Patagonia celebrates the winter. From 21 June to late August, Punta Arenas celebrated this time of year with different activities, whose center Winter Carnival that takes place between 18 and 19 July. In the heart of winter in the deep south of Chile, Punta Arenas holds an annual winter carnival to warm the spirits of locals and visitors alike. Thousands of people not only from Punta Arenas but the entire region (including Argentina) come for this major event that contains costume parades, decorated floats, large dance groups, music and lots of food stands.

On the last night they have a large fireworks display which can best be seen from down at the waterfront. (Just follow the crowds down the hill, every ends up there.) What amazed me were the scantily-clad women shaking their bits in the middle of winter. Ever seen pictures of the Brazilian carnival where voluptuous women wearing nothing but bits a string with glittery bits glued to them. Well imagine the same thing but at a temperature where water normally freezes, at night, and in the heart of winter. They deserve a medal!

The other people that deserve a medal are those that participate in the Chapuzón del pingüino magallánico or ‘Magellan Penguin splash’ that involves jumping into the Magellan strait in the morning… pretty much like a mid-winter swim.

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