Ushuaia - Tierra del Fuego
The province of Tierra del Fuego shares borders with Chile to both the West and the South and with the Atlantic Ocean to the North and to the East. It may be reached by land through the National Road N° 3 or by air, taking a flight to the “Gob. Ramón Trejo Noel” Airport in Río Grande or the
Known as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is 3.171 Kms far from Buenos Aires. Tierra del Fuego - "Fireland" - is an archipelago formed by the Isla Grande and hundreds of minor islands until Cape Horn. It is the last visit before starting navigation towards The Antartida. Catamaran sails through the Beagle Channel, during which there is a chance of seeing the famous Les Éclaireurs lighthouse; an excellent gastronomy based on spider crab, shellfish and lamb; its winter center, Cerro Castor, featuring the most extended snow season (June to October); sport fishing; ecotourism at the parks and rides on the fabulous End of the World Train are just a few of the many options that turn Tierra del Fuego into an unforgettable experience.
The whole territory has permanent options to combine active tourism with nature. Tierra del Fuego National Park preserves species of sub-antartic forests, where live red foxes, guanacos, rabbits, beavers and condors. The observation of marine birds is another attraction, mainly at LaPataia Bay. Year after year, adventurers, explorers and climbers arrive from different parts of the world and they leave fascinated by the proposals that these lands offer.
Exploring Tierra del Fuego´s colors
Simple walks of a couple of hours. Intense itineraries for several days. The purest contact with a virgin nature.
Tierra del Fuego’s landscape changes drastically with each season. The late spring brings the first hints of colors that in summer will completely invade grasslands, forests and peatlands. During autumn, lengas and ñires turn into thousand ochre shades that make forests and woods look like fire at sunset. In winter, a long white veil comes from the peaks and covers almost everything. Admiring the southern nature’s beauty is always breathe-taking. Travelers shall wander about lenga and coihue leafy forests; they can go even further where the glaciers leave their scars on the earth. Willing to touch the ice is an irresistible desire. In their way, they will find turquoise water mirror and, at the same time, milk-color water streams. They will step on hard rocks and polished peat. Walking by the sea will seal their passports, witnessing this intimate and unforgettable visit to the end of the world.
Tierra del Fuego’s National Park (at 6 miles from Ushuaia, to the west) At the Park’s area known as Lapataia, there are many paths properly signaled to make half-day treks to: La Isla, Laguna Negra, Mirador, Turbal and the beaver shelter. There are paths presenting a higher difficulty: those arriving to the Milestone XXIV, bordering the Roca lake and the Cerro del Guanaco. In the last case, a camping night should be foreseen. Besides, from the last station of the World’s End Train, there are different paths: Pampa Alta connecting the Pipo river with the Ensenada bay and the Coastal Pathway, with links Lapataia with the bay. By Ensenada bay you can reach the southernmost post –office in the world, in front of Isla Redonda, where visitors can seal in their passports their visit to the end of the world.
Martial Glacier Trekking to Martial Glacier is one of the most popular treks in Ushuaia. Placed just above the city, there is an airlift to climb the steep mount –for those willing to save their energies- and, once on the top, there is only a one hour walk to the Glacier.
From the Valle Los Lobos shelter, there is an easy pathway that takes to the Esmeralda Lagoon, under the Del Albino Glacier. Getting to the lagoon takes 2 hours, while climbing to the glacier requires 3 additional hours, with a pronounced slope.
Treks for experts:
Sierra Valdivieso Circuit Considered one of the most pictures quepathways, this trek crosses the Sierra Valdivieso between lakes, streams and glaciers, offering spectacular views of the Fagnano lake. The trek takes four days and covers 30 miles, with stretches barely signaled. There are excellent camping places during the whole route.
Bridges Pathway It communicates Estancia Haberton with Estancia Viamonte. Although the original pathway cannot be followed in all its extension due to terrain alterations, it is still possible to follow the steps of the writer Chatwin, who arrived at these lands after having read in this childhood the book “The Uttermost Part of the Earth”, written by Lucas Bridges, the owner of the Haberton farm.
IMPORTANT: Regardless the circuit chosen, it is mandatory to take good maps and orientation systems. The Club Andino Ushuaia offers information and mountain guides. Those leaving without guides should register at Ushuaia’s Tourist Office before the departure and upon the return. It is equally necessary to take proper clothing as the weather is very changing. Trekking season is usually between November and April, although the pathways may present difficulties at any time of the year due to the mud. In winter, it is necessary to take snow rackets.
Following Darwin´s steps in the Beagle Sailing through the World’s End islands. Sea lions, imperial cormorants and Magellanic penguins accompanying your adventure.
