One of the must-do things to do in Ushuaia is the excursion to navigate the Beagle Channel and reach the so-called lighthouse of the end of the world, the lighthouse Les Éclaiereurs. Here we tell you all the details of the excursion, the options and the prices.
The lighthouse Les Éclaireurs (‘The Illuminators’ in French) is located on a small islet in the Beagle Channel. It’s not very big, just about 11 meters high, but the place where it’s located and the bright colors with which it’s painted, make this a spot that everyone wants to visit. It has been in operation since 1920, controlled remotely with the help of solar panels.
Many tourist agencies in Ushuaia promote excursions to this lighthouse with the name of “lighthouse of the end of the world”, although it is not to be confused with the original lighthouse that corresponds to the novel written by Julio Verne (the San Juan Lighthouse of Rescue of the island of the States that is not possible to visit).
Beagle Channel Sailing Excursions
The agencies that offer the excursion to navigate the Beagle Channel usually offer three options:
Option 1: Isla de los Pájaros, Isla de los Lobos and Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse
This excursion to navigate through the Beagle Channel, first visits the Isla de los Pájaros (Birds Island), where fauna such as albatrosses, seagulls and ducks can be seen. Afterwards, the Isla de los Lobos is visited to see the friendly sea lions. The catamaran tour continues until it arrives at the famous Les Eclaireurs lighthouse.
The excursion takes place every day of the year and lasts approximately three hours. There are two daily departures, so it can be done in the morning or in the afternoon.
Check here the prices to sail in the Beagle Channel to see Les Eclaireurs lighthouse. Included: Port Tax and navigation certificate. Not included: Hotel pickup and drop-off, food and drinks
Option 2: includes Option 1 plus a visit to the penguin colony.
This excursion to navigate through the Beagle Channel includes Isla de los Pájaros, Isla de los Lobos, Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, but adds the our of Isla Martillo to see the penguins (some of them include disembarking and walking with penguins). This excursion sails through the Beagle Channel eastbound.
On the way back it is possible to see, from the catamaran, the estancia Túnel and estancia Remolino, spotting the hull of the old ship Monte Cervantes, which is semi-submerged.
The excursion only takes place from the beginning of October until mid-April, when penguins can be seen in the area, and lasts approximately five to seven hours. There often are two daily departures, so it can be done in the morning or in the afternoon.
Check here tour to the Beagle Channel cruise. Included: Hotel pick up and drop off, bilingual speaking guide and catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel. Not included: food..
Option 3: includes Option 1 and 2 plus a visit to Estancia Harberton.
To the visit to the Isla de los Pájaros, Isla de los Lobos, Les Eclaireurs lighthouse and penguin colony, is added the visit to the Harberton estancia. To visit the ranch, you disembark the catamaran, after visiting the penguin colony, and access by land to the place, where you enjoy lunch with typical Patagonian plates and a tour around the ranch. Later, the return to Ushuaia is in terrestrial transport by route, appreciating the mountains, rivers and lagoons.
The excursion only takes place from the beginning of October until the end of March, when penguins can be seen in the area, and lasts approximately ten hours. There is a daily departure, which takes place very early in the morning.
Suggestions to make the excursion to navigate the Beagle Channel
- Due to the changing weather conditions in the extreme south, it is recommended to wear warm and waterproof clothing, as the weather on the same day can change several times.
- It is possible to take food with you on the catamaran, although there is a bar service inside the boat.
- At all times you must respect the rules and instructions of the staff, do not throw food to the animals or approach the penguins in areas not set aside for the visitor.