May 29, 2019 / 5:46 PM / 5 months ago

Puerto Williams, Chile now world's southernmost city, not Ushuaia, Argentina

A view of the city of Puerto Williams is seen in Chile, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Vega

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Puerto Williams, a growing hamlet draped in snow-covered peaks on the remote southern tip of the South American continent, has been upgraded to the category of “city” by Chilean authorities, making it the world’s southernmost city.

Puerto Williams has nudged out Ushuaia, a neighbor in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, for the title. Residents of the frigid former town on the banks of the Beagle Canal say the new title will surely come with perks.

“For us, it’s a tool that will do much to help us to attract more tourists,” said Francisca Albornoz, president of the Tourist Association of Cabo de Hornos.

But some residents worry that the new title could draw more people and threaten the very qualities that make it so attractive to begin with.

“We’re accustomed to tranquility, to leaving our doors unlocked, or the keys in our cars. So we worry that we might lose this peacefulness, too” said María Luisa Muñoz, vice president of the nearby community of Yagan.

Other attractions in the region, including Torres del Paine National Park, are already popular with local and foreign tourists for their spectacular blue-white glaciers, snow-capped Andean peaks and vast ocean views.

Reporting by Reuters TV, writing by Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by David Gregorio

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