Approaching the Peninsula • Approaching the Peninsula

After flying from the mission base in Punta Arenas, Chile, sea ice appears as the DC-8 approaches the shore of the Antarctic Peninsula, the target of the science flight on Nov. 13, 2010. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen

Punta Arenas  is the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena.  Therefore city was officially renamed as Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to “Punta Arenas”.  Also It is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south. As of 1977 Punta Arenas has been one of only two free ports in Chile. Also the other one being Iquique, in the country’s far north.  (Note that Punta Arenas itself is not a “free port”, but rather outside the city; there is a small “zona franca” where certain products can be imported into the country under a reduced-tax regimen

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