Tierra del Fuego archipelago belongs to the territory of two countries Chile and Argentina. It is separated from the continent only by the Strait of Magellan, being one of the important and at the same time one of the most dangerous seaways of the world. Tierra del Fuego is not only the name of the island but also the name of the whole archipelago comprising lots of small islands situated not far from Patagonia, near the south coast of America. This group of islands is considered to be one of the most unpopulated territories in the world.
In 1520 the great seafarer Magellan making his notorious voyage around the world discovered the strait joining the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans and letting the seamen avoid sailing round the Cape Horn that was incredibly dangerous. He also gave the name ‘Tierra del Fuego’ to the archipelago situated on the south of the continent, as he considered the Indians’ camp fires to be the volcano craters that never really existed in that area. Geographers didn’t pay much attention to this historical fact and gave the island the name ‘Tierra del Fuego’ (Spanish for «Fireland» or «Land of Fire»).
On the English Queen’s order a famous navigator Drake went to the island and found that the archipelago is not the one single continent. Since that time on all the maps the Tierra del Fuego was marked as the island. Soon Spanish settled there and founded the first town by the Strait of Magellan called Ushuaia (Spanish for ‘the town in the in the depths of the bay’). Up to nowadays it is considered to be the southernmost city on the Earth and the largest settlement on the island.
In spite of not too favorable weather conditions more and more people come here to have some rest far from civilization. The nature on the island is terrific from the early spring up to the end of summer, and all this time it is sunny here. It is dark in this area only 5 hours out of 24 every day and night.
In Ushuaia there are lots of sights that are really worth visiting. Among them there is the Sea Museum or the local History Museum of the end of the world. If you want to immortalize your name leaving it somewhere at the southernmost point of the world on Tierra del Fuego there is a special board with lots of names written in many world languages.
In the southernmost city of the planet there is the picturesque Tierra del Fuego national park surrounded by the straights and mountains. You can get to the Antarctica from here as there are flights to the coast from time to time. Visiting the southernmost point of the world you get a unique opportunity to see the inimitable nature and landscapes of several climatic zones at once.
It is worth mentioning that the Tierra del Fuego Island is not the most southern island on the Earth. And it is not even the Horn Island being the part of the archipelago either. The most southern islands on the Earth are the islands of Diego-Ramirez group situated in 100 km south-west from the Cape Horn.