Tierra del Fuego national park is the southern most national park in Argentina. Bordering Chile, it is also the only coastal national park in Argentina. With many hiking paths, it is one of the top visited places in Ushuaia.
Visit to this park was high on my agenda during my to Ushuaia. The first step was to find a way to reach the place. Several companies run buses to National Park at regular intervals. I could either go to the bus stand and book a ticket or do the reservation via hotel. I booked a seat through hotel as it was more convenient than going to bus stand. It also meant that the bus would come to the hotel to pick me up. The price was same (ARS 700) irrespective of where the booking was done.
The bus promptly picked me up at the hotel. More people joined at the bus stand and the bus started moving towards the National Park. The weather looked bad as it started raining and snowing. We were stopped at the entrance to buy tickets to National Park. The ticket cost was ARS 400 which was valid for 2 days. The bus continued further and stopped where the road ended and sea (Beagle channel) started. The driver explained in Spanish that we could trek on the various trails available in park. He said that he will be back at 3PM, 5PM and 7PM at designated places to pick us back.
Here I met another Indian. He was from Delhi and was covering Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina as part of 3 month holiday in South America. My 3 week travel looked very small in front of him!! He was the only “real” Indian I met in my Argetina/Antractica travel!! Rest of them were most Indians working in US. We trekked together that day.
We started our trek with seaside walk, a 8km hike along the seaside. The trail went through forests climbing up and down the mountains with occasional walk along the shore. The weather had improved by then. The views all along are trail was stunning. We were really away from hustle and bustle of the city life. The place looked so remote and serene. It was my first trekking in Patagonia and I enjoyed it fully.
It took us about 3 hours to complete that stretch. The trail ended as it reached the main road at Rio Lapataia. We had almost walked non stop with some photo stops and we were hungry. We went to the only cafe that was available in the National Park and spent some time in resting while enjoying the views.
This is a huge lake that is shared by Argentina and Chile. A slight detour from cafe took us to the lookout of this beautiful lake.
End of the world
This was about 5 km hike to the end of the world. The buses would also come there to pick us up. We could have either walked on the main road or take trails. We decided to walk on the trail. It went through forests, lakes and had some nice vistas all along the route. It was simply too beautiful. End of the trail brought us to the “End of the world”. Basically, it kind of meant that there was nothing ahead further. The view was simply great!!
It was a long day with long walk. The weather which was scary in the morning had turned into sunny day making the trek a very nice experience. It was now time to wait for our bus to return back to Ushuaia. The driver was prompt on time. As I was resting, I saw a raptor very close by which I was able to shoot using my landscape lens!!
- Plan a day ahead by booking bus tickets. It is better to start on the first bus at 9AM. That gives lot of time for trekking.
- It is possible to camp at designated places in National Park. The entry ticket is also valid for 2 days.
- Pack food and bring enough water. The only cafe in the park is expensive.
- Having apps like MAPS.ME helps while walking on the trail. The area is vast and remote and it is possible that you are the only person on that trail!!
- The place is not commercialised. Walking is the only way to enjoy the National Park.