At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia is technically closer to the South Pole than to Argentina’s northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego, the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina. But besides being the End of the World City, what is really Ushuaia known for? Let’s start from the very beginning.
1. What is Ushuaia?
Once a penal colony, Ushuaia today has a bustling economy—even the historic prison is now a tourist attraction. Ushuaia’s slogan is the City at the End of the World (la Ciudad del Fin del Mundo) and it capitalizes on its status as the world’s southernmost city to attract tourists from around the globe. The city also serves as the first stop for a number of cruises to Antarctica. Tourism aside, Ushuaia is also known for other prominent economic activities including manufacturing, fishing, and fossil fuel extraction.
Today, Ushuaia is a popular tourist destination, with its main claim to fame being its status as the southernmost city in the world. Visitors can learn more about the region’s past through a number of museums, and other major attractions include the Tierra del Fuego National Park, the Beagle Channel, the Martial Glacier, and cruises departing for other Patagonia destinations and Antarctica.
2. From Atlantic to Pacific: the Beagle Channel
The Channel is located at the southern tip of Argentina and is about 150 miles (240 km) long and 3 to 8 miles wide.
This channel hosts the registered trademark of the city and the typical postcard-like landscape: the Faro del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Lighthouse). Navigate the freezing water of Beagle Channel to discover this iconic lighthouse, while marveling at impressive views of the southernmost tip of South America.
Adventure is around the corner. From sea views, and thousands of trekking trails to waterfalls, and local wildlife, Tierra del Fuego National Park is indeed a must-visit in Ushuaia. Go canoeing in the Lapataia Bay, or maybe go hiking in Redonda Island. You may also catch a ride on the train of the End of the World where you will be able to discover this National Park from the commodity of a restored train while you hear the story of the most dangerous prisoners that lived on the island when this one functioned as a prison.
Best part? Visit the last post office in Argentina, where sending postcards is still a trend. Surprise your family and friends with a postcard from the End of the World!
4. Go skiing
Only 18.6 miles away from the city, you can find the Winter Center Circuit. From ice-skating, and snowshoeing to snowboarding and alpine skiing, enjoy yourself while admiring the breathtaking Los Andes’s mountain range.
The coldest time of year is late July, when the average temperature is 1°C / 34°F, and daylight lasts for about 7 hours. Snowfall is likely between June and October.
5. Magellanic Penguins
Indeed a lifetime memory for the whole family! Especially for your little explorers. Watching these majestic creatures in their natural habitat makes you a very lucky person alive. Travel to Martillo Island in Ushuaia to meet these Penguins, and learn all about them!
Having a close encounter with them will for sure be an unforgettable experience!
From riding on the End of the World Train to crossing the Beagle Channel to see Magellanic penguins, there are plenty of things to do in Ushuaia.