Historic Fort Bulnes Tour
Punta Arenas, Chile
- Fort Bulnes: See Chile's first settlement, built in 1843 as a colonial penitentiary, abandoned and burned down just six years later, and finally restored almost a century later in 2002.
- Ciervos River: Travel along the rushing Ciervos river bordering Chile and Argentina, and admire the serene landscape of forest pines and crystal skies.
- Santa Maria Point, Lenadura, Agua Fresca: A scenic drive towards the Bulnes Fort includes views of Chile's bustling port towns and laid-back riverside towns.
About this Punta Arenas tour
Bandits, gauchos and gold-hunters - oh my! The Patagonia of two centuries past was on par with the American Wild West - the only difference being snowballs rather than tumbleweeds - as Chile and Argentina colonized the North and let their Southern territories run amok.
Although Fort Bulnes’ official story claims that it was founded to protect locals from attacks from the natives and serve as a strategic post along the bustling Magellan Strait, the Fort was also used to bring calm to a city overrun by criminals and discharged military men who had been sent there when the region was used as a penitentiary colony.
Soon good and bad guys alike realized the importance of the Magellan Strait, and for nearly three decades the city was rife with mutinies, assassinations, and attempts to burn the city to the ground. It wasn’t until the government began inviting unsuspecting Europeans to farm the land that the city became an important trading post, and the hardened population became upstanding farmers and businessmen.
So as you admire the picturesque red roofs that characterize this quaintly restored settlement by the sea, remember that this tranquil town once ran red - and it wasn’t with paint.
A most violent year
Banished soldier Miguel José Cambiaso lead an attack in the city of Punta Arenas in 1851 in an effort to spark a Chilean revolution. The attack was quickly squashed, but Cambiaso continued a military campaign so violent that his own men turned him over to the authorities out of fear of what might happen if he actually rose to power.
Staying at a hotel in Punta Arenas? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so our GoBe Representative, with the displayed logo sign, can meet you in your hotel lobby.
Air-conditioned transportation cannot be guaranteed in this destination. Please bring some cash for any purchases you might wish to make.
This tour has a moderate amount of walking over paved & sometimes uneven, slippery ground, especially at the fort.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour, Scenic
Beverage - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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