- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
I was surprised by the deep blue of the Beagle Channel, with its far away horizon where you imagined the Chilean coast must be. It made me think about all the marine adventures and shipwrecks that have marked its history.
There are lots of different ways of navigating the Beagle Channel from the tourist port of Ushuaia. If you want a trip that's a bit more adventurous, some of the companies include island visits so you can observe local wildlife. For example, Isla de los Lobos for its sea lions; or Isla de los Pajaros for its seabirds.
From the Beagle Channel there is a magnificent view of Ushuaia. The Andes behind the town form a sober background to the brightness of the multicoloured houses.
At these latitudes the sea air is so cold that I recommend you wear lots of layers. As it's nicer to be able to go out on the deck without becoming like one of the icebergs you see in the sea.
The Beagle Channel is 185 km long and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. On the quays in Ushuaia there are lots of agencies offering trips on the channel. I really recommend doing the excursion during a trip to Argentina.
When I went to Ushuaia I was fortunate enough to meet a man who was originally from the Basque country. Being neighbours of a sort and at the ends of the earth, it was quite easy for us to get along together. So I was lucky enough to go sailing on the Beagle Channel with him. I did the same tour as that offered by all the agencies. You begin by sailing close to the Bridges and de los Pájaros islands to see the colonies of cormorants. A bit further on, Los Lobos Island has sea lions. You get close enough that you can smell them! Then, to finish, you go round Les Eclaireurs Island to see its famous red and white lighthouse.
Altogether it's a very pleasant trip and a good introduction to going further on, towards Cape Horn.