Tierra del Fuego
The end of the earth, the land of fire...
Set at the end of the Earth, the Tierra del Fuego, or “Land of Fire”, has always captured the imaginations of those that have visited. Set right on the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, one of the two important towns in the province, is steeped in the history of adventurers and pirates who used it as a means of rounding the Horn. Today, the town is used as a base for Antarctic expeditions and as an adventure playground for those looking for an active holiday in Argentina.
Ushuaia is certainly the most important destinations in the province and has seen an expansion in population in the last 10 years or so. While you would think this might be due to the growing tourist trade in Argentina, it was more due to the tax free status it currently enjoys, encouraging workers from across Argentina to come and work for the respectively higher wages.
Historically, Ushuaia has had a fairly interesting and varied past, with British missionaries first arriving in around 1870 and trying to convert the local Yamana population. Darwin too, spent time meandering through its many waterways searching for scientific meaning, as well as, as the nearby Drake Passage suggests, the infamous pirate, Sir Francis Drake.
Today Ushuaia and the nearby Rio Grande (a Mecca for fly fishermen) is know as the basing point for all things Antarctic, along with being a playground for those interested in the outdoors. Geographically the lie of the land is such that, to the west, there lies the National Park of the Tierra del Fuego and the border with Chile (for walking), the mountains of the Andes to the north (for skiing), and the Beagle Channel to the south (for kayaking and penguin viewing).
From October until April this region of Argentina comes alive with walkers, kayakers etc, all making the most of the good weather and easy accessibility. On top of this, this is a window of opportunity for the many Antarctic boats that have come down to the area for the summer. As the weather changes once more, the wooden glades are transformed into some of the best southern hemisphere skiing around.