Antártica Chilena Province

Antártica Chilena Province (Spanish: Provincia de la Antártica Chilena) is the southernmost and one of four provinces in Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region (XII). The capital is Puerto Williams. The province comprises the extreme southern part of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (south of the Cordillera Darwin), the islands south and west of Isla Grande (Diego Ramírez Islands), and Chile's claims in Antarctica.[4] The province is administratively divided into two communes (comunas): Cabo de Hornos, located at the southern tip of South America, and Antártica, a wedge-shaped claim of Antarctica, which is not internationally recognized. Its total area of 1,265,853.7 km2 (488,749 sq mi)[1] makes it almost twice as large as all other provinces of Chile combined.

Antártica Chilena Province

Provincia de la Antártica Chilena
Official seal of Antártica Chilena Province

Location in the Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region
Location in the Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region
Coordinates: 55°43′S 67°22′W / 55.717°S 67.367°WCoordinates: 55°43′S 67°22′W / 55.717°S 67.367°W
Country Chile
Region Magallanes y Antártica Chilena
CapitalPuerto Williams
CommunesCabo de Hornos, Antártica
 • TypeProvincial
 • GovernorJuan José Arcos (PRI)
 • Total1,265,853.7 km2 (488,748.8 sq mi)
(2012 Census)[1]
 • Total1,792
 • Density0.0014/km2 (0.0037/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
 • Men1,518
 • Women874
Time zoneUTC-4 (CLT [2])
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (CLST [3])
Area code(s)56 + 61
Gobernación Provincia Antártica Chilena
Antártica Chilena Province Governorate in Puerto Williams.


  1. Commune of Cabo de Hornos (until 2001 called Navarino, capital Puerto Williams), area 14,146 km2 (5,462 sq mi), population as of census 2002: 2,262, of which 1,952 are in the capital.[5]
  2. Commune of Antártica, area 1,250,000 km2 (482,628 sq mi), population as of census 2002: 130. This territory as a whole is not recognized internationally. (See Antarctic territorial claims.)

The Municipality of Cabo de Hornos governs both Antártica and Cabo de Hornos from Cabo de Hornos, making it the only Chilean municipality to currently administer more than one commune.


According to the 2002 census by the National Statistics Institute (INE), it had a population of 2,392 inhabitants (1,518 men and 874 women), giving it a population density of 0.0019/km2 (0/sq mi). Of these, 1,952 (81.6%) lived in urban areas and 440 (18.4%) in rural areas. The province is largest in Chile, yet it is also the least populated and most sparsely populated province in the country. Between the 1992 and 2002 censuses, the population grew by 23% (447 persons).[1]

Territory recognition

182 - Punta Arenas - Revendications territoriales chiliennes - Janvier 2010
Antarctica claim by Chile, as seen on a monument in Punta Arenas

The South American portion of the territory is internationally recognized as part of Chile; however, the Commune of Antártica, which encompasses most of the area of the province, is disputed. It forms the Chilean claim to Antarctica, stretching south of the 60th parallel to the South Pole.

The Commune of Antártica is practically uninhabited except for research stations of various countries, although Chile maintains a permanent civilian population at Villa Las Estrellas (near Frei Montalva Station), including women and children, a small school, and even a bank, in order to support its territorial claim of the area. The official population for the area as of the census 2002 is 130 (115 male, 15 female). This does not include the staff of non-Chilean bases in the area.[6]

Tca map
Chilean Antarctic Territory map in Spanish, Chilean names. It shows the Chilean research stations

According to the Chilean argument, its claim to Antártica Chilena is as old as Chile itself. The Tordesilhas Line established a west/east division of colonial territories between Portugal and Spain.[7] On the first organization of the new conquered territories, Charles V, ruler of the Spanish Empire assigned to Pedro Sancho de la Hoz control over Terra Australis, which included the Southern part of South America, Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, and all southern undiscovered territories (Terra Australis Ignota). This gobernation eventually merged with other territories in the Captaincy General of the Kingdom of Chile.


