Discovering the southernmost point of every continent can be much less straightforward than it seems. While certain countries consider models where there are seven continents, many look at there being only five or six continents. Beyond that, most of these areas have outlying islands that don’t have a strict identity to certain continents. However, there is little dispute over these southernmost points of seven continental mainlands.
North America — Punta Mariato, Panama
This cape of the Azuero Peninsula isn’t easy to reach. The area is uninhabited considering it’s mostly made up of rainforest belonging to the Cerro Hoya National Park. However, there are still people who make the trip through the few roads to enjoy fishing and surfing in the cape.
South America — Cape Froward, Chile
Cape Froward is located along the Magellan Strait, named for the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan. As part of Patagonia, this area is also largely uninhabited thanks to remote distance, cold temperatures, and often-brutal rain and wind. This cape is largely known for a large metal cross that was placed there in honor of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Chile in 1987.
© Alejandro Medina
Europe — Punta de Tarifa, Spain
The southernmost point of European mainland is so close to Africa that the coast of Morocco can be seen from Isla de Las Palomas where Punta de Tarifa is located. This is actually a rather popular area for a town that dwindles in size compared to many of Spain’s sprawling cities, largely due to the ferries between the two continents and an optimal climate for wind sports.
© Juan Antonia Ocaña
Asia — Tanjung Piai, Malaysia
Indonesia may be home to the true southernmost point of Asia, but the southernmost tip of mainland Asia belongs to Malaysia in Tanjung Piai. This is an area known for its preserved eco-system and the view of Singapore right across the Johor Strait. Though often overlooked for other southern parts of Malaysia, many tourists do make their way to this national park each year.
© Ronald Tagra
Africa — Cape Agulhas, South Africa
While this cape isn’t a popular name among travelers, it’s quite notorious among sailors. The climate of the area leads to harsh winter storms that roil the sea with enormous waves. Unsurprisingly, this has led to many shipwrecks along the shore and several lighthouses being built to attempt to ward off more. Travelers tend to flock to the nearby Cape of Good Hope instead, except for the fishermen who make their way to this cape for the Agulhas Bank that offers ideal waters for fishing.
© Allan Watt
Oceania — Jacquemart Island, New Zealand
In the case of Australia pretty much alone being considered one of the seven continents, the region of Victoria would be home to the southernmost point. But by expanding to all of Oceania, New Zealand becomes the new home with Jacquemart Island. Jacquemart Island is the southernmost of the subantarctic Campbell Island group. While this island is not heavily visited due to heavy wind and constant rainfall, it’s home to quite an impressive array of flora and fauna.
© Russell Street
Antarctica — South Pole
This is the most well-known point on this list, and with good reason as it’s the southernmost point of the entire planet. While the weather is obviously quite cold, precipitation is uncommon, making the area a vast polar desert. Antarctica is the least-visited continent, and the few who visit make trips to the South Pole must have excessive money to spend. The few companies that offer means of getting there bear price tags of tens of thousands of dollars.
© Christopher Michel