SIGHTSEEING

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					SIGHTSEEING
Half-day Beagle Channel
Board the comfortable and speedy catamaran at the pier in the downtown area of Ushuaia which
moves off along the Beagle Channel. The town is rapidly left behind and appears, map-like, spread
out on the lower slopes of the mountain that rises behind it, topped by the Martial Glacier. The
catamaran glides along the channel, out of the Bay of Ushuaia, past the estancias originally
belonging to the first settlers set like miniatures against the towering grey mountain ranges. The
historic lighthouse Les Eclaireurs, the inspiration for Jules Verne’s novel The Lighthouse at the End
of the World, lies on a rocky promontory which stretches into the choppy waves. On the way back
to Ushuaia, the catamaran passes small islands of rock rising from the wind-tossed waters, home to
noisy communities of seals, sea lions, cormorants, giant petrels and many other species of sea-birds.
Half day Lapataia Park
A short drive west of Ushuaia to the Lapataia National Park, which borders the Beagle Channel
across the valley of the Pipo river. Particularly beautiful in autumn, when the lower slopes of the
mountains and the valleys are splashed with the glorious orange, gold, copper and russet hues of
the lengas -beeches- the National Park conserves all the appeal of exuberant nature as well as being
a living monument to the island’s history. Age-old forest fires, often set unwittingly by fur-
trappers and hunters have scarred the hillsides while the rivers which flow through the valley
floors have become marshy swamps criss-crossed by dams and rotting logs thanks to the incessant
activity of the growing beaver population. Twenty five pairs of beavers were imported to the
island in the early 1900s by ambitious fur-traders who envisaged untold wealth in a land where the
native predators of this species, the lynx and the bear, were unknown. A century later, the local
beaver population is now in the hundreds of thousands and has wreaked havoc with the island’s
natural eco-system while nothing more was ever heard of the fur-traders and their ambitions.
Half day Lago Escondido
Drive out of Ushuaia and follow the road which leads along the valley floor of the River Olivia,
under the gaze of Mount Olivia and a cluster of mountain peaks called the Five Brothers. The route
heads up the Garibaldi Pass up into the mountains ending with the breathtaking view of the Lago
Escondido, the hidden lake which mirrors every change in the windy southern skies in its often
turbulent waters.
Train to the end of the world
One of the two narrow-gauge tracks left in Argentina, the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino used to
ferry prisoners from the island’s prison stronghold into the National Park to fell and chop trees.
The “Trencito de los presos”, the Little train of the prisoners departs from the Fueguino railway
station with the stationmaster’s shrill whistle and steams slowly along the Pipo river until it reaches
the Macarena waterfalls. A native Indian camp can be viewed at this point, recreated on the basis
of evidence provided by today’s descendants of the tribes as well as documentation left by the early
settlers. The train continues into the National Park with its stunning views of monte Susana, the
Martial Glacier and the large swamp where the relics of the prisoners’ logging tasks can still be
seen.



            Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                      info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com

				
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posted:11/16/2011
language:English
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