"Information about Torres del Paine and Patagonia (Chile and Argentina)"

Tierra del Fuego

The island is located south from the Strait of Megellan, it was named Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire, or Firelands) by the discoverer of  the Strait, Ferdinand Magellan, after he saw on the horizon a series of fires lit. They were the indigenous Chonkoiuka, a Selknam tribe occupying the north part of the island.

The island was created as a result of a geological process tens or hundreds of thousand years ago, ended in the last of the ice ages and that would have meant the final separation of the territory from the Americas. The gradual decline of ice along with the subsidence and uprisings had generated isthmuses, producing the final break in the year 6700 BC and creating the Strait.

Today a third of the island is coirón pampa, crossed with rivers. There are Fuegian Andes on the southern end of the island, with peaks over 2,000 meters height, which are known: Monte Sarmiento (2,233 mt),  that is part of the Cordillera Darwin, although it is not the highest, it is the most impressive and challenging. This mountain was climbed by Alberto Maria de Agostini and now is Alberto de Agostini National Park.