Destination: Cape Horn & the Beagle Channel
Number of Days: 1
Times we took the: Boat/Ferry - 1 Bus/Minivan - 0 Train/Subway - 0 taxi/car - 0
Where we stayed: Star Princess
Favorite Restaurant: n/a
Best of: Stunning scenery!
Worst of: The wind was incredibly strong!
Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos) marks the end of the Americas, after this there is nowhere to go except Antarctica and it signaled to us the end of a very rough journey at sea through Drake's Passage with 12 foot waves....lets just say the boat was definitely rocking! We arrived at Cape Horn between 10am and 11am and began to circle around it. The Horn is really a mountain on top of an island and you could certainly see how ships would have a hard time navigating this with the waves and strong winds...and we were there on a calm day! Other than the nostalgia of it, there's not much there. A weather station, an Albatross statue that was too far away and too cloudy to see clearly, and some really cool rock formations formed by the constant pounding of the ocean.
After transiting through Cape Horn we entered the Beagle Channel. The Channel is named after Darwin's ship, the HMS Beagle, which was surprising to us. I had always associated the Galapagos with Darwin's work, but it was here, at the end of the world, that Darwin formulated his theory of human evolution by studying the native tribe that lived here. The Channel served as a primary shipping channel until the completion of the Panama canal and today it's serves as the border between Chile and Argentina. These two countries have a lot of border issues with one another and the far southern tip of South America, Cape Horn and some of the many islands at the tip are actually owned by Chile. The Channel was certainly beautiful with the Andes mountains rising high just behind the lush moss covered ground. It was a pleasant but extremely windy journey. The force of the wind was enough to hold you up if you leaned into it.