Tierra del Fuego Main


It's not an easy place to get to. Once you get there, you won't find a lot to do, unless you like to hike and fish. And it's cold (heavy snows a decade ago killed some 300,000 sheep) and windy. So, why go to the end of the world? Perhaps the remoteness, or the scenery (snow-capped glacial peaks, a setting that seems part Scottish moors, part Alaska, part New Zealand fjords and mountains) - or perhaps because, except for the Antarctic, you can't really go any farther.

One of the provinces of Patagonia, the islands of Tierra del Fuego are divided between Argentina and Chile, and on the main island, which is about the size of New York State, there are only two towns of note - Rio Grande and Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. In Ushuaia, the major attraction is a former prison. Enough said.

Tourism is still in the early stages here. You can take a train ride, join a boat tour to see penguins and sea lions, hike in Tierra del Fuego National Forest, and, in summer, rent kayaks to explore the many lakes and waterways. Foremost among those waterways is the Beagle Channel, named for Charles Darwin's ship, which visited these waters in 1834. And much of this windswept archipelago hasn't changed much since then. If that's what you're looking for....