Expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia,
On this virtual tour you may see: Majestic mountains dipped
Cape Horn, Falklands & Tierra Del Fuego
Crystalline waterways... Whales, seals, Soaring Andes condors...
Ice-blue Glaciers that shimmer like jewels..
Old drawing of Wulaia, Navarino Island
from a view point of where the ranch
house now stands (looking West)
Old ranch house at Wulaia
he voyages to Historic Wulaia and to the Tierra Del Fuego glaciers begin in
October and continue through May.
Wulaia and Glaciers page
In 1830 Captain Fitzroy, at the command of
the first expedition of the famous "Beagle",
landed in Wulaia and decided to take four
young Fuegian hostages in return for a stolen
boat. They ended up sailing all the way back
to England "to become useful as interpreters,
and be the means of establishing a friendly
disposition towards Englishmen on the part of
The names given to them by the crew were:
York Minster, Jemmy Button, Fuegia Basket and
Boat Memory. Their original names were,
respectively: el'leparu, o'run-del'lico and
yok'cushly. boat memory died of smallpox
shortly after his arrival to England, and so
his name is lost in the history to come. In
London, Fuegia Basket got a bonnet from Queen
Adelaide herself. Two years later the
"Beagle" returned the three Fuegians to their
home in Wulaia, along with a young
naturalist, Charles Darwin.
Wulaia is where the founding of Tierra Del
Fuego, Ushuaia and Puerto Williams really
began with the first missionary house.
When he returned to England, Darwin wrote of
the Fuegians: "The perfect equality among the
individuals composing the Fuegian tribes must
for a long time retard their civilization.
...In Tierra Del Fuego, until some chief
shall arise with power sufficient to secure
any acquired advantage, such as the
domesticated animals, it seems scarcely
possible that the political state of the
country can be improved. At present, even a
piece of cloth given to one is torn into
shreds and distributed; and no one individual
becomes richer than another. On the other
hand, it is difficult to understand how a
chief can arise till there is property of
some sort by which he might manifest his
superiority and increase his power."
On December 27, 1831, H.M.S. BEAGLE, a 240
ton, ten-gun brig left Plymouth, England, on
a survey voyage to chart the coastline of
South America. It was a journey that would
last almost five years, and would carry the
ship around the world. It was also a voyage
that would change the history of human
thought. The BEAGLE was under the command of
Captain Robert Fitzroy, of the Royal Navy,
and carried seventy-four people, including
its unpaid naturalist, Charles Darwin,
recently graduated from Cambridge.
Missionary work in Wulaia started after
Captain Fitzroy brought Jimmy Button back
there to live again among the Yagan Indians
again in Wulaia and to help a Rev. Richard
x<------------------------------------Ushuaia is about here
Map showing locations of Puerto Williams,
Puerto Navarino, Button Island, Wulaia, Douglas harbor
Wulaia harbor Map
The Yagan Indians used Wulaia
as their Winter
season camp grounds probably for it being very
Note that it is a very well protected from winds
from all directions
The locality of Wulaia has an historic and
archeological value . The terrain has a very
attractive mountain and beach area. In the
19th century it was the scene of the
principal meeting place between the Yagan
canoe Indians and the British missionaries.
It was the site of disembarkation of Fitzroy
and Charles Darwin, where the history of
Jimmy Button and the killing of the
See a history of the area
It was a Chilean Navy base prior to the
founding of Puerto Williams. Today one may
appreciate the remains of the old houses, a
large concrete house, some 20 bungalows and a
plaque remembering the tragedy of 1859,
during which 6 English missionaries died at
the hands of the Yagan Indians.
There have been diverse studies that have
identified 32 archeological sites in the area
of which 25 are on the coast and 7 on Button
Island and adjacent small islands.
For a future touristic development, one could
fix up the existing constructions, maintaining
intact the historical value of the place.
For example, it's possible to restore the old
Navy house for a tourist hotel and develop
scientific-historic tourism with circuits
guided by experts where the tourists may
integrate into the archeological work.
Also it is ideal for the creation of a center
of operations for a sport sailing and
recreation area. The topography does not
constitute a limit for the construction of
the infrastructure and water is available in
There is a what appears to be an excellent investment
opportunity in Puerto Navarino which just
opened up to Argentina Tourism from Ushuaia.
One can also get to Puerto Williams aboard the Transbordador Broom
from Punta Arenas which passes by the glaciers
of Tierra Del Fuego on the Beagle Channel.
We can make you reservations and put you up in our Hostal
Ushuaia has visits from over 100, 000 tourists
Founded: 12 Octuber de 1884
Tourists High Season: 90.000
Tourists rest of the year: 30.000
Lodging Capacity: 2.500 beds
Typical Food: King Crab, Patagonian lamb
Airports: International - Islas Malvinas (2 1/2 mi.. from Ushuaia)
Average Temperature: Winter: 1° Summer: 9,6°
Highest Temperatures: Winter: 3° Summer: 18 °
Lowest Temperatures: Winter: -15° Summer: 6°
Distances (km): Buenos Aires:3.190
Punta Arenas: 461 (Vía Porvenir)
Río Gallegos: 594
Rio Grande (recommended) 275
Chile has made the decision, long awaited by the
Ushuaia business men, to open up Puerto
Navarino as a port of entry with a customs
official, International police, Navy personel, etc.
to accept Argentine boats and rapid catamarans
starting in November 2001.
This should be very beneficial for any business
in Puerto Navarino, just a few miles across the bay
from Ushuaia and will bring hundreds of tourist
per year in the fast Argentine Catamarans and other
These voyages will be to the glacier area of Tierra
Del Fuego, Chile via the Beagle Channel
There is no infrastructure such as Hotels or
restaurants in Puerto Navarino at the present time.
Possible site of a future restaurant in Puerto Navarino in
this abandoned house?
Cape Horn may also open up via the
Murray Channel for a voyage aboard
catamarans from Argentina.
Wulaia Harbor is located on the West coast of
Navarino Island, in the sector of Seno
Ponsonby, at the south of the Murray Channel.
The land route to Wulaia is between Puerto
Williams and Lum river by gravel road.
The way by the Lum river and then to Wulaia
is only a path in a state from regular to
The distance of Wulaia by boat from Puerto Williams
is about 45 miles and about 20 miles from Ushuaia,
Douglas harbor looking West with Milne Island
in the left background and Hoste Island on the right
Back to Wulaia and Glaciers page
Douglas harbor map showing the site of the old English
Mission which was manned by Rev. John Williams.
Douglas Bay, as Wulaia, is of much historic and arqueological value.