Tierra del Fuego...
The island of the end of the world

Tierra del Fuego, land of fire. Argentina
Tierra del Fuego - veimages.gsfc.nasa.gov

Let's review the beginning and official discovery of the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), Argentina

Somewhere in October of 1520, a group of explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan discovered the channel that joins the two oceans.
On the southern shore of the strait they saw big man made fires and columns of smoke.

It remained a remote and inaccessible place for thousands of years, today, attracts visitor from all over the world.

What does it has to offer?...

Magnificent settings, emotion, history, legend...adventure travel Argentina at its best.

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Ten thousand years ago, the first inhabitants arrived to the southern end of Patagonia, Argentina. Their imprints and pre-historic art can be appreciated in places such as Hands Cave, on the shores of Pinturas river, in Santa Cruz Province.

However, human presence in Tierra del Fuego appeared much later and for the most part came in by the sea through the Pacific ocean. Around Magellan Strait, two main ethnic groups can be identified...

Flag-tree in Tierra del Fuego. Argentina
Flag-tree - Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

All aboriginal cultures in this part of the world survived by means of fishing and hunting, due to the abundance of mammals and mollusks on the Pacific side, and guanacos, foxes and birds on the Atlantic side.

According to estimations, before colonization in 1880 - when Ushuaia was founded - 11,500 aborigines lived in the island.

For a number of reasons, they were exterminated and there are no survivors at present time.

From the Pacific side came the Chilean Mapuches (Mapuche means "people from the land").

Throughout the years, they overpowered and marked an end to the Tehuelches group. Today they constitute the most important indigenous group in Argentina.

The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego - with an extension of 28,476 sq. miles (73,753 sq. km) - is separated from South America mainland by the Strait of Magellan.
It consists of a main island (Isla Grande of Tierra del Fuego) and a group of smaller islands. Half of the island and the islands west and south belong to the Magallanes Region of Chile.

Tierra del Fuego in itself is a beautiful and transcendental adventure, one of the best that Argentina adventure travel has to offer. With Ushuaia at its epicenter, and its unique surroundings, you have the possibility of practicing different sports such as...

  • trekking
  • horseback riding
  • 4x4 overlanding
  • diving
  • canoeing
  • fishing
  • skiing
Sea Wolves, Tierra del Fuego. Argentina
Sea Wolves - Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

You will be in intimate contact with nature, going to almost inaccessible roads, or venturing to places where roads barely exist.

Tierra del Fuego national park gives you the chance to trek in the forest and climb to strategic points where amazing views of Beagle Channel can be appreciated.

You can dive day or night.

You could visit some of the traditional estancias such as Hebberton ranch, overlooking the town of Port Willams on Navarino island, or Moat ranch, from where you can appreciate Beagle Channel and Picton island.

You will see flag-trees (arboles bandera) due to their horizontally directed growth pattern as a result of the permanently west wind.

If you love skiing, along the Carbajal valley you will find the winter sports centers of...

  • Altos del Valle
  • Valle de los Huskies
  • Refugio Nunatak
  • Tierra Mayor
  • Las Cotorras
  • Cerro Castor Complex
  • Club Andino Ushuaia
  • Valle Hermoso

And how about a visit to Tolhuin?
Its name comes from the Ona (aboriginal) word and means "heart".
Tolhuin is located precisely in the heart of the island, half way between Rio Grande and Ushuaia, where the plateau gradually raises to the Andes and close to Fagnano lake.

For bird watching lovers, Tierra del Fuego has a wide variety of both steppe and beach birds.

On your next trip to Argentina you definitely should include Tierra del Fuego in your itinerary..

You will not only visit the end of the American Continent but one of the most beautiful, wild and magical places on Earth, as South America is...

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego by Indrik Mineur - CC BY 2.0

How to Get to Ushuaia:

By Air:

There are direct flights from Buenos Aires (Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral) to Ushuaia.
You could also get a flight connexion in El Calafate, main gateway to Glaciers National Park.. For more info on flights and airports please visit Argentina airports.

To/from Chile you can fly with Aerovias DAP that service Punta Arenas-Ushuaia on a Twin Otters 20-passenger three times a week in high season. It costs around US$100.00

By Bus:

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...

Where to Stay:


Find and compare best hotel rates in Ushuaia.

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