The third-largest park in Chile, Alberto de Agostini is named for the Salesian priest and mountaineer who explored and photographed the area. De Agostini was moved by the majesty of the 22-mile Darwin Range, which reaches into the Pacific, sculpting deep fjords molded by the glaciers of Chile’s third stretch of icefields. Located roughly 800 nautical miles south of Punta Arenas, in Navarino, the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is considered one of the 24 most pristine ecoregions on the planet. It is home to species including Marine Elephants as well as rich vegetation, spectacular glaciers like the Marinelli, and beautiful formations such as Monte Sarmiento.

Can’t Miss

  • See Monte Sarmiento (7,887 feet above sea level), a pyramid-shaped mountain with a glacial peak climbed for the first time in 1956, which Jules Verne wrote about in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Admire the Darwin (8,163 feet above sea level), Shipton (8,425 feet above sea level), and Bove (7,477 feet above sea level) peaks.
  • Travel by boat through the Almirantazgo Sound and visit the Agostini Sound, where you can find the Serrano and Rugidor Glaciers.
  • Visit the Marinelli Fjord to see the colony of Marine Elephants and get a close-up view the Marinelli Glacier, the largest in the park at 52 square miles of area and 10.5 miles in length, with a front wall stretching 131 feet tall.
  • Explore the Brecknock Peninsula, traveling through the Brecknock, Ocasion, Cockburn, and Magdalena Channels, arriving at the Beagle Channel, where you can take in views of the steep mountains and granite walls.
  • Visit the Pico Francés sector, where you might glimpse an icefall from the Roncali or Italia Glacier.
  • Visit the Pía, Piloto, Nena, Garibaldi, Günter Plushow, Águila, and Brookes Glaciers.

Open

Year-round

Area

3,607,739 acres

Climate

Rainy and cold temperate climate

Rainfall

25 to 160 inches annually

Ecosystem

Magellanic evergreen forest, peat bogs, cold desert

Founded

January 22, 1965

“A wonderful view, difficult to describe, given the deep vastness of the horizon and the sublime grandeur of hundreds of peaks. These are the first human sightings of these solitudes of ice...”,

Alberto de Agostini

Flora

Virgin Coigüe forests grow on the hillsides, reaching down toward the waters of the fjords. These forests are sculpted by the region’s gale-force winds. Among the trees, you can also find Canelos, Ciprés de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron), Lengas, Ñirres, and an undergrowth made up of hundreds of different types of Mushrooms, Moss, and Lichen. Alberto de Agostini is also home to Magellanic Tundra, and Centellas, Orchids, Coicopihues, Chauras, and Anemones light up the parklands with their vivid colors in summer.

Fauna

There are at least 108 different animal species in the park. The Marinelli Glacier––which, across many years, has molded the fjord that shares its name––is home to a colony of Marine Elephants, a species at risk of extinction. The park is also home to Leopard Seals, South American Fur Seals, Chungungos (Marine Otters), Whales, Dolphins, and 49 different land and marine bird species, including Albatross, Petrels, and Cormorants.

Culture

The Yámanas people were the world’s southernmost inhabitants, fishermen and gatherers who sailed the Beagle Channel to the north, the Brecknock Peninsula to the west, and Cape Horn to the south. They rowed in 16-foot-long canoes made from Coigüe bark, with sails made from the skin of sea lions. The watercraft were sturdy enough that they could light fires while aboard. The women dived in the cold waters, hunting for urchins and crabs. The Yámanas people also had a rich language: in 1933, the missionary Thomas Bridges published a Yámana-English dictionary, which contained more than 30,000 words. Orundellico, or Jemmy Button, was a Yáman man who sailed with Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin.

infrastructure

  • Bathrooms
  • Lodging
  • Camping
  • Restaurants
  • Information Center
  • Trails
  • Trekking Circuits
  • Picnic Area

How to Get There

The park is not accessible by land.

The park is located 800 nautical miles south of Punta Arenas, which is its main port of entry. In Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, and Ushuaia, you can find various watercraft making trips south. Transbordadora Broom (www.tabsa.cl) offers trips that connect Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams, a voyage that takes 31 hours.

LATAM and Sky Airlines offer daily flights to Punta Arenas, where you can continue to the park via boat. DAP Airlines also offers flights from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams, which is the closest city to the park. In Puerto Williams, guides offer private flights or boat trips exploring the park.

Trails

There are no official trails open to the public in Alberto de Agostini National Park at this time. Nevertheless, you can dock in some of the fjords and explore the forests on foot in places, walk along the beaches, and enjoy the spectacular views of the Darwin Range and the icefields.

  • Difficulty

  • Duration

  • Distance

  • Open

Tips

  • The closest cities to the park are Puerto Williams and Punta Arenas. Lodging is available in both cities.
  • Summer winds can be quite strong. During all seasons, make sure you’re dressed for strong winds, rain, and cold.
  • The median annual temperature is between 35 and 48 degrees F. In fall and winter, precipitation is higher, and temperatures can get down to 30 degrees F.
  • Transbordadora Broom offers boat trips twice a week from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams and Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas. The voyage lasts around 30 hours. Advance reservations are required.
  • Various companies, including Cruceros Australis,offer park visits from Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.
  • DAP Airlines offers daily flights from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams. The flights takes 1 hour and 15 minutes; make reservations at http://dapairline.com/.
  • In Puerto Williams, we recommend visiting Omora Park. If you have enough time, consider hiking the southernmost trekking circuit in the world and one of Chile’s most beautiful: the Dientes de Navarino, which takes 4 days and 3 nights.

Suggested trips

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