With natural landscapes to fill anyone's eyes, the southernmost city on the planet is the right choice for those who enjoy adventure and unforgettable experiences.
after visiting Ushuaia it's hard to imagine that in the past the location of the destination was an area where no one wanted to live. The city's history begins with the construction of a maximum security prison, which housed some of the most dangerous prisoners in Argentina and served as the main means of populating this inhospitable region of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
Today the old cells contain only vestiges of the history of a somewhat dark past, which can be visited in the current Museum of the End of the World. The attraction is on Av. Maipu, 173, very close to Av. San Martin, the most famous in the city, where the best hotel and gastronomic options are also located, as well as numerous tour agencies and stores that sell clothes, adventure equipment, souvenirs and products from renowned brands.
The city's fame was conceived not only by the stories, but also by the fact that Ushuaia is considered the southernmost city in the world. This information is a bit contradictory, since the small town of Porto Williams, on the Chilean south side, is located at a point even further south, despite not being considered a municipality.
As if these curious facts were not enough, Ushuaia is surrounded by jaw-dropping natural scenery. Destiny was built bordered by the waters of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by Patagonian mountains and forests. On the coldest days, the whole scenario gains an even more special charm due to the snow accumulated in its hills, streets and upper parts of the city. Very common phenomenon during autumn and winter.
Other attraction captivating is made with the penguins, sea lions and whales that spend most of the year living in these icy waters. To have this unique experience, you can opt for some nautical tours that depart through the Beagle Channel or sailing to Martilho Island, which stands out for inhabiting colonies with thousands of penguins.
The Tierra del Fuego National Park is also among the must-see tours to do in Ushuaia. The huge reserve protects an impressive green area formed by mountains, beaches and formidable lagoons. With luck, you may bump into some wild animals walking fearlessly along the park's tracks and trails. They are foxes, guanacos, hares, woodpeckers (called carpenter birds), in addition to other species of birds.
In winter, Ushuaia's most traditional ski centers open their doors to the season. It is at this time that tourists arriving at the “End of the World” enjoy the snow playing and practicing activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
The night in Ushuaia can be enjoyed in traditional pubs and restaurants with the atmosphere of a city at the End of the World. For clubbers on duty, the best options are the nightclubs and some spaces that offer live music such as the Jaggers house and the renowned Hard Rock Café franchise.
Set aside a few hours of your travel itinerary to contemplate the impressive views of the city, available at various points on the waterfront and on the roads. In addition, you can visit the famous End of the World sign, next to the pier and even take a penguin stamped in your passport. It is possible to choose two other design options at the Tourist Information Center, located in front of the craft fair on the edge.
Things to do in Ushuaia
Tierra del Fuego National Park
The park is located approximately 12 km from the center of Ushuaia and offers some different attractions that can be explored in an afternoon. You can start the tour aboard the friendly End of the World Train, which circulates 7 km of the park, passing through some of the most emblematic sights of the famous area. Then you can go along the beginning of Ruta 3, passing by the beaches scattered along the coast, observe the majestic Cerro Bellavista and discover the beautiful Lake Roca.
The most famous of the lagoons near Ushuaia could not have a better name. To get to the attraction, it is necessary to follow a medium level trail that passes through three areas with different types of vegetation: the first is an open field surrounded by mountains, the second in a forest and the third and last, a field of mobs, a kind of wet vegetation that, when stepping on, resembles a sponge. The efforts are rewarded by a huge lagoon with colors ranging from green and blue. Read more.
Overflight through the city
This is a slightly more expensive option than the other tours offered by agencies, but worth every penny paid. The flight over the city lasts 30 minutes and passes through the coast and mountains of Ushuaia, depending on the company that does the tour, it is also possible to make a stop at the top of a mountain with an impressive panoramic view of the city.
Navigation on the Beagle Channel
This is the most classic tour of tourists visiting the region. Every day, several catamaran-style boats leave towards the Eclaireurs Lighthouse, (also known as the Lighthouse of the End of the World). During navigation, tourists are taken to 3 other attractions located on the Beagle Channel. The island of birds concentrates an infinity of Patagonian birds that color the small island. Afterwards, the tour arrives at the island of the sea lions, at which time it is possible to get very close to the large animals. After passing by the End of the World Lighthouse, at the last stop passengers disembark on the Bridges Archipelago island, where they begin a light walk before returning to the city. Read more.
In the past, Monte Martial was home to one of the most famous ski centers in the city, located at the base of the entrance to the Martial Glacier. Today the place remains closed, but the trail to the mountain still works. Right at the entrance, some options of restaurants and coffee shops are available near the beginning of the trail. The path itself can already be considered an attraction on its own (even if this is your first contact with the snow), on the trail it is possible to take pictures at viewpoints, woods and in a charming river that is almost frozen during the winter.
