Hiking to the Emerald Lagoon & Learning about the Unique Patagonian Beavers

  • Hiking in the beautiful Patagonian forest

Get ready to learn about and witness an amazing story about the Patagonian beavers and how humans can accidentally generate a devastating natural disaster by turning what could have been an ecological paradise, instead, into a real ecological problem. We’ll also hike through the beautiful Patagonian forest and Tierra Mayor valley to reach the Emerald Lagoon, which radiates shades of emerald green with the sunlight.

In 1946, Argentina’s government decided to import a group of 50 beavers from Canada to Ushuaia, in hopes they would thrive and reproduce. The goal was to help foster the fur trade and boost the local economy. Unfortunately, the business never took off...but the beavers sure did! With no natural predators in the area, the beavers flourished from a population of only 50 to over 100,000!

Because beavers are excellent swimmers, they build dams out of the large trees they fell in order to flood their habitat and protect themselves from predators. These dams can be huge in size. In fact, the largest beaver dam in the world (located in Canada) is a half a mile (850 meters) long and is even visible from space!

In their natural habitat, these furry creatures seem like nature’s smartest engineers when building dams to protect themselves. But here in this strange habitat they are thriving without limits and are mindlessly felling trees and destroying the ecosystem with not a single predator in sight!

We’ll start our hiking adventure with a hour and a half ride to Tierra Mayor Valley from where we’ll start our hike through the Patagonian forest until we reach the Emerald Lagoon. As we trek further into the quiet forest, with the marshlands lightly squishing beneath our feet, we’ll soon arrive at the heart of the lagoon. Here you’ll be dazzled by the shades of emerald green that reflect off the water when it’s touched by sunlight. After a short trek back from the Emerald Lagoon, we’ll arrive at the flowing streams that are home to the beavers in the area. Here, if we are lucky, we may have the chance to see the beavers in action as they leave their burrows in the afternoon to begin their work (this is why the tour starts in the afternoon). Due to a recent and successful beavers control program imposed by the local government, beavers are now more difficult to see than before.

As night slowly approaches, we make our way to the refuge, where a tasty dinner awaits us. After dinner, we’ll return to our hotel with the knowledge of having learned how easy it is for humans to mess up a fragile ecosystem and the natural beauty of our planet.

Important: Please note that the refuge where dinner is held is very rustic, so there are no bathrooms, except in nature.

The tour’s exact itinerary and duration may change subject to weather conditions and decisions of the tour guide to optimize your tour experience.

Difficulty: moderate. The hike is 3.5 long in total (approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes each way).
Trek distance: 5.6 miles (9 kilometers). Elevation gain: 535 feet (163 meters) with a cumulative elevation gain (refers to the sum of every gain in elevation throughout the entire trek) of 567 feet (173 meters).
The minimum age required for this tour is 5 years old. moderate. This tour usually operates from mid October to end of March.

Duration: Full day (approximately 6 to 7 hours from the time you leave your hotel until you return). This tour starts in the afternoon.

Guide: group guide. The maximum group size for this tour is approximately 18 travelers.

Vehicle: group vehicle.

Includes: dinner with non-alcoholic beverages & wine.