The wilds of Patagonia are no longer a secret, with tourism to awe-inspiring destinations like Torres del Paine becoming ever more popular. But there are still corners that remain relatively unexplored, and one of these holds a unique superlative; namely, the southernmost trek in the world. Dientes de Navarino is a jagged mountain range with a striking silhouette sharply rising from the ground. Hikers can test their grit in one of the most unpredictable and remote parts of Chilean Patagonia.
Dientes de Navarino (Teeth of Navarino) is the southernmost circuit in the world and a great challenge for hikers that aren’t afraid of cold weather, snow, a strong gale, and mud!
Why is it worth going?
So beyond checking an item off your bucket list, why should the Dientes de Navarino be a destination to consider?
Hikes are beautiful, but most of the time, you have the same view the entire time. Well, this is not the case with Dientes. The huge variety of landscapes that hikers encounter along the trail is the selling point. Each day yields a view that contrasts the one before it. Valleys are full of snow-covered passes, gnarled lenga trees, lagoons with waves releasing mist into the wind, rocky balds, and striated mountain peaks of varying size and color loom around every corner.
This is a 53km trek that, depending on the pace, can take anywhere from 4 to 5 days to complete. It is recommended hikers take their time, as the distances are long, and the views expansive. Where is the fun in rushing? Campsites are dispersed throughout the trek, but there is no refuge or any amenities on the trail – hikers need to carry everything with them, including very sturdy tents.
Distances between official campsites range from 8–12 km.
The prime time to hit this trail stretches between December through March – the Patagonian summer – but this isn’t a guarantee for good weather. The climate here is volatile because of the hard winds crisscrossing the island from three separate directions. In a single day, hikers might experience snow, rain, sleet, and sunshine.
What to bring?
Dientes poses a packing challenge because hikers need to be well-prepared. It’s recommended, however, to go with light luggage. In addition to the normal gaiters, trekking gear, waterproof boots, and hiking poles are an absolute must.
Is a permit needed?
Hikers don’t need a permit in advance but do need to check-in at the police station before they set out. They will need to provide personal information and a planned date of return, so they know who to look for if they haven’t checked back in by that time.