Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fin del Mundo- Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego

Ushuaia, Argentina. The end of the world. The southernmost city on Earth. Where mountains meet the Beagle Channel, there is this old port town suddenly transformed into a tourist hub and the embarkation spot for Antarctica cruises. As it was the end of our journey, we wanted to make sure we made the most of our time at the end of the world!
I believe I mentioned it has become a tourist town right? Well, the post above, stating how many kilometers Ushuaia is from other cities is a major picture-taking spot, a few blocks from the main tourist area. The picture below shows some of the mountains that were the backdrop.
The Argentine province where Ushuaia is located is called Tierra del Fuego- Land of Fires. It gets its name from Ferdinand Magellan, when he made his trip around the world. When Magellan sailed around the tip of South America, he saw small fires along the coast, therefore, Tierra del Fuego. When Darwin made his trip down to South America, he called the native peoples who lived here Fuegians. More on them in a later post.
There is a decent sized national park, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, with part of the park in Argentina and part in Chile. Most of the park is off limits to visitors, however there are some hiking trails. Since we had hiked a lot already, we did some of the easy hikes and enjoyed the scenery.
The park had some amazing lakes and picturesque views for our picnic lunch. A very good use of time for one day in Tierra del Fuego!

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