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Introducing Tierra Del Fuego (Chile)

Tierra del Fuego - the Land of Fire - is the island that forms the hooked tip and the end of Patagonia, and has always held a special allure to those of an adventurous spirit. Split down the middle between Chile and Argentina, the Chilean side is a practically untamed expanse of massive sheep farms and unknown mountains, sprinkled with remote lakes. The provincial capital and only town of size is the rusting hamlet of Porvenir (optimistically meaning Future). The Argentine half boasts the energetic regional capital of Ushuaia and the impressive Darwin Range, which is technically the tailbone of the Andes. Generally a chilly and sometimes a downright cold place, the Land of Fire moniker may seem a bit misplaced. Sources of the name are disputable, but range from the crimson-and-orange beech forest covering some of the mountains to the many small fires that the Yahgan indigenous people always kept close by (even in their canoes) for warmth.

The Beagle Channel runs along the bottom of the island and separates Tierra del Fuego from Chilean Isla Navarino, a few uninhabited island groups and the physical end of the Americas at Cabo de Hornos. A ferry ride or sail in the path of the 19th-century explorations of Fitzroy and Darwin aboard the Beagle through the Beagle Channel is a memorable excursion. Blue glaciers and steep green peaks drop to the water's edge, just a short distance from the side of the boat.

And if Tierra del Fuego is not raw and exciting enough for you - Antarctica is just a boat ride away.