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“Tierra del Fuego hiking/boating/eating tour” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Antartur Adventure

Antartur Adventure
25 de Mayo 296, Ushuaia, Argentina
54 02901 430329
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Ranked #4 of 34 Activities in Ushuaia
Type: Tours, Adventure
Attraction details
Richland, Washington
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Tierra del Fuego hiking/boating/eating tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

We had a tour with Nunatak in Tierra del Fuego. We were picked up at our hotel on time and then taken to the Tierra del Fuego national park. There we hiked for 3-4 hours with 10 in the group. Daniel was our guide and was extremely knowledgeable and spoke in Spanish and English and tried to do what he could in Italian for 2 of the clients. (Daniel is an asset to the company) We learned much of the history of the area and saw such beauty on the trail. As always with such diverse groups, there were different walking/hiking abilities and we had to keep waiting on one person in the group. However, the scenery was wonderful and no reason to hurry--in fact, one of the great things was talking and visiting and learning from the others. After the hike we had a wonderful lunch in an enclosed shelter with great food, lots of wine and it was all taken care of by the guide and his helper. After the lunch we then did a lake paddle to experience the lake environment via the water. Nunatak had every thing set and taken care of. The guide also suggested a wonderful seafood restaurant used by the "locals" for us to try and it also turned out very good and ate there once and tried for a second time but it was closed. As I stated, Daniel was an excellent guide and everything was organized and taken care of. The next day Nunatak was in charge of our shuttle to the airport and again, they notified us as to when they would be there and arrived as planned. This can NOT be said for all the companies we worked with on our trip.

Visited February 2012
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83 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
680 reviews 680 reviews
268 attraction reviews
Reviews in 185 cities Reviews in 185 cities
1,726 helpful votes 1,726 helpful votes
“Probably Fine - If You Speak Spanish!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

We signed up for the 4WD Lake Excursion with Nunatak. We were asked on the phone what language we wanted the tour in (we said English). When the day of the tour came, a Spanish-only speaking driver arrived and informed us that not only were we the only non-Spanish speaking guests on the tour, but he didn't speak English either.

The tour was pretty much identical to the Lakes & Canoeing type tours every operator is running - we crossed paths with Rayenaventura, Ushuaia Outdoors, Tierra and Canal Fun along the way - quite a popular circuit. All are done in Land Rovery Discoverys, all go the same basic route (4WD, Lake Escondido for Canoeing, Fagnano and then a BBQ Lunch). The only differences were that Nunatak stopped at their lodge for banos and to see the sled dogs they use for wintertime activities, they had the only access permit to an area of Fagnano Lake that was away from the masses (everyone else congregated on the beach put-in), they are the only company to use real canoes, and we ate the lunch at a small cabin in the woods instead of in the cold by the lake.

The 4WD road was blocked by a forest fire, so everyone used an alternate road. It lasted all of about 30 minutes, with a stop to look at a Beaver dam and to see the devastation caused by the beavers (The English translation for 10 minutes of explanation in Spanish was one word - "Dam"). The 4-wheeling was reasonably fun, but if you sit in the far back you can't really see anything that's going on - mostly the guy in the passenger seat gets all the good view, and the rear end of the truck was so loud that nobody else could hear the guide, even if we did speak Spanish.

After a 20 minute stop (not sure why so long) for bathrooms at their lodge, we went down a 4WD trail to Escondido Lake (nice views along the way, scary, narrow road though - great viewpoints). The lake is a typical wooded mountain lake, nice but nothing you haven't seen before if you've ever been to the mountains. We went to our own private area and launched the real 2-person canoes. They are the only company to do this - Usuaia Outdoors uses giant 12-person rafts like for white water, Canal Fun uses inflatables, Tierra uses zodiacs, these were the best of the lot by far. Nice paddle for about 1 hour or so. As we had only one tour guide (no helper) the guests had to be put to work because it was too much for one guy to do everything. This was a recurring theme through the day.

We were getting hungry now, as we headed for Fagnano Lake, about a 30 min. drive. Here we made a pointless 5 minute stop at a lake that looked just like the other one, and left. No explanation at all (I think, at least not in English). Then we drove about 1.5 hours back to the lunch spot - a fast, somewhat scary, very boring ride. Once at the lunch spot, we helped the guide carry all the food and gear to the cabin, where we were served summer sausage and cheese. It was about 3:30 PM now, we were all starving. I have no idea why they didn't serve the sausage and cheese and wine at Fagnano Lake instead - would have broken up the day, and given us some purpose for being there.

The guide BBQ'd our lunch, while the 8 of us shared one bottle of wine and ate cheese to sustain life until about 4:30 PM when sausage was served for "lunch". It was really good - we were all famished. After the sausage we finally requested more wine when it was clear it wasn't coming and the guide gladly got a couple more bottles out. We were all stuffed by now with sausage, but apparently there was meat too! Another hour later, the guide appeared with a plate of meat - now 5:30 PM. We were all too full to eat it, but we tried. Really overcooked, but a nice thought. There was more though - apple cake of some kind, but everyone was too full by now to eat it. The guests got to participate in cleaning up after dinner, as we were all anxious to get back now. 15 minutes back to town. We had to stop by the office to pay, where we were informed we got to walk the 20 minutes back to our hotel.

The guide was really nice, but didn't speak English, and it was absurd that there wasn't a helper along - both for safety as well as to make the amount of work the guide was doing reasonable, and for the time of the tour to be reasonable. There was about 1.5 hours of actual tour followed by about 5 hours of sitting around and eating, so really a food tour with a bit of canoeing thrown in. As the tour was only in Spanish, we learned absolutely nothing, got nothing out of the tour except for canoeing and food, didn't even receive a safety briefing or instruction for the canoes ("You Understand?" was it, even though we said no), and sat and talked to each other as nobody else spoke English and we didn't speak Spanish.

We got to the office and complained that we had specifically booked an English tour, but got the Spanish tour, so missed out on most of the actual tour. We asked for a 50% refund to make up for this, but they refused - only willing to part with $12 each out of the $100 + they charged us for this tour in which we understood nothing. Thank you very much, have a nice 20 minute walk back to your hotel in the cold at 6:30 PM at night.

The guide and activities were fine, as long as you speak Spanish - it was just disorganized. They needed another helper, needed to put English speaking groups together as advertised, and needed to do the cheese & sausage at lakeside at Fagnano Lake instead of at the cabin, and an offer to take guests back to their hotel (where they were picked up). With those few easy to make changes, this would have been a much better tour.

The vehicle was as good or better than that used by the other companies, and the company seemed to be professionally run and set up (not fly-by-night). We couldn't see most of the scenery out of the back of the Land Rover, and it was really loud in the back end. Overall, mostly a waste of a day, though it was nice to canoe and nice to see the scenery, and the guide did try hard - he was just undermanned and didn't speak English.

Visited January 2012
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