TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK
Tierra del Fuego Travel Blog› entry 4 of 23 › view all entries
November 28th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
It was a 4hr flight to Ushuaia, we all flew on LAN. We flew from a smaller airport to Ushuaia called the Jorge Newberry airport. Everybody going to the hurtigruten boat were all in the same flight. The airport was clean and organized. They even served a full meal. I slept in the plane since I could not sleep in the humid hotel room.
We arrived in Ushuaia international airport. It was such a cute small airport. it looked like a log cabin. it was also under construction. They are building another terminal. It was a 20min drive to the port of Ushuaia. It was very cold about 50 degrees big weather difference from BA.
Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day. it would have been a gorgeous day if it was sunny to enter the park. It was about an hour drive to the park. I took some photos of the residential home. The view of the city was foggy and but it had plenty of snow. I would love to come here to hike and camp. I took photos of beaver dams, moss on trees. which means it is a healthy forest if there are grey and green moss growing on trees.
I will never forget our tour guide, Sergio. He always adds a “mmmm” on the end of a sentence. You had to be there to listen to him. I wish I recorded it. He was very informative and friendly.
We stopped by a visitor center and gift shop. We were upland goose and rabbits running around freely. I took many photos of them. the gift shop there does not accept credit cards so bring pesos. They lost plenty of business there including me. I wanted this beanie too, I hope I can find other in town. My ears are frozen!!!!
We did not have to be on the boat until 5pm. the bus dropped us off at 1pm to walk around to explore shop and eat. Mum and I walked around to take photos. We went to the info building to ask where to eat king crabs. They are known for that and i heard chocolate and caramel. A man working on a Patagonia tour boat suggested us to eat at Bar Label , an irish pub.
HISTORY OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK
Tierra del Fuego National Park is a national park on the Argentine part of the island of Tierra del Fuego, within Tierra del Fuego Province. It was founded in 1960.
Located close to the city of Ushuaia, the national park stretches 60 km north from the Beagle Channel along the Chilean border. Its 630 square kilometres include parts of the Fagnano and Roca lakes, the second of which opens into the Lapataia Bay on the southern coast, a popular point for treks. The park has dramatic scenery, with waterfalls, forests, mountains and glaciers. Parts of the park are closed to protect the environment.
Sign inside the park marking the end of Pan-American road.
Forests of ñire, lenga and coihue in the lower parts of the park are home to several animal species. Twenty species of terrestrial mammals include guanacos, foxes and beavers, which were introduced to the area and have caused serious damage, as have rabbits and muskrats. 90 species of bird include carancas, Torrent Ducks, Austral Parakeets, condors and oystercatchers.
The park can be reached from the outskirts of Ushuaia by the End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo), a tourist steam train running over 5 km.
Created by the Argentine government in the year 1960 to protect the southernmost sub-Antarctic forests, Tierra del Fuego National Park is the country's only park with an ocean shoreline.
With an area of 63,000 hectares, this National Park is situated in the southwestern area of Tierra del Fuego, along the international border with Chile. It boasts a typical glacial landscape, with a mountainous area and deep valleys washed by rivers and lakes, and mountains ranging from the North West to the South East.
On the coastal area, Lapataia and Ensenada bays intercalate cliffs and small beaches which offer the ideal environment for the coastal bird fauna. Lenga and coihue forests cover the most humid regions and the coast of the Beagle Channel.
In spring, one may find the Magellan orchid, the michay opening its yellow flowers, and the "hongos en polvera" (a variety of fungi).
There are two types of forests in this area: the lenga and coihue forests which grow in the most humid regions and mainly on the coast of the Beagle Channel. The thick forest is open, with an abundance of mosses and ferns.
Among the forests, there are large peat mosses, flooded areas where Sphagnum genus moss grow almost exclusively. On the peat moss borders you can find rushes, a small insectivorous plant, and small thick forests with ñire, canelo, leñador and notro trees.
In spring one may also find in the Park Magellan orchid, michay opening its yellow flowers, and the "hongos en polvera" (a variety of fungi). There are also yellow violets; white, green and yellow orchids, everlasting flowers, white and yellow daisies and many others.
