For those looking to explore Patagonia at a relaxed - yet active - pace! Embark from Ushuaia, the "Gateway to Antarctica" to Harberton Farm. Board zodiacs and wind through the Beagle Channel to Gable Island, Martillo Island and a penguin rookery. Spend a relaxing day at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's first coastal national park. Wander its trail system, enjoy a picnic lunch at Lake Roca, and take inflatable canoes downstream into crystal clear Laguna Verde. Enjoy birdwatching and breathtaking scenery on this extension.
Day 1 : Arrive Ushuaia Day 2 : Penguin Island, Gable Island & Estancia Harberton Day 3 : Trek and Paddle Tierra del Fuego National Park Day 4 : Continue to your next destination!
With previous incarnations as a missionary outpost and, subsequently, prison town, Ushuaia is now most well-known as the "Gateway to Antarctica." From its dramatic setting between the Beagle Channel and the rugged glaciated peaks rising from the landscape, opportunities for hiking and exploring abound. The afternoon is free to wander local museums or explore nearby trails.
Day 2 Penguin Island, Gable Island & Estancia Harberton
This morning you cross the green central valley of Tierra del Fuego to reach Estanicia Harberton, a private ranch built by the first British missionaries to reach the area. After a short visit you'll board a zodiac and wind through the Beagle Channel to Gable Island, part of the Harberton estate. Cruise to the penguin rookery on Martillo Island, home to Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. While you can't disembark on Martillo Island the zodiac cruise will take you close to the penguin colonies. The location of the island makes it a birdwatcher's paradise; be on the lookout for petrels, skuas, cormorants, seagulls, and albatross. Continue on to Gable Island were you will disembark for a picnic lunch in an old, rustic shelter before embarking on a 3 hour hike around the island. Your path will lead to many amazing vantage points of the Beagle Channel, and if the weather cooperates you might even glimpse the distant town of Puerto Williams across the Chilean border. Late afternoon sail back to Estanicia Harberton and continue back to Ushuaia.
Day 3 Trek and Paddle Tierra del Fuego National Park
Just north of Ushuaia is the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's first coastal national park. The trail system of easy and undemanding paths makes this an ideal place to spend a relaxing day exploring Patagonia. We'll wander along the coastal path, undoubtedly the most beautiful in the park. The 3 ½ hour hike takes us through forests of both high and low deciduous beech, evergreen beech, winterbark, firebrush, and more. We finish the walk at Lake Roca in time for lunch. After eating our fill, we climb into inflatable canoes and begin the easy downstream paddle to the Ovando River. The crystal-clear water runs into Laguna Verde, one of the most picturesque, panoramic spots in the park. Our take-out point is Lapataia Bay, where we may see petrels, albatross, steamer ducks, and on occasion, penguins. We'll return to Ushuaia for dinner and a restful sleep.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.