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The Promenade

This winding promenade, the costanera, runs alongside the Señoret channel of the Last Hope fjord. The fjord was named by Spanish sailor Juan de Ladrilleros who, in 1557, considered this the “last hope” for a connective channel between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The name stuck and, perhaps without thinking about the challenging history, the last hope of the sailors, it remains one of the most poetic names of local waterways.

A wide and occasionally calm area of Puerto Natales, the promenade receives the characteristic Patagonian winds that run from west to east. The location permits views of the Antonio Varas peninsula in front, with the well-known hills of Monument Moore and Ballena (whale). In the distance is imposing Balmaceda mountain, with its various hanging glaciers and in the far distance are the snow-covered peaks of the ice field.

It is an excellent area to do some birdwatching, as they enjoy the rich waters of the fjord (80% glacier waters, 20% saltwater). Notable species are large groups of Cormorants, Spectacled ducks, Black-necked and Coscoroba swans, Chiloe widgeons, and at certain times of the year, Chilean flamingos can be found alongside the shore. For these species and more, your binoculars become a necessary tool to fully enjoy this part of Puerto Natales. 

A suggested route is to follow the promenade north towards Puerto Bories, 5 kilometers, to visit the historic museum and Patrimonial buildings of The Singular hotel. Finish off the trip with a drink in the hotel’s notable restaurant.

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How to arrive

The promenade is one of the most visited areas of Puerto Natales, alongside the water, so there shouldn’t be any trouble in finding it. Sunsets are a perfect time to walk alongside the coast.

Good to know

It is important to mention that between September and March is the time of winds in Patagonia, so this activity would not be as idyllic as I am describing it. Still, it is a postcard that is worth looking at.