Isla de los Estados (Dutch: Stateneiland) is an Argentine island that lies 29 km off the eastern extremity of the Argentine portion of Tierra del Fuego, from which it is separated by the Le Maire Strait. It was named for the Netherlands States-General.
The island was discovered on December 25, 1615 by Jacob le Maire and Willem Schouten, who named it Country of the Lords of the State. Dutch captain Hendrik Brouwer sighted it in 1643. Argentine sailor Luis Piedra Buena constructed a shelter near Port Cook in 1862, and built a small seal oil extraction facility on the island.
The San Juan del Salvamento was inaugurated on May 25, 1884 by Comodoro Augusto Lasserre, and functioned until 1899. The lighthouse, better known as Faro del fin del mundo ("Lighthouse at the end of the world"), is said to have inspired Jules Verne for his book The Lighthouse at the End of the World, published in 1905. A military prison was set on the island, working from 1899 to 1902, when it had to be moved to Tierra del Fuego after being compromised by the strong winds.
The Staten Island is approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) long east-west, and 15 km wide, with an area of 534 km² (206 mi²); it is deeply indented by bays. The highest point is 823 metres (2600 ft), and is considered to be the last prominence of the Andes mountain range. The island receives around 2,000 millimetres (79 in) of rain per year, feeding its dense low forests. The animal life is composed mainly of penguins, orcas, seals, seagulls and cormorants, as well as the human-introduced deer and goats.
The island is surrounded by minor islands and rocks, the largest being Isla Observatorio 6.5 km north of it, with an area of 4 km².