Diving in Punta Arenas
If you are looking for true adventure, scuba diving in Chile’s most southern region, Punta Arenas, is for you! These frigid waters are home to some of the best marine life encounters in the world, hosting pods of whales and dolphins, colonies of sea lions, and penguins everywhere. The city of Punta Arenas sits right in the middle of Chile’s famed Patagonia, encompassing the southernmost area of Chile. Located on the Straight of Magellan, this city serves as a popular base camp for excursions into Patagonia’s surrounding wilderness and Antarctica. Despite its remoteness, Punta Arenas is easily accessible via direct flights from Chile’s capital, Santiago. Diving in Punta Arenas is a remarkable experience thanks to fantastic and diverse marine life encounters, excellent wreck diving, and the unique underwater topography. The Straight of Magellan is famous for its turbulent nautical past and is now home to around 140 well-preserved shipwrecks. The most popular wreck dives include Marigold, Trinidad, Amadeo, Ambassador, and Lonsdale. The nutrient-rich Cabo De Hornos current hosts a variety of marine flora and fauna. The best time to go diving in Patagonia is between December and March, when the sun is at its highest and visibility is at its best. However, bring your drysuit as water temperatures hover around 2 degrees C.
Dive Sites to visit in Punta Arenas
Wildlife Encounters in Punta Arenas
The incredible biodiversity found in Punta Arenas makes this region a unique and exciting place to encounter diverse Chile marine life. Four whale species are typically found in Patagonia: orca, humpback, southern right, and blue whales. Other exciting marine mammal encounters include the Southern elephant seal, South American fur seal, and lots of sea lions. Dolphin sightings include dusky, commerson’s, Risso’s, and Peales dolphins. With only 1,000 left in Chile, lucky divers may encounter the endangered marine otter. Most divers, however, adventure this far south for a chance to interact with the penguins that make Patagonia famous. You may see five different penguin species, including Magellanic, King, Gentoo, Humbolt, and Rockhopper penguins.