The Strait of Magellan also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South American to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The strait is the most important natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
It is considered a difficult route to navigate due to the narrowness of the passage and unpredictable winds and currents. It is shorter and more sheltered than the often stormy Drake Passage. Along with the narrow and sometimes treacherous Beagle Channel, these were the only three sea routes between these two oceans until the construction of the Panama Canal.
Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer and navigator in the service of Charles I Spain, became the first European to navigate the strait in 1520 during his global circumnavigation voyage.