The Amazing Natural Amphitheater Known as the Beagle Canal
Named after Charles Darwin‘s famous ship, the Beagle Canal was first discovered by Robert Fitzroy during a reconnaissance mission around South America during the 1830’s. The canal itself creates a narrow yet safe passage through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of the continent. It’s about 240 km long and about 13 km at its widest. The tallest peak here is Mount Darwin, towering at 1,800 meters in height, with an additional ice sheet, 90 meters thick.
These many scattered islands are frequently disputed upon and are currently divided between Chile and Argentina, both of which claiming the rich mineral deposits, as well as the large number of shrimp. The canal is very important for sailors trying to avoid going around Cape Horn, which is in itself a perilous journey, to which many seafarers can attest to.
Setting aside the political disputes over these islands, the archipelago together with the Beagle canal are host to a large variety of marine species. The steep mountains,glaciers and waterfalls surrounding it, create an amazing natural amphitheater from where some of nature’s most breath-taking shows take place. Similar to the stories from long ago, we can witness as pieces of the glaciers break off and fall into the depths of the seas, while sperm whales were swimming close to the shore.
The cold waters of where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet, offer a large and varied food source for these amazing beasts, as well as for the people living on these specks of land. The number of bird species is surprisingly high, all mixed between the seals, sea lions, and Magellan and Gentoo penguins. Traveling through the southernmost beech forest in the world, one can see the Magellan woodpecker, the largest in South America, among many others. Tourism has began flourishing here, facilitated trough Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world.