Initially discovered by Magellan in 1520, and first surveyed in depth in the early 19th century, the Tierra del Fuego region of Argentina has maintained a spot as one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the country ever since. With an unparalleled range of natural landscapes, historic urban dwellings, and available outdoor recreation, this "end of the world" destination is not to be missed.
Located on the southernmost portion of the South American Continent, the Tierra del Fuego region provides the closest access the to the Antarctic, a destination known for its chilly exoticism and glacial splendor. The region is also home to the urban center of Ushuaia, commonly known as the southern most city in the world. While Ushuaia does provide easy access to the remainder of the region, it is also able to stand alone as a desirable destination for travelers seeking to understand Argentinean culture and history. Home to the "train at the end of the world," "the museum at the end of the world," and a historically significant early 20th century penitentiary, Ushuaia provides plenty to see and do. Whether visitors choose to stay within the city limits, however, or travel outward bound in to the vast wild terrain that awaits, no one will leave the region unfulfilled.
Further Ushuaia Information
Excursions in Tierra del Fuego are plentiful, utilizing both land and water for regional travel and exploration. The multitude of channels and straights provide the optimal opportunity to cruise through the region beneath towering mountains and impressive forests. Most notably, the Beagle Channel, which delineates the Chilean and Argentinean sides of the Tierra del Fuego National Park, offers prime territory for both full and half day cruises throughout the Argentine summer months. From these cruises visitors experience the full range of wildlife that the region has to offer. Distinct creatures of the land, waters, and skies blanket the area, adding to the appeal of this unforgettable region. Time and time again visitors report spotting rheas, condors, pumas, sea elephants, penguins, and, periodically, even whales.
Due to its extreme southern locale, travel to the Tierra del Fuego region is encouraged primarily between mid-October and mid-April. Be advised that temperatures may remain chilly even during these summer months, necessitating the use of plenty of warm layers of clothing.
Museo del Fin del Mundo
The Museum of the End of the World is dedicated to the history and culture of the area.
It has a number of rooms dedicated to the local indians along with shipwrecks that have happened on Tierra del Fuego as well.
The Military Penitentiary of Ushuaia
Argentina built a penitentiary for criminals and political prisoners in the beginning of the 20th century. At that time the city of Ushuaia was just a desolate outpost very far from civilization. The harsh prison held up to 600 prisoners at a time that spent their time gathering wood used to build the town of Ushuaia and doing other labor intensive tasks. The penitentiary finally closed in 1947, but visiting the old grounds is a somewhat popular activity for tourists.
The Train at the End of the World
This reproduction of the original prisoners train leaves from a station 4 miles west of Ushuaia and does a sedate loop through forests and secluded valleys. The train was originally used to transport firewood to the city by the inmates. The trip takes about 2 hours.
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