Let us show you the Southern-most tip of the South American Continent. This geographical extreme has been inaccessible to tourism for many years until now. This trek is for the more adventurous traveler, who is physically fit and willing to shoulder his own backpack. Virtually untouched forests, river crossings and the unpredictable weather make for a demanding, but unique experience. You pass abandoned whaling stations, estancias and walk along isolated bays, scarcely known, except to fishermen who patrol the shores in search of the day’s catch. This is truly the road less traveled.
Day 1: Punta Arenas – Bahia del Indio
Bus Punta Arenas – San Juan river or to end of the route. You start hiking alongside the legendary Straight of Magellan to the remains of San Isidrio Lighthouse and the ruins of a Whaling Station. Camping near an abandoned estancia.
Day 2: Bahia del Indio – Rio Nodales
You make your way to Rio de Gennes in an expedition-styled trek. The path leads us mainly through dense Fuegian Rain Forest and over spongy Bogs. You’ll cross Rio de Gennes with the tide’s favor and with luck you may see sea lions and porpoises on your way South. You make camp in a hidden forest near Rio Nodales.
Day 3: Cabo Froward – The Cross of the Seas
Cabo Froward Day! Today you leave your backpacks behind to reach The Southern-Most Tip of Continental South America, which is also called “Cruz de los Mares” and means: “Cross of the Seas.” The 360º view from the base of the cross, honoring the Pope’s 1984 visit, can be one of the most spectacular in Patagonia. Return at your base camp near Rio Nodales.
Day 4: Rio Nodales – Bahia del Indio
Return to Rio de Gennes, which you cross again at low tide. You retrace your steps once more, you sight Tierra del Fuego to the East and further South the snow-white peak of Monte Sarmiento, one of the most remarkable and difficult climbs of the Darwin Range. Continuing on to Estancia San Nicolas, where you can camp again.
Day 5: Bahia del Indio – Punta Arenas
On the hike out to the road, you take side trips to view both flora and fauna, which here still exist in harmony, as they should. Back to Punta Arenas.
Several foxes live in campsites areas. Although they don’t attak human being, they qre likely to rip your bags up looking for food. Hang your possession on a high branch during the night and when you’re not around them!
Bus Schedule Punta Arenas – San Juan
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – year-round
There: 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Back: 9:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Official bus price: CLP 2.000 per person, one way (about USD 3 – p/p*)
* 2019 exchange rate
Location: Southern Chile, 40 miles (65 km) south of Punta Arenas
Distance: 47 miles (75.6 km) round-trip
Time duration: 3-5 days
Activity Level: This hike is demanding. The route includes six river crossings (three each way) and some slippery and jagged rocks that can be very hazardous when wet. It is also a remote area and not frequently traveled, with no cell phone reception.
Up-to-date info and buy your map at Hospedaje Magallanes (Magallanes 570 – Punta Arenas).
If you stay at Hospedaje Magallanes, ask for your Free Map!