If you’re looking for a day trip from Punta Arenas, the Magallanes Reserve is a good option whether you are starting or finishing your travels in Patagonia. Located in the high section of Punta Arenas (next to Club Andino), with close to 21,000 hectares and 17 kilometers of trails, the reserve is covered with Magellanic forest. Here you can observe the splendor of species such as the Lenga (Nothofagus pumilio) and the Ñirre (Nothofagus antartica), along with a wide spectrum of shrubs and bushes including Calafate (Berberis microphylla) and Zarzaparilla or Wild current (Ribes magellanicum). It is here you can encounter a variety of lichens that densely cover the forest, much more than in other sections of Patagonia. The higher altitude of the reserve, added to the humid, westerly climate and the Magellanic strait generate special characteristics for the growth of these species. Without noticing, you can spend a long period of time examining this mini forest.
In the off-chance that you visit the reserve in winter, the panorama becomes even more interesting when most of the trails become Randonee or Alpine Touring ski trails and for snowshoeing. Check out the website to find guided excursions in the reserve.More...
How to arrive
Getting to the Magallanes reserve is relatively easy; any person in Punta Arenas can give you directions. Head up Avenida Salvador Allende (or Avenida Independencia) and turn in the direction towards the Ski Club Andino. About 3 kilometers from the city (considering the end of the city when Avenida Salvador Allende ends and the road to Club Andino begins) you will find the entrance to the reserve on the right. If you are going in your own car or a rental, the route is well marked. Alternatively, you can go in taxi for about $8.000 (one way).
Good to know
The entrance to the reserve is as follows: For Chileans: $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child. For Foreigners: $4,000 per adult and $1,500 per child. The park has bathrooms, camping and picnic sites along with walkways for people with a disability.
Important: The park has various walkways that are connected to each other through a main road. If you have a vehicle you can quickly access the beginning of each path without wearing out on the main road inside the park.