Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was the first explorer to lead an expedition sailing westward from Europe to Asia and to cross the Pacific ocean- he actually named it Pacific.
Magellan attempted to find a westward route to the Spice islands of Indonesia (Moluccas islands).
He was the first to circumnavigate the world and even though he couldn't complete the journey - died in Philippines - he is acknowledged as such.
The impact of his journey was in providing the first positive proof that the world was round and that opened up trade routes to explorers all over the world.
He set sail from Spain in 1519 in command of an expedition composed by five ships...
The total number of crew members was 270. Only 18 returned back to Spain under the captainship of Sebastian Elcano, after completing the world's first circumnavigation.
According to legend, in 1520, when he finally discovered the channel between the two oceans, he saw big man made fires on the southern shore of the strait.
That marked the discovery and name of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).
The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is separated from South America's mainland by the Strait of Magellan.
It is formed by Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and a group of smaller islands. Its capital is Ushuaia.
To learn more regarding South America adventure travel in general and the southern tip in particular, please visit...
To learn more about the fantastic journey of Ferdinand Magellan, have a look at this video documentary regarding his voyage of discovery...
It's a two-leg trip for a total of 3,220 km (one way)...
There is not direct service between El Calafate and Ushuaia. Nevertheless, you have two options...
For the independent/solo traveller, budger accommodation (hostels) is the best way to go.
Book hostels in Ushuaia here.