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Ushuaia
Travel Guide


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Ushuaia at a glance

Welcome to Ushuaia, also knowns as the City at the End of The World. It is, in fact, the earth’s southernmost city, and given its geographic location, it enjoys the wildness that you expect from the last stop in the world before you hit Antarctica. Ushuaia is situated on a bay that doubles as both a busy port and travel hub for those wishing to venture into the Tierra del Fuego National Park and out to the choppy seas, channels and straits beyond. Ushuaia lays claim to being the largest, and only, city on the island of Tierra del Fuego, or The Land of Fire in English, and is a jumble of maritime constructions, narrow steep streets and marinas. It sits at the foot of the Martial Mountain Range, and is the jumping off point for the famous Beagle Channel and that last stop before the Antarctic. Ushuaia is exposed to the elements, and it is many’s a traveler who has come here to take part in the adventure sports that abound in the area.

Experiences around Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

What not to miss

Busy yourself with hiking, skiing, kayaking, sailing and even husky-sledding. This distant outpost makes much of its place at the end of humanity, and you can send a postcard from the End of the World and even have a fake passport stamped. This weathered outcrop used to be home to a jail which housed Argentina’s most dangerous felons, but is now a museum that can make for a fun daytime activity. Tourism is one of the main economies in Ushuaia, so the high prices might surprise you, but it is a small price to pay for visiting the End of the World. Take a boat trip through the Beagle Channel or past the world-famous Lighthouse at the End of the World, a pretty lighthouse perched on a scrap of rock out at sea. Ushuaia is known for its food, and king crab is the order of the day. Wash it down with a locally brewed craft beer, one of Patagonia’s most famous creations.

Tierra del Fuego Park Tour Top

Whisk through some real Patagonian highlights on a half day group adventure into Tierra del Fuego National Park. You’ll be picked up at your hotel and leave the behind you, passing the slope of Mount Susana and crossing the valley to Ensenada Bay. Along the way, you’ll see both Redonda and Estorbo Islands. On the opposite coast, you’ll find the snow-capped peaks of Chile’s Mount Sampaio Chain. Around every bend, you’ll be hit by more breathtaking views, so keep your camera at the ready. Next, you’ll head to Roca Lake and take a long, refreshing walk down to the Lapataia River. From here, you’ll be able to see Condor Hill, forming the natural border with Chile. You’ll then set off for the other side of the national park to admire the Green and Black Lagoons, a handful of beaver dams and some fast-spreading peat bogs. It’s a brilliant way to see some beautiful Patagonian hotspots in just half a day.

Beagle Navigation Top

See penguins in their natural Patagonian habitat during this half-day group tour from Ushuaia. Hopping on your boat at the pier, you’ll sail into the centre of the Beagle Channel, arriving at Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse before continuing to Seal Island, packed with barking seals. Afterwards, you’ll drift towards Del Los Pajaros Island (Bird Island), where you’ll be able to see at least 10 different species of sea bird, so keep your camera handy! Next, you´ll enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the channel until arrival at Martillo Island, where you can admire the penguins colony. Afterwards, you’ll make your way back to Ushuaia, with your bi-lingual guide letting you in on local secrets along the way. The best time of year to see the penguins is between November and March.

Nighttime beaver watching Top

What could be a better experience than doing a night off-road, with beaver watching, argentine barbecue and guitar playing? Well, you will be picked up from the hotel 6 pm  to start heading northward, on National Road N°3, to Valle de Lobos winter resort. There, after a short 30 min walk through lenga’s woods you will arrive to the unique beaver’s dams. In silence, you will stay in hiding, waiting to see the beavers in action. The guide will inform you all about their environment and habits. Back at the refuge you will have dinner, returning around 10 pm to Ushuaia.

Fly to the magic of sled dogs Top

You will start an incredible flight over 15 or 30 min into the Tierra Mayor Valley to the Emerald Lagoon which will captivate you with its extraordinary colour and environment. If you take the 30 min flight, you will land on the summit of Le´Cloche hill where you will have a unique view of the city and its surroundings from the top of the Andes. Then you continue the trip to Valle de Lobos area, where you will start an amazing ride with Sled-Dogs, and then make a snowshoe hike, each one of approximately 15 min. After this activity you will enjoy a fabulous and well deserved local lunch.

A day at Haberton Ranch Top

You will depart from the local port heading towards Paso Chico en route to the mystic Beagle Channel and Rocky Island, home to several species of birds and sea mammals. Passing the Les Eclaireures lighthouse you´ll continue towards the Chilean Military Township of Puerto Williams, then through the Mackinlay Pass until you´ll arrive at Martillo Island. Here you can stop for a while with plenty of time to enjoy the natural habitat of a Magellan Penguins colony. Then you will continue the trip to Harberton Ranch, the oldest estancia (farm) around this part of Argentina. Here, you´ll uncover its amazing history and stories around the four generations that have lived at the estancia from 1884. On the way back you’ll be able to see Remolino Ranch where archeological activities are currently taking place.

