If you are thinking about visiting Ushuaia during your trip to South America, you should add it to your list for sure! It is known as The End of the World because it is the southernmost city in the world. It´s a fantastic place… did you know it´s the only trans-andean Argentinian city? Yes, Ushuaia is located in Tierra del Fuego, behind the Andes chain in Tierra del Fuego. I´m sure you will taste some delicious dishes like the King Crab (Centolla in Spanish) and the traditional Patagonian Lamb (Cordero Patagonico in Spanish), that you will visit the national park and navigate the Beagle Channel… But, if you´re looking for adventure activities, I have a list of five that could be interesting for you. It´s my list, and I hope you like it!
Why visit Ushuaia #1: Beautiful Landscapes and Fauna
From the first moment arriving by plane, you will enjoy the great views of Ushuaia. The combination of the Andes mountain and the Beagle Channel is a visual spectacle.
The city is located between the mountains and the Beagle Channel giving a fantastic view. If you choose the take navigation through the Channel you will be able to see Sea Lions and penguins, and also different types of birds depending on the season. Then you can visit the National Park, Esmeralda Lagoon, Fagnano & Escondido Lagoon, and more!
If you visit this city in winter, you will be able to have a beautiful landscape surrounded by snow. You will be able to enjoy the ski season.
Why visit Ushuaia #2: History
If you´re a history lover, a good place to visit is the Jail Museum or Museo del Presidio de Ushuaia.
As time went on in this jail, offenders were sent offenders of serious crimes, many of them sentenced to life or long-term sentences. The regime applied was based on paid work, primary school education, and severe discipline. The prison had 30 work sectors, some of them were outside of it. The workshops installed attended the needs of the prison and provided services to the entire city of Ushuaia. These were the first printing press, telephone, electricity, fire brigade, etc. Outside the jail, the convicts were used for jobs such as the construction of streets, bridges, buildings, as well as the exploitation of forests. In this way, with the convicts, the southernmost train in the world was enabled in 1910. This came to have an extension of 25 km and ran alongside Maipú street passing through the Monte Susana camp and dividing into two branches towards what is now the National Park. The jail also had several boats, the best-known being “La Godoy”. In 1947, with the National Territory already being a Maritime Government, the Presidency of the Nation ordered the closure of the jail. The facilities were transferred to the Ministry of the Navy and the Naval Base was installed in them in 1950.
Why visit Ushuaia #3: Local Food
Ushuaia is also a great place to taste some unique local dishes like the King Crab, called “Centolla” and the typical Patagonian Lamb. Believe me, it´s a highlight in your trip to southern Patagonia.
Why visit Ushuaia #4: Amazing Activities
Tierra del Fuego National Park: The main attractios is Tierra del Fuego National Park. The park is located 12 Km from the city of Ushuaia. You will find the entrance to Tierra del Fuego National Park that was created in 1960, to protect and preserve 68909 hectares of nature. It’s the only park in Argentina combining marine, wood, and mountain environments with the shape of a marine coast, lakes, lagoons, peat bogs and great forests dominated by lenga, guindo and ñire (different Nothofagus species). These environments form a peculiar scenery with the purest air ever found. Its fauna, mammals species such as guanaco, huillín (Lontra provocax) and Fuegian Foxes are exclusive in the area.
The gathering of birds as a consequence of land and sea encounters is notably rich. Usually associated with water and its coasts, the kelp geese are a symbol of the National Park. The black – browed albatrosses; the flying steamer duck; oystercatchers and seagulls are a few of the species found in the area. Around forests and their surroundings, there are austral parakeets, woodpeckers, thorn-tailed “rayadito” and the austral thrush are the main species.
How to get to the Tierra del Fuego National Park? Well, there are many alternatives to get to the park. Hiring an excursion with a travel agency; or taxi/remis. You can also reach the park with a private car. There isn’t any public transport from town. What we suggest is to take a visit with a guide, to learn more about this unique environment.
Interested? Click on the image below and see more information about the visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park
The Train of the End of the World: When you visit the park, you can include the ride to the Train of the End of the World. It´s a great experience, to learn more about the origins of the Ushuaia city, and the old prison that used the original train to collect wood from the forest.
