Historic Cape Horn
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Historic Cape Horn
Historic Cape Horn

As the primary route from east to west for so many generations, Cape Horn is as drenched in history as it is in monstrous waves. The area has been a crossroads of civilization since the days of Magellan, who pioneered the journey around the Horn. Magellan himself is said to have named Patagonia. Meeting the native big-boned Tehuelche people for the first time, he called out, “¡Hola, patagón!” which roughly translates as “Hello, big foot.” Magellan also named the region Tierra del Fuego, or “Land of Fire,” for the campfires lit by the Tehuelches to signal one another as his ship passed their beaches. Sadly, this story doesn't have a happy ending: With the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s, the entire indigenous population was wiped out by disease and genocide.

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