Day 8 - Ushuaia (Argentina) - Glaciers Avenue (Chile)



Ushuaia is the World's southernmost city and every summer many cruising ships arrive to its harbor bringing people willing to know "the end of the world". Polar ships also stop here before reaching the Antarctica.

Ushuaia has grown dramatically over the past 20 years. Part of this is due to the recent surge of visiting tourists to the area. The city is strategically important to secure the country’s claim to the South. Ushuaia was settled in the late 1800’s by English missionaries only to be taken over in 1884 by the Argentinean naval forces. One of the principal reasons for Ushuaia’s existence is that of the penal colony initiated in 1902. Originally the penal colony was used primarily for political prisoners and was later populated by more dangerous criminals. The prison closed in 1947. An exceptionally picturesque city, some of the areas principal attractions are horseback riding, hiking, fishing, sailing and skiing.



Lapataia National park
The National park is located 12 miles west of Ushuaia and borders the Beagle channel. The 155,000-acre park is abundant with wildlife with incredible scenery of glacial lakes and the Andean mountains. This region was once home to the indigenous Yaghan Indians and later populated by English settlers.

Sea Wolves Island Nature Reserve
Cruise the Beagle Channel to the Sea Wolves Island Nature Reserve. Farther along you will cruise around Isla de los Lobos (Sea Wolves Island), a rocky outcrop that is home to a large population of seals and sea lions. The catamaran manages to get quite close, offering great photo opportunities. On the way back to Ushuaia you will cruise past Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse (the Lighthouse at the End of the World)

Click on the sea wolves
to listen to their sound

Train at the End of the World
The railway was recently restored but built on the original narrow gauged track first laid by prisoners sent to Ushuaia from the north of Argentina. The railway’s main purpose was to bring lumber from the surrounding hillsides to construct the first buildings in Ushuaia. Typically this tour is a one-way trip that either begins or ends at the newly built train station. The train station has a small gift shop, snack bar, and facilities. While sitting back and enjoying the scenery, cast your mind back to Ushuaia's original inhabitants, forcibly sent to this part of world as part of their sentence. Their labors carved the town from the wilderness and many never left. The prison in Ushuaia is worth visiting.

Hammer Island
Hammer Island offers a wonderful view of the Magellan Penguins. The island is only accessible by boat or an organized tour. Nobody is allowed to set foot on the island but the local captains do an excellent job of moving their craft close to parts of the island that the penguins inhabit. Everybody gets a great view from these comfortable purpose built vessels.

During today's fantastic cruising famous breathtaking glaciers Holanda, Italia, Francia, Alemania, España and Romanche (on the picture) parade along the worldwide famous "Glaciers Avenue".

Beagle Channel
The Beagle Channel was named after the ship on which Captain Robert Fitzroy and Sir Charles Darwin sailed during their 19th century explorations. The channel runs through the southern part of Tierra del Fuego forming part of the Chilean-Argentine border. Ancient glaciers punctuate the snow-capped mountains on either side of the channel. All along this "Glaciers Avenue" several breathtaking glaciers can be enjoyed as Glacier Watching. 


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