Ushuaia, Argentina

February 3, 2012

After a rough day at sea, coming north from Antarctica, we docked at Ushuaia, Argentina - Fin del Mundo!  (the end of the world).  It is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province of Argentina, and is generally regarded as the southernmost city in the world.  The setting for Ushuaia is magnificent, surrounded by mountains and facing a large bay on the Beagle Channel.

We came to Ushuaia in 2010, and had a wonderful time on a wildlife tour.  This time we opted for an excursion called ‘National Park and Beagle Channel’ that started with a boat ride to view wildlife and dropped us off at Tierra del Fuego National Park.  This was just a brief wildlife tour, but the birds and animals were all there waiting for us, starting with the cormorants pictured here.  We sailed around the lighthouse and subsequently were able to see Brown Skuas and Rock Cormorants, as well as King Cormorants and Southern Sea Lions (picture with King Cormorants).

The scenery as we approached the National Park was spectacular (is it cheating that the mountains in the background are in Chile?)

The point at which we got off the boat is the extreme southern end of the Pan American Highway, that runs from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.  We boarded a tour bus and proceeded to drive through the park.  One of the first things we learned is that someone once imported beavers with the idea of starting a fur business.  Unfortunately for them that didn’t work out because of poor quality pelts.  But the beavers have continued to multiply and the beaver population is now almost as great as the human population (70,000 beavers, 75,000 people).  The beavers have done a lot of damage to the forest, and the government is now working to get rid of them.

We had several photo stops, as well as a stop at the Alakush Visitor Center, where we were able to watch a flock of black-necked swans in the lake across the road.

Possibly the neatest thing we saw was an endangered red fox in the woods.  It would be fun to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park on our own, if possible.  They do have campsites available for those who like to camp.  We enjoyed Ushuaia this time as much as we had the last time, and would like to visit again.

There are more photos in this album.

                                                               Southern End of the Pan American Highway

© Susan L. Stone 2015