Tierra del Fuego’s first estancia, Harberton, was founded in 1886 by missionary Thomas Bridges and his family. In a splendid location, the estancia is still owned and run by his descendants. There’s lodging available and day visitors can take guided tours (featuring the island’s oldest house and a replica Yahgan dwelling), dine at the restaurant and visit the Reserva Yecapasela penguin colony.
The location earned fame from a stirring memoir written by Bridges’ son Lucas, titled Uttermost Part of the Earth, about his coming of age among the now-extinct Selk’nam and Yahgan people. Available in English, the book is an excellent introduction to the history of the region and the ways of native peoples.
The estancia also a popular destination for bird watchers. Reserve well in advance as there are no phones here, though Skyping may be possible. With advance permission, free basic camping is allowed at Río Lasifashaj, Río Varela and Río Cambaceres.
Harberton is 85km east of Ushuaia via RN 3 and rough RC-j, a 1½- to two-hour drive. In Ushuaia, shuttles leave from the base of 25 de Mayo at Av Maipú at 9am, returning around 3pm. Day-long catamaran tours are organized by local agencies.