Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Experience the diversity and beauty of Tierra del Fuego: hike, drive, canoe and even catch your own lunch
- An itinerary for Antarctic travellers that strikes the right balance between comfort and adventure
- Minimise travel time and maximise enjoyment: say goodbye to the city for 3 days with your guide and private 4x4 vehicle
- Stay in a comfortable and characteristic hosteria on the shores of Lake Fagnano
- Meet the locals: share time with crab fishermen, ranch owners and a fishing family on the Atlantic coast
Day 1: Depart Ushuaia - 4x4 trip through the Andes
Begin your travels early in the morning as you go off-road into the wild and immense landscapes of Tierra del Fuego; views which have brought travellers to this captivating and remote spot of the globe for centuries.
Head eastwards out of Ushuaia on the panamerican Ruta 3 highway before immersing yourself in the magical forest, via muddy trails that these tough vehicles love to tackle. Stopping at exposed mountain passes, and different scenic vantages your guide will explain what makes this area, at the end of the world so special. Keep your eye out for local birdlife, such as Andean condors, woodpeckers and the impressive caracara hawk.
After crossing the Andes during the morning, we then rest for lunch in our rustic, yet charming, refugio where your guide will cook and serve a traditional Argentine asado BBQ meal for you, with local wines to accompany.
In the afternoon, take to the water in Canadian-style canoes, for a short adventure on the nearby lake (weather conditions permitting). Or, if you prefer, stretch your legs through the forest in this isolated, beautiful part of the world.
Today’s final stretch is by road to the tiny frontier village of Tolhuin, in the heart of the island of Tierra del Fuego. Check into your home for the next 2 nights, a typical Patagonian inn, stunningly located by the shores of Lake Fagnano. Staff will cetrainly make you feel welcome and dinner at the hotel will be one of the locally sourced specialties.
Meals: BBQ Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Patagonian hosteria
Day 2: Drive to the Atlantic coast
After a typical breakfast, with locally-produced bread and jams in a beautiful setting, you’ll take to your 4x4 passing back through Tolhuin where there will be time to stop for photos.
The varied topography and history of the area are captivating and your guide will tell tales of explorers and pioneers as each turn in the road reveals a different perspective of South America’s largest island. Your stops today might be to observe the various species of local flora or the quirky guanaco (a relative of the llama) that has roamed these plains for thousands of years.
Arriving at the Cape of San Pablo you will be in awe of the vastness and beauty of this stunning location as you take a short panoramic walk. This wild and inaccessible part of the Atlantic coast has a famous sentinel: the atmospheric shipwreck of the Desdemona - a sailors’ nemesis and a photographers’ paradise.
Lunch today is with our hosts, in their small home located in front of the sea. The menu is unsurprisingly ‘catch-of-the-day’ and will depend on what our hosts have been able to harvest that morning from their artisanal fishing nets. The ambience is welcoming, rustic and 100% authentic as you get the chance to interact with these truly fascinating settlers at the end of the world. Don’t expect silver cutlery, but do expect food that simply tastes wonderful, and is served with a huge Patagonian smile. (Please note: other meals can be prepared, but please let us know your requirements.)
In the afternoon, we head back towards Tolhuin, and continue the true Patagonian experience. This time you will be in the company of a pioneering family, usually sustaining themselves through tourism and sheep farming. Dinner is held on the ranch and it's a chance to savour the most typical Patagonian dish: asado de cordero (BBQ lamb). This is not just a meal, but a whole ceremony and nobody will go hungry!
In the evening, return to your hosteria, to relax from an epic day’s exploring and prepare for what tomorrow will bring.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & BBQ Dinner
Accommodation: Patagonian hosteria
Day 3: Crab fishing & return to Ushuaia
After breakfast we depart the hosteria, saying goodbye to the mighty Lake Fagnano and start heading back towards Ushuaia, (approx 2hrs). Back across the mountains by the Ruta 3 highway before turning south, via a dirt track that takes us through the dense forest, until we reach the Beagle channel.
Arriving here mid-morning, we will see the characteristic arboles bandera, or flag trees. Their impossibly skewed growth is a testament to the incessant gales that strike these coasts. Shortly after, we reach a tiny fishing village where you’ll meet your friendly hosts, ready to show you their way of life. Here locals carve a living in this extreme location by fishing for centolla, or king crab. You can try your luck at fishing for your own lunch from their small boat as you take to the water for 30 minutes, weather conditions permitting.
This hands-on activity would not be complete unless you were to delight eating your own catch-of-the-day, so we accompany the locals in cooking this delicious regional dish in a rustic, authentic setting. Bon appetit! Another amazing experience resulting in, as the locals say "panza llena, corazon contento" or ‘a full belly means a happy heart’. You will have had the chance to gain insight into how some people forge an existence in the harsh conditions at the End of the World, something that few other Antarctic travellers experience.
This evening you’ll return to Ushuaia, having made friends with your guide and clocked up around 400km (250 miles) travel in three memorable days of exploring, before setting sail for Antarctica.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch (water and 2 alcoholic beverages included)
Accommodation in Ushuaia: not included, can be added if required
Day 4: Ushuaia & embarkation
This morning is for you to relax, and prepare for your Antarctic adventure. You might like to check out the numerous curio stores for all sorts of penguin souvenirs, or perhaps visit one of the city's interesting museums. Your time exploring Tierra del Fuego will have given you a new appreciation for the wonders of this little known corner of the world - something to talk about when you board your Antarctic voyage in the afternoon.
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Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Price: from USD $1,655 per person - based on 2 people sharing accommodation.
The excursion is run on a private basis.
Itinerary is subject to modification and hotel availability.
- Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Accommodation: 2 nights standard twin room, mid-range hotel
- Personal insurance
- English and Spanish speaking guide during excursions
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- Airport transfers
- Any extra/optional excursions e.g. entrance to museums