Isla Redonda is the small island in the Beagle-Channel that you will see on my main photograph in the front with the great mountain-scenery of Patagonia in the background. The photo was taken from Bahia Ensenada, where our tour through the National Park had a short stop and there you will be able to buy postcards and post your letters with the stamp of the "end of the world". That postoffice is inside the hut of the pier.
Lapataia is the name of the place, where the Panamerican highway is ending, the road that takes you from Alaska to Fireland. Lapataia is not even a village, just the end of the road and a large carpark, from where you can walk a bit to a viewpoint with a great panorama-view towards the chilenian mountains in the distance of the bay.
The place is also quite crowded sometimes, because most of the tourist-buses are going there.
There are restrooms at the carpark, but no restaurant or kiosk !
There is a small place, where you are able to leave the wooden path and from there it is an easy walk of about 20 minutes to the very end of the bay, that you will be allowed to hike, and it is called "Senda de la Baliza". There you will see a nice beach, some birds and mainly the landscape from a different view. You will have to walk over some muddy places, you will pass by the beaver-colony and will have to step over some strange bridges - see my pics 4 and 5 !
Archipielago Cormoranes is just about 100 meters after the bridge that you will see in my 3rd photograph. You will find this beautiful spot after two extremely dangerous and narrow bends of the road and in order to see its great landscape it is best to park shortly after the bridge or a long time after these bends. In both places the space for parking a car will be very restricted and these spaces will also be needed for oncoming cars.
It will take about 30 minutes to walk easily through the grass and partly through the woods in order to get to a higher viewpoint, maybe 50 meters above the carpark. That walk is worth it in my opinion, but it is not possible to do it with small children, elderly people etc. At first you walk through the meadow in the south of the parking-area, then you get into the woods with a short but rather steep path uphill and finally a wooden platform for the best view.
Laguna Verde is the name of the first viewpoint that you will get to, when driving the only road to Lapataia. There is a small car-park and from there a wooden path will take you to a platform with a great view. Just about 200 meters from there you will find the last places, where you are allowed to camp in the wild nature for free. (see my accomodation-tips!)
Lapataia is inside the National Park Tierra del Fuego, a wonderful and rough landscape consisting of small rivers, lakes, mountains, endlest forrests and a great wildlife.
At the entrance of the National Park you will have to pay an entrance-fee of 30 ARG $ (=4 euros) per person. That same fee is something that will also be collected from everybody, who is taking the small "train at the end of the world", no matter, wether you get off the train or not, BUT you will also get a seperate ticket for the national park with your trainticket and that is valid as well, when you want to enter the park again that same day.
Take the wooden path to get to the view-points, it is just a rather short walk and also a good place to watch the local wildlife. The birds are obviously used to the visitors in this national park and they feel safe there with the visitors staying behind the wooden bars, so we were able to see wild geese from quite a short distance there.
In that area of the beaver we also saw a big swarm of tropical birds, maybe some sort of a parrot or conure, they arrived with loud singing and sat down in the trees above us, while we were looking out for beavers. It was not easy to watch them and take photos between the brachnes, because they were moving so quickly from one branche and tree to the other, it was really hard to follow them.
At least I was glad that I had my strong tele-lens of 600mm with me, with an ordinary, small digital camera I would have never been able to catch them.
Beavers are some sort of a problem in Tierra del fuego, they were taken there in the 19th century and since then they were destroying a rather large part of the local woods. Close to the viewpoint of Lapataia you will be able to see such an area, where a beaver has destroyed the wood and built his home by cutting trees and building artificial dams.
Unfortunately you will hardly ever see the beaver, as it is normally sleeping at daylight and has its "working-periodes" mainly at night after 8 pm, but at least in the southern summer between December and March there should still be enough daylight untill around 10pm in order to take some pics of the beavers in Fireland.
My brother was lucky to be able to catch a beaver at around 8.30pm for his video, when swimming it rather looks like a small rat taking out just a bit of the head out of the water while swimming.