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Sailing the Beagle Canal is one of the must-see activities every traveler has to do when visiting Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. This sailing is one of the favorite excursions for tourists who arrive from all sides to appreciate the Patagonian beauty in all its splendor. It is one of the most important activities not only because of the landscape beauty of the place, but also because of the history of the legendary Beagle Canal.
The Beagle Canal is a narrow seafront, between Argentina and Chile. Its extension is about 280 kilometers east-west and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The original name is Onashaga, which in the Yagan language means “canal of the hunters or the channel of the onas” The Yagan language is spoken by the native peoples of this corner of the world, who were the Yamanas. The name Beagle is inherited from the name of the famous British ship HMS Beagle, which made an expedition in the early 1800s by Captain Robert Fitz Roy, next to him was the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, who traveled our country for two years and was particularly fascinated by the great natural diversity and beauty of Patagonia.
Navigation of the Beagle Canal begins at the port of Ushuaia. Tickets can be purchased at the tourist dock, where there is a wide variety of companies offering this trip. From here, one can see the city becoming smaller and smaller crowned in the background by the great mountains. There are different options to perform. One of them the navigation that lasts approximately 3 hours. The tour includes a visit to the Bridges Islands, as well as passing through Bird Island, where you pass through the legendary Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, which represents one of the most typical postcards in Ushuaia. The lighthouse, whose name in French means “the explorers”, was built in 1920 and has a height of 11 meters. It has been mistakenly called “the lighthouse of the end of the world” , by the novel of the same name by Jules Verne, however, the writer's inspiration comes from the lighthouse of San Juan de Salvamento, located on Isle de los Estados.
During the summer months there are two options that add to the tour, one that lasts 6 hours and includes a visit to Martillo Island, where a colony of Magellanic penguins inhabits. Another option is to visit Estancia Harberton, the first stay founded in Tierra del Fuego in 1886. Navigation takes about 8 hours. When disembarking you stay in place 2 hours and it is possible to take a tour of the town of the estancia where you visit the first nature reserve of Tierra del Fuego, the shearing shed, the carpentry, the boat house and finally, the garden of the main house.
A visit to Ushuaia is not complete without making this beautiful navigation. Sailing the waters of the Beagle Canal is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.
Publication Date: 04/05/2021
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