If you ever decide to go down south, so much so that you don’t want to stop till you have reached the South Pole and had a chat with the penguins or watched scary horror movies with the scientists who live at the ‘The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station’ (the horror-movie-watching thingie is an annual ritual for them, and no, I am not joking), don’t forget to visit these popular tourist places on the way.
These are not that far from the South Pole, and the best part is that you won’t have to be forced to hunt for seals for find food in these places. Just kidding! You can find cozy hotels too if you search enough :-)
Punte Arenas, Chile
Area: 17846.3 km sq.
The largest city south of the 46th parallel south, Punte Arenas the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. In English, the name means “Sandy Point”.
It was originally established by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony to assert sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. Famous for its sheep farming, the geopolitical importance of Punta Arenas has remained high in the 20th and 21st centuries because of its logistic importance in accessing the Antarctic Peninsula.
Why to go here?
While the town has a Nao Victoria museum where you can see the full replica of the first ship to circumnavigate the globe, Nao Victoria of the legendary Spanish Sea Captain Ferdinand Magellan, the point to remember is that you are so so close to the edge of the world that watching antiquated ships of glorified pirates is double the enjoyment!
Area: 23 km sq
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range and on the south by the Beagle Channel, it is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world.
Around 10000 years ago, human beings first arrived in Usuaia which during the first half of the 20th century city centered around a prison built by the Argentine government to increase the Argentine population here and to ensure Argentine sovereignty over Tierra del Fuego. Unfortunate…but now the city a tourist attraction leading to the prison known as the End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo), the southernmost railway in the world.
Why to go here?
It is the southernmost city in the world and has a beautiful, southernmost railway too which leads you to an old, former prison of the Argentinean government. Isn’t that a fabulous reason to come here? Just don’t get lost in the prisons or you may be conscripted by a time-traveling half-demon, half Argentinean football maniac to play for Brazil in 2014 World-cup semi-finals. Just kidding… the demon hired me along time ago to act as the Brazilian coach and you saw the result. You are safe.
Oh… and did I mention you can also get to see penguins, seals and orcas in the islands in the Beagle Channel if the prisons don’t take your breath away.
Puerto Williams, Chile
The second place to claim the distinction of the southernmost city of the world, and maybe rightly too since it actually lies south of Ushuaia, people would have given Puerto Williams the distinction only if it were not so small with the population barely reaching 2300 people. That is less than a village in India, so maybe Puerto Williams need to grow quite a bit before it can be recognized as a city.
Puerto Williams, meaning "Port Williams" in Spanish is a Chilean town, located on Isla Navarino facing the Beagle Channel. The settlement founded in 1953 has served primarily as a naval base for Chile. The Chilean Navy runs the Guardiamarina Zañartu Airport and hospital, as well as nearby meteorological stations.
The town has served as a major hub for scientific activity linked to Antarctica, and therefore the town has been a base for Chile to assert sovereignty around Cape Horn and support its Antarctic bases.
Why to go here?
Besides being truly the southernmost town in the world (if not the city), it has Dientes de Navarino mountains nearby which are a popular hiking zone. If you get lost there, even demons can’t save you.
There are many more places that are even more down south, but either they are full of military people who don’t like bumbling tourists and also may mistake you for a spy from a foreign country or you may have to hunt for seals for food plus watch horror movies with lonely scientists.
Since I am sure I won’t like hunting for seals or being shot at (though I might just settle for that horror movie), I will stop here.
Let me know in the comments how far down south you have gone and whether you have bludgeoned any seals yet (horror movies don’t count).
Speaking of horror movies, I have written a very un-horror ghost story (a ghost that is actually sweet, romantic and funny to readers) who will soon save the world. If you like the idea of such a ghost, you can get the book here: http://www.amazon.in/www-marryAghost-com-Abhimanyu-Jha/dp/9382665196