- The adventure will begin in Ushuaia, the city at the end of the world, where you will embark with us in El Doblón.
- A navigation of 350 nautical miles.
- We will sail through the Beagle Channel heading east, visit the penguin colony of Martillo Island, Harberton Port and its whale museum.
- We will sail to Port of Spain where we will wait for the right weather and current to cross the Strait of Le Maire, one of the most complicated in the world.
- We will arrive at the island of the States, very abrupt and with good shelters. Only inhabited by a small Argentine military settlement with 4 people,
The only inhabitants of this majestic island.
- We will anchor in Puerto Parry, we can make a trekking to the Dufour lagoon at the top of the island.
- We will continue to know the island, we will anchor in Cook Bay where we will start another trekking that will take us from the north to the south of the island and reach Port Vancouver.
- We can see some King penguin (there is a small colony of them)
- We will be able to see an old prison cemetery that was in this area.
- We will continue east to San Juan de Salvamento Bay, the southeasternmost refuge of the continent.
- We will do a small trekking until we reach the lighthouse at the end of the world, a museum and tribute to the navigators of yesteryear.
We can enjoy its facilities and stamp our passports at the lighthouse at the end of the world.
- According to the weather we can surround the island to head west, towards the Beagle Channel.
- This is a short, 7-day and very magical expedition.
- Perhaps this is one of the purest places on the planet and with a very extensive naval history.
We will tell you historical facts about the island, Cape Horn, the lighthouse at the end of the world and Jules Verne.
It will be defined on the date, it depends a lot on the weather.
It will take 1 day and a half to arrive from the Beagle Channel and crossing the Strait of Le Maire where we will enjoy its strength and waves until we reach the Island that we will visit for 3 days.
Captains: Lucas Hernández and Paula Cavicchia
- This expedition is cataloged within the medium level, that means that it is suitable for almost all audiences, but it is necessary: to have good health, to have good physical condition, to have some experience in adventure trips, trekking, navigation or any activity that carries with it some capacity of resistance and willpower.
- Recommended from 18 to 75 years old.
If you are an adventure lover, this article interests you. Here you will be able to find information about the Island of the States, a privileged place of nature that keeps many stories inside.
Isla de los Estados is an island that is located south of the Atlantic Ocean and belongs to the department of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina. The Island of the States is a gift for the eyes, proof of this that it has been declared a Provincial, Historical Ecological and Tourist Reserve.
Probably all these aspects catch your attention in order to visit this island and, although its access is limited, it is likely to do so. For this reason it is worth knowing a little more about the history of this island in order to know what we can see or feel in the case of carrying out a visit to the Island of the States. This island was discovered in 1526 by the Spanish captain Francisco de Hoces. This island would be sighted more times in the coming years, since it was also witnessed by Dutch sailors in 1616 who years later would stay on it for a month in 1624. This island would be described by the French sailor Jacques Gouin de Beauchêne as “an important island of imposing peaks”.
It would not be until 1787 that the island’s resources began to be exploited. British captain James Colnett would get a few wolf skins and penguin blubber. This exploitation would continue in the years to come, also by sailors from other countries such as the United States killing a large population of wolves.
In 1823 the German-Argentine Luis Vernet would build a sawmill to later get a decree from the government of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which allowed him to colonize the island granting it about 10 leagues in length.
Isla de los Estados is a provincial reserve that is located in the extreme south of Argentina. This island is separated from the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego by the Strait of Le Maire which is 30 km wide. This Island of the States is formed by a mountainous cut that can be considered as the southeastern end of the Fuegian mountain range itself. The Island of the States is known as a set composed of the Island of the States itself, the archipelago of New Year and also several islets that are in a short distance.
This Island of the States has great importance for the scientific community. To begin with, it is the only place in all of Argentina where it is possible to find fjords. On the other hand, the importance of Isla de los Estados lies in marine biodiversity with the account. This island, like the Strait of Le Marie constitute the main area where the blue rockhopper penguin breeds. In this area you can find 26% of the entire population of this penguin worldwide.
On the other hand, this area of the Isla de los Estados has been declared a prominent place where a large number of seabirds reproduce. In this Island of the States are also located several colonies of diving petrels, imperial cormorants or black-browed albatrosses among others. A great diversity that highlights the importance of this island despite its small size compared to others. Among its fauna it is also worth mentioning the sea lions of one and two hairs. In addition to these sea lions, the guindales mouse is present and, if we look at the sea, we will also find some species of whales, orcas and sperm whales, so it has a fauna of the most varied both in the interior of the island and its waters.
The creation as a nature reserve of the Island of the States was in 2016. In addition to the fjords we have mentioned, this Island of the States stands out for its stone beaches that precede dense forests as you enter the island.
The contrast of nature is also appreciated in the species that inhabit it, since there are cinnamon, guidos and coastal grasslands such as tussok grass that dye much of the island green. Without a doubt, one of the most privileged places in nature for all the biodiversity it has.
Today there are 5 inhabitants that Isla de los Estados has, however, the population of the island was changing over the years. In 1868 the property of the Isla de los Estados was granted by the government of Argentina to Piedrabuena due to the humanitarian activities it had carried out. The following year a shelter would be built in Reckery Penguin Bay to start new exploitation tasks on the island.
After having carried out the construction of the refuge, other activities could be carried out, for example, melting the penguin fat within the island itself. In 1878 the governorship of Patagonia was created, finding the Island of the States within Patagonia itself.
Finally, in 1881 the signing of the boundary treaties between the countries of Chile and Argentina would take place, recognizing that the Island of the States belongs to Argentina. This treaty would be very important as it would end Chile’s claim to the island.
To facilitate navigation through the surrounding waters, in 1884 the Staten Island lighthouse was built. Despite bearing the name of lighthouse, the truth is that it was a construction similar to a house made with lenga wood with 16 sides. The altitude of this was rather low, for a lighthouse, since it was only 6 meters high.
The light emanating from the lighthouse was produced by 8 fixed kerosene lamps that were placed on the back of windows made of Fresnel lens glass. In order to manage the lighthouse, 6 lighthouse keepers resided in it, which makes them some of the first inhabitants on the island, curiously, more than the current number. The light emitted by the lighthouse on Isla de los Estados was quite weak and therefore did not generate much visibility. A new lighthouse was needed to avoid the continuous shipwrecks that occurred trying to get the location of the lighthouse. This led the government of Argentina in 1901 to build a lighthouse that would be called Faro Año Nuevo.
The location of this New Year’s Lighthouse would be further north, on Observatory Island. However, the problems that existed on the island due to the difficulties that there were to reach this New Year’s Lighthouse would cease to serve only a year later. The lighthouse on Staten Island is well known thanks to Jules Verne. In his novel “The lighthouse at the end of the world” he was inspired by this lighthouse on the Island of the States and all the shipwrecks that were near it. Although the lighthouse has been unused for many years, its fame continued to transcend over time.
Motivated by the novel by Jules Verne, in 1994 the remains of the lighthouse were visited by the French navigator André Bronner who was encouraged to start a project for the reconstruction of the lighthouse itself.