Visit Punta Arenas – Background
Punta Arenas (Sandy Point) was founded in the mid 1800s as a penal colony and as a means of establishing Chilean sovereignty in the region. Since that time, many European immigrants have settled here. Today the city is just over 100,000 in habitants and its main economic base is sheep ranches, a small petroleum industry and tourism. Punta Arenas has become a standard stop for cruise ships traversing the tip of South America between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Valparaiso, Chile. Don’t confuse Punta Arenas, Chile with Puntarenas, Costa Rica, which is also a common cruise ship port of call.