Lakes Off Road Tour w/ Lunch Top

Our Lakes Off-Road tour is a fascinating and fun way to discover the hidden secrets of the Southern Andes. Far off the general tourist trail, it will take you beyond the guidebooks, giving you a whole new perspective of Patagonia. It’s a relaxing day mixed with some serious off-road experiences, giving you the best of both worlds. From high in the Andes, you’ll get a great view of Lago Escondido (Hidden Lake), a little gem tucked away in the bottom of a valley, before exploring the vast Lake Fagnano, a real highlight of the trip. Travelling in a hardy Land Rover Defender that can handle all terrains and weather conditions, you’ll drive through forests, across rivers and alongside lake shores with gorgeous views. At lunchtime, you’ll stop for a tasty BBQ and a glass of Argentine Malbec, the perfect way to break free from the beaten path for one full and magical day.

Penguins, Gable Island & Kayak Top

This full-day active adventure will take to the one of the most rugged and beautiful areas the Beagle Channel. You’ll hike, kayak and sail through the lakes, mountains and rivers of Tierra del Fuego, making it a day to really remember. First, you’ll be picked up at your hotel and drive towards the Lasiphashaj River, where you’ll hop in an inflatable canoe and drift downstream into the Beagle Channel. You’ll be provided with everything you need to explore the river, from rubber boots to over pants and lifejackets. Once you’re out in the Channel, you’ll row steadily towards Harberton Ranch, the very first ‘estancia’ in Tierra del Fuego. On the way, you’ll see all kinds of seabirds and, with any luck, a few sea lions too. From the ranch, you’ll take a motorboat to Martillo Island, passing natural penguin colonies en route, before reaching gorgeous Gable Island and taking a well-deserved break for sandwiches and a generous glass of Patagonian wine. Afterwards, you’ll take a hike across the island, crossing beaver dams, disappearing into thick forest and, eventually, reaching the shore of the Beagle Channel. Here, you’ll board another boat back to Harberton Ranch and take the bus back to your hotel.

Train at the End of the World Top

Departing from the End of the World station, your first crossing point is called Cañadon del Toro which crosses the Pipo River over the Puente Quemado, where you can see the wooden ruins of the old bridge underneath the new one. The train stops at Cascada La Macarena station, where you can explore a reconstructed Indian camp side which belonged to one of the four native tribes that lived in Ushuaia for thousands of years: the Yamanas. At this point, is possible to go up the steps to the Macarena Waterfalls, whose source is in the Le Martial Mountain, offering a fabulous view of the Pipo River. Listen carefully to the sound of the whistle that will warn you that the train is about to depart, continuing its journey to an area of sub-Antartic forest, one of the last kind remainig  in the world just outside the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Following the Pipo River, the train crosses different sites where prisoners worked every day for 50 years cutting down trees. Skirting the Turbal, (a raised sphangnum moss bog endemic of Tierra del Fuego) the train arrives at the Estacion del Parque. You´ll have the option of returning by train to the Estación del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Station) or continue deeper into the Tierra del Fuego National Park learning all about the history of the ‘Convict Train’.

Trek & Canoe in Tierra del Fuego Top

Set off on a full-day adventure into Tierra del Fuego, including kayaking and trekking. Easily reached from Ushuaia and the southernmost national park in the world, it’s a brilliant way to discover some of Patagonia’s most beautiful scenery. Travelling with an expert local guide, you’ll get a real glimpse into the secrets of Tierra del Fuego, learning all about the maze of mountains, lakes and rivers that make up this recovered paradise. During the course of the day, you’ll head into the forest on a three-hour hike and jump in a kayak to paddle across gorgeous Lapataia Bay towards the Beagle Channel. You’ll stop in the heart of the forest for a tasty lunch, soaking up the sights and sounds around you as you munch.

Fast Facts on Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

USEFUL TRAVELER INFORMATION

This section is a quick overview to help in planning your trip to Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego.

When to go

Given its location at the end of the world, Tierra del Fuego’s climate is one of harsh winters that are wet, cold, icy, windy and snowy. It is best to avoid visiting the region in winter, as the conditions are inhospitable at best, and few tourists go during the winter months between June and September. Ushuaia is best visited in the spring, summer and early fall between October and January April, when the constant cloud cover gives way to sunnier skies, and it is slightly warmer and less rainy. Argentina’s summer holidays are in January and February, so these are the busiest months.

How to get there

Daily flights from Buenos Aires and other southern cities such as El Calafate, Río Gallegos, Puerto Madryn, Trelew, and Comodoro Rivadavia arrive at Tierra del Fuego’s International Airport Islas Malvinas. Flights also operate from a number of cities in Chile, including Santiago, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. All domestic flights and transfers will be arranged for you as part of your itinerary. If you wish you use Ushuaia as a jumping off point for the Antarctic, just speak to one of our travel experts and they will advise you on how to arrange an Antarctic cruise.

Infrastructure

Tourism infrastructure in Ushuaia is highly developed, and there is a wide a variety of hotels, inns and B&B’s available in the city that cater to all types of traveler. For those wishing to spend time in Tierra del Fuego National Park and immerse themselves more completely in nature, there are rustic cabins and lodges on the outskirts of the city close to the park. People wishing to ski in Ushuaia can stay close to the Cerro Castor resort, which also has its own ski lodge. Inside the park there are a number of campsites which provide space to sleep if you are doing a multi-day trek. Just speak to one of our travel advisors and they can assist you with choosing the right accommodation for your trip.

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