Cape horn, Chile



Cape horn is the southern headland of Isla Hornos, which is part of the Chilean Hermite Islands of Therra del Fuego, lying off the southern coast of South America. This point is the place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet. These seas have a horrible reputation with so many ships having sunk in these waters. Gale force winds are common, as are seas with waves more than 20m high, not to mention the occasional iceberg, which make these seas some of the most dangerous on the planet.


The route was used very regularly until the building of the Panama canal.


Of more interest to us here, this archipelago is one of the most pristine island ecosystems in the world, and is designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The only native inhabitants are the indigenous Yagan Chileans, which is a nomadic fishing culture – as with many other places, the way of life of these people are threatened by development and tourism, so care should be taken to visit with people who are careful not to damage what they show you.


The area hosts untouched temperate forests, sub-polar forests and Tundra, linked by channels estuaries and bays. The seas around are good for watching dolphins and whales, while the shores are important breeding grounds for both Magallen and rock hopper penguins, as well as birds like albatross and condors.


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