Arriving in Ushuaia and going to Puerto Williams, Chile to prepare trekking the Dientes de Navarino trail

An inland flight brought us from Buenos Aires to the last Argentinian city Ushuaia. I spotted a happy tear in Joannas eye as the jet descended trough the clouds. The rocky, snowy hills of Tierra del Fuego became visible beneath our small window. While Jo was realizing that her dream had just become reality I was astonishing realizing how much flexibility an airplane wing needs to provide in order to fly in extreme windy environments. The plane jumped and shaked quickly in various directions, we held hands and felt the force of fuego winds for the first time. It got pretty scarry for a while!


Everything went well and we disembarked into a cozy, small airplane terminal. A short taxi ride took us to the oldest backpacker hostel in town, the Refugio del Mochillero. Just two weeks earlier we learned from our friends Markus & Luisa in Aachen about a remote, end of the world, five day long hiking trek called Dientes de Navarino. It begins on the nearby island of Navarino which is located in Chile. We decided to start our southern adventure with this hike and went shopping for trekking groceries before crossing the Argentinian Chilenian border on the next day. Because of border regulations not all products can be brought into Chile, mainly no meat and fresh fruits.

The friendly, well connected hostel receptionist helped us to book boat and bus seats with Ushuaia Expeditions. In order to get to the Dientes trek we had to cross the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia to Puerto Navarino. From there we would ride a bus to Puerto Williams. She mentioned that only Onashaga Expeditions would provide this service. As we found out later this would not be true, another boat was heading to Chile. The pricey boat plus bus ride prices were around US $120,- per person and way. Another way was to take a direct flight from the airport.

Our 12 person speedboat with a roof was only half full when we left Ushuaia. The captains assistant offered everybody a cup of freshly brewed mate tea trough his personal bombilla straw. It helped to digest another bumpy and splashy ride over the sea. We stopped by a colony of nesting seabirds and went on crossing the Beagle Channel in a straight line. The weather was friendly and we enjoyed far reaching seascape valley views with a lot of aahs and oohs.

#Speedboat ferry from #Ushuaia to Puerto Navarino #beaglechannel #tierradelfuego #ushuaiaexpedtions – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Puerto Navarino

Benvienidos a Chile! We disembarked on the green shore of Isla de Navarino and felt almost instantly relaxed. We were welcomed by quitenes, warm sunshine and a breeze of seawater wind. In order to proceed all passengers had to pass customs first. We denied all questions related to import of unwanted meats/fruits and boarded the waiting mini bus without beeing searched, except for the cookie eating watch dog :)

Puerto Williams

Two hours later, after a hilly ride along the coast the bus came to a halt in front of the Puerto Williams city council office. Here we would get our passports stamped and go on freely to the most welcoming and charismatic hostel in town, the Refugio El Padrino.

Refugio and Camping El Padrino

Owned and run by charming and caring Cecilia the Refugio El Padrino is a popular choice for budget backpacking travelers. We prebooked two dorm beds for the first night and were welcomed with freshly backed bread. It was great to meet mind like folks from all over the world. We discussed and discovered what and how to prepare for the dientes trek.

#360 #breakfast with friends inside Refugio El Padrino in Puerto Williams on Isla de Navarino, Chile #puertowilliams #isladenavarino #chile #desauno – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

El Padrino Camping

After one night in the Refugio El Padrino we relocated to the nearby El Padrino Campsite. It is also owned by Cecilia and the preferred location of tent owning backpackers who mostly came to do the Dientes trail. The big community room was filled with all kind of characters, languages, activities and smells from the included kitchen. It took us a while to accomodate. We sat on the edge of a sofa and watched how controlled community chaos unfolded. People who returned from the trek shared their latest advice about what where and when. Those who prepared to do it connected to possible hiking buddies. In the meantime everyone seemed to cook something.

Health check

Joannas health was still suboptimal as she coughed a lot but seemed fine otherwise. I was worried about leaving on a remote five day hike with her coughing so we visited the local doctor for a health/lung check.

The medicine man gave his blessings for the trek but provided Joanna with six big blue pills (antibiotics). We paid only the medicine, his check seemed to be free of charge. A big thanks goes to Cecilia as she drove us to the doctor and translated as well.

Street Photography in Puerto Williams

Up next hiking the dientes trek for five days