The city founded as a sheep farm

Puerto Natales, Chile, is a thriving town with five-star hotels and plenty of tourists (thanks to the nearby Torres del Paine mountains). But its beginnings are far more humble: it was once a hub for sheep breeding.

Puerto Natales was founded as a sheep farm.
Puerto Natales was founded as a sheep farm.

At the turn of the 20th century, the port city of Puerto Natales (located in Chile’s Última Esperanza province), was founded as a way to deal with the area’s booming sheep-farming industry. The town was an ideal location for the farmers, thanks to its waterside location and surrounding dry, scrub land.

With British, German, and Croatian immigrants looking to profit from farming, two cold storage plants were built to accommodate the region’s four million sheep, bred for their wool, meat, and fat. While both the Frigorífico Bories and Frigorífico de Puerto Natales had fallen into decline by the 1990s, the former still exists today—although it has undergone a substantial facelift.

For the rest of this piece, please visit Condé Nast Traveler.

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