Reaching the End of the World

Glacier pond in Tierra del FuegoWhen a place is called “Tierra del Fuego” (Land of Fire), and “The southernmost city in the world,” things are bound to get extreme. Upon hearing about Ushuaia, Argentina’s rugged landscape–chock-full of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, sea lions, penguins, and cormorant–we resolved to make Ushuaia our first Patagonia stop.


Ushuaia under cloud coverTo get a grasp on this wild port town and its famous Beagle Channel, we started our stay with a five-hour boat tour with Rumba Sur. Pulling away from the dock, you see the houses spilling down the hill and appreciate the all the hard-core settlers who thought a town below a glacier would be a great place to live.


Seals and penguins in UshuaiaWithin twenty minutes, we arrived at our first sea lion colony, a rock covered with lots of blubber. And as if they weren’t already cute enough, the middle sea lion (above) seemed to be waving us a hello.


Birds of UshuaiaPenguin lookalikes, these Cormorants were covering the majority of the rock islands. It was beautiful to watch them fish.


Lighthouse in Ushuaia Beagle ChannelOne of many lighthouses shepherding weary and weather-worn sailors into port.


Penguins of UshuaiaSeeing that they are my favorite animal of all time, it was quite hard picking only two penguin photos, as the experience of pulling up their colony shores was magical. If you want to see our other favs, check out the full Ushuaia slide-show below or see them in action here.


Magellanic penguins and Gentoo penguinsOn our journey we encountered two types of penguins, the Magellanic penguins and Gentoo penguins, both captured in this shot down the beach.


Boat down the Beagle Channel in UshuaiaAs we meandered home from our sea safari, the wind whipped up quite a fuss, but being the only person on the roof of the boat for nearly an hour was very peaceful.


Tierra del Fuego hikeDay 2: We dove into nearby Tierra Del Fuego National Park for a 24km-hike over peaks, through valleys, ancient forests, peat bogs, blue lagoons, and lush islands.


Post office at the end of the worldAlong our hike we came across the southernmost post office in the world. This guy has been running this place since his 20s, swapping bundles of mail with passing boats.


Coastal plains and windy rivers in Tierra del FuegoAfter hiking to a marvelous peak over looking the park, we took the coastal path home, with moments sweeping up high through the trees then down low along the rocky beaches.


Fall foliage in Ushuaia, Tierra del FuegoDay 3: We awoke before dawn broke to hike the Martial Glaciar before our 11:45 flight, which had us arriving at the trail head around 8am for two hours of pure unadulterated glacial beauty all to ourselves. We were so lucky to catch the fall foliage in full bloom.


Glacial pond in Ushuaia, Tierra del FuegoA small glacial pool as we approached the glacier. The water was so pure and delicious it was begging me to dip in, but alas the flight to Calafate might not have been so pleasurable in icy underwear.


Glaciar Marcial in Ushuaia, ArgentinaAs you glance at this photo it looks like your standard patch of cliff snow. Until you look close, a bit off center, and see Anne with her hands stretched high.


Glacier Martial, Ushuaia ArgentinaThey say you will always remember your first glacier (and if someone isn’t saying that, they should be, because it is true). Martial was far and away the smallest of the 7 glaciers we have hiked, however it was hands down the most technical ascent we undertook in all of Patagonia. With rock-slides at every step, and large caverns below ice sheets, and waterfall-wet paths, the coffee and oranges at the top tasted all the sweeter.


HoneyTrek love by Mike and AnneSpreading HoneyTrek love across the globe. Its all about the adventure, the amazing people, the treks, the conversations with fellow global vagabonds, and learning to love everywhere you experience, and everyone you meet.

  • Kevin

    Great write up and pics guys, I feel like I should be getting up from the couch and heading out the door right now.  🙂

  • Awesome post guys…  I love the way you let the pictures speak for themselves while guiding the reader through your experience!

    Koodos! 😀

    •  glad you like the format Jeet. We try to combo my photos, and annes ability to tell a story into a solid post. thanks again!

  • Most awesome, wish we were there!

  • I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Tierra del Fuego.  I was jealous of your trip before but now… 

    •  yeah it was so awesome down there Sally, put it on your list! glad to see such awesome stuff going on for you and the news world. top #110 commentators. awesome!

  • great photos!!!! Mike, Remembering your dad liked the penguins too…

    • yeah he did. probably why they are my favorite animal. that and they are just plain AWESOME! thanks for the love on the photos Aunt Carole, and thanks for taking the time to leave a post. 🙂

  • great photos. Remembering your dad liked those penguins. Sorry he probably never saw them so close!!! love ya, Aunt Carole

    • Yeah, i remember dad liked the penguins! it was so great to see them up close. thanks for the comments aunt carole! miss you!

  • hi! great photos. Remembering your dad liked those penguins too….

  • David Carillet

    Favorite post so far, the autumn colors there are amazing!

    •  favorite post so far eh? awesome, cause it was one of our favorite things to experience to date. so many amazing things down there. and yeah we were stoked to see fall foliage in March.

  • I’m thrilled that you included the post office. That’s where my husband and I mailed our wedding announcements (we were married at sea off the coast of Chile). Funny but true: some of the announcements arrived in California a month later and some arrived a year and three months later! We watched the postmaster affix the stamps and the Fin del Mundo postmark, and then I think they were dispatched by donkey. 🙂  Great photos!

    • That´s amazing, Staci! What a story! Was his mustache as long back then too?

      *”[We] arise in the morning torn between a desire to change the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it very hard to plan each day” – E.B.White*
      We would love to have you along for the journey….

  • JimSteere

    I love love love the post office … can you imagine?! gosh would love to post a card from there.  All the pic’s were just amazing … this is an extreme geographic edge of your journey.  what a world!   all the best to you both. 

    • Yeah it was so raw ad amazing down there Jim, really soaks you in. And so few people make it that much more magical. Glad you like the photos!!!

  • wow! – You totally needed your rock ski’s on this leg of the trip. Amazing photo’s – some of my favorite so far

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