What you should know before hiring a car in Punta Arenas
|Punta Arenas city centre|
|Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (PUQ): 19 km from city centre|
Where to rent a car in Punta Arenas?
Located in southern Chile, Punta Arenas is the capital of the country's Magallanes and Antartica Chilena region. Located in southern Patagonia, it boasts proximity to a number of areas of natural interest, as well as plenty of attractions in the city itself. These include the Palacio Sara Braun and the Museo Regional de Magallanes. The city is served by the busy Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport; from here, travelers can choose from a number of transport options to reach the city center. These include taxis, private transfer buses, and rental car services. Car rental companies operating in Punta Arenas include Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Rent a Car. Renting a car to explore Punta Arenas and the surrounding areas not only allows for a greater level of freedom when planning your itinerary, but also afford the opportunity to travel through stunning natural landscapes at your own pace.
Driving in Punta Arenas: parking and other tips
Planning to rent a car in Punta Arenas? Firstly, you will want to brush up on the local driving rules and customs. Drive on the right, be sure to wear a seatbelt at all times, and pay attention to the speed limits in Punta Arenas. These are usually 50 - 60km/h in urban areas; 100km/h on open, rural roads; and 100 - 120km/h on the motorway. However, look out for signs indicating the speed limit in Punta Arenas.
When parking in Punta Arenas, visitors have a number of options. Many hotels will offer parking, while there are also a number of parking lots around the city. While on street parking is available, with many cars parking wherever there is space, the best option is to look out for clearly marked parking spaces and be sure to pay for parking where necessary. There is also the option to park at the airport; or explore Punta Arenas by foot, before renting a car to explore the areas around the city.
Road trips from Punta Arenas
Explore the southernmost region of Chile by rental car: Punta Arenas makes for a great base from which to visit beautiful National Parks and charming cities. These are just three fascinating destinations accessible by rental car from Punta Arenas.
Torres del Paine
The Torred del Paine National Park is located around 200 miles from Punta Arenas by car and is an area of stunning natural beauty in the Patagonia region of Chile. Renting a ca rand driving to Torres del Paine makes for a breath-taking road trip through beautiful countryside, as well as negating the need to pay for expensive organised tours around Torres del Paine. The National Park itself is home to mountains, glaciers and beautiful grasslands. Grey Lake, Lake Pehoé and The Cordillera Paine are just a few of the must-visit attractions in the area.
Located on the road to the Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Natales is located on the Señoret Channel, around 154 miles from Punta Arenas by road. A popular city in which to refuel before heading on to the Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Natales is also known as a good base from which to take a boat tour to the nearby Patagonian fjords. In the city itself, visit the Municipal Historical Museum and wander around downtown Puerto Natales, enjoying the relaxed pace of life.
Magallanes National Reserve
A little closer to Punta Arenas itself, making for a great day trip from the city, the Magallanes National Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as offering plenty of hiking opportunities. A short, four and a half mile drive from Punta Arenas, this National Reserve is more accessible than the Torres del Paine National Park, making it a popular road trip destination from Punta Arenas. Enjoy hiking trails, water sports and the chance to see a diverse range of flora and fauna.