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The southernmost area of Chile offers the following two routes that connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean: 

  • Strait of Magellan waterway, and 
  • Oceanic waterway through Cape Horn.

 This mainly refers to the Strait of Magellan, since pilots do not commonly use the route through Cape Horn - Paso Drake given it is outside the Compulsory Pilotage Zone. 

Regarding the latter route, it is worth mentioning that it is an area normally hit by bad weather, where hurricane winds of more than 60 knots and waves of 10 to 12 meters high are common.

Another interesting point regarding these two routes is that there is a distance of approximately 765 nautical miles for ships navigating from the Atlantic Ocean or vice versa, that decide to cross Paso Drake, going east of Isla de los Estados, considering a point 30 nautical miles to the east of Punta Dungeness to a distance of 30 nautical miles to the west of Islotes Evangelistas. 

The distance of that same route through the Strait of Magellan is 390 nautical miles, that is, 375 nautical miles shorter. In other words, 32 more hours of navigation if Cape Horn is the route taken, at an average speed of 12 knots, considering good weather conditions (see chart below).