Punta Arenas (population 116,105) is about 2,300 kilometers southeast of Puerto Montt  via Argentina, over the Cardenal Samoré pass from Osorno . It is 210 kilometers southwest of Río Gallegos via Argentina’s Ruta Nacional 3 and the Chile’s Ruta 255 and Ruta 9; it is 241 kilometers southeast of Puerto Natales  via Ruta 9. A daily vehicle ferry connects it with Porvenir , while a gravel road, the continent’s southernmost, leads to Fuerte Bulnes  and Cabo San Isidro.
Patagonia’s largest city, Punta Arenas is the regional capital and the traditional port of entry, whether by sea, land, or air. Stretching north–south along the Strait of Magellan, it boasts an architectural heritage ranging from the Magellanic vernacular of metal-clad houses with steeply pitched roofs to elaborate Francophile mansions commissioned by 19th-century wool barons. Home to several museums, it’s a good base for excursions to historical sites and nearby penguin colonies.
Punta Arenas’s economy relies on fishing, shipping, petroleum, duty-free retail, and tourism. Historically, it’s a gateway to Antarctica for both research and tourism, but the Argentine port of Ushuaia  has absorbed much of this traffic. Ironically, in a region that grazes millions of sheep, it’s hard to find woolens here because of the influx of artificial fabrics through the duty-free Zona Franca.
Punta Arenas has good air connections to mainland Chile, frequent service to Chilean Tierra del Fuego, infrequent flights to Argentine Tierra del Fuego, and weekly service to the Falkland Islands . There are roundabout overland routes to mainland Chile via Argentina, regular buses to Argentine Tierra del Fuego via a ferry link, direct ferry service to Chilean Tierra del Fuego, and expensive (but extraordinarily scenic) cruise-ship service to Ushuaia , in Argentine Tierra del Fuego.