Private Tour of Fuerte Bulnes

Private Tour of Fuerte Bulnes

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$ 230

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    For Groups of 20 or more, please contact our GoTo Crew.

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      Punta Arenas, Chile
      4 Hours
      From (USD)
      $ 230
      • Fuerte Bulnes: Let the professionals show you around this first Chilean port, home to a colony established to show the country's dominance over the Strait of Magellan.
      • Puerto de Hambre: This area, considered the geographic center of Chile, is known as "Port Famine" because all the original 1584 settlers died here, either from starvation due to lack of vegetation or from freezing to death. See its ruins.
      • Totally Private: Hey we love group tours. But we know sometimes you want to explore with just your friends and family.  Customized to fit your whole crew. 

      Meeting point

      Please proceed pier side and look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign.

      Helpful hints

      Air-conditioned transportation can not be guaranteed in this port. Please bring some cash for any purchases you might like to make.

      Getting around

      This tour has a moderate amount of walking over paved and sometimes uneven, slippery ground, especially at the fort. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.

      Activity type

      Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour

      Transportation used

      Typically a motorcoach, although vans may be used. Air conditioning or toilets onboard cannot be guaranteed.

      Included amenities

      Beverage - Water


      English, Spanish

      Tour ID


      Tour Participation Requirements

      Activity Level

      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.

      Age restrictions

      Suitable for all ages.

      John Williams Wilson was a native Englishman looking for adventure. He found it in Chile. In 1818, he first visited the country when delivering the ship Lucy, one of the first sailing vessels purchased by the fledgling Chilean Navy. Whether it was the challenge of being part of a new endeavor, or falling in love with Micaela Rebolledo, the Chilean he would marry, Wilson stayed and joined the Chilean Navy himself, changing his name to Juan Guillermos. He then had a lifetime of sailing feats, capped by what he did in 1843.

      That was the year that Chile wanted to assert control over the Strait of Magellan, located at the tip of South America, before France or England took it over. This area connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and was considered a safer way to circumnavigate the globe than the nearby Drake Passage. So Guillermos was asked to get a ship together, gather some colonists, and establish Chilean sovereignty over the area. He had the schooner Ancud built, gathered a crew of 21 men and two women, and brought aboard live animals (along with some wine and rum). The ship sailed for four months to the Strait, arriving not a moment too soon.

      The very day after Guillermos unleashed a 21-gun salute and captured the Strait of Magellan for Chile, a French frigate arrived, sniffing around the area. Too late for them. Guillermos and his crew established Fuerte Bulnes at Santa Ana Point, using logs and adobe bricks for building. But maybe the joke was on his crew after all. Both climate and land were inhospitable to humans. So in 1848, the colony was moved to Sandy Point, aka Punta Arenas, a more inhabitable area about 45 miles north. Fuerte Bulnes was first abandoned, then eventually set on fire and destroyed.

      But that's not the end of the story. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Ancud, Chile rebuilt the fort between 1941 and 1943, using the original drawings and the same types of building materials. From the church to the crews' quarters to even the rebuilt jail, this historically accurate reconstruction of Fuerte Bulnes gives visitors a real sense of what it was like to live in this desolate part of the world back then.

      What a puzzle

      Travel back in time to 1843 and experience what colonial life was like in Fuerte Bulnes. Native flora and fauna, including the many birds and ducks in the area, add to the authenticity, as does the strange monkey puzzle tree. Araucaria araucana, a Chilean pine tree, has branches that look like angry green arms. The ancient tree, considered a living fossil, got its name from the idea that it would puzzle a monkey to climb it. The tree's current puzzle: how to grow more of them to get it off the endangered list.

      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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      Punta Arenas, Chile
      Punta Arenas, Chile
      Great photo opportunities
      Bring money
      Wear sunscreen
      Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes
      Head covering
      Wear Sunglasses
      Wear shoulder covering

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      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.