Early settlement by prehistoric man is known to have occurred from archaeological recovery within this Province. Yaghans established many settlements on the islands of the present day province of the Antártica espana Province; for example, there is a significant early Yaghan archaeological site at Wulaia Bay, which C. Michael Hogan terms the Bahia Wulaia Dome Middens.[8]


Puerto Williams and Porvenir were established in the late 19th century, mainly by Western European immigrants (esp. from British Isles, Scandinavia and the former Yugoslavia) and navigators in cruise ships and fish boats. The Chilean government transplanted Chilean settlers from the central part of the country in the 20th century to increase the province's sparse population.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Territorial division of Chile" (PDF) (in Spanish). National Statistics Institute. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Chile Time". Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  3. ^ "Chile Summer Time". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  4. ^ Gobernación Provincia Antártica Chilena: Información Geográfica Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Gobierno de Chile: SUBDERE - Cabo de Hornos Archived February 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The South Pole: Eduardo Frei Montalva Station (Chile) Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ The Treaty of Tordesillas - Geography
  8. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Bahia Wulaia Dome Middens, Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham

External links

Antártica (commune)

Antártica is a Chilean commune in Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, which covers all the Chilean Antarctic Territory, the territory in Antarctica claimed by Chile. It ranges from 53°W to 90°W and from the South Pole to 60°S, overlapping the Argentine and British Antarctic claims, and is the largest and least populated commune in Chile, being over 25 times the size of the next largest commune, Natales. It is administered by the Cabo de Hornos municipality in the South American mainland.

Antártica was created on July 11, 1961, and was dependent on the Magallanes Province until 1975, when the Antártica Chilena Province was created, making it dependent administratively on Puerto Williams, the province capital.

Bahía Wulaia

Bahia Wulaia is a bay on the western shore of Isla Navarino along the Murray Channel in extreme southern Chile. The island and adjacent strait are part of the commune of Cabo de Hornos in the Antártica Chilena Province, which is part of the Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region.

An archaeological site at Bahia Wulaia has been associated with the Megalithic seasonal settlements there of the Yaghan peoples about 10,000 years ago. Known as the Wulaia Bay Dome Middens, the site revealed that the people created fish traps in the small inlets of the bay. The stonework for those traps has survived, according to C. Michael Hogan, and was used by Yahgan into the 19th century.In November 1859 a settlement known as Wulaia was the site of a Yahgan massacre of all but one of the crew and captain of Allen Gardiner, a schooner used by the South American Missionary Society. There had been a misunderstanding and cultural conflict between the parties.

Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva

Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva is the most important Antarctic base of Chile. It is located at Fildes Peninsula, an ice-free area, in front of Fildes Bay (Maxwell Bay), west of King George Island, South Shetland Islands. Situated alongside the Escudero Station and only 200 metres from the Russian Bellingshausen Station, its geographic coordinates are 62°12′0″S 58°57′51″W, with an altitude of 10 metres above sea-level. The base is located in the Chilean commune of Antártica, which is the Antarctic territory claimed by Chile (Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region).

Also nearby are the bases of Great Wall (People's Rep. of China), General Artigas Station (Uruguay), King Sejong Station (Republic of Korea), Carlini Base (Argentina), Commandante Ferraz (Brazil), Henryk Arctowski (Poland) and Machu Picchu Base (Peru). Much further away is Captain Arturo Prat Base, also Chilean, 50 km to the west.

Cabo de Hornos National Park

Cabo de Hornos National Park is a protected area in southern Chile that was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005, along with Alberto de Agostini National Park. The world’s southernmost national park, it is located 12 hours by boat from Puerto Williams in the Cape Horn Archipelago, which belongs to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos in the Antártica Chilena Province of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region.

The park was created in 1945 and includes the Wollaston Archipelago and the Hermite Islands. It covers 63,093 hectares (155,906 acres) and is run by the Corporacion Nacional Forestal (CONAF), the Chilean body that governs all national parks in Chile.

False Cape Horn

False Cape Horn or Falso Cabo de Hornos is a headland at the south end of Hoste Island, 35 statute miles (56 km) northwest of Cape Horn, located at 55°43′37″S 68°03′16″W. False Cape Horn is the southernmost point of the large islands of the Tierra del Fuego group, located close to the mainland of South America.

