Tour Interest: Birding and Short Tours
Tour Type: Overland
Tour Dates: Runs on request
Tour Duration: 4 Days - 3 Nights
Starts/Ends: Starts and ends in Ushuaia
Best time to go: Year-round
Prices: Based on group size
Outlined Daily Itinerary
Day 1 – Meeting with your Trogon Tours’ leader at Ushuaia airport. Afternoon birding Le Martial Glacier. O/N Puerto Iguazú.
Day 2 – Full day exploring Tierra del Fuego National Park. O/N Ushuaia.
Day 3 – Full day shared motor catamaran excursion on the Beagle Channel and Estancia Harberton. O/N Ushuaia.
Day 4 – Last morning birding in Ushuaia. Afternoon transfer to the local airport. Tour Conclusion.
The Andes of Tierra del Fuego, Beagle Channel, Lapataia Bay, Magellanic Woodpecker, Gentoo Penguin, Southern Sea Lion and Fur Seal colonies..
Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of America, is a large archipelago spread out in the southern boundaries of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Its main island, called Isla Grande, is shared by Argentina and Chile. On the northern shore of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia -the southernmost city on Earth and the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego- is the gate to the most spectacular sceneries of them all. Luxuriant Southern Beech and Winter’s Bark forests are home to outstanding birds, like the Magellanic Woodpecker, and the shores and small islets of the channel hold dozens of nesting colonies of seabirds.
Back in 1520, Magellan and his crew members were sailing along the Atlantic coast of the southernmost tip of America, searching for a pass to cross westwards, and on to the Indies. They finally found it in the very far south of what is today southern Patagonia. When they were crossing the passage -known nowadays as Straights of Magellan- they saw huge fires on the shores. These were lighted by the natives, as a way to let the other members of their community know that there was something unusual going on in their lands. It was for these fires that Magellan called the area “Tierra del Fuego” – the Land of Fire. But the most famous explorers of the “Fuegian Archipelago” did not get there until the 19th century, and these were of course Charles Darwin and Captain Fitz Roy, aboard the HMS Beagle.
Present day Tierra del Fuego still preserves the spirit of the early explorers and adventurers, with Ushuaia as the main departure and arrival port for the Antarctic cruises. This city sits on the shores of the Beagle Channel, with Tierra del Fuego National Park located only 8 kilometers to the east of it. Above the city, the winter sports resort of Le Martial Glacier provides the most spectacular views of the Beagle Channel, and in the summer time, it is a perfect birding spot for watching birds from the high Austral Andes, including specialties such as White-bellied Seedsnipe and Yellow-bridled Finch among others.
Tierra del Fuego National Park was created to protect a vast relict of Southern Beech forests, and its particular fauna. Among the mammal species, it is worth mentioning Fuegian or Culpeo Fox, Southern Sea-Otter, and Southern River Otter. Most of the local birds are restricted to the Patagonian region, and perhaps the most wanted to see by birders the world over is the Magellanic Woodpecker, a bird commonly found in good numbers here. Other birds in this national park include Flying and Flightless Steamer-Ducks, Kelp Goose, Spectacled Duck, White-throated Treerunner, Austral Pygmy-Owl, Black-faced Ibis, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Magellanic Tapaculo and many others.
Along the seashores and on the small islets of the Beagle Channel, there are several colonies of Southern Sea-Lions and Southern Fur-Seals. Seabirds are abundant. Imperial and Rock Cormorants, Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins, South American Tern, Dolphin Gull, Southern Giant-Petrel, Magellanic and Common Diving-Petrels, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Fulmar and many others turn this place into a birders paradise.
Best Time To Go
This tour is possible year-round. Regardless, please bear in mind that winter days are very short and cold. Catamaran tours are limited to a short itinerary, and Harberton is closed to visitors between April and September. Therefore, October to March are the best months for making the most of your tour to Ushuaia
Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 on arrival in Ushuaia airport to day 4 on departure from that same airport. Local guides where required by law. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners, from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 4 of the tour. No drinks included. One motor catamaran excursion on the Beagle Channel on a shared basis. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.
What’s Not Included?
International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified under “What is included?”