Great unexplored steppes, stories that have passed from generation to generation, archaeological sites, bright blue skies, glaciers, sea birds such as penguins, albatrosses, petrels or cormorants. Sightings of humpback whales, red foxes and sea lions.
This and much more is what can be appreciated and enjoyed in Tierra del Fuego, in the Magallanes Region.
More than 3,000 km from Santiago, the place houses a unique nature and climate, however, at the tourist level there has been a lack of properly informed itineraries and an interpretive structure that is capable of explaining the territory, its history, its environment, its resources. and patrimonial assets.
This is why the Catholic University (UC) and its Cultural Heritage Center, supported by Corfo, created the Cultural Routes in Tierra del Fuego. These are based on the relationship between nature, history and heritage and seek to promote special interest tourism in the region.
“This project collects historical, cultural, patrimonial and natural elements of our own identity and makes them visible to us and also to other people,” says Andrea Téllez, director of Sernatur XII Region.
The design of the routes was carried out by a multidisciplinary team that was working in the area for 10 years, which included architects, geographers, designers and economists, in addition to the collaboration of two international experts, from MIT and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.
In the beginning, 12 itineraries were created based on the idea of “adding value to the landscape in cultural terms. A mountain range like Darwin, in addition to being a fantastic place from the landscape point of view, has a history behind it ”, says Sebastián Seisdedos, project coordinator.
However, due to the lack of tourist infrastructure, it was decided to start with only four that will be available from March on the page www.tierradelfuegochile.com.
From there they can be downloaded to a GPS system or known via Google Earth to follow them independently or with local operators.
The routes are: de la Madera, Estancias, Selk’nam and Wetlands. The latter includes a circuit to the bottom area of Bahía Inutil, where there is a large colony of penguins.
“We want these four to be the starting point for a sustainable tourism development for Tierra del Fuego, so that in the future a new infrastructure will be enabled and that all those designed in the beginning can be implemented.”
The plan is part of an Innova Chile Corfo program and was consolidated thanks to the contribution of $ 80 million from the entity. In addition, UC and associated operators contributed another $ 46 million.
For Téllez, “this is the basis and a very important tool from which we can empower Tierra del Fuego as a unique destination in the world.”