Have you ever imagined what it’s like to stand on the edge of a continent?
To gaze out at a body of water, with nothing but water between you and Antarctica? We can tell you its an incredible feeling! Maybe you’re even considering going to Antarctica? Well, either way you’ll want to know about the top things to do in Ushuaia, the end of the world, and the gateway to Antarctica! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Ushuaia in this guide!
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
- How to get to Ushuaia
- Where to stay in Ushuaia
- Top things to do in Ushuaia
1. How to get to Ushuaia
BY PLANE: If you’re arriving by plane, you’ll land at Ushuaia airport. From there, our recommendation is to book a transfer in advance so that there is someone there to greet you on arrival and transfer you to your accommodation. Where possible, we always book our transfers in advance when we arrive in a new destination, it gives us peace of mind! We find the best way is to book it through your accommodation, although there will be taxis available at the airport as well.
BY BUS: If you arrive by bus, like we did from Puerto Natales in Chile, we were just dropped off in the centre and made our own way to our accommodation!
2. Where to stay in Ushuaia
Finding a hotel in Ushuaia can be tricky, with many places booking up in advance due to the remoteness of the city. We always prefer to book our accommodation in advance, especially when heading to a place like Ushuaia! Our recommendation? Search and book your Ushuaia hotel on agoda.com, we find that the best site for Ushuaia and it has an excellent selection of hotels to choose from!
3. Top Things To Do In Ushuaia
You’re spoilt for choice of things to do in Ushuaia, so we’ve put together our top activities for your time at the end of the world. There’s a little something for everyone in here!
Walking In Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego
The national parks in South America are very special, and after we’d already experienced a special trek in Chile in Torres del Paine, we were keen for more! At only 7 miles (11km) from Ushuaia, the national park is ideally located for half day and whole day treks around the park. We decided on spending a day in the park, and took on some relaxing walks around the park. It’s really easy to organise, and again can be booked in advance if you’re tight on time in Ushuaia and want to ensure you fit everything in!
Sailing The Beagle Channel
Ushuaia sits on the shore of the Beagle channel, and there are departures in the morning and afternoon. This is a fantastic opportunity to see local wildlife, and depending on which tour you choose you may see the lighthouse, sea lions and various birds, all from the comfort of your boat!
Hike The Martial Glacier
If you’re into trekking and glaciers, you can climb to the Martial Glacier, high above Ushuaia Argentina and reward yourself with fantastic views down the valley to the colourful dots of Ushuaia in the distance. Simply take a taxi up to the start point of the trek, and follow the river of ice melt up the valley as far as you dare. On the day we completed this, the weather conditions were poor, visibility hit and miss and the valley sill covered in thick packed snow. But the view was still incredible!
Ushuaia Prison: Museo Maritimo De Ushuaia
If, like us, you seem to visit a lot of prisons on your adventures (not as prisoners I hasten to add), then you’ll want to check out the Museo Maritimo de Ushuaia, the cold remnant of the buildings previous life as a penal colony. This is a fascinating place to visit, to understand the horrendous conditions prisoners endured in their time there, and the lasting impact on the city of Ushuaia due to the prisoners efforts in construction.
We spent a day wandering through the cold and dark corridors of this fascinating place, and would highly recommend a visit. It also houses a maritime museum which features heavily the early explorers to Antarctica, including Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton. A great place to brush up on your Antarctica history before your cruise to Antarctica.
Visit Lake Fagnano & Lake Escondido
If you’d like to see more of the country, and in particular the Fuegian Andes, you could opt for a full day tour of lake Fagnano and lake Escondido. Theres a chance to visit various valleys, the lakes, a defunct sawmill and of course a feast of local food should you wish! One for history, geology and wildlife fans!
Eat Asado Ushuaia Argentina Style!
If, like me, you are an obsessive meat eater, you must go to Argentina now! No I’m serious, the amount of meat on offer here is astounding, and Ushuaia has its fair share of Asado restaurants cooking all manner of delicious meaty cuts which are then served up buffet style! Whole lambs sit on top of huge fires, countless different types of sausage grill nearby, whole chickens spit juices out as they cook, and if you fancy a steak you’ll be well served here!
Walk Around Ushuaia
Ushuaia is a fairly buzzing place, and you can easily spend a day wandering through the narrow streets as people frantically buy last minute supplies for their treks in Tierra del Fuego or for their cruise to Antarctica. There are plenty of coffee shops and asado places to keep you busy, and a walk along the shoreline can reap rewards as you watch smaller fishing and tour boats compete for space alongside the larger ships bound for Antarctica.
The coastline may have a changed a little since it was first discovered, as according to historical records, the original local inhabitants, on spotting the ships off the coast, reportedly lit huge fires along the coast to warn the unwelcome visitors away. Thus the land of fire was born into western records.
The fires are now replaced by brightly lit buildings only really appreciated from the sea, as we experienced as we bid farewell to Ushuaia Argentina, and the South American continent for 11 days when we set sail for Antarctica.
As the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia Argentina is the gateway to Antarctica. The excitement of travelling here is enough for many visitors, simply content with reaching the southernmost city in the world. There are also the travellers lucky enough to be taking a boat to Antarctica, and this leads to a potent mixture of excitement and anticipation in the streets.
If you are going to Antarctica, don’t just use Ushuaia as a launchpad. Stay for a couple of days before and after, eat some nice food, drink some nice coffee, perhaps drag yourself up a glacier, into a national park, or a former prison. Let’s face it, you’re unlikely to ever be back down there, so make the most of it!
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