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Highlights of Tierra del Fuego

Get under the skin of Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. Choose from a boat trip to see gentoo and magellanic penguins; experience King crab fishing on the shores of the Beagle Channel; enjoying a 4x4 adventure in the interior of the island; or visit a remote shipwreck on the wild Atlantic coast at San Pablo Cape. Base yourself in Ushuaia for the duration of your stay.

Are you hoping to travel before March 2023?

Patagonia's a big trip and we know how crucial it is to get it right. As you’re considering travelling in the next couple of months, we want to be upfront with you…

Finding available accommodation is proving almost impossible in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. While not uncommon, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation this year.

Alongside this, Swoop are also currently focused on ensuring that all of the logistics are in place for our booked travellers who are due to head south shortly.

Swoop has therefore decided to no longer accept any new bookings departing before the beginning of March 2023.

As alternative options, here’s what we suggest:

Option A:

Push your trip back and choose to travel instead in early 2023. April onwards has more accommodation options still available. The Patagonian autumnal colours are stunning and trails less crowded.

Option B:

Defer your Patagonia adventure by 12 months, benefitting by getting exactly the trip you want without compromise, and lock in plans now while there’s still good availability.

If you are able to be flexible on your travel dates, the next step would then be for us to arrange a time to talk through the options.

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  • I’m flexible and could travel later

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Trip type


Trip length

4 Days




Tierra del Fuego

Highlights of Tierra del Fuego - 4 - $895

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia; Boat trip; Hotel Alto Andino 

Days 2 & 3: Choose your own adventures

Day 4: Hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Start from Ushuaia and end at Ushuaia

Landmarks visited on Highlights of Tierra del Fuego

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia; Boat trip; Hotel Alto Andino

On arrival in Ushuaia you'll be met by a driver and taken to your hotel.

In the afternoon, your boat will be waiting for you and a small group of other travellers at the local port, ready to explore the Beagle Channel. Capacity is usually 18 passengers for this photogenic outing. You'll begin in the direction of Alice Island to see the colony of sea lions, continuing on to the Birds Island where the king and imperial cormorants inhabit. Observe the rock cormorants on the cliffs nearby, then see both sea lions and fur seals at the Sea Lions Island.

During the voyage, enjoy tea, hot chocolate, coffee, biscuits and, of course, typical Argentinian maté. Finally, you'll reach Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, which was established in 1919 and is a real symbol of Ushuaia. Going back, you will disembark on Bridges Island for a short hike which promises discovery of abundant flora and the fauna. On this island you can also see archaeological remains of the Yamanas, the aborigines who lived here many years ago.

After the boat trip you'll be driven back to the Hotel Alto Andino.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

Days 2 and 3: Choose your own adventures:

Choose one of the following adventures per day (two in total):

1 – Harberton, penguins and trek (private tour only)

After breakfast at your hotel you will be picked up and head northeast towards Harberton. Following National Route 3, the journey will border Lasifashaj's river valley, almost to the mouth of the Beagle Channel in Brown Bay, before arriving at Estancia Harberton. This was founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges. It is a family-run sheep shearing farm, where the friendly manager, one of the founder's great-grandsons, is eager to share the fascinating history of the estancia's wool activity with you.

Your next visit of the day will involve several more new friends, as you make your way to Martillo Island by zodiac boat and meet the huge colony of magellanic and gentoo penguins there. Walking alongside these gracious seabirds, you will learn about their life and the ways of conservation from the expert local guide accompanying you.

We'll return to the estancia and then head to Cambaceres Bay to trek along the River Lasifashaj to a gushing waterfall which cascades from the narrowing of the river's valley.

You return to Ushuaia at around 6pm.

This excursion may vary, subject to availability of crossing to Pinguinera.

The crossing to the penguin colony is undertaken in semi-rigid boats, shared with other passengers.

Includes a picnic lunch, crossing to the penguin colony and entrance to Harberton.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

2 – Walking with penguins and Beagle Channel Navigation (group tour)

Leaving from the dock in Ushuaia in our own boat, Les Eclaireurs, we head for Birds Island, inhabited by king and imperial cormorants. Nearby we'll see rock cormorants on the cliffs. Next up, we visit Sea Lions Island for sea lions and fur seals before finding Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, built in 1919 and the symbol of Ushuaia.

We'll disembark at Estancia Harberton and then sail 15mins on to Martillo Island in a semi-rigid boat. Here we'll walk for an hour with the gentoo and magellanic penguins, always accompanied by a guide. The rookery comprises about 1000 nests and is one of the three magellanic penguin rookeries in Tierra del Fuego. There is also a small colony of nine breeding pairs of gentoo penguins – the only one in South America. Other birds on the island include skúas, petrels, cormorants, vultures and South American terns.

You return to Ushuaia at around 3pm on a small bus (1hr journey time).

This excursion may be run in reverse, heading to Estancia Harberton by road, visiting the penguin colony and returning to Ushuaia by boat.

Does not include transfers to the pier, nor drinks/meals.

Does not include port tax or entrance fee to Estancia Harberton.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

3 – Patagonian King Crab Experience (small group tour)

Begin the day driving along the National Route 3 through sweeping valleys and dense forest. As the coast is neared, we'll stop off for a walk to a hidden waterfall (2hr round trip) at which you'll learn about the local fauna, flora and history of the area.

