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TIERRA DEL FUEGO

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Perhaps you will not see the gleaming bonfires all over the island, as Magellan did many centuries ago; but there is no doubt that you will discover more than one striking landscape in Tierra del Fuego, spots teeming with nature that arouse your passion for adventure and warm you to the ancient Onas, the first inhabitants of this place at the end of the world, and their domains.

In Tierra del Fuego you should visit the following places:

Porvenir is the capital of Tierra del Fuego province. Among its attractions is the "Plaza de Armas", dominated by the San Francisco de Sales Church, an ancient construction dating from the late 19th century, built by the Salesian order. Another interesting place is the Fernando Cordero Rusque Museum, which exhibits the fauna of Tierra del Fuego and the archaeological remains of the early inhabitants.

- Baquedano Range and De Oro Circuit (Golden Circuit) are two of the main tours in Tierra del Fuego. They are located 50 kilometers east of Porvenir and their total distance is 115 kilometers. The traveler may enjoy the magnificent views of the Magellan Strait and may visit gold mining areas where ancient techniques are still used, and where the buildings are made with sod walls.

- Historical and Cultural Circuit Inutil Bay. It is located south of Porvenir on the international road. On the way, you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Santa Maria, a reserve of aquatic birds, among them black necked swans, Chilean coot, flamingoes and other bird species. The road leads to Inutil Bay. This got its name from a British hydrographic expedition in 1827 that considered it impossible to build a port there.
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    - Mt Sombrero is a district in Primavera town. It is located in the north of Tierra del Fuego. At the end of the 1950s it was an oil camp, built by American architects who followed the model of their home cities. In the outskirts of Hat Hill is the first oil well discovered in Tierra del Fuego, in 1945. However, this is not the only attraction: 60 kilometers to the northwest, there is a beach area of 15 kilometers which is "inter-oceanic", since it is where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet. At this place, you can see a lot of marine fauna and many oil platforms. At the end of the road, just on the border with Argentina, is the Santo Espiritu Cape Lighthouse which guided the sailing ship traffic in these waters.

    - Vicuña - Beagle Channel Circuit, an astonishing adventure where you can fish sea bass and pejerrey with your bare hands (they remain on the beach when the tide goes out), walk or ride on horseback along paths that have only been visited by expert guides, admiring the virgin forests, hidden lakes and spectacular glaciers.

    - Lake Blanco is ideal for fly fishing of brown and rainbow trout. Valle de los Castores (Beaver Valley) is 11 kilometers away from here. The beavers were introduced in Tierra del Fuego from Canada, and nonchalantly build their dams in front of astonished travelers. The distance from Lake Blanco to Porvenir is 120 km.

    - Lomas Bay is an observatory for migrating birds, such as the beach plover from the north of Chile and Argentina. It is also possible to watch species from USA, Canada and Siberia here. It is located in the northern area of Tierra del Fuego.

    - Alberto de Agostini National Park covers 1,460,000 hectares and is located 80 sea miles southeast of Punta Arenas and west of Williams Port. Its main attraction is the Darwin Mountain range that wanders over ice fields and snowdrifts hanging from the mountain slopes down to the fiords and channels.

    - Marinelli Glacier is the largest and most beautiful one in the area. It has ice walls 40 meters high. Its imposing and attractive appearance fully justify the long trip across the Magellan Strait, following the route to Whiteside Channel between Dawson island and Tierra del Fuego.

    - Cape Horn used to be the only link between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Its discovery opened ocean trade between Europe and America. Steam and globetrotter sailing boats sailed around it right up to the building of the Panama Canal.
    It was discovered in 1616 by the Dutch ship owners Souten and Le Marie, who were looking for a new route to the Pacific. Since then it has been considered the greatest challenge to seamen's ability.
    Many veteran "salts" died in their attempts to round it. These brave men are remembered in a specially erected sculpture of a flying albatross.

    - Puerto Williams is the southernmost city in the world, and the main urban center on Ambarino Island. It has a population of 2,500 and derives its name from John Bulnes, the founder of Bulnes Fort. It is located at the south of Tierra del Fuego, north of Cape Horn.



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