The Tierra del Fuego
(or Land of Fire) archipelago is the southern part of South America. Since 1881 the border
between Argentina and Chile runs right through the main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. Here, at the Beagle Channel
shore sits the world's southernmost city Ushuaia.
Even further south the island Isla Hornos, also known as Cape Horn, holds
a small Chilean Navy station with a pilot service. Here you also find the famous Albatros monument.
The area got its name from Ferdinant
Magellan who sailed through the Drake Passage in 1520 on his quest to find a west passage to Asia for the Spanish Crown.
arrived here around 12.000 BP and carved out a living in the harsh environment.
Late in the 19th century a gold rush brought
droves of Argentines and Chileans to the area and they de-facto wiped out the local Yaghan and Selk'nam people.
was found in the 1940-ties. A dispute over some islands almost led to a war between the two countries in 1978. During the Falklands
the Chileans reported Argentine jet movements to the Brittish.
We visited the area in February/March 2009.