For those seeking to adventure to the most fascinating reaches of the globe, the Chilean fjords should be top of your travel list. Rapidly becoming an an unmissable tourist destination, this stretch of navigable fjords, channels, and splendid coastline is a bewitching highlight of any trip to South America.
Offering beaches crammed with marine wildlife, access to stunning glaciers, and the “End of the Earth”, the Chilean fjords are brimming with unforgettable sights. Read on to find out why they rank as one of the globe’s most priceless travel destinations.
Discover Patagonia’s unrivalled sea life
Have you ever seen a penguin in the wild? How about standing just meters away from a whole colony? That’s the reality when travelling along the Chilean coastline. Home to hundreds of thousands of native Magellanic penguins, you’ll find nothing more thrilling than seeing pairs of these squawking animals huddled along the shore or splashing out to sea.
Well, that’s until you discover the other incredible marine wildlife that the Chilean fjords have to offer. Prepare to be left dumbstruck by a lucky glimpse of orcas as this sliver of ocean becomes their playground in December. Migrating blue, grey and humpback whales, plus playful dolphins are common sights, and, to top off a guaranteed wildlife overload, you’ll encounter hidden beaches overflowing with lounging elephant seals.
Explore pristine Chilean national parks and ice-capped volcanoes
While the wildlife will leave you speechless, the combination of unspoiled national parks and looming volcanoes is what makes the fjords and channels of Chile so captivating. A hike through the lush Magellanic forests and national parks that border the Chilean fjords is ideal for appreciating this stretch of untouched nature.
But to gain a real perspective on the spectacular coastline, hop on a boat and watch as dawn breaks over one of the most enchanting landscapes you’ll ever witness.
Marvel at the Chilean fjords’ breath-taking glaciers
If you need an urgent reason to take this once in a lifetime trip to Chile, then the access that the fjords offer to rapidly retreating glaciers should get you boarding that plane immediately.
Nowhere is more stunning than the incredible Glacier Alley: a navigable channel bordered by a series of colossal, ice-blue glaciers which seem to pour from the Darwin Mountains into the sea. Visit by boat and experience the truly unforgettable moment when a new iceberg calves from the edge of a glacier to crash into the waters beneath.
Follow Darwin’s historic footsteps to the “End of the Earth”
The very tip of the Chilean fjords is replete with geographic and historic importance. Darwin and the crew of the the HMS Beagle first encountered Wulaia Bay and the indigenous Yámana in 1833. A tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers that has now all but disappeared, what most fascinated the European explorers was the Yámana’s ability to adapt to the extreme temperatures found in Tierra del Fuego. For more information about about the world’s southernmost people and the European missionaries who came to the region, visit the old radio station at Wulaia Bay which has been transformed into a museum on the subject.
Intrepid explorers will also want to discover the windswept promontory of Cape Horn, which has come to be known as the “End of the Earth”. While reaching this remote archipelago is far less treacherous than it once was, bragging rights are guaranteed for visitors who make it to one of the most southern stretches of land in the world.
Ready to turn a dream trip to the Chilean fjords into reality?
The best way to explore this stunning region is aboard an Australis cruise; the only company with permission to land at Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay. Combining comfort and adventure, this four night trip on the Stella Australis starting in Punta Arenas incorporates the most captivating highlights of the Chilean fjords.
Including a stop at the 4,000 strong Magellanic penguin colony near Tucker Islets, sailing past Glacier Alley’s European-named glaciers, and hopping ashore to explore the Cape Horn National Park, this cruise offers a unique, unmissable, and ultimately extraordinary holiday.