The bird fauna is varied and easy to watch. The Magellanic Oystercatcher, the Upland Goose, the Black-browed Albatross - over 2 mt high, the Steamer Duck, the Magellanic Woodpecker and the Thorn-tailed Rayadito are some of the species which belong to this area.
Among the mammals, the guanaco and the silver fox are peculiar to this area. There are also species introduced by man such as the rabbit, the muskrat and the Canadian beaver whose permanent wood cutting activity in order to build dams, causes floods in the forest thus killing many trees.
As to the sweet water fish fauna, we find the puyén and the peladilla. There are also exotic salmons such as the rainbow trout and the brown trout ideal for sport-fishing. At sea we find the sea bass, the codfish, tail hake and sardines.
Among the sea rocks, there is an abundance of mussels, cholgas (small mussels) and snails.
From the harbor, taking Maipú Ave to the southwest, and then National Route Nº 3, you leave the city until arriving at the skirts of Mt Susana, where convicts from the old prison used to work. Also, you will find the "Fueguian South Railway Station". From there, you can start an optional tour.
You may continue along the Pipo River valley up to the detour to enter Ensenada Bay, from where you can see Redonda Island and Estorbo Island and on the other coast of the Beagle Channel, Mt Nevados in the Sampaio range, Chile.
On returning to Route Nº 3, along a narrow road with different Fueguian flora species by its side, you will arrive at Roca Lake.
Towards the other end of the park, where Route Nº 3 finishes, in Lapataia Bay are the Green Lagoon and the Black Lagoon, a breathtaking peat moss under formation.
Finally, you will walk along the beaver dam, which will take you back to Lapataia Bay.
Furthermore, there are numerous pedestrian crosswalks in this National Park, starting at different points along Route Nº 3 and reaching wonderful places:
The 800 m track crosses part of the Cormorant Archipelago up to Green Lagoon. It runs along the banks of the Lapataia and Ovando rivers.
Negra Lagoon Track
400 meters away from the Park, its dark colored waters are due to the presence of big peat mosses.
Lapataia Vantage Point Walk
An alternative access option to Lapataia Bay, after a 500-meter walk, through the lenga forest, a scenic pathway affords a striking view of the bay, and winds down to its shore.
Peat Bog Walkway
400 meters away from Lapataia Bay, along the way through lenga forests may be seen abandoned beaver dams.
There are also several alternatives for longer trips:
Pampa Alta Track
Connecting Ensenada and Rio Pipo camping grounds, this 8 km long track, takes you through lenga and coihue forests. The panoramic view of the Beagle Channel is very interesting.
XXIV Border Marker Post Track
A 10 km track, it runs along the Northern coast of Lake Roca, of glacial origin.
Mt Guanaco Track
An 8 km walk up a steep slope. The mountain is 970 m high.
Within the National Park, there is a developed camping area in Lake Roca and several other free camping areas in Lapataia Bay, Ensenada Bay, Pipo River, etc.
Some "concheros" (circles showing accumulation of mollusks), in Lapataia Bay, show the location of old huts (IV century) which belonged to seafood canoeist groups, historically known as "Yámanas". Research carried out on Salmón Island determined that one of these huts was 1700 years old.
(Intendencia del Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego - Calle San Martín 1395, Ushuaia)
* Driving any type of vehicle away from National Route Nº 3 and clearly sign-posted secondary roads is strictly forbidden.
* Maximum speed within the Park is of 40 km/h.
* If you wish to fish, you must bear in mind the opening and closing dates for the fishing season, and that a license is requested to carry out this activity. Legislation differs from the rest of the province, considering this is a National Park.
* Removal of seafood and other sea species is forbidden due to red tide. It is also forbidden to remove any elements from the ecosystem.
* Do not write on rocks or trees. Take care of the ecosystem at all times. Hunting or carrying weapons will be severely punished.
* Do not litter. Place your rubbish in a bag and take it with you to the city where you will be able to dispose of it in the corresponding garbage containers.
* In the area of Lake Roca it is advisable to boil water for 5 minutes before drinking it.
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