What to see in Argentina
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia sits at the very end of the vast plains of Argentinan Patagonia, sheltered between the Beagle Channel and the Martial Mountain Range and is a firm favourite on the bucket-lists of intrepid travellers, who long to explore the dramatic scenery of the iconic Tierra del Fuego National Park or go whale-watching in the Beagle Channel.
The original inhabitants of this remote region were the Yaghan people, and until the end of the 19th-century, they were the only inhabitants, along with a handful of missionaries. Ushuaia was first inaugurated in 1884 by Comodoro Augusto Lasserre of the Argentine Navy. Since then, Ushuaia has grown from a small merchant town into a vibrant city, with a fascinating cultural heritage and a show-stopping array of sights and activities for visitors to explore if they choose a holiday to Ushuaia.
If you travel to Ushuaia, be prepared for consistently chilly weather, with temperatures hovering around 11 degrees Celsius during the summer months. Bring warm, waterproof clothing and you’ll be able to get the most out of the countless outdoor activities and captivating landscapes of this unique region. Spring and summer are the best times of year to visit unless you’re a winter sports enthusiast, in which case, Ushuaia offers a range of exciting activities during the colder months with the added bonus of picturesque snow scenes.
If you visit Ushuaia don’t forget to send a postcard and get your passport stamped at the End of the World Post Office, situated in the city centre, a unique and impressive souvenir of your visit!
Only 7 miles from the city of Ushuaia and easily reached by bus, the Tierra del Fuego National Park is the most popular thing to see in Ushuaia and the reason many tourists travel to this remote part of Argentina on a tour of Patagonia. Tierra del Fuego is a natural haven filled with dense forests, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, crystalline lakes and glacial waterfalls. Wildlife ranging from Andean foxes and condors to rabbits and beavers can be found in the national park, although the main attraction is its pristine landscapes, which visitors can explore on a series of hiking trails. The most popular trail is the Coastal Path, which links Ensenada Bay and Lapataia Bay, along the shoreline of Lake Roca, although there are routes to cater for all abilities as well as ample camping facilities for overnight adventurers. Another option is to catch the End of the World Train from the city into the national park, a scenic 45-minute journey onboard a traditional steam train.
On the other hand, sailing on the Beagle Channel, which separates Ushuaia from the southerly islands of Chilean Patagonia, is the most popular thing to do in Ushuaia. Take a boat trip on the Beagle Channel to enjoy breathtaking landscapes of Patagonia from a different perspective as you pass by the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and spot Antarctic wildlife such as whales, sea lions and various bird species. A simply unmissable experience if you travel to Ushuaia.
Continue along the Beagle Channel and you’ll come to Martillo Island, home to an incredible colony of Magellanic penguins. Here you can savour the unique opportunity to observe these iconic birds up-close in the wild; a must for nature lovers visiting Ushuaia.
Back in the city itself, the End of the World Museum is worth a visit if you’re interested in learning about the natural and human heritage of this region. Home to exhibitions dedicated to indigenous culture, early explorers and the history of Ushuaia as a penal colony, it’s a treat for culture lovers looking to understand the story behind this unique city.
For more active pursuits, Ushuaia is well known for its winter sports and Cerro Castor, meaning ‘Beaver Hill’, is the most popular ski resort in the region. With a long snow season lasting from June to October, fans of skiing or snowboarding cannot miss out on a visit to the snow-laden slopes of Cerro Castor. If you’re still looking for a physical challenge, hiking the Martial Glacier is another of the popular things to do in Ushuaia. The trek is more than worthwhile as you can enjoy beautiful views across Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel from the top!