Off to South America - From Alaska's North to the Tip of South America travel blog

End of Pan American Highway

Straight of Magellan Whale sign

Tierra del Fuego National Park sign

Like southeast Alaska at times

City of 90,000+

This is also known as the "End of the Pan American Highway - Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. On the way dow we took the excursion "Drive to the 'End of the World'" which was a trip through the Pipo River Valley into Tierra del Fuego National Park. This included Beagle Channel and the sign indicating the end of the Pan American Highway that begins in Alaska and stretches nearly 12,000 miles across two continents. Ushuaia was inhabited 10,000 years ago by an indian tribe and outsiders were not noted until 1833 when Captain Robert FitzRoy arrived in the region during a British missionary voyage exploring Tierra del Fuego. In 2012 there were 56,956 people living here. Now it says there are around 70,000 in the general area. This is a subpolar oceanic climate where Antarctic plays a role in the daily weather patterns. Around this area there is Sea Lions Island (breeding grounds for the species), Beagle Channel (Darwin's 5 year expedition around the tip of Southern America) and history of the penal colony that was housed here from 1902 to 1947. We were surprised at how modern this city is compared to some of the other Chilean stops. It is one of two locations that are focal points for outfitting teams that are headed to 𿇦𿇶 Antarctica. The first visit here was December 26th.

Today we had our second visit to Ushuaia (January 13th) as we are headed north to Santiago. We walked through the town and enjoyed an overcast day. The scenery reminds us of a combination of Valdez, Skagway, and Dutch Harbor. High end expensive outfitters like North Face located here. Because of import fees, very expensive to purchase these imported expedition items.

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