Puerto Williams is the southernmost town in the world, located on the north shore of Isla Navarino, on the banks of the Beagle Channel, and at the feet of the imposing granite peaks of the Dientes de Navarino. A trekking circuit winds around the massif in a 4-day route and is––without a doubt––one of the most impressive treks in Chile, with absolutely gorgeous views.

This is ancestral territory of the Yámanas people, fishers and gatherers who rowed to Cape Horn in canoes made from Coigüe bark, with sails made from the skin of sea lions. The watercraft were sturdy enough that the Yámanas could light fires while aboard. The women dived in the cold waters, hunting for urchins and crabs. Puerto Williams––or Upushwea in the Yagán language––is still home to many Yámanas descendants. The town was founded in 1953 and was first called Puerto Luisa, but the name was changed 3 years later to honor the English sailor Juan Williams, who helped Chile seize possession of the Strait of Magellan in 1843.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

In Puerto Williams, you can find hotels, hostels, restaurants, and tourist agencies. For more details, go to::

Region

Cabo de Hornos

Province

Antártica Chilena

Population

2.874

Climate and Rainfall

Trans-Andean Climate with Steppe Degradation, 18 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Alberto de Agostini National Park

Cabo de Hornos National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Set out on the southernmost trekking route in the world, the Dientes de Navarino, which is a challenging circuit that requires prior trekking experience, given its remote location and high passes.
  • Do the trekking route to Lake Winhond, which takes between 3–4 days. The route is 25 miles long and takes around 21 hours of trekking to complete.
  • Visit the Martín Gusinde Anthropological Museum.
  • Explore the Omora Ethnobotanical Park, located 2 miles from Puerto Williams. Bring a magnifying glass to observe the intricate details of the forest’s moss and lichen.
  • Hike up the La Bandera peak to take in the beautiful views of the town and the Beagle Channel. The hike takes around 4 hours total.
  • Visit Casa Stirling, which is the oldest house in Patagonia and was declared a Historical Monument. The house was brought to the area by Anglican missionaries in 1869 and, because it could be taken apart and transported, had previously been located in the Islas Malvinas as well as in Ushuaia, Isla Hoste, and Douglas Bay.
  • Ride on horseback or bike to Eugenia Port to admire Isla Navarino’s striking landscapes.
  • Visit Port Toro, the southernmost community in the world.
  • Go to Caleta Mejillones, which was an indigenous community where more than 100 descendants of the Yagán people lived, until 1967. You can find the Yámana cemetery here, which has been declared a National Monument.
  • Take the ferry from Punta Arenas to enjoy the beauty of the Darwin Range and the glaciers that slope downward into the fjords.

How to get

Puerto Williams has no land access.

Boats leave once a week from Punta Arenas (the Tres Puentes sector, 4.5 miles from the city center) and sail to Puerto Williams in a voyage that takes around 32 hours. Find out more at http://www.tabsa.cl/portal/index.php/es/horarios/12-horarios-p-arenas-williams.

During tourist high season, boats are available crossing the Beagle Channel to Puerto Williams in a trip of around 2 hours. Availability depends on weather conditions.

Una vez por semana zarpa desde Punta Arenas (sector Tres Puentes a 7 kms. del centro de la ciudad) las navegaciones hasta Puerto Williams que tardan 32 horas. Revisa los detalles en www.tabsa.cl

Desde Ushuaia, Argentina, durante la temporada alta se realizan navegaciones para cruzar el canal de Beagle en 2 horas para llegar a Puerto Williams, viaje que depende estrictamente de las condiciones climáticas.

Dap Airlines offers flights from Punta Arenas Mondays through Saturdays. The flights take around one hour (http://dapairline.com/). It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a luggage limit of 22 pounds per person.

Tips

  • The median annual temperature in Puerto Williams reaches a high of 49 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The Municipal Library has Wi-Fi and computers.
  • The only café in town is called Puerto Luisa. It has Wi-Fi.
  • Make sure you’re always prepared to experience 4 different seasons in one day.
  • Make all your reservations in advance, including the ferry or plane tickets, in addition to your lodging.
  • If you’re a foreigner, make sure to travel with Chilean pesos. There are no currency exchange offices and many establishments do not accept dollars.
  • There is no pharmacy.
  • There is no taxi service on the island. Options for transport include walking through town and renting a bicycle.
  • At the aerodrome, there are transfer services available making the 10-minute trip to the town center. You can also walk half an hour to arrive to town.
  • The Chilean Tourism Agency rents out the equipment needed for completing the Dientes de Navarino trekking circuit.
  • There are corner stores in town selling basic camping goods.
  • There are also tourist agencies in town, including: Sheila (www.turismoshila.cl), Explora (https://www.exploraislanavarino.com/), Aventour (http://aventourpatagonia.cl/), and Kaitex (+56 61 2621063 / +56994773971).

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • ATM
  • Bank
  • Hospital
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Aerodrome
  • Conaf (Park Rangers)

Visitor’s Center

Located in the Puerto Williams Shopping Center

Email: turismo@imcabodehornos.cl

Important Dates

Puerto Williams celebrates its anniversary on November 21.

On June 20, the community hosts a party celebrating the longest night of the year.

The second week of June, Puerto Williams holds its Snow Festival, with various winter activities and competitions.

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