Tierra del Fuego National Park is located in southern Argentina on the island of Tierra del Fuego. It is the southernmost national park in Argentina, and it encompasses an area of 243 square miles (630 sq km).
The park meanders 37 miles (60 km) north from the Beagle Channel while bordering Chile. The park may be accessed either by car or by train; both represent the southernmost terminus. The El Parque station serves the famous End of the World Train.
Although not the first national park for the country, it was the first shoreline protected area to be established as a national park. This is one of the multiple national parks protecting the Patagonia area and the subantarctic forest.
Tierra del Fuego is renowned for spectacular scenic landscapes that feature coastline, forests, glaciers, lakes, mountains, and waterfalls. Fagnano and Roca lakes are lakes found mostly within the borders of the park.
The national park delivers a couple of ecosystems that include the Altos Andes and the Patagonian Forest. The renowned landscape displays jagged mountains, glacially formed valleys, and semi-deciduous forests. The beaches and neighboring bays are dressed with majestic jagged mountains and serene valleys.
The subantarctic forests have proven to be an appropriate home to 20 species of mammals. The Andean fox, the European rabbit, gray fox, guanaco, muskrat, southern river otter, and the North American beaver. Some of these are not indigenous and were introduced by settlers from Europe and North America.
There are approximately 90 species of birds calling Tierra del Fuego national park home. The Andean Condor is one the most popular with some of the other leading birds of interest including an austral parakeet, Patagonian woodpecker, blackish oystercatcher, kelp goose, Magellanic oystercatcher, and the torrent duck.
The marine wildlife features crabs, South American sea lions, sardines, scallop, Falkland sprat, and jellyfish. Penguins, albatrosses, and petrels are the more common sea birds.
The glacial landscapes combined with the majestic mountains and stunning waterfalls are the highlight of the park.
Trails in Tierra del Fuego
There are several trails on the islands and around the national park that allow for scenic exploration and outdoor enjoyment.
H Island Trail: This s a short half-mile (0.8 km) loop trail with very limited elevation change. The loop provides lookouts over the coastline and water below. The trail is rated easy.
Senda Costera Trail: This is a longer 4.6-mile (7.4 km) that meanders along the coastline of Lapatald Bay. It is a scenic trail providing views of the surrounding mountains and the bay that lies between them. There is an elevation gain of 770 feet (234.7 m) with some of the terrain being rocky.
Lake Acigama Trail: This is a moderate rated trail that covers 5.8-miles (9.3 km) out and then returning back again. The trail follows the coastline of the lake giving a chance to see wildlife. It has an elevation gain of 725 feet (220.9 km).
Laguna del Caminante Trail: This is a challenging trail with an ascent of 3,635 feet (1,107.9 m) over 15.9-miles (25.6 km). The ascent up provides views of the mountain terrain as well as a view out over the lake from the summit.
Coastal Trail: Locally known as Senda Costera, this trail connects Ensenada Bay to Lapataia Bay.
Tierra del Fuego Highlights
- End of the World Train
- Glacial landscapes with mountains and waterfalls
- Britannica, Tierra del Fuego, https://www.britannica.com/place/Tierra-del-Fuego-archipelago-South-America, retrieved September 2019.
- Lonely Planet, Tierra del Fuego, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/tierra-del-fuego, retrieved September 2019.
- Patagonia-Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, https://www.patagonia-argentina.com/en/tierra-del-fuego-national-park/, retrieved September 2019.
- Visit Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego National Park, http://turismoushuaia.com/zonas/parque-nacional/?lang=en_US, retrieved September 2019.