Tierra del Fuego it’s in fact a huge island, detached from the continent by the famous Magellan Strait, the main natural cross path between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, discovered by the Portuguese Fernando de Magallanes in 1520. Ushuaia sits at the south of the island and at the shore of the Beagle Channel. When Europeans set foot on the islands, marveled by the many fires made by the inhabitants of the region, the Yamanas, a community of superb fishermen and sailors. They were the first explorers of the archipelago divided between the Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia, the first to navigate through the channel and lakes in their canoes. Today, in Ushuaia, there are museums dedicated to the story of the yamanas, and tours to visit remains of some former settlements. Ushuaia, founded as an Anglican mission and then known to feature the most southern Prison in Argentina, focuses on tourism as its main activity. Every year is visited by travelers seeking to discover the amazing nature and wildlife of Patagonia. Let’s show you some attractions in Ushuaia!
Ushuaia features a busy port and adventure hub. Settled where the Andes collide with the famous Beagle Channel, this city features the Tierra del Fuego National Park and the Esmeralda Lagoon with its spectacular emerald green color.
Check out our most recommended attractions in Ushuaia!
Tierra del Fuego National Park definitely is THE highlight near Ushuaia. Experience the unique and impressive landscapes of Tierra del Fuego by vehicle and also on foot, hiking on easy to moderate trails through the dense green forest with the insight and support of an expert guide.
You can also take a ride through the park on the famous End of the World Train. Established to carry prisoners to labor camps, the train is an interesting historical addition to your visit to the park. Experience the same journey that prisoners were forced to do decades ago while taking in the incredible Fueguian landscape.
National Park Entrance Fee: USD 20.- per person
You can visit the Beagle Channel just by walking downtown to Ushuaia’s Bay. But if you want to experience the natural wonders of the famous channel where Charles Darwin made his first observations on geology and flora which will then lead to his theory of the species, you can embark on a boat excursion to reach the iconic ‘Les Eclaireurs’ lighthouse, having great views of the Ushuaia Bay and passing by different islands with several colonies of extraordinary birds and marine fauna like penguins and four seals.
The Museo Maritimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia is one of the most recommended and most complete visits within the city. It is located in the old building of the Ushuaia prison and within its 5 pavilions we can find 4 museums with different themes: the Maritime Museum, the Museum of the Presidio, the Museum of Marine Art and the Antarctic Museum of Ushuaia.
Address: Yaganes and Gobernador Paz, Ushuaia. Days and times: March to December from 10am to 8pm; January and February from 9am to 8pm. Access to the museum until 7:30 p.m. Price: USD 17 (Valid for 2 consecutive days, with the stamp of the Entrance Desk and the document number).
Cerro Martial offers impressive panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. To visit it, you must reach the base of this mountain by taxi or walking (although it is easier to go by taxi and walk back). Once there, you can make a stop at the tea house at the base of the chairlift, and try their delicious scones or cakes. Formerly the chairlift also worked and it was possible to ascend a few more meters, but for some years it has been closed.
Address: Luis Fernando Martial 3560 Days and times: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 20:00.
About 20 km from the city of Ushuaia, along Route 3, a 4-hour walk begins (round trip), which reaches the Esmeralda Lagoon. As its name implies, it is a lagoon with a spectacular emerald green color sandwiched between mountains. In winter, although the walk is harder, the lagoon freezes completely and you can walk on top of it.
On the tour we can observe the effects of the introduction of the beaver in Tierra del Fuego, how the construction of their reservoirs affects forests and rivers. After the lagoon, you can continue ascending until you reach the El Albino glacier, but we recommend doing this climb with a guide.
Address: RN3 km 3040 Days and times: Open every day. Visit at a reasonable time.
About two blocks from the main square you can rent bicycles for a good price. The route from the city center to the National Park has incredible views and is not a difficult path. You can also take route 3, to the side of Lake Fagnano or just take a walk through the port.
Address: San Martín 830 Days and times: Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Sunday closed.
On a calm and not windy night you can go to the Costanera (street parallel to the Beagle Channel) and walk towards the Ushuaia Aeroclub. It is a dirt road, and there are always people exercising or running. You will find the best views on the other side of the street, with Ushuaia in front of you and the reflection of the buildings and mountains in the water.