Back in the vehicle the journey continues to Puerto Almanza, the southernmost fishing port in Argentina, and from there along a gravel road for another 15km to a small fishing village. Nearly everyone here is dedicated to specialised fishing: catching crab, centollones, mussels, cholgas and other molluscs typical of the area. A local family will welcome us and invite us to board their boat before sailing out onto the Beagle Channel. There we'll pull up the traps and see just how good the catch is!

When we return to shore, our hosts will prepare the crab in their small restaurant in Patagonian style – boiled in sea water. When it is ready they teach us how to enjoy it!

You return to Ushuaia at around 4pm.

Maximum group size is 6 passengers.

Crab catching is strictly subject to weather conditions upon arrival in Puerto Almanza. It is also subject to closures or restrictions imposed by Natural Resources.

Includes coffee, lunch and one drink per person.

Lunch is shared with other passengers. Ask about the option of exclusivity at lunch.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

4 – Off-road adventure (small group tour)

Start the excursion heading to the north of the island on National Route 3 where we'll see the most popular ski resort in the area, Cerro Castor. Cross the Andes and then start the real 4x4 adventure in a Land Rover Defender. Huge paths of mud and water will be passed before reaching the imposing coast of Lake Fagnano. At this point, we can simply soak in the breathtaking scenery and relax by the lake.

Following a brief stop, we'll begin to forge your trail into the wilderness, taking the vehicles well and truly off trail. As we enter the forest, the 4x4s will be left behind as we hike through a secluded area, reaching Lake Escondido where there’s a small shelter. Ahead of our arrival, the lodge staff will have cooked a delicious Argentinean style asado (barbecue) for you, accompanied with Malbec wine.

After a filling lunch, the group will be divided into pairs to venture out in canoes to explore the lake. Providing conditions allow, you will paddle along the shores of Lake Escondido.

You return to Ushuaia at around 5pm.

Maximum group size is 6 passengers

The order of activities may vary according to the guide's criteria.

Lunch includes salami and cheese, typical Argentine BBQ with choripán and steak with salad, dessert, wine and water.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

5 - Estancia Rolito and Cape San Pablo (small group tour)

We leave Ushuaia very early in the morning following National Route 3, crossing the Andes via the Garibaldi Pass at 450m. Around 60km, we encounter Lake Escondido in the middle of high rocky walls and the landscape changes from woods to steppe.

We'll visit Estancia Rolito, a family-run sheep ranch and the first to open its gates to rural tourism, and stop for tea with homemade cakes. We'll also have time to walk around the beautiful ancient lenga forest here.

Leaving here, we continue our journey towards the Atlantic Ocean to Cape San Pablo. At this point we'll trek to the summit of an isolated mountain with an abandoned lighthouse. From here we can see the wreck of the Desdemona which ran aground in 1983.

After exploring the shipwreck we'll visit some local fishermen who'll invite us to enjoy a homemade fish lunch at their house.  

You return to Ushuaia at around 6.30pm.

Today we will drive approximately 240 miles.

Maximum group size is 6 passengers

This excursion may suffer variations due to weather conditions.

Lunch and drinks included.

Accommodation: Hotel Alto Andino

Day 4: Hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park

This is a small group tour. You will set off on National Route 3 from Ushuaia and stop at a panoramic point in the Beagle Channel. Arriving at Tierra del Fuego National Park you will begin the trek to Acigami Lake, Pipo River and Ensenada Bay. The walk is around 4.5km and will take you through mystic forests and to various viewpoints of the Beagle Channel and Lapataia Bay (woody bay); giving you a real feel for the surrounding mountain ranges.

After you are dropped back at your hotel, enjoy the last few sights and sounds of Ushuaia before catching your transfer back to the airport or bus station at a time of your choice.

Maximum group size is 6 passengers

Meals: Breakfast

Note: Entrance fee to the national park included

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Highlights of Tierra del Fuego

Highlights of Tierra del Fuego trips scored 4.8/5 from 3 reviews

Going to the king crab dinner. It was so cool to have a crab fisherman go to get us our own king crab. The taste was amazing.

Travelled: February 2022

Carol Hixenbaugh - USA


Prices, Departures and Inclusions

USD $895 per personbased on two sharing a room and group excursions on Days 2 & 3.

USD $1,365 per person based on two sharing a room and private excursions on Days 2 & 3.


Prices may vary depending on your choice of excursions, the number of people in your group and the season in which you travel.


Please get in touch to enquire about your preferred departure dates.

Additional Notes

Single supplement – A single supplement of USD $320 applies.

Small group tours – These are always taken in a 4x4 vehicle with a maximum of 6 travellers.

Accommodation – The accommodation in this itinerary is adaptable to your requirements. Please see our Ushuaia hotels guide for more information.


  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches
  • Drinks during lunch
  • Accommodation: 3 nights in Hotel Alto Andino (mid-range)
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • All national park entrance fees
  • 2 full day and 2 half day excursions
  • English and Spanish speaking guide


  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Drinks during dinner
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?