The World's Southernmost City

The world's southernmost city
A view of Puero Williams, Chilean Antarctic Province

  As of March 2019, the Port and Naval Base of Puerto Williams will no longer be considered a town and becomes to be recognized as a city. This thanks to a redefinition of the INE (National Statistics Institute of Chile), which will consider as "city" the urban centers with more than 5,000 inhabitants or that have the status of regional or provincial capital. It is worth noting that "Williams", with a little less than 3,000 people is the capital of the Chilean Antarctic Province.

What does this mean? 

It means that Puerto Williams, because of the change of status and its coordinates 54° 56' S 67° 37' W will officially be considered the southernmost city in the World. 10 kilometers North is situated the tourist Argentine city of Ushuaia, which until the date, held that condition. This is of tremendous importance for the new Chilean city and, in general, for the Region of Magallanes and Antarctica, since tourism is one of the mainstays of the regional and national economy.

According to Jose Soto Passeck, director of the local Chamber of Tourism, "It was always commented that Puerto Williams was not a city, but a town, and looked tiny compared to Ushuaia. From now on, we are going to take charge of this tremendous title, which seemed distant and unreachable."

How to get there

Puerto Williams is located on the north shore of Isla Navarino, separated from Tierra del Fuego Island by the Beagle Channel. The distance from Punta Arenas, the main regional city is of 303 nautical miles (561 km.) You can reach Williams:

By plane: There is a regular service by 
Aerovias DAP departing from Presidente Carlos IbaƱez del Campo International Airport in Punta Arenas, daily in high season and three times a week in low season.

By sea: Every Wednesday, from the 
Tres Puentes Ferry Terminal in Punta Arenas, a ship leaves to Puerto Williams. The voyage lasts approximately 36 hours.

Tourism in Puerto Williams

 The mere fact of being located in one of the World's most remote locations, makes Puerto Williams an interesting place to visit. The nearby mountains and Glaciers,  to the South the famous Cape Horn, marking the end of the Americas, are also great attractions. But although small, the city has its own charms and interesting places to tour.

Museo Martin Gusinde (Martin Gusinde Anthropological Museum), in the World's southernmost Museum, you can learn about the life of the Yaganes and Selknam natives, extinct races that inhabited the cold islands of Navarino and Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). Currently remodeled, it was built in 1974 and owes its name to the Austrian anthropologist and priest Martin Gusinde (1886- 1969), who worked with the Yaganes and Selknam between 1918 and 1924. 

Omora Ethno- Botanical Park, wild garden and protected area of 1,000 hectares, located in the North of Navarino Island, South shore of the Beagle Channel. Omora carries out scientific research, educational and biocultural conservation activities in the far South of Chile. The name Omora of the park comes from the Yagana word for the Ruby Hummingbird, the southernmost species of hummingbird in the World.

Dientes de Navarino Trekking Circuit  

Dientes de Navarino Mountain Range behind Puerto Williams
Puerto Williams with Dientes de Navarino Mountains in the distance
 The World's southernmost Trekking Circuit, the best season is Summer, surrounding the mountain chain whose summits exceed 1,000 mt. altitude, for those who enjoy trekking, it is a must-see place. The route of 4- 5 days duration, offers an impressive mountain landscape, snow-capped peaks, Magellanic subpolar forests, frozen lagoons, rock slopes and impressive views of the Beagle Channel and the southern area of the island.

Club de Yates "Micalvi" ("Micalvi" Yacht Club), anchored in Puerto Williams in 1961, the old and legendary cargo ship "Micalvi", belonging to the Chilean Navy, was declared a Naval Museum. However, in 1983 it began to operate as a Nautical Club, where today and every year Yachts coming from all over the World dock before starting their voyage through the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and Antarctica. The old 80-meter-long steamer is the main meeting place for yachtsmen and women from around the world who challenge the fury of the Southernmost Seas.