The Park at the End of the World

August 10, 2017 - 3 minutes read

Photo courtesy of El Tren del Fin del Mundo

It’s not the southernmost national park on our planet — that honor goes to nearby Cape Horn in Chile — but Tierra del Fuego National Park at the bottom end of Argentina comes in a close second.

Located just 20 minutes west of downtown Ushuaia, the park is easy to explore in just a single day after or before an Australis cruise through the region. And to make it even easier, Australis has just published a new eBook called A Practical Guide to Tierra del Fuego National Park that tells you everything you need to know about visiting the green space.

“The superb hikes and activities available in this protected area are reason alone to visit this unique park at the end of the world,” says the guide. “But it’s the combination of the fascinating history of Tierra del Fuego’s native inhabitants and the sublime views of the legendary Beagle Channel that make this national park one of the most impressive in Argentina.”

Buses from Ushuaia to the park entrance depart roughly every hour. Visitors must pay an entrance fee of US$14 at the Centro de Visitantes Alakush (Visitors Center), which offers exhibits about the park’s natural and human history.

The short De la Isla Trail meanders past the Cormoranes archipelago and along the shore of Lapataia Bay, a small fjord on the edge of the Beagle Channel. Those with more stamina can hike the six-mile Hito XXIV Trail along Lago Roca to the border with Chile where the small obelisk marks the frontier of the two countries.

Another way to reach the park is El Tren del Fin del Mundo (a.k.a. the Southern Fuegian Railway or “Train at the End of the World” — a popular day-trip from Ushuaia. A replica of the prison train that once transported convicts, this train shuttles through the Pico Valley and provides a means of exploring the park at a leisurely pace.

The initial stop is at Cascada de la Macarena Station to learn about the native Yámana people who once inhabited the region. From there, the train continues through spectacular scenery of sub-polar forest, lagoons and mountains before turning around at Parque Station for the return journey.