Punta Arenas, Chile

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Punta Arenas: The Edge of the World in Chile

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


Cityscape of Punta Arenas Chile
AdobeStock/galina_savina

Punta Arenas is the capital city of the southernmost region of Chile and has a population of around 130,000. Southernmost in the context of Chile puts Punta Arenas just slightly north of Antarctica, so it’s a great place to live if you like the cold.

Punta Arenas is the least developed of the newly developed, smaller cities.

Its economy is focused mainly in the primary economic sector of raw materials and agriculture, but, in recent years, it’s established itself as a relatively popular tourist destination for those interested in seeing penguins.

Still, though, its service industry is underdeveloped and undefined, leaving a lot of room for investment and improvement, especially for someone with an interest in the hospitality industry.

A less urbanized city like this isn’t for investors looking for immediate returns.

Punta Arenas is for those with a long-term eye to investment. You may need to wait a while to see the return, but the low cost of land and buildings right now is exciting nonetheless.

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From a legal perspective, there are fewer barriers to entry and fewer obligations when incorporating a business here than there would be in Santiago, for example. This expedited process is primarily due to lower levels of competition.

The lack of competition here pays off for those investors who were able to create and establish a foothold early in the market (with year-to-year economic and population growth). They’ll be in the best position to control their market for years to come.

Map Of Punta Arenas, Chile

Work In Punta Arenas, Chile

For foreigners interested in working in Chile you will need to either be apermanent Chilean residentor have authorization to work in Chile.

As an expat looking for the right opportunities, an important first step is to know what is needed to work in Chile and how to go about getting the proper documentation to start the process.

As with most countries in the region, the process to be eligible to work in Chile can be at times frustrating and slower than you might like.

Chile has put channels in place to make the process straightforward. Hhowever, in each case it is quite important to have the correct documents ready to present.

It is equally important to remember that the process is worth the small frustrations and this “barrier to entry” into the job market gives you a little advantage when you do become legal to work in Chile.

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

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