Dientes de Navarino Circuit Part 6: Hiking to Puerto Williams

Dientes de Navarino map
Direction sign and map - I can't help thinking this would have been useful at the start!

The Dientes de Navarino Circuit in Patagonia is one of the world’s most southerly hikes. This is part 6 of 6 posts about the 5 days I spent hiking the circuit in December 2013 and January 2014. This part covers the final section of the hike: from Laguna Guanacos to the road on the north of Isla Navarino which leads back to Puerto Williams.

Part 1: Preparation
Part 2: Laguna Salto
Part 3: Monte Bettinelli and turning back
Part 4: A long day to Laguna Martillo
Part 5: Paso Virginia and Laguna Guanacos
Part 6: The final stretch to Puerto Williams

After a quick farewell to my favourite campsite and great views of the snow, the path for this final day was basically a descent right down to sea level, to the road that runs along Isla de Navarino’s north coast. The path was relatively easy to follow, ducking between trees and bushes, crossing a few flat areas, and then entering a large forest that involved a lot of clambering over and under fallen trees alongside a noisy river (Laguna Guanacos’ outlet). Overall it was quite a tedious final leg, not very difficult but requiring enough concentration to be annoying. Eventually the path left the forest again and the landscape opened out and I appeared virtually next to the road, quite a way above it.

Campsite next to Laguna Guanacos

My final campsite next to Laguna Guanacos

Key Facts

Location: Patagonia, Chile
Distance: 54 km
Days: 5
Camping: Wild camping
People seen: 4
Difficulty: 4/5
Guidebook: Trekking in the Patagonian Andes
Accommodation: Puerto Williams

At this point anything resembling a path disappeared and it was simply a case of making my way down through the meadows towards the road, avoiding the mandatory beaver ponds. The trail eventually hit the road more or less near an old crab packing factory, quietly sitting abandoned opposite a large bay area. In the trees a sign and map indicate the start of the trek for hikers going in the opposite direction. I can’t help thinking even finding the trail would be hard in that direction.

Dientes de Navarino map

Direction sign and map – I can’t help thinking this would have been useful at the start!

The Beagle Channel

The Beagle Channel

All that was left was the 7km walk back to Puerto Williams along the relatively flat gravel road. Despite the Lonely Planet’s ascertain that drivers often offers hikers a lift ‘even if they are not specifically hitchhiking’, half a dozen drivers sped past me towards the town without any indication that they wanted a smelly hiker in their car. Oh well. Back in Puerto Williams it was a quick trip to the supermarket to stock up on junk food and other goodies I had missed in the last few days, then back to Bella Vista to sleep and plan the next adventure.

Puerto Williams at night

Back in Puerto Williams and planning the next adventure

Map of the Dientes de Navarino circuit hike:

Download this map/kmz file (Created with Garmin eTrex 30 GPS)
Dientes de Navarino Circuit Part 6: Hiking to Puerto Williams
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Dientes de Navarino Circuit Part 6: Hiking to Puerto Williams
The last day of the Dientes de Navarino hike gently descends from Laguna Guanacos to Isla Navarino's coast, from where the road leads to Puerto Williams.
From Here to Nowhere
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1 Comment on "Dientes de Navarino Circuit Part 6: Hiking to Puerto Williams"

  1. Robin Brewster | June 13, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Reply

    First, thank you for replying to my earlier comment about Lago Windhond. Your description of the Dientes trek has simply increased my determination to give it a go (much as Lonely Planet’s caveat did for you!)
    All sounds marvellous apart from the knee-deep mud on the ascent towards Paso Virginia, and the damage caused by the beavers.
    I will try to send some feedback after my trip, as your posts have both confirmed my choice (although I had actually booked my flights a few weeks ago!), and filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge.
    All the best!

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