End of the World Museum
The museum has a collection that tells the history of Ushuaia. The extensive collection of objects, pieces and small installations tell narratives about expeditions, shipwrecks, first settlements and the origins of the primitive peoples who inhabited this region.
Martillo Island (Pingüinera)
The charming Martillo Island is located in the Beagle Channel and is formed by beautiful beaches surrounded by vegetation and mountains. The main reason for the constant visitation of tourists is the colonies of Papua and Magellanic penguins that are concentrated in this area during the summer. The tour is offered by companies such as Catamanes Canoero and I leave from the main port of Ushuaia. Read more.
The hike to the Vinciguerra Glacier is recommended for people who already have experience with more complex trekking with high difficulty. To reach the immense glacier, it is necessary to face a trail of almost 4 hours to the base where the Laguna de Los Tempanos is located, which gets its name due to the small icebergs that are almost always mirrored by the lake. From there, it is possible to walk to the glacier and enter the impressive ice caves.
Lake Escondido and Fagnano
The lakes are part of the surreal scenery that can be seen on Ruta 3. You can check out an incredible viewpoint of the two lakes on the road itself. From the viewpoint you can see the entire length of Lake Escondido and a part of the largest lake in Tierra del Fuego, with almost 300 km long.
Founded by Thomas Bridges, an English missionary who explored Tierra del Fuego promoting contact with the Mapuche tribes, Estancia Harberton is a farm that was declared a National Historic Monument in 1999. The farm has breathtaking scenery and a complete structure for tourists with restaurant and a museum of birds and mammals of the region.
Other attractions to see in Ushuaia:
- End of the World sign
- Cerro del Medio
- turquoise lagoon
- Torwin village
- City Museum
- ice bar
- Municipal skating rink
- Bride's Veil Waterfall
How to get to Ushuaia
Ushuaia International Airport – Malvinas Argentinas is the easiest and fastest way to get to the city. From Brazil, it is possible to use the services of TAM/LAN companies or Aerolíneas Argentinas (the company only operates in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia), which offer flights connecting in the city of Buenos Aires.
Ushuaia is close to other important municipalities in Patagonia on both the Argentine and Chilean sides. You can reach the city from El Calfate, Río Gallegos and Río Grande in Argentina, or from Puerto Natales, Porvenir and Punta Arenas in Chile.
The companies bussur and busPacheco they operate daily transfers from Ushuaia to the cities of Rio Grande, Provenir, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. already the Marl / Tagsa, offers the Ushuaia x El Calafate stretch
Although it seems almost inaccessible to access Ushuaia by car, the city usually receives many travelers departing from other cities in Argentina, such as Bariloche, El Calafate and even Buenos Aires, which is approximately 3000 km away. The access road to the end of the world is Ruta 3, which starts in the Buenos Aires capital.
Attention on the road should be redoubled during winter, when roads are often covered with snow.
Best time to visit Ushuaia
It all depends on which attractions you are most interested in seeing. If you are looking to discover Ushuaia in the snow and enjoy all the winter activities available in Ushuaia, the best months are between the end of June and the beginning of September. It is at this time that the ski centers serve tourists and exclusive tours of this period are offered, such as sleigh rides, snowboards and quads.
Now if you want to see the city covered by the woods in shades of green and enjoy the longer days, when there is more light, the ideal period is in the summer. This is also the best season to watch the penguins that come to Isla Martillo in droves, in addition to enjoying the extra hours of sunshine.
Where to stay in Ushuaia
The city of Ushuaia is quite small and can be crossed in a few minutes by car. Basically the entire hotel industry is located near Av. San Martín, Ushuaia's main street.
Who stays near Av. San Martin you can do almost everything on foot, such as going to restaurants, shops, markets, pharmacies and even some walks, since the avenue is one block above the city's port, where the boats that take tourists to some of the attractions of the Beagle Channel. THE Hotel Cap Polonio is one of our tips for those who want to stay at San Martín. Another option is the Hotel Albatros, located between Av. San Martin and the waterfront.
Ushuaia also offers luxurious and a little more exclusive accommodation options, highlighting the Arakur Ushuaia Resort and Spa, with a structure 250 meters high over Ushuaia Bay and surrounded by mountains. THE Los Yamanás Hotel, is also among the best known and offers rooms overlooking a secluded area of the Beagle Channel.
Another option is the charming cabins in the mountains of the city, this is a great tip for those visiting the city with groups of friends or family. THE Cabanas del Martial for example, it offers chalets equipped with bedroom, living room, kitchen and private bathrooms, all just a few meters from the entrance to the Martial Glacier, one of the most sought after attractions in the city.
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