Puerto Williams - the southernmost city in the world
The dreamy little town of Puerto Williams lies in the protected Beagle Channel on the north side of Navarino Island. Its coordinates are 54° 55’’ South latitude and 67° 36’’ West longitude.
From here it is 100km as the crow flies to Cape Horn and 1 000km to Antarctica.
The town is blessed with its location. The Darwin Cordillera protects it from the prevailing stormy westerly winds.
The first settlers reached this remote area at the end of the 19th century in the course of a brief gold rush. A few stayed and lived modestly on, making a living fishing, breeding cattle or in the timber industry.
In 1956 the Chilean military established a base in the channel and named it Puerto Williams after Captain John Williams, who took possession of these southernmost territories for Chile.
Many Yamana, an autochthonous group of Tierra del Fuego, who were still living as nomads in their canoes navigating the channels, as well as some scattered settlers from remote places, began to favour the benefits of the incipient civilization to the wilderness and moved to the village.
The military base still exists, but the town and the civilian life has grown around it.
Since March 29th, 2019 Puerto Williams with a current population of around 2.000, has been granted the status of a town. This makes it the southernmost city in the world and the administrative capital of the Cape Horn territory, and the province called Chilean Antarctica.
Chile is investing capital and resources to upgrade the infrastructure, to promote tourism and to offer a new “gateway” to the nearby national parks in the Darwin Cordillera, Cape Horn and Antarctica.
By plane: from Punta Arenas with the DAP Airline daily except Sundays. 45minutes.
By ferry: from Punta Arenas with the company TABSA (Austral Broom) every Thursday
Retour journey on Saturday
The journey with the passenger car ferry takes 32 hours.
With a ferry/bus transfer: from Ushuaia, Argentina, on the opposite side of the Beagle Channel.
With various small boats daily, except on Sundays, to Puerto Navarino on the west end of The Navarino Island.
From there 50km in 90 minutes with minibuses to Puerto Williams.