USHUAIA - TIERRA DEL FUEGO
Half way between Río Grande and Ushuaia, when the plateau that is born in the Atlantic coast and rises to the Andes Cordillera slowly becomes a mountain, Tolhuin appears. It is the third most important city in the province of Tierra del Fuego, and it is located at the bottom of Mt Michi, near Turbio River, slightly farther than 100 kilometers from Ushuaia.
Its name, in the aborigine tongue Ona, is translated as "heart" and, that is why it is considered the Heart of the Island. It has a small population of 500 inhabitants. It was founded in the year 1972 for the settlement of the sawmill families and as supply middle point between Río Grande and Ushuaia.
This small and neat community offers the possibility of staying at hostels, cottages or camping sites, and practicing fishing, trekking, horse-ridding, kayak and boat sailing and safaris.
Tolhuin may also be the starting point of visits to numerous farms in the center of Tierra del Fuego. You can go on fishing tours, walks through the woods, or visit the impressive Lake Fagnano.
The natural charm of Tolhuin is given by different geographical factors.
Due to its location in the limit between the mountain range and the plateau of Tierra del Fuego, it creates a mild micro-weather, very different from the one in the other cities of the province.
Surrounded by woods and the extensive Lake Fagnano, whose crystal clear waters are poured by several rivers, it is an attractive place to rest.
At present, its infrastructure is being enlarged to satisfy the great demand of services, which results from the migration of new families, weekend cottages and private investors.
It is also a much visited place on weekends and holidays by the inhabitants of the province. It offers a diverse number of cafes, restaurants, "asadores criollos" (steak houses), camping sites, tearooms, jam factories and craft shops.
Any tourist that visits Tolhuin will be able to carry out different activities in the open air such as, fishing -not only in the river, but also on a boat in the lake-, horse-riding, trekking, cycling tours, dog-sledding and other leisure activities. It undoubtedly invites to enjoyment.
Those who appreciate harmony, cordiality and the perfect combination between the man-made and the nature-made, will find their place in Tolhuin. This city constantly offers the possibility of getting in contact with the origins of this land that is definitely "the heart of the end of the world".
Lake Fagnano can be reached along National Route Nº 3, south of Ushuaia, and 65 kilometers from Tolhuin. It is the sixth biggest lake in South America, with a longitudinal axis of 100 km. Although permanently lashed by west winds, it is navigable.
Lake Fagnano empties into the Strait of Magellan through Azopardo river.
It offers exceptional fishing conditions, and the possibility of enjoying the flights of albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters and cauquenes.
Its coasts are varied: there are low flooded shores, others with high cliffs or with small beaches made of rolling stones. The aborigines called it Kami. Today it is called after one of the first ten salesians sent by Juan Bosco to Argentina.
In the eastern region, Kaikén Hostel is found. From there you can start short walks, only one hour from Tolhuin. You can go round the small farms nearby and the dams built by beavers, which cause the embalming and flooding of extensive areas with the consequent loss of vegetation and a negative environmental modification.
A few kilometers away, there are some bungalows. Its southern coast can also be enjoyed, at least a good portion of it, from the road to Ushuaia.
Sixty kilometers to the north of Ushuaia city, along National Route Nº 3, between the mountains in Garibaldi Pass, a picturesque lake is found; a dream place, with a hostel on its shore. It is Lake Escondido.
It is possible to go on some trekking tours from there, and enjoy the lake while engaging in some activities, such as fishing.
On its shore we find "Hostería Petrel", offering a restaurant and a café.
Waking up in a bedroom with a view to the lake is a most advisable as well as amazing experience.
HOW DO I GET TO TOLHUIN?
From Ushuaia, 100 kilometers along National Route Nº 3 to the north.
From Río Grande, 130 kilometers along National Route Nº 3 to the south.
Distances from Tolhuin to:
Comandante Piedra Buena: 713 km
El Calafate: 823 km
Gobernador Gregores: 1043 km
Puerto Natales: 696 km
Punta Arenas: 660 km
Porvenir: 373 km
Río Gallegos: 498 km
Río Grande: 133 km
San Julián: 851 km
Ushuaia: 103 km