Estancia Harberton

By Admin | Last Updated November 21, 2019

Established in 1886, Estancia Harberton is located in Tierra del Fuego, on the shore of the Beagle Channel. The place was established by Thomas Bridges after the Argentine government granted him land. He turned the land into a cattle and sheep ranch. Harberton is the oldest farm in Argentine Tierra del Fuego.

You must have an insight into the life of this personality. Thomas Bridges has authored the dictionary of the Yamana or Yaghan language. Bridges had picked up Yaghan spoken by the native inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego. On his agricultural mission to the island, he had communicated with locals in their native tongue and later formed the Anglican Mission at Ushuaia. He himself managed the Estancia. Harberton now belongs to his grand-children.

The Estancia was first named Downeast but was later changed it to Harberton, after the name of Bridges’ wife Mary Ann Varder’s birthplace in Devon, England.

Quick Facts – Estancia Harberton

Estancia Harberton It is the oldest ranch located at the end of the world.
Location Harberton Ranch, Ushuaia,  Tierra del Fuego province
Fees Approx. $ 240 for Foreigners and Argentines
Open from / to October 15th – March 31st

Estancia Harberton Museum Admission Ticket

From USD $0.00

Interesting Facts

  • It is a remote ranch at the end of the world.
  • Antarctica is just 1000 kms to the south the ranch.
  • The ranch is located on the peninsula jutting out into the grey waters of the Beagle channel.
  • Harberton was a working sheep ranch till 1990s. Its now a cattle ranch only.

What to Do at Estancia Harberton

  1. Manacatush Tea Room is a great place to have tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and desserts. It is open from 10.00 am – 7.00 pm. It is in the northwest side of the original Bridge’s house. Have a great soup for lunch, a specialty of the place. You can have panoramic views of Harberton from the Tea Room.
  2. There are guided tours that you can avail off. It was opened for public viewing in 1980s. University interns are guides here. You can have spectacular views of the bay, mountains and islands during the tour. You can view all the different varieties of native trees in the nature reserve. Learn about the family tree of the Bridges. You can also visit the boat house and carpenter house.
  3. Acatushun Museum is within the homestead. It is a laboratory cum museum. It was established for the study of biology of the marine animals and birds in the southern tip of the world. The collection has exhibits of 2700 marine mammals and 2300 birds. You should also visit the exhibition hall, which has a simulated environment of life size dolphins and seals.
  4. The Bridges Trail was inaugurated in 1898. There are over 100 crossings on the trail, of the rivers Varela and Rancho Lata and another 100 of Valdez. It is for the adventurous at heart.
  5. You can also visit Yecapasela – The Penguin Island. Walk with Magellanic and Gentoo penguins.
  6. Acawaia Restaurant is another stop. It is located on the hill top. You can great views of the Beagle channel from the restaurant.

The Estancia Harberton was declared a National Historical Monument by the Argentina Government in 1999.

Best Time to Visit

Tourists are allowed from October 15th – March 31st, barring Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

How to Reach

By Road- The estancia is situated on the Beagle Channel, 85 km east of Ushuaia. You can reach the place, by National Route 3, over the mountain Rancho Hambre and then moving on the Route J for 45 kms.  Enroute you can enjoy Fuegian scenery, dense forests, peat-bog valleys and coastal lines. The Flag-trees, given the name by the strong winds deformity, also line the path way. You can take taxi, mini bus or come in your car.

By Sea- Many tourists prefer to visit Estancia Harberton by sea route. You can sail along the Beagle Channel for 60 kms to reach the estancia. Enroute you can enjoy the exquisite scenery of the place. Catamaran companies also have scheduled departures on the same route. One of these companies, give passengers the option of staying at the estancia for 3.5 hours and returning by bus or sea.