Photos taken: March 2016
After we’d seen Punta Arenas from a handy viewpoint our coach took us back down for one last stop at Plaza de Armas, the main square of Punta Arenas with a name shared by squares in many Latin American countries. Our guide wanted to show us the square and point out some of the buildings around it and the statues inside it but we were told that if we wanted to we could exit the excursion at this point and make our own way back to the cruise ship. That was all we needed to hear to take advantage of the time we had remaining in the Chilean city so we took a look around the square on our own (a market attracted most attention from our fellow passengers) before heading off in the direction of the shoreline as we’d spotted an interesting-looking monument when our coach had driven along the road at the start of our short tour.
I’m quite fond of street art and love seeing the different styles when I’m abroad on travels. The street art we saw in Punta Arenas was less abstract and more realistic than that we’d seen elsewhere, with some even being in the form of trompe-l’œil.
We spotted a rather disquieting sign indicating that this area of Punta Arenas was a tsunami hazard zone. This made sense on account of the number of volcanoes that were in that region of South America.
The maritime monument marked the northernmost point along the Punta Arenas shoreline that we reached as we were conscious of just how much time we had left in the city.
The walk along the seafront area of Punta Arenas produced plenty of opportunities to take some photos with interesting compositions thanks to numerous straight lines in the form of collapsed piers or tram lines. The flat sea conditions helped a lot too.
Later that evening we would hear one American woman remarking how amazing it had been to see all the penguins along the beach. They weren’t penguins. They were cormorants and they were in abundance as we walked back towards the city’s dock to catch the tender boat back to the Star Princess. Quite how she thought they had got up onto the wooden pillars or how she hadn’t seen some of them occasionally flying off in exactly the way penguins don’t completely escaped us.
We liked seeing the chess boards set up along the shoreline. We imagine it would have been a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon in Punta Arenas.
The port area had the usual collection of souvenir shops and information points but we didn’t find anything of interest to us there and headed straight to where the tender boats were pulling up and ferrying passengers back to the cruise ship.
It’s always nice when you can sit up top on a cruise ship’s tender boat and we were lucky enough to get this chance as we left Punta Arenas and made our short trip back to the Star Princess. This gave us some lovely views of the other vessels in the port, the numerous other tender boats moving between the land and the ship, and the ship itself.