At the very end of the world and at the Southern end of Patagonia lies its last remaining wilderness, the island of Tierra del Fuego.
The eastern half belongs to Chile, the western half to Argentina. The Chilean side is an almost wild expanse of sheep farms and mountains, dotted with remote lagoons, including Lago Blanco which offers the world’s best fly fishing. The only settlement on the Chilean side is the tiny town of Porvenir.
In contrast, the Argentine side boasts a welcoming city with a splendid setting: Ushuaia, which nestles below the mighty Darwin Range at the very end of the Andes. The city looks out over the green Beagle Channel with the rugged peaks of Isla Navarino beyond. The brightly coloured houses look like toys against the dramatic back drop of the snow covered Cerro Martial to the north. Although the town has expanded in recent years, sprawling along the coast, it still retains the atmosphere of a pioneer town, isolated and expectant. Along to the east, along a beautiful stretch of coastline is the historic estancia of Harberton, which you can reach by a boat trip along the Beagle Channel, viewing islands of basking fur seals along the way.
During autumn the island of Tierra del Fuego is a blaze of scarlet and orange beech forest covering the mountains but in winter, the slopes of Cerro Castor offer good powder snow and impressive views. Head to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego for excellent hikes for all abilities.
If this isn’t remote enough, take a boat from Ushuaia to Cape Horn or even Antarctica...see below "Cruceros Australis":
(for more information on the Chilean side of Patagonia and further itineraries offered with Cruceros Australis, please follow the link on this page, below right, or click here: Chile Patagonia)
Explore Patagonia with Cruceros Australis. You will have a great adventure on the Punta Arenas to Ushuaia route where you will enjoy the natural beauty of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Your accommodations in the “uttermost end of the earth” will be aboard a comfortable ship accompanied by expert guides who will make your trip an unforgettable experience.
The Ships: MV Mare Australis, MV Via Australis & MV Stella Australis
• Daily excursions on Zodiac boats
• All-inclusive meals and bar with selected beverages, liquors and wines (during open hours)
• Audiovisual presentations on the region’s flora, fauna, geography, glaciology, ethnography and history
• Official languages on board are Spanish and English. However, you may find guides speaking French, German and Italian
• Shop and pre-paid satellite phone
Ushuaia to Punta Arenas with Mare Australis 4 days / 3 nights :: Departures on Wednesdays
Ushuaia to Punta Arenas with Via Australis 4 days / 3 nights :: Departures on Saturdays
Day 1 Ushuaia
Check in at San Martín 245, Ushuaia, from 9am to 4p.m. Cruise ship boarding from 6pm to 7pm. The Captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception on board. Afterwards, the ship departs for “the uttermost part of the earth.” Our excursion will take us through the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan to explore one of the most captivating wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. We have just embarked on a great adventure!
Day 2 Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
We sail through the Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we will disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616, and it is a sheer 425m (1,394ft) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the “End of the Earth”. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, we go ashore at historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833 during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point.
Day 3 Piloto and Nena Glaciers
In the morning we sail through the desolate Brecknock and Ocasion channels, to reach Cockburn Channel in the afternoon. After lunch, we arrive at Chico Sound and disembark in Zodiac boats to explore Alakaluf Fjord, and to see its beautiful waterfalls and observe the Piloto and Nena glaciers from the sea. We will learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence in the abrupt geography of the region’s channels.
Day 4 Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas
Early in the morning, we go ashore on Magdalena Island (weather permitting). Located in the Strait of Magellan, it was an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers in the past. The island is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic Penguins which can be sighted during our walk to a lighthouse, which guides ships on their way through the strait. In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Marta Island to observe sea lions. After our visit, we sail to Punta Arenas, disembarking at 11:30am.
NOTE: The excursions/day trips described in the itineraries can normally be, and are frequently, carried out. Without prejudice to the aforesaid, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A. y Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A. reserve the right to reschedule, shorten or alter all or part of itineraries and/or excursions without previous notice, in order to safeguard the well being and safety of passengers, preserve the environment or due to the extraordinary circumstances, acts of god or force majuere. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change.
Ushuaia Tours - Overview
Full and half day tours available from Ushuaia. To read more about featured tours, please follow the link in the "Tours" box, above right
Train to the end of the World
A full day tour starting at the “Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino” Station, the only narrow gauge steam train, which recreates the old tracks of the “Trencito de los presos” (The little prisoners train).
Estancia Harberton / Escondido Lake Mixed Tour
A full day excursion combining a catamaran trip to visit Bird and Sea Lion Islands, Les Eclaireurs lighthouse and a penguins colony, with an optional lunch and museum visit at Harberton Farm. Return to Ushuaia by bus, with scenic stops along the way between Victoria Lagoon and Escondido Lake.
Lakes Fagnano and Escondido
A full day, scenic mountain tour to the Fuegian Andes, taking in mountain passes (with the option for cross-country skiing in winter) on the journey to the other side of the Andes range, exploring Escondido and Fagnano Lakes along the way, ending with a delicious Fuegian lamb barbeque...
Tierra del Fuego Explorer : 4 days/ 3 nights excursion from Ushuaia
Hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with day excursions to Tierra del Fuego National Park, Bahia Lapataia and the historic settlement of Harberton Estancia and into the Beagle Channel by catamaran, with many wildlife viewing opportunities along the way...