South of Tierra del Fuego Island
-54.860226, -67.851434
Sur Isla 1
Sur Isla 3
Sur Isla 4
Distant Landscape

The south of Tierra del Fuego and its prominent topography can only be appreciated from the distance, across the Beagle channel. These mountain ranges are the imprint of Patagonian Andean architecture.

Although a part of Argentina, the view is a daily but distant companion for the inhabitants of Puerto Williams. The landscape is also a constant reminder of the relationship between these two islands: Navarino to the south and Tierra del Fuego to the north, the former being the ancient territory of the Selk'nam people whereas the latter was home for the Yagan. The geography proved to be challenging to inhabit, any mistake could cost life.

Today these landscapes remain challenging to transit, not only due to their hostile geography, but also due to obstacles provided by country borders. Issues that weren’t part of Yaganes and Selk´nam worries, they managed to cohabitate this region relying purely on geography to define the borders of their homes.


Glacial System / Patagonian Andes

The viewpoint from Navarino Island towards the north crosses the Beagle Channel and reaches the Fueguian Andes from Argentinian Tierra del Fuego. The country border, in this case, is not a random line drawn in a map, an arbitrary agreement between two nations, but it corresponds to the southernmost branch of the Magallanes-Fagnano Fault. An array of fractures propagates through the crust

from the main trace of this geological fault. The sea takes advantage of these open pathways to flow through them, shaping and guiding channels and fjords such as the Beagle Channel, which is not only a border between two countries but also between two tectonic plates.

Beyond the narrow channel lies a formidable panoramic of the Fueguian Andes. Several superposed planes reveal the topographic transition, from south to north, from less to more deformation, from less to more altitude of the mountain peaks.

Rounded, U-shaped valleys interrupt the scarped mountains ranges, relict of the recent glacier retreat. The view is an artwork of geological processes unfolding in harmony, a spectacle reserved for the inhabitants of Puerto Williams and the scarce visitors who reach this remote land.

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