At least 100 ships were lost in the Cape Horn area between 1850 and 1900. There were three sailing routes through or around the Tierra del Fuego region: Drake Passage (the one going around Cape Horn), Magellan Strait, and Beagle Channel. All three were perilous, but only Drake Passage offered unlimited maneuvering room. It became the preferred route. Since the winds in the area are prevailing westerlies, False Cape Horn is a lee shore which from the west superficially resembles the real Cape Horn to the south. If the officers and crew of a ship saw land off the starboard bow (to the south), there was virtually no chance of stopping or turning, or even slowing, a ship in time to avoid wrecking on the Wollaston Islands. This mistake caused several shipwrecks.

Administratively, False Cape Horn, which belongs to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, is part of the Antártica Chilena Province of the Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region, Chile.

General Jorge Boonen Rivera Base

General Jorge Boonen Rivera Base (formally General Ramon Cañas Montalva) is a small Chilean shelter located in Duse Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula. It is administered by the Chilean Army. It is located at

Ildefonso Islands

Islas Ildefonso are a group of islands in Chile. The islands belong to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos in Antártica Chilena Province of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. They lie 96 km (60 mi) west of Isla Hermite, part of Tierra del Fuego, and 93 km (58 mi) NNW of Diego Ramirez Islands, but only 27 km (17 mi) south of Isla Hoste or 23 km (14 mi) to rocks near Isla Hoste.

List of islands by name (L)

This article features a list of islands sorted by their name beginning with the letter L.

Mount Nicholas

Mount Nicholas is a mountain, 1,465 m, standing 5.5 nautical miles (10 km) south-southwest of Cape Brown and forming the northern limit of the Douglas Range on the east side of Alexander Island, Antarctica.

First seen and roughly charted from a distance in 1909 by the French Antarctic Expedition under Charcot, who named it Ile Nicolas II after Nicholas II, then reigning tsar of Russia. The French Antarctic Expedition maps showed it as an island, or possible headland, separated by a channel from Alexander Island. The coast in this vicinity was photographed from the air in 1937 by the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE), but Charcot's name was altered by Rymill to "Cape Nicholas" and was applied in error to the seaward bulge of Mount Calais, about 13 nautical miles (24 km) to the north-northwest. Surveys in 1948 by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS) identified the feature originally named "Ile Nicolas II" by Charcot as the mountain described.

The geology of the mountain contains both igneous and sedimentary rocks.Mount Nicholas is within the area claimed by the United Kingdom as the British Antarctic Territory, while for Chile and Argentina it is part of the Antártica Chilena Province and the Tierra del Fuego Province respectively.

Murray Channel

The Murray Channel is a channel of Chile located in the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, in the Antártica Chilena Province of the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region. It separates Hoste Island from Navarino Island and is bounded by the Beagle Channel to the north. The salinity of the Murray Channel is approximately 31.8 parts per thousand.

Navarino Island

Navarino Island (Spanish: Isla Navarino) is a Chilean island located between Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, to the north, and Cape Horn, to the south. The island forms part of the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, the southernmost commune in Chile and in the world, belonging to Antártica Chilena Province in the XII Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica. Its population is concentrated primarily in the communal capital, Puerto Williams, and in small settlements like Puerto Navarino, Río Guanaco and Puerto Toro. The highest point of the island is Pico Navarino at 1,195 m (3,921 ft). The island is a popular destination for fly-fishers.The indigenous people were Yahgan, estimated to have migrated to Tierra del Fuego more than 10,000 years ago by a land bridge that has since been submerged. From there, they went by canoe to other islands.

Nelson Cárcamo Barrera

Nelson Cárcamo Barrera is the current governor of the Chilean province of Antártica Chilena.

P. G. Owston

Philip George Owston (January 1921 – September 2001) was a British chemist and crystallographer for whom the Owston Islands (66°22′59″S 66°6′0″W) in Antarctica are named. The Owston Islands lie within the region claimed by the United Kingdom (British Antarctic Territory), Argentina (Argentine Antarctica), and Chile (the Antártica commune in Antártica Chilena Province). They are a group of small islands lying 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) west of Darbel Islands in Crystal Sound, and they were named by the United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee. Owston was born in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Yorkshire, England during January 1921 as the son of Edward Owston and Margaret Smith. He died in Watford, Hertfordshire, England in September 2001.

