years ago. This area has also been home to a Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer people, the forefathers of the Aonikenk, and is one of the earliest proven human settlements in The Americas. We visit: Pali Aike Cave, El Escorial del Diablo (an extinct volcanic crater) and Laguna Ana, which is known for its abundant wildlife, such as guanacos, ñandus (Lesser Rhea), grey foxes and flamencos that live in its surroundings.

Pick up at Hospedaje Magallanes in Punta Arenas about 8:30 a.m. Off we go! We leave Punta Arenas and head out of town towards the North. For most of the day, the landscape is dominated by the seemingly endless, windswept Patagonian Pampa. On the way, stop at San Gregorio. Once a flourishing estancia, today it appear to be a ghost town. Right down on the coast of the Strait of Magellan, check out the wrecks of two ships that we put ashore by a storm. Later, we reach Pali Aike National Park. Join your guide on a gentle walk over an old lava field to look into the mouth of an extinct volcanic crater, El Escorial del Diablo. Visit the Pali Aike Cave and later Laguna Ana. Return to Punta Arenas at about 7:30 p.m.

Tour Includes

  • Transfers from/to Hospedaje Magallanes
  • English speaking tour guide

Additional Costs

  • Entrance fee to Pali Aike National Park: CLP 3,000 per person
  • snacks/lunch (please buy some up front)
  • Optional tips to your tour guide and/ or your driver

This full-day tour to Pali Aike National Park departs daily from September through April, but we need a minimum of 4 tour members to realize this tour.

Price

CLP 45,000 per person (about USD 66 – p/p*)

+ Entrance fee to Pali Aike National Park CLP 3,000 (about USD 4 – p/p*)

* 2019 exchange rate

Whale Watching – 3 days / 2 nights

Observe Humpback Whales on Carlos III Island in Francisco Coloane Marine Park
  • Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights
  • Departures: December to March
  • Activity Level: Easy, possible for everyone of any age in general good health

A few years ago, a group of Chilean biologists discovered an until then unexplored feeding ground of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on the southernmost tip of South America. Every Patagonian summer, these astonishing marine mammals return to an area around Carlos III Island, which is located right in the legendary Strait of Magellan.

Their passion for science and their love for nature has led to the creation of Chile’s first marine protected area, Francisco Coloane Marine Park.

Turismo Aonikenk has been one of the main supporters of this project from its beginning in 2004, because we believe in conservation through science and tourism.

Day 1: Sail the Strait of Magellan – Whale Watching – Carlos III Island

This whale watching adventure begins at 8:00 a.m. from Hospedaje Magallanes in Punta Arenas. The shuttle will pick you up and take you to the embark point, where you will sail the famous Strait of Magellan on board the vessel “Tanu”. On the way, pass Cape Froward, the southernmost point on the mainland of South America. After about eight hours of sailing, arrive to Carlos III Island, where the scientific eco-camp is situated in the heart of Francisco Coloane Marine Park. Here you will stay for the next two nights. Later, explore the pristine ecosystem of the surroundings of the camp and join your guide and one of the scientists on a short walk to the wildlife observatory. Weather permitting, set out for a short excursion to observe whales and seabirds. In the evening, enjoy a lecture about the camps installations, Francisco Coloane Marine Park and its marine wildlife as well as the scientific work done down here at the End of the World. [L, D]

Day 2: Whale Watching – Whale Sound – Santa Ines Glacier

In the morning, plenty of time to observe Humpback Whales, Sea Lions and an array of seabirds including Magellanic penguins, Chilean Skua, Black-browed albatross amongst others. After lunch at the camp at Isla Carlos III, sail through Whale Sound, a scenic Fueguian fjord to the amazing Santa Ines Glacierwhat a site! [B, L, D]

Day 3: Whale Watching – Carlos III Island – Punta Arenas

Enjoy some more time to observe the whales and the seabirds of this area. Return to the camp at Carlos III Island for lunch. In the afternoon, begin the return journey to Punta Arenas, where you will arrive at about 8:00 p.m. [B, L]

Included Meals

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

Note
All departure times of navigations depend on weather conditions. Changes in the program may occur without prior notice.

Tour Includes

  • Transfers according to the program
  • Bilingual tour guide (Spanish and English speaking)
  • 2 nights accommodation at the eco-camp at Carlos III Island in 2-person dome tents with wood-burning stoves; shared bathroom; sleeping bags, sheets, blankets and towels are provided
  • All meals specified in the program (see itinerary: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Thermal overall/ jumpsuit for your protection from the Patagonian weather
  • Scientific lectures

Additional Costs

  • Optional tips to your guide and/ or other people working for you (e.g. the boatmen etc.)

Departures

Departures calendar

Price

USD 1,800.- per person

Single Accommodation

Single occupancy is available for 1.5 times the rate stated above (add USD 750.- per person). This surcharge only applies if you explicitly wish and book single accommodation. Single/ solo travellers may share a room/ tent without surcharge.

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