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The Lighthouse at the End of the World

May 22nd 2014
  • Like an out-of-place barber shop pole thrusting defiantly from the rocks, the red and white stripes of Les Éclaireurs lighthouse make for an unexpectedly pleasing photo opportunity for all those visiting the steely shores of Ushuaia; the southernmost city in the world.

    Since 1880, this ageing beacon has sat in solitary confinement on one of the small inlet isles within the Beagle Channel, and is still in operation, albeit remotely, today. From its privileged position, it has undoubtedly witnessed a great deal of history pass under its illuminating beam – somewhat fitting for an edifice who’s name translates as ‘The Enlightener’.

    Dubbed by locals as ‘The Lighthouse at the End of the World’ (though not, as is often thought, the subject of Jules Verne’s illustrious novel), it marks the final pit stop for plucky explorers and exporters journeying on towards Antarctica’s icy waters.

    But this area is not just for those keen on getting to the coldest continent. The city is, after all, capital of the dramatically entitled Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire) which boasts a relentlessly diverse and unapologetically magnificent terrain, encompassing everything from thickly-packed forests to swirling rivers, and even the odd mountain range or two.

    Though it may be the uttermost part of the Earth, you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else like it on the planet.

Image Credit: Martin Terber