I was actually in punta arenas for 4 days because brazil did not let me out of brazil on time and made me miss my connecting flight to santiago chile.
(more on the trip from hell in http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303631-i2161-k5189137-Trip_from_hell_lay_over_in_sao_paulo-Sao_Paulo_State_of_Sao_Paulo.html)
while in punta arenas, i did a tour to the magdalena island, $50 for adult and $25 for children (if i remember correctly- trip worth taking) where the pinguins go during the summer to procreate, to get there i had to go on a 2 hour boat ride to get there, 1 hour at the island, and 2 hours to get back, beautiful place, but long trip to get there and get back, and trip left at 5 pm and got back at 9:30 pm,
not a problem since the summers there is light until 11 pm. funny because my daughter would say it is not sleeping time yet it is light, meanwhile it was 10 pm with sunlight.
i found a big outdoor playground walking distance from our hotel best western, with a dinosaur theme, the summer there requires winter clothing, it was cold and drizzled every day.
making it very hard to go anywhere because it rained and was cold
i found a unimart supermarket to get water and chips, and by the way the sell french fries, and do not give u ketchup, they said that the fries DO NOT come with ketchup! wth!
so don't buy fries at unimart.
once the cruise ship arrived, and i was able to board the ship, meet my family, and we got out and had hired a driver ($110 for 4 adults right of the cruise port exit) to drive us to the ski slope, went on the ski lift ride - very cold, and went to see the penguins, or what they call pinguineras, 45 minutes driving distance from cruise port (disappointing for me since i had seen the magdalena island penguins 2 days before) and the morning tour there via the cruise was more than $100 per person, the cruise chartered the only boat in town.
and charged people more than double.
punta arenas was cold and pretty, the people were nice, and in general compared to other south american cities is a safe place.
i found out that people go there and make a trip up north
to torres de paine, u need to at least 3 days, one to go up north and stay over night since the tour left from a city north of punta arenas at 7 am, tour and then come back.
interesting, there is an international tournament among athletes from people from all over the earth, who train and go there in groups of 4 for a patagonian contest, that consists of biking, canoeing, walking, while sleeping, eating in nature for many days.Edited: 9:47 pm, February 24, 2012