Address: Av. Prefectura Naval, Ushuaia. Days and times: Open every day at all hours.
Check out our most recommended Restaurants & Bars in Ushuaia!
Gobernador Deloqui 1048 – Tel. (02901) 421185. Meat / Fish
In María Lola Restó its fish, salads and meats stand out. Whichever dish you choose, none of them will disappoint you. All their dishes are very well prepared and presented. The dessert -for sharing- “Copa María Lola” is an incredible stimulus for the senses. Average price, good service, and amazing views.
San Martín 175 – Tel. (02901) 433710. Pastry
Although Tante Sara stands out for its pastry and confectionery, it serves dishes throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner. Their service is fast and their milanesas are very tasty, as well as burgers, cakes and coffee.
Roca 470 – Tel. (02901) 422704. Fish / Meat
Although it is a bit more expensive than the rest, it is worth every peso. They even have an option to taste the entire menu, which includes a small version of everything offered on the menu.
Maipú 749 – Tel. (02901) 424317. Regional
Ramos Generales is the perfect place for a hot chocolate after sailing through the seas at the end of the world. It’s a mix of things: on the one hand, a bakery with fresh produce, as well as a creative tapas bar and a great wine cellar with an incredible selection of wines. All of these condiments make it a favorite, even for locals.
Calle De la Ermita 3462 – Tel. (02901) 441300 Regional
Taste local flavors and discover one of the most exclusive local cuisine. Try the restaurant’s specialties such as centolla (king crab) and black hake.
Governor Deloqui 415 – Tel. (02902) 422049. Pizza shop
It is nothing more and nothing less than the best pizzeria in the entire province of Tierra del Fuego. With which, if you are in Ushuaia and you have a craving for pizza, this is where you should go.
San Martín 859 – Tel. (02901) 431972. Regional
A charming still life whose specialties are picadas, lamb and sea dishes. It offers a warm atmosphere and is very close to the city. Also, as a good still life, their dishes are moderately priced.
Perito Moreno 2232 – Tel. (02901) 437396. Gourmet
Kuar is a 10-minute taxi ride from the city of Ushuaia. It is located on the sea and offers spectacular views of the Beagle Channel. It is a slightly more expensive option than the previous ones, but its cozy atmosphere and the quality and presentation of its dishes make it worth a visit. The spider crab is highly recommended.
July 9 150 – Tel. (02901) 430744. Brewery / Bar
It sounds so bad to go to an Irish bar in Argentina! But this is the most popular bar in the city and the one that is open all year round. Don’t forget to try the locally produced Beagle beer.
Heroes de Malvinas 2617 – Tel (02901) 442900 Gourmet
There are restaurants that stand out for their dishes, others for their vibe and others for their location. Without a doubt, if we had to choose one feature that stands out from La Cravia it would be its enviable location within the Hotel Arakur. It is 800 meters high and offers incredible views of the city. In addition, its menu of food and wine accompany the experience.
We recommend at least 2 nights. This will give you enough time to make a navigation in the Beagle Channel and a full day exploration.
Whenever the time of the year you’re planning to visit Ushuaia, be prepared for unpredictable and windy weather. There can be drastic changes in temperatures from one day to the next, or even on the same day.
To enjoy warm temperatures, the best time to visit Ushuaia is January with average temperatures of 10º, and there is sunlight 17 hours a day. The coldest time of the year is in July, where the average temperature is 1º, and there is only 7 hours of sunlight per day. The snow season is between June and October.
Flight: Throughout the year there are direct flights to Ushuaia from the city of Buenos Aires, with an approximate duration of 3 and a half hours. Another direct route, with weekly frequency, leaves from the city of Córdoba to Ushuaia, and also from El Calafate.
Self-drive: You can drive to Río Gallegos,close to the Chilean border, by taking the NR 3 or the NR 40 in Argentina. Once you go through customs, you’ll continue to the ferry crossing in Chile (around 30 min), and then hit the road again to get to the Argentinian frontier and San Sebastián. From here, drive about 300 km and reach Ushuaia.
