Tierra del Fuego, which means Land of Fire in Spanish, is an archipelago off the southern tip of South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago's main island is split between Chile and Argentina. This area was thought to be the end of the world by many early explorers, and it certainly feels utterly remote today as well. On a tour of Tierra del Fuego in Chile, you can visit Cape Horn, go hiking, fishing, and explore the various islands of the archipelago.
Be sure to prepare for chilly temperatures when traveling to Tierra del Fuego. Tierra del Fuego Chile has a subpolar oceanic climate with long and wet winters, brief and cold summers, and even temperatures through the year. The climate is similar to that of the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutian islands, and Iceland.
The name Tierra del Fuego came from explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who visited in 1520 and saw, from the sea, the bonfires that the Yaghan Indians lit for warmth in the cold climate. Originally, the islands were called the Land of Smoke but later were renamed the Land of Fire. The Yaghan Indians were the earliest known human inhabitants of the Tierra del Fuego.
The biggest Chilean towns in Tierra del Fuego are Porvenir, Puerto Williams, and Puerto Toro. Porvenir Chile, which is the capital of the Chilean Province of Tierra del Fuego, is located on the main island. Puerto Williams, on the other hand, is on Navarino, which is one in a group of smaller islands in Tierra del Fuego Chile. Puerto Williams is the capital of the Antarctica Chilena Province. Puerto Toro is a bit further south, and holds the distinction of being the world's southernmost village.
At the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego Chile archipelago is Cape Horn. Widely considered the southernmost point in South America, Cape Horn Chile features treacherous waters, with strong winds, strong currents, giant waves, and icebergs. Before the Panama Canal opened, such hazards led to the sinking of many ships carrying international cargo around the world. Today, Cape Horn Chile is still considered a major yachting challenge, and is included in routes for sailing around the globe.
There are many ways to tour Tierra del Fuego in Chile. One of the easiest ways is by booking through a tour company. Some tours specialize in the historical and cultural aspects of the islands, others on the birds, fish or other natural highlights of the archipelago. You can also tour Tierra del Fuego in Chile explore by walking, cycling, and sailing (though much of the waters are very dangerous).
No matter how you choose to tour Tierra del Fuego in Chile, this is sure to be one attraction that will make your vacation unique and memorable. Whether you decide to go hiking, watch the wildlife, or learn about the history of Cape Horn Chile and the surrounding area, a vacation to this part of South America should include a stop in this beautiful area.