Punta Arenas ’s surprising naval and maritime museum provides perspectives on topics like ethnography—in the context of the region’s seagoing indigenous peoples—even while stressing its military mission. It features interactive exhibits, such as a credible warship’s bridge, a selection of model ships, and naval history of the southern oceans.
The most riveting material, though, concerns Chilean pilot Luis Pardo Villalón’s 1916 rescue of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s crew at Antarctica’s Elephant Island. On the cutter Yelcho, with neither heat, electricity, nor radio in foggy and stormy winter weather, Pardo soon returned the entire crew to safety; he later served as Chilean consul in Liverpool.
The Museo Naval (Pedro Montt 981, tel. 061/205479, terzona [at] armada [dot] cl) is open 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. daily except Sunday and Monday. Admission costs US$2 for adults, US$0.60 for children.