The Fatal Attraction
Charles Darwin spent more time around the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego than he did in the Galapagos Islands. Though not quite such a life-changing experience, he and FitzRoy (the Captain of The Beagle), made significant exploration in the region. The windswept, rainy and downright hostile environment was compensated by beautiful scenery and fascinating wildlife.
Penguins and Glaciers
Today, the last remnants of land beyond Patagonia are still beguiling to the traveller of Argentina and Chile. Islands covered in penguins, dolphins and whales that approach boats, huge glaciers and towering mountains. There is a range of mountains named after Darwin and a species of dolphin after FitzRoy. At Wulaia Bay, The Beagle crew had previously captured four of the Yámana indigenous people and took them back to England to be ‘civilized’. On Darwin’s voyage the surviving three including Jemmy Button, were dropped back ashore with the hope of starting a colony. The result was a sad failure as the natives preferred their old life to Victorian gentility. Today the region can be accessed easily by flying to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the World. This is the port from whence Antarctica bound ships depart.
At the Uttermost Part of the earth
It is worth dallying in Ushuaia. I recommend a visit to Harberton ranch, where the first missionary settled and now home to a marine mammal museum. Don’t miss a boat trip to Martillo penguin island or take an off-road adventure to Lakes Fagnano and Escondido.
Cruising or Trekking?
Explore for yourself Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn on an expedition cruise on the Australis ships. Please ask us for cruise dates and rates. For the active trekker our Patagonia Ice Trail tour. We can include Ushuaia as an add-on to any Argentina custom-made holiday.