One of the highlights and must dos if you are in the Ushuaia area for any length of time, is visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is not a far drive from the town of Ushuaia, and it offers a wide range of activities. The particular trip I did was a full day trip that involved both trekking and canoeing.
The same guide company, Canal Fun and Nature, that did my Lago Fagnano trip the prior day also provided the guides for this trip. The group was definitely bigger for this outing, since we were all on a bus. After getting to the park, we got outfitted for our canoe trip down a river, through a lagoon, and ultimately ending at Lapataia Bay. Since it was spring down in Ushuaia, the weather was on the chilly side, and it was good to get some waterproof pants and boots on.
We were broken up into groups and given basic paddling instructions, and then we set off from Lake Acigami and canoed down the Lapataia River. The paddling was pretty easy most of the time, because the current often just took us down the river. There were spots where the water was fairly shallow, and we had to strategically paddle to get through it. But it was a very pleasant journey surrounded by distant mountains and green shores.
After a couple hours of paddling, we ended up at Lapataia Bay, which is where the Pan American Highway 3 ends. The viewpoint was really pleasant, though we didn’t spend too much time lingering, because it was lunch time and we needed to get to our lunch hut.
Setup for lunch was similar as my lunch the previous day, though I missed the abundance of grilled meat, but there was plenty of wine. However, unlike the previous day, I definitely watched my wine intake, because I knew we were only half done with the day’s activities. We still had a hike ahead of us.
The afternoon was a guided 8km hike along the Senda Costera (Coastal Trail). I would rate the hike in the medium difficulty, though fitness fiends would think it was pretty easy. We were dropped off by the side of the road and immediately headed into the forest. There is a lot of good forest cover in the area, and the trail is clearly marked as it wends its way through the woods.
The trail itself goes up and down over the terrain. I personally found some of the uphills to be challenging, and deliberately stuck close to the guide up front, so as not be left behind. The guide was kind enough to help me when we reached big obstacles to traverse (like fallen trees) or some particularly tricky down hill.
The trail can be done in either direction, though I was glad we did it in the direction we did. Both directions will have their share of short but tricky uphill sections, but it looked like the other way would have had more and longer challenging uphills. I may watch my feet carefully on steep downhills, because of my clumsy nature, but it wasn’t hard to do physically.
My body did get tired though, even though it was only 8 km, but we were rewarded with some very nice views of the Beagle Channel, with its blue seas and pretty mountains. We ended the hike at Ensenada Bay, which is where the post office at the end of the world is located. By that point, we were in the open air, and the strong Tierra del Fuego winds ensured we didn’t linger too long at the shore.
It was definitely a good day of physical activity and a variety of scenery to get a taste of what Tierra del Fuego National Park has to offer.