Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Puerto Williams - Beyond the end of the world
Puerto Williams is a small town on the island of Navarino and is the southernmost town in the world. Puerto Williams is often described as being "beyond the end of the world" - as a reference to Ushuaia's claim to be the end of the world. It's main attraction is trekking in the spectacular mountains that surround the town known as the "dientes de Navarino" (The teeth of Navarino).
To get to Puerto Williams from Ushuaia you have to take one of the infrequent and expensive ferries. As the ferries are quite small (14 passengers) they are subject to the Beagle Channel's fickle weather and crossings are often cancelled.
The ferry crosses the river to Puerto Navarino which is a tiny settlement (basically a few navy buildings and an immigration office).
From Puerto Navarino there is a connecting bus which drives the 50km to Puerto Williams along a gravel coastal road.
The trip takes around 1 hr to Puerto Williams. The town itself has a population of around 1500 people, most of whom are local navy personnel from the base in town. Outside of the base the town has a small selection of shops, cafe's and bars catering to tourists and locals alike.
The selection of goods is very limited and is only replenished when the once a week ferry arrives from Punta Arenas - on the day this arrives there is a "rush" in town to buy the fresh vegetables and other food that arrives on the ferry which adds to the town's feeling of remoteness - it really is beyond the end of the world in Puerto Williams.