Tierra del Fuego and Antartica


Bottom end of the South American
Split between Chile and Argentina
Separated by the Magellan Strait
Home to Punta Arenas
   


 

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Tierra del Fuego (“Land of Fire”), an archipelago, is at the bottom end of the South American continent. It's split between Chile and Argentina and it holds nearly as much fascination for travelers as Patagonia.  Comprised of a number islands, the archipelago consists of Isla Grande, the biggest island in South America. Argentina possesses the easternmost half of Isla Grande, plus Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) and a smattering of tiny islets to the south; the rest (the western part and almost all the other islands) is Chilean territory. The capital of Magallanes and the Antártica Chilena Region is Punta Arenas, situated on the mainland across the strait. The biggest Chilean towns are Porvenir, capital of the Chilean Province of Tierra del Fuego, located on the main island; and, on Navarino Island, Puerto Williams, which is the capital of the Antártica Chilena Province. Puerto Toro lies a few kilometers south of Puerto Williams and is arguably the southernmost village in the world.  Flat plains cover much of northern and central Isla Grande, but further south, the countryside becomes less barren, with thick woodland and crystalline rivers near little Camerón stretching southeast towards a number of exquisite lakes, including Lago Blanco, and the densely forested 2000m peaks of the Cordillera Darwin in the far south. Isla Navarino, home to the tiny Puerto Williams, has one of the most challenging hiking trails in South America, the Los Dientes Circuit. Beyond Navarino is Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn), the land’s end of the Americas, accessible only by sea or air. Activities you can consider doing in this part of Chile include exploring beautiful Lapatia Bay, famous penguin Colony, a boat ride along the Beagle Channel, crossing to the Argentinean City of Ushuaia where you can take a voyage/excursion to the Antarctica.


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