A hidden gem lies in the far south of the American continent: Navarino Island. Here, you can embark on a four-day hike through valleys, peat bogs, and amidst a mountain massif, enjoying views of the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn.

Daniela, Operations Director, and Javiera, Travel Experience Designer at Cascada Expediciones, took on the challenge!

Daniela and Javiera on Navarino Island

Dientes de Navarino Trail: What's in a name?

This trail begins and ends in Puerto Williams, a small town on the Beagle Channel. You can reach Puerto Williams by plane from Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is a good departure point for penguin or whale watching or for undertaking adventure activities in Torres del Paine National Park, allowing you to connect the Dientes de Navarino Trek to your other travel plans in Patagonia.

During this trail, you'll hike approximately 38 kilometers (24 miles) over four days, with the highest point reaching around 850 meters (2,800 feet) above sea level. The route is varied, taking you past lakes and open valleys with constant ascents and descents. Notable points along the way include Salto Lagoon, Paso Australia, Laguna Escondida, Guerrico Valley, and Paso Virginia. 

The challenges of this route are rapidly changing weather, even in summer, limited signage, and the lack of campsites or refugios (mountain refuges). Therefore, it's crucial to be well-prepared to enjoy this impressive trek fully! 

If you book the tour with Cascada Expediciones, you will be accompanied by a guide. You can check the program here

People hiking on Navarino Island 

Daniela and Javiera, how did the trek go? How do you feel about this adventure?

Daniela: "The prevailing feeling was the sensation of being alone with your group in the middle of the mountains and lagoons. You are at the end of the world, and it seems there is nothing beyond those mountains, although you are not many kilometers from Puerto Williams. You are very isolated and in contact with nature with few human presence.

I was also very surprised by the wide variety of options for exploring Navarino Island. If you don't like trekking or feel like spending less time disconnected, you can opt for adventures like sailing, horseback riding, kayaking, or touring the towns to meet the inhabitants. I was really impressed by this multisport part of the island and the amazing culture of the people."

Javiera: "The trek was wonderful! We’ve wanted to visit this place for years, and it was even better than we expected. The pictures of the Navarino teeth are beautiful, but being in front of crystal-clear lagoons in the mountains is unbeatable. It was a very demanding trip, but I'm really happy that I could experience it."


"The route is beautiful, but you must be prepared for the lack of facilities. For this reason, I recommend hiking with a local guide."


What kinds of landscapes, fauna, and flora did you encounter on the trail? How would you describe this remote location, almost at the end of the world, to other hikers?

Javiera: "You can see many beaver dams along the way. Unfortunately, we couldn't see any! You also hear a lot of birds. The landscapes vary, with forests, rocks, lakes, and rivulets.  

The trail is demanding but could have been more difficult depending on the weather conditions. I didn't expect it to be that lonely either; we hardly saw two to four people per day."


People hiking next to a lake

Can you describe what a typical day on the trek looked like?

Daniela: "We woke up early and enjoyed the breakfast that Jon, our guide, prepared. Usually, we had breakfast together, but on one rainy day, Jon woke us up with a tent-service breakfast, which was amazing considering the cold weather. 

After that, we took down our tents and prepared our backpacks for a six to seven-hour walk (starting around 10 a.m.) through rocks, muddy forests, and some steep but short climbs, depending on the trail for that day. 

Around midday, we usually stopped to eat our trail snacks and enjoy the views. We took a break when we wanted to take pictures or if one of us was too tired, but not too long to get to the next campsite with plenty of light. Afterwards, we put up our tents, got warm clothes, and enjoyed the delicious food Jon brought from the hotel and warmed up for us every night. This was always seasoned with good conversation with our guide and hiking companion, Darin. 

After that, we got ready for a lovely night of sleep. Usually, we went to bed very early, as we were tired and needed to rest for the next day."


What did you pack for this adventure?

Javiera: "I packed a 60-liter backpack with the following essential items:

- sleeping bag, liner and mat
- waterproof hiking boots with high ankle cuff
- gaiters (a must!)
- gloves/buff/beanie
- dry fit first layer
- thermal layers
- several trekking socks
- waterproof clothing, jacket and pants
- a backpack rain cover
- trekking poles (mandatory even if you have good knees!)
- water bottle
- headlamps

Don't forget to bring some lightweight shoes to rest your feet in the evening.

Sandals aren't necessary. I packed them thinking I'd need to cross water, but plenty of rocks help you stay dry."

Tent on Navarino Island


You did the trek in March, at the end of the summer. How did you prepare for the weather?

Daniela: "We knew there was a high probability of having rainy and snowy days. I was in the mood to get muddy and wet, so I always kept dry clothes in a dry bag for a good and warm night of sleep. I packed all the gear and clothes for bad weather to keep my mind at peace, knowing I was prepared for all kinds of conditions."


"I would do it again without a doubt! It was an incredible experience; we were truly in contact with nature in a very remote environment and with few companions."


How challenging was it on a scale from one (easy) to five (difficult)?

Javiera: "I would say five. You have to be physically and mentally prepared for this trek. The route is beautiful, but you must be prepared for the lack of facilities. For this reason, I recommend hiking with a local guide. Also, although the road has some signs, you could get lost easily."

Daniela: "I would say between four and five because you really are in the middle of the wild. This area is more remote than Torres del Paine or Los Glaciares National Park. During the trek, you will only be able to communicate via satellite phone and depend completely on your companions, your guide, and yourself. There are no mountain shelters or facilities, so it is a hard experience if you don't like leaving your comfort zone."

People hiking Dientes de Navarino circuit

Would you consider doing the trek again? Why or why not?

Daniela: "I would do it again without a doubt! It was an incredible experience; we were truly in contact with nature in a very remote environment and with few companions. I saw some plant species that I had never seen before, which was very impressive. I know this is a long-distance trip for many people, but as I live in Chile, I would happily experience it again."


What do you recommend to other hikers?

Javiera: "If you are thinking of doing the circuit, you must be in good physical shape and have experience in the mountains. The road is hard, and it is difficult to get out of there if you have an accident."

Daniela: "I recommend training at least three months in advance to be in good physical condition for the hike. Also, stay hydrated and eat properly during the hike, even if you're not hungry during your daily walks. If you have any old or new injuries, ask your doctor if you are able to do a four- or five-day demanding hike. If you are not, there are always other ways to enjoy this amazing place."


Lifesaver? Gaiters and trekking poles, there is a lot of mud and loose rocks. And my Nalgene water bottle!
Best meal or snack? Beaver meat was an experience!
Most beautiful viewpoint? Paso de los Vientos, was like being in Middle-earth
Highlight of this trip? The views, you feel at the very end of the world when looking south


Thanks for sharing your insights, Daniela and Javiera!


Mountain with reflection in a lake

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