The Beagle, Darwin’s exploration mythic boat, gave name to this quiet channel at the end of the world, which waters reflect the majestic snow-covered peaks of Sierra Sorondo. In the nearby, the islands got their names from the first settlers while the mounds have the footprints of the native inhabitants. The sea lions' skin shines in the sun. Black on white, thousand of cormorants can be seen on the rocks. On sunset, Les Éclaires beacon illuminates the channel. A bit further, on the rocky beaches, more black and white: the Magellanic Penguins.
During the day, the landscape changes as the light moves on. In the mist, the imposing presence of the mountains is just a shadow. Among the grey shades, Ushuaia's vivid colors stand out. Under the brilliant peaks, Estancia Haberton opens its doors and tells stories about the pioneers. With the last day light, a rainbow raises on the channel to say goodbye.
Tours by the Beagle Channel are made, mostly, in big size catamarans, although the journey can also be made in smaller boats or sailboats. Different agencies offer short trips, of two and a half hours of duration, or long trips, of up to 9 hours. According to the tour chosen, you may reach the Bridges Islands, Martillo Island and/or Estancia Haberton (the first in Tierra del Fuego). You may also contract a longer trip and get to Cabo de Hornos.
Stories of the End of the World: the city and the train. Bahia del Fondo. The prison of the end of the world. The land of the great expeditionaries. In 1884, an Argentine expedition founded the city of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego; there, at the recondite corner of the world’s southernmost point, the yámana inhabited for more than 10,000 years and got adapted to the extreme cold with their huge fires –those that gave name to the province. The placement of this city was strategic at the time of delimiting borders with Chile and affirming Argentine territorial sovereignty in respect of other European nations. Since 1896, and for more than fifty years, an ill-fated penitentiary worked there: the big prison without any remote escape possibility that was converted into museum. The railway, that used to transport the prisoners look quite different now: travelling in the World’s End Train is the best way of accessing the Tierra del Fuego National Park, where the beauty of the landscape becomes intriguing. At the World’s End and Yámana museums, the galleries tell the stories about those brave expeditionaries that made the first steps on Antarctic lands and about its native population. A visit to the Estancia Haberton offers an excellent opportunity to learn about the life style and heritage of the pioneers of the “fireland”, those intrepid men that left everything behind in the search of the “promise land”. Stories of intense work, resistance and determination.
The wings of the End of the World At 620 miles from the Antarctica, where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans merge into inclement seas, you shall observe the habitats of the southernmost birds. The giant petrel overflies the quiet Beagle Channel amd watches the ship hurrying for its meeting with the Magellanic penguin. The skua stalks and leaps upon its prey. In the way, you can see albatros, fulmars, Peruvian diving petrels, cormorants, steamer ducks and gulls. When exploring the coast, it is possible to observe oystercatchers, pitotois, chimangos and southern hawks. However, the “stars” shall be found at the National Park, home of the huge Magellanic woodpecker and the elusive thorn-tailed rayadito. Eventually, you shall be lucky to see the southern parrot and/or the rubi hummingbird. You should look for seed-snipes, cinclodes, ground-tyrants, thrushes and hooded siskins. The water mirrors are the perfect stage for swams, herons, ruddyheaded gooses and kingfishers. And, in the heights, you shall see condors, eagles, owls and vultures. Definitely, the world’s end is also a kingdom of beautiful birds.
The flavors of the end of the World Unique smoked products, intense sea fruits, organic vegetables, tempting jams and exquisite dinners at the sophisticated Tierra del Fuego’s gastronomy. The flavors of the ocean gets to the table under the form of mussels, crabs and black hakes. The rivers provide the exquisite trout; the woods, the hunting products and the generosity of their mushrooms; the Patagonian steppe, the roasted lamb. The smokers are full of cheese, fish or vegetables. Chocolate and confectionary stores and tea houses add the missing sweet ingredient. The Patagonian chocolate tradition is also present in these lands where the crafted chocolate aroma leaves the sweetest scent in the air. In Ushuaia, the gastronomic offer is as broad as exquisite, with little cafes and tea houses, and family and luxurious restaurants. For those looking for a fast meal, bars offer light and simple dishes. Excellent chefs work at the kitchens of the most fancy hotels, where the gourmet experience is accompanied by marvelous views of the bay and the seduction of Argentine best wines: Mendoza’s Malbec, Río Negro’s Pinot Noir and the Patagonian Viognier. And, for a stop in the road, nothing like the extraordinary Patagonian craft beers. For dessert, caulker liqueur!
Best time to visit Tierra del Fuego Is during spring and summer, when the birds nest in colonies. The weather is quite unpredictable; therefore, it is recommended to take always warm clothes and raincoats.
Getting around by air Latam and Aerolineas are the best bet for Buenos Aires; purchase tickets through local travel agencies.
Language Spanish is the official language of the Argentine Republic.
Currency The legal tender of course is the Argentine Peso.
Electricity The current in Argentina is 220-240v
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