Bus: It is very common to connect Ushuaia to Puerto Arenas bi bus. This is a direct bus that takes 12 hours and the landscapes are very nice. To reach Ushuaia by bus from Buenos Aires you have to travel first to Río Gallegos, which will take you around 30 h, and there change buses to continue the journey. This is our less recommended option.
ATMs are located in banks, most of them, but are open 24hs. Each bank has a different fee that will charge you to use their system, plus your bank fee. We recommend bringing a couple of US dollars and exchanging them, so you have some cash to move around and then pay with Credit cards or use an ATM whenever you run out of money.
In Ushuaia, credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted. However, we recommend exchanging pesos rather than using US dollars because the rate that shops or restaurants use might not be the most convenient for you.
In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose. Estimate around USD 10/15 per person for the guide, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver. In hotels, you should tip porters for handling bags (calculate an amount of currency equal to about $1.00 for every two bags, same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases), the housekeeping (between US$0.50 – $1.00 per night), and the concierge staff if you have used them to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities. In Argentina we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.
We estimate around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.
The penguins arrive in October and stay until the end of March every year.
Given that the weather is very changeable in Ushuaia, a good idea is to think of outfits in “layers”. Whether you are going to Tierra del Fuego National Park or if you are just going to walk through the center, it would be good if you are prepared for strong winds and temperature changes.
Pack comfortable shoes, trekking shoes if possible (and socks, an extra pair just in case they get wet), a windbreaker and / or a waterproof jacket, and thermal clothing.
In the winter, you will want to bring warmer clothing to stay warm during activities (warm fleece or polar, t-Shirt and long – sleeved shirts, specially for the mornings, warm hat).
Also don’t forget to bring your sunscreen since, in summer, with 17 hours of sun a day, you will need it a lot, and sunglasses.
Other useful items: Waterproof trousers and a daypack for daily excursions and walks.
Remember that tickets to all national parks in the country are paid in Argentine pesos and are not included in the tours. As credit cards are not accepted, we recommend that you always carry change in local currency.
The entrance to Tierra del Fuego National Park costs USD 10.-, the Ushuaia airport tax is USD 4 and the port tax is USD 5.
Local runners frequent three areas: on the one hand, there are those who prefer to run around the Ushuaia International Airport, on the other, those who escape to Playa Larga to run by the sea and those who also prefer to run with a beautiful view but they don’t go that far and stay training at La Costanera.
The sunset, in Ushuaia, sets behind the mountains. However, there are two places that allow you to enjoy this beautiful show. On the one hand, Playa Larga, to the east of the city, offers incredible views of this show of nature. Without a doubt, if you go to Playa Larga you will see a beautiful sunset. On the other hand, from the famous Hotel Arakur (located 800 meters high) you can also see beautiful sunsets.
Inside the Mercado del Jardín you will find different venues of entrepreneurs and local producers. From gastronomy, books and decoration to technology, wines and art. All that and much more on this shopping trip.
Address: Av. San Martín 638
Metals, silverware, textiles, wood, ceramics, paint, leather and much more. On this tour you will get to know the only artisan fair in Ushuaia, with the most varied and attractive diversity of genuine productions made by local artisans.
Address: Av. Maipú and 25 de Mayo
It is inspired by the initiation ceremony performed by the Shelk’nam, in which they wore masks representing different mythological spirits. They are made of lenga tree bark, on which he paints with three basic colors: white, black and terracotta.
Address: Piedrabuena 51
Phone: +54 02901 435386
In love with the various aboriginal techniques, they are dedicated to the modeling of clay by hand and around. The pieces are burnished with agate stone and cooked with firewood from the region (dry lenga). If you visit his workshop you will be able to enjoy the clay modeling your own pot.
Address: Kuanip 1900
Phone: +54 02 901 44-4691
This NGO carries out containment, recreation, sports and health promotion activities. Through these activities it assists and contains more than 180 people from the sector.
Address: Unnamed road, Andorra valley, Ushuaia
Phone: +54 02901 58-7576
An NGO whose main objective is to promote the social inclusion of the most vulnerable sectors of Argentina, in this case, Ushuaia. The work is carried out by a large number of volunteers using a comprehensive approach that includes assistance, support, training, education and the culture of work.
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