Visited primarily by cruise ships and private yachts, Estancia Yendegaia conserves 44,000 hectares of Fuegian forest in the Cordillera Darwin between the Argentine border and Parque Nacional Alberto de Agostini.
While the owners hope to establish a private park and create an unbroken preservation corridor along the Beagle Channel (Yendegaia borders Argentina’s Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego), there is government pressure to pave the airstrip of the estancia, and a road south from Lago Blanco is already under construction.
The owners, for their part, would rather see the border opened to foot traffic from Argentina, but they have consulted with public-works officials to minimize the road’s environmental impact.
In the meantime, the estancia is open to visitors—though access is difficult without chartering a plane or boat, or taking an expensive tour like the cruise Fuegian fjords cruise; even this stops only on occasion. Naval boats between Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams may drop passengers here but are so infrequent that getting back could be a problem. At some point, there should be accommodations available.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition