Ushuaia

You have reached the southernmost tip of land in the world… yes, you read well. Tierra del Fuego is the last province of Patagonia and one of the last stops before Antarctica, the white continent. Between shag mountains and the historic Beagle Channel nested Ushuaia, is its capital city. This guide is your first step to explore the attraction and learn about the things to do in Ushuaia.

 

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!

Attractions
Attractions

Attractions

Eating & Drinking
Eating & Drinking

Eating & Drinking

Tours You Might Like

Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice

How many days should I stay in Ushuaia?

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.

Best time to visit Ushuaia

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.

How to get to Ushuaia?

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.

Can I find ATMs in Ushuaia?

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.

Exchange money and using CC

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.

What is the proper tipping?

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.

How much money can I spend per day in Ushuaia?

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.

When can I see penguins in Ushuaia?

The penguins arrive in October and stay until the end of March every year.

What to include in your luggage

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.

Tickets to Tierra del Fuego National Park

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.

Where to go for a run in Ushuaia?

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.

Where to watch the sunset in Ushuaia?

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.

Sustainability

Sustainability

Ushuaia

Local businesses

 

  • Mercado del Jardín

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

 

  • Paseo de Artesanos

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

 

Who to meet

 

  • Renata Rafalak – Tierra del Fuego Aboriginal Mask Artist

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

 

  • Susana and Luciana from Auras del Sur – Aboriginal Pottery

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

How to help

 

  • El Rinconcito del Fin del Mundo

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

 

  • Yes Ushuaia

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.

Email: ushuaia@fundacionsi.org.ar

 

Sustainability tips

 

Useful tips to be a responsible travel:

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.