ARGENTINA #7 – A journey to «The End of the World»

digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019 · 5 min read

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Ushuaia, the capital city of Tierra del Fuego, is considered the southernmost city on earth and also referred to as «The End of the World». It is located on the northern side of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia might be the ending point of a journey from north to south of Argentina, but is also the starting point for many expeditions and cruises to the Antarctica. Besides visiting museums and the national park, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, I did a catamaran tour on the Beagle Channel. Spectacular scenery and wildlife. Definitly worth travelling all the way to the end of the world for.



The population of Ushuaia is about 80.000. It is a busy port town, that started as missionary outpost and penal colony. The prison closed in 1947 and has now been converted into a museum. It was the prisoners who built many of the constructions in town, including the church. Ushuaia has steep streets, colorful houses below mountains and a laid back atmosphere. A large amount of tourists, shops, restaurants and hotels.  Along the waterfront  there are lots of historical monuments. Walking here gives a good impression of how important it is as a port and as the gateway to Antarctica. In the streets you will see touroperates selling "last minute tickets" to Antarctica! Besides being a stop over before expeditions to Antarctica, it does have a lot more to offer, especially outdoor activities as hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, skiing etc.



To really appreciate the nature along the channel, I did a 6 hour catamaran tour. When leaving the harbour, we got a good view of Ushuaia, the harbour and the surrounding mountains.




The catamaran made several stops along the way. Los Lobos (Sea lion's Island) So close that we could hear the cries of the sea lions. Another island was Los Pajaros (Bird Island) where more than 20 different seabirds, including cormorants, petrels and albatross lives. The Les Èclaireus Lighthouse was another stop. It is still in use, but automatically operated. The lighthouse is known as the lighthouse at «the End of the World» but this is misleading, as it is often confused with the San Juan de Salvamento further east. Since it is automated, it is no longer inhabited by humans, but birds and sea lions occupies now all of this tiny island.




The highlight of the tour, was our stop at the Martillo Island with the colony of Magellan penguins. A long stop with the engines shut off, gave us the possibility to watch them for a while. There are «babies» too, but they are almost the size of the adults.



Just before the Estancia Harberton the captain spotted two Humback whales. Everybody on deck to see them!


The catamaran made at stop at Estancia Haberton to let some people off. It is the oldest estancia (farm) in the Argentine part of Tierra del Fuego. Founded in 1886 by a missionary Thomas Bridges and his family. The estancia became wellknown because of the memoirs written by his son. Today the estancia still belongs to the family. The 4th generation. The original buildings are still here and in 1999 it was declared an Argentine National Historical Monument.



The Beagle Channel is shared by Chile and Argentina and named after the ship HMS Beagle. That was the name of the survey ship visiting the area between 1826 – 1830. Second time the ship returned was in 1839 and Charles Darwin, a young naturalist, was onboard. This survey lasted 5 years which gave Darwin plenty of time to explore on land. His book about his journey, includes many theories about biology, anthropology and geology. While sailing here we have Chile on one side and Argentina on the other. We pass the small settlement Puerto Williams on the Chilean side. The guide on board informed us that about 3000 people are living in Puerto Williams and even it is further south than Ushuaia, it has no city status. According to him there has to be more than 10.000 inhabitants to obtain that status.  That still makes Ushuaia the southernmost city on earth....


There are several options for boat trips including catamarans, motorboat or sailboat. Many companies offers theese tours. Most follow the channel. The difference is the length. From half day tour to full day. Some includes Haberton. Some does not. The weather here changes quickly and is quite unpredictable. Even on this 6 hour journey we both saw the sun, dark clouds and some drops of rain. So be prepared!

Next stop: Salta region and Jujuy


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U.J

Kristiansand, Norway

All the photoes are mine, Ulla Jensen (flickr, Instagram and facebook)


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12
digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

Thank you so much! :)


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Very beautiful article, @digi-me. Thanks for all the shots and descriptions of that amazing scenery! 😃


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digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

Thanks :)


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ǝɹǝɥ sɐʍ ɹoʇɐɹnƆ pɐW ǝɥ┴


9
himalayannomad
... @himalayannomadFebruary 2019

Nice post @digi-me. I almost felt like being there. And, watching all those penguins hanging out together was also cool.

I would love to visit Ushuaia, some day.

Thank you for sharing the trip :)


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digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

Do go if you get the chance. It was really awesome


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You made me smile when you said that this place is also called 'the end of the world'. I'm coming from a small city in Slovakia, very close to the Ukrainian borders and people often make jokes that this is the end of the world.. but your place of course makes much more sense :D

I love those photos with sea lions and penguins! What a fantastic experience! It must be such an intense feeling to hear them cry.. and you were even lucky to see the whales! Tick off the bucket list ;)

Thank you for sharing! Happy travels and have a great start of the week!


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digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

You made me smile as well. Really, I have only heard of Tierra del Fuego as End of the World! I can imagine why your small city might have earned the same description :) This kind of wildlife, especially the penguins, was a real treat. That they shot off the engines, so they won't disturbe is a pluss. We were told to keep our voices low. Again, not to disturb. Really a great treat :)


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I love the unpredictable weather...hahahaha and the beautiful environment, the end of the world sure looks good and I'm sure you had alot of fun.


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Wow, the wildlife looks amazing!


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Wow a 6 hour tour on a catamaran. I suppose that is the best and only way to get around and see the wildlife properly. I am sure the weather changes very quickly there and you must have been lucky with the seas as it does get rough there.I have seen programs on television on Tierra del Fuego and look forward to your next stop in the Salta region.


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Ah, hello from the other side of the World then! Waves

Anyways, such beautiful pictures of the town sites, green-scape (nature), penguins (they looked so adoreable), sea-lions (I love how they hogged the lighthouse shores, wonder if it still gets used) and the history bits scattered all about. (Funny that I see the decimals used to demarcate Thousands, but then again living in Los EEUU can make yah forget yer parent's way of marking Thousands - just my digression.) I like how all the fotos (photos) are crisp and clean here, to the point I can almost see the extreme details of things but just eye-balling them.

Regardless, I love the night time foto and wanna say this: happy explorin' and happy steeming!
Pretty good.gif


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digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

Thanks for stopping by. The night time photo was taken from my hotel room. Quite a view! Really loved that room


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Welcome for the comment!~ ^^
Indeed, probably one of the best fotos (photos)!~


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The views there are really breathtaking... I love the wildlife there, they seem to be almost everywhere there and in large numbers. That sure is there home!

That night photo is a beautiful one too. The light illuminating through the buildings from afar and the street lights are beautiful.

Your photos are amazing!


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digi-me
digi-me @digi-meFebruary 2019

thank you for stopping by and commenting. The nightshot was taken from my hotel room. Really enjoyed that room ..


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