The German-Venezuelan Sea & Ice & Mountains Adventures Unlimited (Austral 74, tel./fax 061/621150, tel. 061/621227) organizes trekking, climbing, and riding expeditions on Isla Navarino and the Cordillera Darwin, weeklong yacht excursions around the Beagle Channel and to Cape Horn, and even Antarctica. Advance booking is essential.
Overlooking the harbor is the Proa del Escampavía Yelcho, the prow of the cutter that, at the command of Luis Pardo Villalón, rescued British Antarctic explorer Edward Shackleton’s crew from Antarctica’s Elephant Island in 1916. A national monument, the bow survived collisions with icebergs to get to its destination; returning to Punta Arenas , the entire ship makes a cameo appearance in original newsreel footage in British director George Butler’s Endurance, a documentary of the Shackleton expedition.
Very professional for a small-town museum, Williams’s Museo Martin Gusinde (Aragay 1) has small exhibits on geology and taxidermy, a marker for the former post office, and a sign for the coal mine at Caleta Banner, on nearby Isla Picton, which provisioned the Yelcho on its mission. Admission costs US$1.75 per person; hours are 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2:30–7 p.m. weekdays and 2–6 p.m. weekends only. Nearby is the Parque Botánico Omora, a native plant garden.
Built in Germany for operations on the Rhine, the MV Micalvi shipped supplies between remote estancias and other settlements before sinking here in 1962; the upper deck and bridge remain as the yacht club’s bar/restaurant.