The Beagle Channel is a strait separating islands of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, located in extreme southern South America. It separates Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego from several smaller islands to the south. Its eastern portion is part of the border between Chile and Argentina, but the western part is completely within Chile. Beagle Channel is about 150 miles long and is about three miles wide at its narrowest point. To the west the Darwin Sound connects it to the Pacific Ocean. Although it is navigable by large ships, there are safer waters to the south (Drake Passage) and to the north (Strait of Magellan). Several small islands (Picton, Lennox, and Nueva) near the eastern end were the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Chile and Argentina; by the terms of a 1984 treaty they are now part of Chile while Argentina has most maritime rights. The biggest settlement on the channel is Ushuaia in Argentina.
The Beagle Channel is named after the ship HMS Beagle which was involved in two hydrographic surveys of the coasts of the southern part of South America in the early 19th century. During the first, under the overall command of the Australian Commander Philip Parker King, the Beagle's captain Pringle Stokes committed suicide and was replaced by captain Robert Fitzroy. The second is better known as the "Voyage of the Beagle" and is famous because Captain Fitzroy took Charles Darwin, giving him opportunities as an amateur naturalist.
JOURNEYS trips that include the Beagle Channel:
Patagonia Nature Safari
Chile and Argentina: The Altiplano to Buenos Aires from Feb. 14-March 15, 2008 with Will and Joan Weber
Cruising the Straits: Chile to Argentina from March 1-5, 2008 with Will and Joan Weber trip extension
Argentina Explorer: Patagonia to Buenos Aires from March 5-15, 2008 with Will and Joan Weber
Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia trip extension
Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Channel