Puerto Williams: History and Legends

The Yahgan people dwelled in these lands 6,000 years ago, which makes us think about the strategies these men and women had to develop in order to survive.

What is known today as Puerto Williams was founded on November 21, 1953 and first named Puerto Luisa. On August 22, 1956, it adopted its present name to commemorate the English sailor John Williams, who took possession of the Strait of Magellan on behalf of the Chilean government on board the schooner called Ancud on September 21, 1843, when he founded Fort Bulnes.

In 2001, the former name of the commune, Navarino, was changed into the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, in reference to the geographic feature located within its jurisdiction: the mythical Cape Horn. At present, Puerto Williams continues to be a significant strategic location for Chile as far as traffic between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans is concerned and due to its proximity to Antarctica.

Today, tourism has given life to this entire region and history will continue to fill its pages at this site called “the world’s end”… or “its beginning”.