Owston's crystallography work included the determination of the structure of Zeise's salt, the anion of which is shown at right. Zeise's salt, K[PtCl3(η2-C2H4)]·H2O, was reported in 1831 and was one of the first organometallic compounds ever discovered. However, the nature of the platinum to ethylene bond in the compound was not understood until the development of the Dewar-Chatt-Duncanson model in the 1950s. The space-filling model from the Owston crystal structure clearly shows that it is an organometallic species as there is direct bonding between the platinum metal centre (in blue) and the two carbon atoms of the ethylene ligand (in black).

In 1964, Owston wrote an article in New Scientist on the use of electron spin resonance spectroscopy in chemistry.

Picton, Lennox and Nueva

Picton, Lennox and Nueva (Spanish: Islas Picton, Nueva y Lennox) form a group of three islands (and their islets) at the extreme southern tip of South America, in the Chilean commune of Cabo de Hornos in Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. Located in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, they lie east of Navarino Island and are separated from the Argentine part of Isla Grande in the north by the Beagle Channel. They have an area of 170.4 km2 (Lennox), 105.4 km2 (Picton), 120.0 km2 (Nueva).Close to the islands are the islets of Snipe, Augustus, Becasses, Luff, Jorge, Hermanos, Solitario, Gardiner, Terhalten, Sesambre and others.

Río Guanaco

Río Guanaco is a hamlet (Spanish: caserío) on Navarino Island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in southern Chile. It is part of the Cabo de Hornos commune in Antártica Chilena Province.

South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands with a total area of 3,687 square kilometres (1,424 sq mi). They lie about 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of the Antarctic Peninsula, and between 430 kilometres (270 mi) to 900 kilometres (560 mi) south-west from the nearest point of the South Orkney Islands. By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for non-military purposes.

The islands have been claimed by the United Kingdom since 1908 and as part of the British Antarctic Territory since 1962. They are also claimed by the governments of Chile (since 1940, as part of the Antártica Chilena province) and by Argentina (since 1943, as part of Argentine Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego Province).

Several countries maintain research stations on the islands. Most of them are situated on King George Island, benefitting from the airfield of the Chilean base Eduardo Frei.

There are sixteen research stations to date in different parts of the islands, with Chilean stations being the greatest in number.

The School of Panamerican Unrest

The School of Panamerican Unrest (La Escuela Panamericana del Desasosiego) is a conceptual art project led by Mexican artist Pablo Helguera. The project involves a series of performances, discussions and screenings to seek connections between the different regions of the Americas. The core of the project consisted of a travelling schoolhouse which made 30 stops between the U.S. state of Alaska and Chile's Antártica Chilena province between May and September 2006, following the entire length of the Pan-American Highway. At each stop topics such as immigration, globalization and the role of art in society were examined as they relate to Pan-American culture, history and ideology. The project echoes the efforts of intellectuals such as José Marti, Simón Bolívar and José Vasconcelos to create a unified cultural region in the Americas. The project began with an interview of Marie Smith Jones, the last living speaker of Eyak, a Native Alaskan language; and ended with an interview with Cristina Calderón, the last living speaker of Yaghan, in Puerto Williams, Tierra del Fuego. Currently a travelling exhibition and accompanying documentary are being planned, bringing together the documentation obtained during the project.

Tierra del Fuego Province, Chile

Tierra del Fuego Province (Spanish: Provincia de Tierra del Fuego) is one of four provinces in the southern Chilean region of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena (XII). It includes the Chilean or western part of the main island of Tierra del Fuego, except for the part south of the Cordillera Darwin, which is in Antártica Chilena Province. (Argentina also has a Tierra del Fuego Province.)

Chilean Tierra del Fuego has two towns, Porvenir, capital of the province, and Cerro Sombrero, and a number of small villages. A key geographical feature is Bahía Inútil ("Useless Bay"), so named by British geographers in the late 19th century because the bay is not useful as a port.

Villa Las Estrellas

Villa Las Estrellas (English: "The Stars Town") is a Chilean town and research station in Antártica Commune, Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. It is located on President Eduardo Frei Montalva Base, a military base, on King George Island. It is the larger and one of only two civilian settlements on Antarctica (the other being Argentina's Esperanza Base). It has a summer population of 150 and a winter population of 80.

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