Tierra del Fuego (Spanish land of fire) is an archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. In 1881 it was divided between Argentina and Chile. The archipelago consists of a main island (often called Tierra del Fuego as well), and a group of smaller islands. It is separated from the continent by the Strait of Magellan. The southern point of the archipelago forms Cape Horn.
The main industries are oil, natural gas, sheep farming and tourism. The largest island is Tierra del Fuego, or Isla Grande, with an area of 48,100 sq km. Half of this island, and the islands west of it, are part of the Magallanes Region of Chile, the capital and chief town of which is Punta Arenas. The eastern part of the archipelago belongs to Argentina, forming the federal district of Tierra del Fuego; its capital, Ushuaia, is the world's most southerly town.
Its name comes from the many fires (fuego in Spanish) of the native americans, which were visible from the sea. The name was created by Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first European to pass it in 1520.