Laguna Esmeralda

For some it's the end of the world. Yet to me, it feels like the beginning. Where the colors of nature pop out at you like 3D images. So vivd and pure are the colors, that you immediately know you've entered an area where nature has not yet bent to man. It still have dominance in this part of the world.

Much of those feelings echo my first impressions of seeing Tierra del Fuego out of an airplane window on approach. I couldn't believe such a place could still exist in the world. There are other pristine and unspoiled areas of nature, but never have they grabbed my eye from above like they have at the southern tip of Argentina.

The Laguna Esmeralda is a common enough touristic hike. With the tour company providing tall gum boots for trekking through quick-sand like peat bogs. It's a really strange sensation to try to walk and feel your foot sinking into the earth. It's nothing dangerous, just a matter of successfully pulling your leg out without losing your boot! Pretty cool looking back on it.

The hike itself is absolutely beautiful. At the same time, you'll see some mass devastation to the forest caused by none other than Canada's biggest ecosystem wildcard, the beaver. As if the hike itself wasn't rewarding enough, you end up at this beautiful green lagoon, with a backdrop of glacier mountains.

The emerald lagoon - a perfect showcase for one of the many natural highlights that Tierra del Fuego has to offer.