Mountaineering in Tierra del Fuego

Estancia Yendegaia


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2013. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.


Map showing the journey to Estancia Yendegaia on 27-28 Jan 2013

Estancia Yendegaia is a vast property of wild rivers and forest at the foot of the Darwin Range, not far west of the border with Argentina. It is Chilean territory and was once a working farm with cattle and a timber industry. It was purchased for conservation by a US philanthropist and now it is a place of raw and wild beauty. Areas that were once cleared are regenerating and any roads, tracks or air strips are overgrown and no longer usable. Access to Yendegaia is only possible by chartered boat. The only house on the entire immense property is a single homestead on the coast, a shed for the dogs and a stable for the horses. There are vast open spaces where the horses run freely. The local residents are few and temporary. They live mainly off the land, surviving on abundant stocks of fish in the rivers and channels, geese, wild cattle and horses, and a few vegetables that can be grown in the short and temperamental summer months.

The Estancia was more or less on our way back to Puerto Williams and so we spent two nights there. We enjoyed bountiful supplies of the abundant and delicious local food (in particular the highland goose and beef steaks) and we also went horse riding for half a day into the remote interior of this vast and wild property.

Date Comments
27 Jan 2013 Left Caleta Olla very early in the morning and sailed east in very calm fine weather. Beagle Channel was calm. Moored at Estancia Yendegaia and rested for a while. Went ashore. Feasted on centolla crab, fresh trout and fresh sardines. Barbeque huddled outside the shed.
28 Jan 2013 Slept in until late. Tried to muster some horses on foot and eventually got them to their corral. Huge lunch of highland goose. Then went horse riding. Then another amazing feast in the evening.



27 Jan 2013 7:27am

Calm and clear weather as we sailed east through the Beagle Channel from Caleta Olla to Estancia Yendegaia.

Around this point and into the harbour to the left is where we are headed.
This range forms the boundary of Estancia Yendegaia - and the border with Argentina. Everything this side of these mountains is in Chile and belongs to the Estancia.

27 Jan 2013 9:35pm.

At the Estancia there are other visitors, including a group of British adventurers who hadjust returned from a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula. Here by the shed we got a barbeque going.

Fresh sardines caught at Caleta Olla the night before.
27 Jan 2013 9:30pm.
Centolla crab for dinner - just an aperitivo.


(Highland goose)

Lunch 2.

(Another Highland goose)

Lunch 3.
After all that food and later that evenin there was much music and merriment.

28 Jan 2013 3:24pm.

Finally, after the horses were mustered and saddled, which wasn't until we'd had a hearty long lunch, we got going on horseback to explore the interior of this property.

28 Jan 2013 3:36pm

The property is breathtakingly beautiful and expansive with huge areas of windswept plains, wild rivers, glaciated peaks and ancient forest.

Many parts of the countryside are waterlogged, either naturally or through the work of beavers.
Surely he doesn't mean for us to cross this river?
Oh yes he does.
No photos of when we were almost swept away on our horses but we did emerge from the other side.

Here comes Eric trying not to get his feet wet. Tierra del Fuego may be one of those places where it is advisable to wear wellington boots while horse riding.

To Dientes of Navarino Trek





All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2013. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.

Page created 24 Apr 2013, last updated 24 Apr 2013.