National Park of Fire Land
Tierra del Fuego is a national park in Argentina, established in 1960. The territory occupied by the park is 630 km2. The first park in Argentina and is located in the south of the country. This area was discovered back in 1520, when Ferdinand Magellan sailed here; after seeing a large number of fires on the island, it was decided to name the archipelago Tierra del Fuego.
The history of the discovery of Tierra del Fuego
The Tierra del Fuego archipelago, located in the South Atlantic, was discovered in 1520 by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan during his voyage around the world. He called it "Terra del Fuego" because of the fires he saw on the shores, created by local residents for heating and cooking. Later the archipelago received its modern name.
Terra del Fuego consists of several islands, including Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) and the Malvinas Islands. Over the next centuries, the archipelago was explored and used by different nationalities for various purposes: from scientific research to fishing and oil production.
Due to its strategic location, Tierra del Fuego played an important role in the history of navigation and trade between Europe and South America. It served as a key stopping point for ships crossing the Strait of Magellan, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Having visited in his youth, Charles Darwin was impressed by the landscapes of the island and the harsh image of the Indians. The first people on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago appeared approximately 10,000 years ago and quite effectively used all the possibilities of the island, as evidenced by the ethnic diversity of the inhabitants. The Indians built their huts from trunks and branches on the shores of the islands, collected shellfish, hunted seals, from which they later made clothes. The Indians settled in this place, although the conditions here are not the most favorable; in January the average temperature here is +15°C, and in July - about +5°C. But what nature could do, the Europeans did in the 1880s and the ranks of the Indians significantly decreased due to diseases brought from Europe, but an equally important role was played by the desire to practice shooting at people, as well as the poisoning of the indigenous population so that they could hunt more freely for seals.
Flora and fauna of Tierra del Fuego Park
In the national Tierra del Fuego there are dense forests, at high altitudes there are mainly shrubs, and the local topography is not without peat bogs. Among the rare plants in the national park you can find cherry, Chilean beech and brown tree. White and green orchids, immortelle, daisy and yellow violet also grow here. The fauna is not particularly rich and is represented by 20 mammals and approximately 90 species of birds. Among the inhabitants it is worth noting the fox, guanaco, bora, condor, and also off the Atlantic coast you can meet rare black-headed albatross.
Tourists who have visited Tierra del Fuego get the impression that they have seen the end of the world; such feelings are evoked by the virgin nature and proximity to Antarctica. Unforgettable feelings remain after walking on glaciers and lakes and for walks. The park has a place for fisherman and for hikers; those who don’t like to walk can use a horse or even a motorcycle. There are several routes for tourists that will allow you to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of nature. There are also short routes of a kilometer, passing along the bank of the Lapataya River past the Black Bay, the water of which is very dark due to the peat at the bottom.