The Museo Del Recuerdo (or Museum of Memories) is an open air museum in the city of Punta Arenas, and was the first stop on our short excursion arranged for the few hours ashore while in our first port of call in Chile during our South American cruise on the Star Princess. We’d actually struggled to find an excursion we liked from what was available but this one with a few brief stops and some free time to explore suited us the best; we like to pick organised tours in places we visit for the first time especially if we don’t know where the ship will be in relation to anything of possible interest. Punta Arenas itself didn’t seem to have a huge amount of tourist appeal and the excursion options were mostly longer trips outside the city; with some of them being cancelled because of our late arrival we got lucky in that our shorter arrangement was still available.
Arriving at the museum (a large field, part of the Institute of Patagonia) we were first entertained by some local musicians and dancers wearing traditional dress. A lot of people simply walked past them without glancing (knowing the people on our cruise many were probably already looking for a toilet or somewhere selling coffee or both) but we waited a while to appreciate the effort being made and grabbed a few photos.
The open air museum consisted of a large number of old houses or forms of transport or pieces of equipment from the last century or so in the region. Almost all the buildings could be entered, in which there were bits of historical memorabilia around. Our guide was taking those interested in hearing about the various places through the buildings and showing them highlights but we were free to wander off on our own and take photos or explore at our leisure before returning to the coach at a designated time.
I wouldn’t say it was the most interesting of places to visit and we’ve certainly seen better museum pieces, open air or not, but it was enjoyable enough. It was also something a little different from a standard museum or a visit to a church, etc. Whenever we go on cruises we like to try to mix our excursion types up as much as possible so that we’re not stuck seeing the same sort of place over and over again. To give away just how nerdy I am I usually prepare a spreadsheet with lists of excursions and types of things in each so that we can plan for the greatest variety every time.