Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve is located in the South American continent's extreme south, in southern Chile. It comprises marine areas, islands, fjords, channels, forests, and moorland. The core areas are Cabo de Hornos National Park and Alberto de Agostini National Park.
Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve
Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve (Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve) is located in the South American continent's extreme south, in southern Chile. It comprises marine areas, islands, fjords, channels, forests, and moorland. It covers an area of approximately 49,000 sq km (19,000 sq mi).
The region of Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) was discovered by the Dutch merchant Isaac Le Maire on January 29, 1616. It was named "Hoorn" after the Dutch city where the expedition originated.
The Biosphere Reserve includes an extensive and remote area of temperate forests, the sub-antarctic or Magellanic subpolar forests of Chile, that recently have been identified as one of the 37 most pristine ecoregions in the world.
The reserve is a popular destination for tourists and scientists alike. Visitors can enjoy various activities like hiking, camping, kayaking, and birdwatching. Scientists visit the reserve to study the region's unique ecosystems and biodiversity.
The Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve is also a significant cultural heritage site. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the region for thousands of years, and their cultures and traditions are still alive today.
Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve represents the southernmost territory in the world with pre-Columbian populations since the region corresponds to the ancestral territory of the Yagán people. Some 2,200 people live in the transition area, concentrated in Puerto Williams on Navarino Island.
The resident civil population mainly includes the indigenous community of Yagán, descending from the first colonists. The main economic activities are artisanal fishery, public services, diverse small-scale commercial activities, and some cattle raising.
The Yagán people constitute a nomad culture that has inhabited the southern end of the American continent at 56 °S. They live in the coastal sectors, navigating the channels of Cabo de Hornos and the sub-antarctic archipelago region to the south of the Tierra del Fuego. Today, it is the most threatened of the Chilean indigenous cultures.
The Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve supports economic and human development through an "alliance between science and tourism to promote sustainable development."