The Esmeralda Lagoon hike is a popular afternoon and evening activity just outside of Ushuaia. Set in a wide valley in the Fuegian Andes, Esmeralda Lagoon is ringed by native cohiue and lenga forests.
The hike traverses several peat bogs, which cover much of Tierra Del Fuego’s low-lying lands. After a 2-3 hour hike, visitors arrive at the shore of Esmeralda Lagoon, but the main attraction is hard to choose. Both the emerald-green glacier water and the beavers that ply its waters are equally stunning. Other native fauna, including guanaco, foxes and condors are commonly sighted along the hike to and from the lake.
Helicopter tours also depart Ushuaia airfield and fly across the Fuegian Andes, past Olivia Mountain to Esmeralda Lagoon.
In the winter months, the lake freezes and the Southern Andes are covered in snow. Tours still hike into the lake; however, it’s less about the destination and more about experiencing a rare winter wonderland.
The Esmeralda Lagoon Hike begins at the Tierra Mayor Valley, 20 km north east of Ushuaia. December to March is the best time to visit the lake; however, tours do operate year-round.