Overlooking the icy waters of the Beagle Channel, Estancia Harberton offers a glimpse into the history and wildlife of Argentina’s far-flung Tierra del Fuego.
The oldest estancia (farm) in this part of the world, the still-working property dates back to 1887 and was established by English missionary Thomas Bridges. Bridges founded the Anglican Mission at Ushuaia in 1870.
Today, the estancia remains in the hands of Bridges’ descendants, and it was declared an Argentine National Historical Monument in 1999.
A visit reveals the original buildings of wood and corrugated iron, and terraced gardens. The sheep have long gone but the cattle remain. While you’re here you can also walk amongst a penguin colony at the estancia’s Yecapasela Reserve.
Perhaps the best way to visit is by boat tour from Ushuaia. The cruises visit the Bridges Islands for wildlife viewing of sea lions, penguin colonies and cormorants, before sailing to the estancia for a tour of the homestead and its small marinelife museum.
Traveling here by road, the route winds past mountains, valleys and coastal vistas of the Beagle Channel and its wind-sculpted trees and marshland.
Estancia Harberton is 85 km (52 miles) east of Ushuaia, 40 nautical miles by sea. You can visit by tour, taxi or hire car.
If you’re visiting independently, enjoy a meal in the tearooms or arrange accommodation in the estancia’s guesthouses.