Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Argentina
Magellan called it Tierra del Fuego, "the Land of Fire," having seen flames rising from the darkened islands. For over three centuries, the name struck fear in the hearts of mariners. Howling headwinds, mountainous seas and rocky coastlines spelled a sudden end to many voyages. Today, Ushuaia, a former Argentine penal colony, serves as your gateway to this wilderness where snow-capped mountains plummet to the icy waters of the Beagle Channel.
In the late 19th century, Reverend Thomas Bridges spent years working with local tribes, compiling a dictionary of their Yaghan tongue. The work outlived the Yaghan: by the beginning of the 20th century, they had succumbed to disease.