Navarino Island is the most southern place in America. It is located south of the Beagle Channel. So near to Cape Horn that, on clear days, you can see from one of its hills.
This island has a unique orography: steep hills, lush forests, small lagoons, rivers with beaver dams … a whole world for nature lovers.
1. When is the best date to travel to Navarino Island?
Without a doubt, we recommend that you travel there during the southern summer: from December 21 to March 21 (preferably between the end of January and the middle of February). In any other station, the risk of bad weather is much greater.
However, even at this time, the weather is quite changeable. You can find winter mornings, followed by rain and in the middle of the day a summer heat. This is the climate in southern Chile (and South America).
2. How to get to Navarino Island?
Being such an isolated site, located at the end of the world, there are not many options to get there:
- Airway from Punta Arenas:Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas and, once there, take a small plane from the DAP airline to Puerto Williams (Navarino Island). Check the schedules and the weight that you can carry on board (overweight is expensive).
- Sea route from Punta Arenas: If you have time, since the journey lasts 32 hours, this is a good option to enjoy the incredible landscapes of southern Chile. The main company that makes this journey is Austral Broom Ferry.
- Sea route from Ushuaia: You can cross directly to Puerto Williams, 58 km with a trip duration of 1:15 hours, or cross to Navarino port (7.2 km) and from there continue by land to Puerto Williams (total trip duration equal to 2 hours).
3. What activities can be done on Navarino Island?
It’s a natural island, with no historical sites and monuments to see, so the main activities you can do here are:
- Trekking: There are several options of routes within the trekking, so it can take you between 4 to 6 days to complete it.
- Fishing: The isolation of this island has allowed to preserve clean waters, perfect for fishing for trout. It is in Lake Windhond and Navarino River where the best fishing spots are found. Even if you have a budget, there is a helicopter vip service that takes you directly to these areas.
- Sailing: There is the possibility of maritime walks through the channels and nearby islands, such as the Cape Horn Island. Also, if you have a couple of weeks, you can even go to Antarctica.
- Helicopter overflight: There is the option to fly over the teeth of Navarino Island and nearby areas.
- Flight by small plane:There are several options. From flying over the Cape Horn Island, to reach Antarctica and visit King George Island.
While for trekking and fishing you do not need to hire anything, unless you want a guide, for the rest you should contact an agency or transport company: Lakutaia, DAP Airline, Extreme Williams, Shila Tourism, etc…
4. How much time is necessary to get to know Navarino Island?
It totally depends on the activities that you want to perform:
- Complete the Teeth of Navarino trekking will take you between 4 to 7 days, depending on the circuit you do.
- In the case of fishing, it depends on the provisions you carry and the days you want to be in the area.
- The sailing options are: from one day to 2 weeks (in the case of the trip to Antarctica).
- The helicopter overflight is short, it is done in a few hours.
- The flight by small plane over the Cape Horn Island lasts a few hours. Instead, the excursion to Antarctica, will take you a whole day.
5. Where to stay in Puerto Williams?
Navarino Island is a place that is very sparsely populated. Puerto Williams, which is the main population of the island, it is quite small (2,200 inhabitants).
In addition, as the main activities are trekking and fishing, there is not much choice of hotels. Rather you can find hostels or private homes that offer rooms.
This is why we recommend that you book as soon as possible to not run out of accommodation.
6. What clothes and equipment to take to Navarino Island?
Although it depends on the activity that you have chosen, in all cases we recommend:
- Several layers of clothing to adjust depending on the temperature.
- Waterproof clothes.
- A GPS to mark the position.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses.
In the specific case of trekking, we recommend that you also carry the following equipment:
- Portable stove to heat water: soups, pasta, couscous, etc …
- Walking sticks (they help a lot when descending).
- Snacks: chocolates, hazelnuts, peanuts (best without salt), etc …
- Tent (3 stations).
- Waterproof mat/tarpaulin to place under the tent.
- Sleeping bag that supports low temperatures.
- Band-aids that replace the stitches.
- Thermal blanket (for any unforeseen).
- A small shovel, toilet paper and a bag (so you do not throw away the paper).
7. The Trekking of the Teeth of Navarino
This activity is, without a doubt, the main reason to travel to Navarino Island. You can not do the southernmost trekking in the world every day.
This trek runs through what is called a heritage route. That is, along roads and paths that the Ministry of Natural Resources has enabled for the enjoyment of culture and natural spaces throughout Chile. A sustainable and quality tourism.
We did the Teeth of Navarino trekking. It was one of the best trips we remember in Chile. A magical mixture of adventure, effort and unparalleled landscapes.
8. Other places of interest nearby
This city is the southernmost in the world (Puerto Williams is not a city). It is located just on the other side of the Beagle Channel, so you can cross the channel from Puerto Williams, or Puerto Navarino, and enjoy the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego.
This natural park is the most important natural destination in southern Chile. Its 240,000 hectares are home to lakes, mountains, rivers and the Patagonian steppe.
It is known for 2 rock formations in the form of towers, the famous “Torres del Paine”, but not only for these natural wonders. You can also travel much of the natural park by one of circuits and heritage routes (circuit “W”).
This destination, along with that of Easter Island, it is one of the most isolated in all of Chile. No matter, the wild nature, being so close to the cape of furnaces, the feeling of isolation at the end of the world, … and being closer to Antarctica than Santiago is quite an experience. Do not hesitate, and prepare your trip south of Chile!
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Kiss and hugs.