In the first leg of our 8-day road trip of Tierra del Fuego, we entered the island via Punta Delgada - a short ferry crossing at the narrowest part of the Strait of Magellan.
The island of Tierra del Fuego can be accessed by car from the mainland via two ferry crossings:
- 2 hour ferry Punta Arenas Porvenir
- 20 minute ferry Punta Delgada Bahía Azúl (through the Primera Angostura)
To start our journey we chose the latter because the more frequent ferry crossings worked better with our schedule.
Tip: The Punta Delgada ferry is cash only, ticket purchased onboard. No reservation required. For more information about prices and timetables see Transbordadora Austral Boom. Ferry crossings may be cancelled due to strong winds.
Estancia San Gregorio
The 2-hour drive from Punta Arenas to the ferry terminal at Punta Delgada is 100% on paved roads and mostly uneventful (drive carefully when there are strong winds on the route). You do pass Estancia San Gregorio - a now historical site of the first established ranch in Patagonia, and representative of the colonization of the region in the 1800s. A good place to stop for a photo and to stretch your legs (there are also two large shipwrecks in front).
Crossing Primera Angostura
We arrived to Punta Delgada around 8:30 PM and parked our van in line for the ferry to Bahía Azúl. Less than 15 minutes later we boarded and were crossing the Strait of Magellan just in time for the perfect sunset.
Tip: There are bathrooms, showers and a small convenience store at the Punta Delgada ferry terminal.
Arriving to Tierra del Fuego at Bahía Azúl, there was a never-ending line of cars waiting to make the traverse back to Punta Delgada. It was a couple days before Christmas and this is the only way for Argentines to reach the mainland by car. Not something we had considered, but lesson learned: definitely keep in mind holidays when organizing your trip.
A short drive later on smooth paved road, we arrived to Cerro Sombrero, our home for the night.