Long ago, the Selknam traveled the large island of Tierra del Fuego. They were respected warriors, seasoned hunters, experts at trail-finding, and one of the tallest native peoples of the entire continent. By the end of the 20th century, however, life on the island had changed drastically. Most of the lowlands were occupied by large sheep farms. These changes spurred a struggle that ended with the death of nearly all members of this ethnic group around 50 years after the arrival of the first settlers.

One of the most important sheep farms was the Estancia Caleta Catalina, founded in 1904 by the Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego. The small village of Cameron was named in honor of its first general manager, New Zealander Alexander Cameron. Today, you can still find signs of these settlers’ preferred architectural styles––and the complex history they are part of––in the houses’ zinc facades and carved wooden moldings.

Lodging, Food, and Activities:

Various options for lodging are available in the Russfin, Lake Deseado, and Karukinka sectors.

Region

Timaukel

Province

Tierra del Fuego

Population

62

Climate and Rainfall

Cold, humid temperate climate, 19 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Alberto de Agostini National Park

Parque Nacional Yendegaia

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the Russfin gold dredge, located 50 minutes south of Cameron, which was brought from England in 1904 and declared a National Monument in 1976.
  • Explore the trails of the private Karukinka Park, located 16 miles from Pampa Guanaco. Highlights include the Cóndores Imaginarios Trail (3 hours), the Laguna del Cura Trail (6.5 hours), and the Cerro Pietro Grande Trail (4 hours; the trailhead is 15 minutes from the Vicuña cabin).
  • Visit Lake Blanco, one of the most scenic lakes in Tierra del Fuego, known for the beautiful trees that surround it and its impressive views of the Tierra del Fuego mountain range.
  • Visit Lake Deseado.
  • Cross Tierra del Fuego and arrive at Lake Fagnano via Route Y-85.
  • Visit Pingüino Rey Park and take photos of the penguin colony at Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay).

How to get

Cameron is located 209 miles from Punta Arenas. To get there, you’ll need to cross the Strait of Magellan at the Primera Angostura sector (Punta Delgada), a trip of around 20 minutes. Cameron is also located 95 miles from Porvenir.

See here map of the province of Tierra del Fuego

Buses travel daily between Cerro Sombrero and Punta Arenas. More information is available in Pullman Norte Buses.

There are also bus routes connecting Cerro Sombrero and Porvenir. Find out more by contacting Río Side Buses.

Finally, there are also bus routes between Porvenir and Cameron. These run three times a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday). For more information, contact Juan Quelín Calisto via landline at 61 258 0253 or via cell at 9 62 37 84 77.

To get to Villa Cameron, you’ll need to cross the Strait of Magellan at Punta Delgada, which is located 106 miles from Punta Arenas along Route CH-225. The voyage across the strait takes around 20 minutes. Once you’re on the island, drive 103 miles to reach Cameron.

You can also cross the Strait of Magellan at Tres Puentes, located around 3 miles from Punta Arenas. The crossing takes around 2 hours. When you reach Porvenir, you’ll need to drive 95 miles to Cameron.

The nearest airport is in Punta Arenas. Dap Airlines offers flights to Porvenir, a trip of just 12 minutes.

Tips

Basic Services

  • “Caja Vecina” (Rural Bank Services)
  • Workers’ Compensation Health Care
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service (Entel)
  • Aerodrome

Visitor’s Center

This area does not have a visitor’s center at this time.

Important Dates

La Fiesta del Fuego

On June 21, the town celebrates “La Fiesta del Fuego” (The Festival of Fire), which commemorates the day Ferdinand Magellan crossed the strait and spotted the large bonfires of the Selknam people.

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