After forty years without functioning, in 1994 End of the World Train took again part of the old route that made the prisoners train, which left from the prison of Ushuaia, located in the center of the city, towards the slope of the Susana Mountain with the objective of obtaining materials (wood and stone) for the construction of the same one. The train station is located only eight km from the city of Ushuaia, and our guides and guards will invite you to relive the last seven km of the journey. Onboard the train you can listen to the history of the prisoners who came daily to cut wood to this area and enjoy magnificent landscapes, composed of the zigzagging Pipo River, the Macarena waterfall, the tree cemetery, and the majestic lenga forest. In this way, you will visit an inaccessible part of the Tierra del Fuego National Park, where you will be able to enjoy this experience aboard a vintage railroad, with its steam locomotives and elegant cars that have large windows and an individual audio system, which offers the possibility of listening to history in 7 different languages, in order not only to appreciate the nature that surrounds you but also to know a very important part of the history of Ushuaia.
The train crosses the Cañadón del Toro and crosses the Pipo River over the so-called Puente Quemado (Burnt Bridge), where the remains of wood from the old bridge are found under the new tracks, with access to the first stop, La Macarena Station. From this bridge, you can see the changing Rio Pipo, a typical river formed by meltwater, which descends from the mountains and flows into the Beagle Channel.
La Macarena Station is a place of historical interest where the prisoners’ train used to stop to provide water to the tanks of the steam locomotive called La Coqueta. In this stop, it is possible to ascend until a viewpoint that offers an incomparable view of the Valley of the Pipo River, Cerro Guanaco, Cerro la Portada, and Monte Susana. Ascending towards the upper part, it will be possible to reach the source of the Macarena waterfall in the Del Martial Mountain Chain, which is formed by thaws that are born at the top of the mountain. You can also find our prisoners who will offer their photographic service and also a grocery store, which has a souvenir of our railroad. After a few minutes, the whistle of the guards will call all to quietly return to the train and the train restarts its march to the National Park Tierra del Fuego.
Arriving at the National Park Station, our last stop, the passenger who meets a travel agency or contracted excursion, your guides and transport will be waiting for you to continue your visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park and for those passengers who came in a particular way will return with us on the same train to the Main Station.
Book the visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park and combine with the magical Train of the End of the World:
Beagle Channel Navigation: Another great activity is to navigate the Beagle Channel. It´s a strait in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of South America. The channel, trending east-west, is about 150 miles (240 km) long and 3 to 8 miles wide; it separates the archipelago’s main island to the north from Navarino, Hoste, and other smaller islands to the south. The eastern portion forms part of the Chile–Argentina border, while the western portion lies entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel became famous few decades ago, when the three islands at the channel’s eastern end, Picton, Nueva, and Lennox islands, were the subject of a territorial dispute between Chile and Argentina that began in the 1840s and which almost led to war between the two countries in 1978. The dispute officially ended on May 2, 1985, when a treaty awarding the three islands to Chile went into effect between the two countries. The Beagle Channel was named for the British ship Beagle, in which Charles Darwin explored the area.
Now, why is worth visiting the Beagle Channel? Well, there are many options available. You can see penguins in Martillo Island for example, or discover the sea lions island, the birds island or the unique Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, which is an icon of the area. Find two great options to visit the Beagle Channel when you arrive in Ushuaia.
Cruises: From Ushuaia, you can embark and enjoy some incredible cruise expeditions to Cape Horn and the southern fjords and channels in Patagonia. The Australis Cruise goes from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, disembark in the Cape Horn and in different islands and islets in these remote areas, to finalize in Punta Arenas. It´s an amazing 4-night cruise. See more information about these amazing cruises by clicking on the image below:
Why visit Ushuaia #5: Antartica
If you are planning to visit Antarctica, Ushuaia is the best way. You can take a Cruise Ship in this city, and navigate with an expedition to the white continent of Antarctica. Yes, you can take a 12-night cruise and enjoy an unforgettable cruise to Antarctica. Amazing isn´t it? The Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp cruise offers you a myriad of ways to explore and enjoy the Antarctic Region. This expedition allows you to hike, snowshoe, kayak, go mountaineering, and even camp out under the Southern Polar skies. Take a look to complete information by clicking on the image below:
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