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The picturesque neighborhoods of Valparaíso extend up into the hills overlooking the busy port and the Pacific Ocean beyond. To explore the churches and architectural landmarks that make this a World Heritage site, ride the ascencors, a series of elevators that are over 100 years old.
This coastal enclave lives and dies by the sea, as evidenced by the colorful fishnet floats that adorn the main cathedral’s alter, the dozens of salmon farms that thrive in the hidden bays, and the hundreds of fishing boats that venture out each dawn in search of ocean bounty.
These are some of the most magnificent fjords in the world. As your eyes work their way up the jagged walls of mammoth glaciers, you may be rewarded with an Andean condor sighting. On the ocean’s surface, the Magellan penguins always put on a good show.
This 360-mile strait isolates the Tierra del Fuego archipelago from the rest of the South American continent, and is named after the ambitious Portuguese explorer and mariner Ferdinand Magellan. You’ll retrace Magellan’s route as you make the shortest crossing from Atlantic to Pacific between two land masses this side of the Panama Canal.
The southernmost point on the contiguous South American continent, Punta Arenas overlooks the Strait of Magellan and Otway Sound, home to colonies of sea lions and Magellan penguins. It’s also one of the few places on earth where you can snow ski while looking out over the ocean.
No city on the planet has a more southerly latitude. As a result, the sun shines for 18 hours during each summer day, providing ample opportunity to view the mix of glaciers, forests and sea, all framed by Mount Martial to the west and Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the east.
Tierra del Fuego, Land of Fire, is the most isolated place in the Americas, and Cape Horn is its southernmost point. These craggy cliffs and windswept shores are stark, rugged beauty personified, creating a dramatic setting for the collision between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
This deep water port was founded in 1865 by Welsh immigrants. Extending out into the Atlantic from Puerto Madryn is the Península Valdés, a wildlife sanctuary where vast numbers of sea elephants, whales and penguins far outnumber the few human visitors who make it out this far.
Montevideo is a thoroughly modern city with a rich artistic tradition, the reach of the rural estancias is all around you. If ever there were a time you were inclined to indulge, delicious steaks are the specialty of the house in virtually every restaurant.
If only one word could be used to describe this vibrant and richly cosmopolitan city, it would be “mosaic.” Stroll along these broad thoroughfares, like the Plaza de Mayo, where famed first lady Evita Perón led fervent crowds to petition for her husband’s release from prison, or visit Pirámide de Mayo, the oldest of the city’s many national monuments.