For pilgrims to the uttermost part of the earth, mecca is Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego’s Bahía Lapataia, where Ruta Nacional 3 ends on the Beagle Channel’s north shore. It’s a worthy goal, but, sadly, most visitors see only the area in and around the highway because most of the park’s mountainous interior, with its alpine lakes, limpid rivers, blue-tinged glaciers, and jagged summits, is closed to public access.
About 18 kilometers west of Ushuaia , Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego hugs the Chilean border as its 63,000 hectares stretch from the Beagle Channel north across Lago Fagnano  (Kami). Elevations range from sea level to the 1,450-meter summit of Monte Vinciguerra.
Camping is the only option in the park, where there are free sites with little or no infrastructure at Camping Ensenada, Camping Río Pipo, Camping Las Bandurrias, Camping Laguna Verde, and Camping Los Cauquenes. While these are improving, the tidier Camping Lago Roca (tel. 02901/433313, lagoroca [at] speedy [dot] com [dot] ar, US$2–3 pp) has hot showers, a grocery, and the restaurant/confitería La Cabaña del Bosque.
At the park entrance on Ruta Nacional 3, the APN has a Centro de Información where it collects a US$6.50 per person entry fee. Argentine residents pay half.
Several books have useful information on the park, including William Leitch’s South America’s National Parks (Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1990), which is now out of print; Tim Burford’s Backpacking in Chile & Argentina (Bradt Publications, 2001); and Clem Lindenmayer’s and Nick Tapp’s Trekking in the Patagonian Andes (Lonely Planet, 2003). The last two are hiking guides, but locals criticize the latter vociferously.
Birders may want to acquire Claudio Venegas Canelo’s Aves de Patagonia y Tierra del Fuego Chileno-Argentina, Ricardo Clark’s Aves de Tierra del Fuego y Cabo de Hornos (Buenos Aires: Literature of Latin America, 1986), or Enrique Couve and Claudio Vidal Ojeda’s bilingual Birds of the Beagle Channel (Punta Arenas: Fantástico Sur Birding & Nature, 2000).
For a list of recommended tour agencies offering excursions to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, click here .