The end of the world! Around 500 years ago, European explorer Ferdinand Magellan approached this unknown land at the southernmost extreme of the American continent, and saw dispersed fires and floating columns of smoke rising from the dawn mist, hence the island was named ´Land of Fire´. Of course these campfires belonged to the native population, who had inhabited the island for approx. 12,000 years but were soon all but entirely decimated by the subsequent arrival of Europeans.
The territory is shared with Chile and is characterised by a harsh climate on account of the geography of the region. The Magellan and Beagle channels were once important yet perilous navigation trade routes, however since the construction of the Panama Canal the southern route was no longer necessary to link the Altantic and Pacific oceans. Today you can take boat trips to visit some of the out-lying islands when the waters are calm.
Once considered a remote and inhospitable place, today Ushuaia is very much on the tourist map of Argentina as people flock to see the end of the world, many en route to Antarctica. Tierra del Fuego National Park just outside of the town is a must-visit for trekking and sightseeing, and if time permits then we recommend venturing further into the remote interior of the island where there are some incredible opportunities for estancia stays and horseriding excursions.
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