The Beauty of Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego, which stands for “Land of Fire” in Spanish, is an archipelago or a cluster of islands in the southern most tip of South America. It is located across the Strait of Magellan.  The archipelago consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and a group of many islands, including Cape Horn and Diego Ramirez Islands. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina and is located close to the perennially frozen continent of Antarctica. Tourism is a major component of the local economy.

Brief History

The History of Tierra del Fuego ranges from settlement of the region by the local Yaghan and the Selk’nam people to it’s discovery by the infamous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on whom the strait of Magellan is named after, to Spanish European colonization and the genocide of the natives during the gold rushes in the region.

In recent history, both countries have explored the region for oil extraction and formulated their Antarctic claims. In the 1960’s and 70’s there was even a threat of military conflict looming between the two countries over a few islands which almost led to an Argentine invasion of Chile in 1978. Ths very threat of war caused the Chilean regime of Dictator Augusto Pinochet to give logistical support and information to the British during the Falklands War of 1982.


The archipelago consists of the main Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego island. Its westernmost part belongs to Chile and the rest to Argentina. The Chilean part is the region named Magallanes y Antarctica Chilena whose capital is Punta Arenas. The village of Puerto Toro located here is probably the Southernmost village in the world.

The eastern part of the main island, and a few small islands in the Beagle Channel, belong to Argentina. They are part of the Tierra del Fuego, Antarctic territory and South Atlantic islands province. The capital is Ushuaia, whis claims the title of the southernmost city of the World.

Flora & Fauna

Only few Islands here forests which are classified as Magellanic subpolar. Trees like winter’s bark, Lenga beech, Magellan’s beech, Northofagus Antarctica etc are found here.

The most notable animals found here are Sea Gulls, Guanacos, Foxes, Kingfishers, Condors, Penguins, Owls, Austral Parakeets, North American Beavers, Sea Lion, Leopard Seals etc.