Where is the real End of the World Lighthouse?

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Where is the real End of the World Lighthouse?

The truth about the End of the World Lighthouse

Most people who hear about the End of the World Lighthouse in Ushuaia immediately associate it with the image of the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in the archipelago that bears the same name. This lighthouse is a popular tourist point of interest in Ushuaia, almost an icon of the city, and many people believe that it is the Lighthouse at the End of the World that appears in the famous novel by Jules Verne. However, the reality is that the true lighthouse at the End of the World that this author refers to is the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse.

There are those who are inclined to establish the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse as the Lighthouse of the End of the World since it is recognized in this way at a tourist level and there are also those who make the clarification that the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is the “misnamed” Lighthouse of the End of the world. Below we share the true story of both lighthouses so you can take your own stance in this lighthouse duel.

San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse

The lighthouse was inaugurated on May 25, 1884 by Marine Colonel Don Augusto Lasserre. The construction of the “San Juan de Salvamento” lighthouse was recognized as the first act of exercise of sovereignty by Argentina in the region of southern Patagonia after the boundary treaty with Chile in 1881.

According to the archive of the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia, the place selected for its original construction was northeast of the Island of the States, where they also built a Sub Prefecture detachment, a rescue station, a stone dock and also an incipient military prison. . The construction of these buildings was carried out by imprisoned carpenters who later returned to Ushuaia.

It was created to guide ships sailing around Cape Horn. In its time, this lighthouse was considered one of the most dangerous in the world due to its location in an area of ​​strong currents and winds. And unfortunately its history is linked to shipwrecks and other misfortunes.

According to research, the location of the lighthouse with its dim light of a real range of no more than 7 miles was not advisable to locate during navigation in such a challenging area where wind and storms abound.

Jules Verne was inspired by this lighthouse for his novel “The Lighthouse at the End of the World”, published in 1905. In the novel, Verne describes a lighthouse at the southern tip of South America that marks the end of the known world. The story is set in 1861, when the lighthouse was one of the most isolated and dangerous in the world. Although the lighthouse in the novel is fictional, Verne was inspired by the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse precisely because of the shipwreck stories linked to this southern area of ​​the world.

Around the year 1900, its final closure was ordered and its function replaced by another lighthouse built on the Año Nuevo Islands. Over time, the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse deteriorated until it was just a vestige in the history of Argentine sovereignty.

Even so, a group of people interested in the conservation of local heritage managed to make a replica of the lighthouse half its size, which can be visited and known in the port of San Juan de Salvamento itself. The remains of the original lighthouse from 1884 are preserved and you can also currently visit them at the Ushuaia Maritime Museum.

The lighthouse is famous for its role in Jules Verne’s novel, but also for its role in the real history of navigation in the region.

les éclaireurs lighthouse

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

If we talk about an icon of the city of Ushuaia, as we have already mentioned, the image of this significant lighthouse with striking colors appears very quickly. Popularly known as the Lighthouse at the End of the World, although we have just discovered that it is not.

The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is a tourist and cultural jewel . That scenario where everyone wants to have the perfect snapshot, a tangible postcard that proves the visit to the End of the World.

Some significant data that differentiates it from the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse is that it is located much closer to Ushuaia than the latter. The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is easier to access since it is located on an islet in the Beagle Channel and is part of the itinerary of numerous lake excursions that depart recurrently from the Ushuaia Tourist Dock.

This lighthouse was built between 1918 and 1919 and for more than 100 years it has been providing services to all sailors in southern waters, providing guidance through its luminous equipment that today is managed remotely and has energy supplies based on to solar panels.

Les Éclaireurs lighthouse from the air

So what is the true lighthouse of the End of the World?

It is a proven fact that the lighthouse that inspired Jules Verne is the mythical San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse, located on the Island of the States. Even so, the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is a cultural and tourist icon, recognized for being one of the favorite postcards of visitors to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.

Thus, with the distinction and reservation made, as lovers of Ushuaia and committed disseminators of all its points of interest, it seems appropriate to publicize both lighthouses, allowing each person to take their position, but with the sole condition that they can visit both. options. Below, we detail how to access each of the Lighthouses to take a stand.

les éclaireurs lighthouse

How to get to the End of the World Lighthouse? (the one you choose as your favorite)

The replica of the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse is located in the Ushuaia Maritime Museum and can be visited during tours of it. By taking the guided tour, you can learn exhaustively about the history and historical relevance of this lighthouse that inspired the French writer Jules Verne.

On the other hand, to visit the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse there are numerous proposals for navigation through the Beagle Channel, such as the classic navigation to the penguin colony. who count on visiting this notable destination. You can also hire multi-day tours that include these types of excursions.

So, if you are planning a visit to Ushuaia and you are interested in knowing the real Lighthouse at the End of the World, you will have two unmissable destinations on your itinerary: The Maritime Museum of Ushuaia to see the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse and an unforgettable navigation through the Beagle Channel and thus have your postcard with the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Without a doubt, they are two impressive tourist attractions that will leave you with wonderful memories.

We invite you to share in comments which one is the true End of the World Lighthouse for you and why. Let the headlight duel begin!

San San Pablo Lighthouse


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