'End of the World' National Park Has Glaciers, Tundra, and some of the Most Stunning Coastlines
During a trip to the "End of the World," Rich Report takes you on a captivating journey to Tierra del Fuego National Park in Argentina, one of the most stunning national parks in the world.
This should give you some insight into what to expect from Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is situated farther from Argentina's capital city, Buenos Aires, than it is from the Antarctic peninsula.
Despite its cold and remote location, Tierra del Fuego is home to a vibrant coastline lined with jagged peaks, thick beech forests, and a wild array of animals, including a relative of the camel, not to mention being part of the subantarctic forest and having plenty of tundra and glaciers.
A small but mighty national park, Sierra del Fuego sits on the Argentine side of the Argentine-Chilean border just below the Andes Mountains. As the Andean-Patagonian forests are located at the meeting point of the Andes Mountains and the sea, the park plays a major role. In addition to Ushuaia, the town serves as a gateway to Antarctica, a continent that is covered in ice and home to few humans (but millions of penguins).
Often referred to as the "End of the world," Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia is actually the beginning of a great adventure for travelers in the know. You can find out what to do in Tierra del Fuego, as well as when to visit, how to get there, and what to look for.
National Park of Tierra del Fuego Things to Do
It is impossible to find a more picturesque landscape anywhere on Earth than in Tierra del Fuego. Travelers can explore the wild landscape at their own pace on the park's more than 20 miles of hiking trails.
You can walk the Beacon Trail all year round and it will only take you 30 minutes to complete the trail. On the way, you'll cross the Bah'a Lapataia footbridges over a coastal forest before passing beaver farms and finally ending up at the coast.
If you are looking for more of a challenge, you might want to consider taking on the park's Coastal Trail, which traverses the stunning coastal environment in a four-hour journey through a stunning coastal environment. Only during the summer in the Southern Hemisphere (November to April) is the Coastal Trail open to the general public.
Kayaking and canoeing are other ways to experience Tierra del Fuego's biodiversity and landscape. The Lapataia River or Lake Acigami are great places to paddle and see the views (the mountains seem even larger from the water). Ensure that your reservations are made through a park tour operator approved by the National Park Service, such as Canal.
There are also beautiful beaches in the park, such as Ensenada Zaratiegui, La Baliza, and Lago Acigami, which are relatively cold all year. In the Lapataia and Ovando Rivers, permit-based sport fishing is allowed between Nov. 1 and May 1.
The best places to stay near Tierra del Fuego National Park
It is possible to camp without a reservation for free, but you must be mindful of the weather and prepare for limited services. There are toilets at the camps of Pipo River, Cove, and Green Lagoon/Cauquenes from November to April, but none at Walker Lagoon, which requires an 8-hour hike.
Ushuaia, the area's urban center, is the best place to stay if you're looking for more than a toilet and a tent. The best resort in Ushuaia is Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa, a five-star property. Despite top-notch accommodations and food, the spa is the real showpiece, featuring huge picture windows overlooking the water, outdoor hot tubs, and trails running through the nearby Cerro Alarkén Nature Reserve.
In the meantime, the three-star Hotel Los Iris is located between Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego National Park, making it easy for guests to visit both places.
The best time to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego has a cold and humid climate with plenty of rain and snow. Southern Hemisphere summer runs from the end of October to April (all trails and excursions are open during this time). Travelers have more time to explore this time of year because the days are long.
During the months of May and September, Tierra del Fuego experiences its first winter. The snowfall can be heavy and intense, roads often close, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing replace hiking and kayaking during their winter season.
Getting to the National Park of Tierra del Fuego
Despite Tierra del Fuego's remoteness - we're talking the "end of the world" here - it is surprisingly easy to reach. Ushuaia Airport (USH) is just over 15 minutes from the park entrance, and Buenos Aires and Ushuaia have several direct flights each day.
You can experience a true arrival experience at the park by taking the End of the World Train.
As you enjoy breathtaking scenery, including the Pipo River, La Macarena waterfall, a tree cemetery, and inaccessible parts of the park, you will learn about the prisoners who made this journey every day.