Ushuaia, Argentina is nicknamed, “The End of the World”. It’s not but you can sure see it from your front window! Despite being remote, it is home to magnificent scenery, an abundance of wildlife, fun outdoor activities and friendly residents!
Located at the southernmost point of South America, Ushuaia is a traditional frontier town surrounded by the Martial Mountains on one side and the Beagle Channel on the other. It is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, the “land of fire” that was so named because of the numerous cooking fires the first Europeans saw in the area when they sailed by during explorations. Originally, Ushuaia was settled by British missionaries who were keen to convert the local indigenous peoples to Christianity.
Ushuaia is delightfully situated amongst beautiful scenery!
Not the best transport when the channel is rough!
Here’s a Pro Tip: The currency used is the Argentine Peso. About 100 Argentine Pesos is equal to one British Pound, though the rate regularly fluctuates.
Malvinas Argentinas International Airport sits just 3-miles south of Ushuaia and is just a quick 3-hour plane ride from Buenos Aires. From the airport, most travellers take a taxi into Ushuaia. A one-way taxi journey will take around 20-minutes (despite the short distance) and cost about £5. Once in Ushuaia, the town centre can be explored on foot, and taxis are readily available to take you to attractions slightly out of town.
Here’s Another Pro Tip: While Ushuaia has a subpolar climate, the town enjoys a mild climate in the spring, summer, and autumn due to its proximity to the waters of the South Atlantic. However, Patagonian weather is renowned for being unpredictable, so always pack winter layers just in case!
When the Beagle Channel is calm: good dog!
- Cruise the Beagle Channel – Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and sail the Beagle Channel in search of new land! Keep your eyes peeled for whales, sea lions, and dolphins along the way.
- Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego – If like me you enjoy dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and glorious shimmering lakes then I think you’ll enjoy this national park. Explore on your own, or book a hiking tour with a local guide.
- Isla Martillo – Visit the nearby Isla Martillo to be up close and personal with a colony of penguins! You’ll have to join a guided tour, but stepping foot on the island and walking amongst penguins is exciting, fun and informative!
- Tren del Fin del Mundo – Ride the southernmost train in the world! The one hour journey heads to Tierra del Fuego National Park so you can tick two attractions off your list in one go!
- Glacier Martial – Strap on your walking boots and crampons and join a walking tour to Martial Glacier. This impressive ice formation sits just outside of the town and offers a fantastic chance to explore a beautiful glacier while enjoy views of the Beagle Channel.
Some residents prefer formal attire!
- Skiing – Ushuaia has such cold temperatures that snow skiing can start at a lower elevation – which means low-landers will appreciate the extra oxygen! The summit as Cerro Castor is just 1,003 meters (3,261 feet) and runs are down to just 200 meters (660 feet) above sea level. Cerro Castor is challenging enough that it hosted the 2012 FIS Freestyle Slopestyle World Cup. It also has the longest ski season of any resort in South America so there is plenty of time for Après Ski!
- Downtown – Wander around town on foot, and you’ll come across craft beer bars bustling with locals, Almacen Ramos general store which is lined with town memorabilia, and several quaint shops selling souvenirs.
All of the outdoor fun and exercise is liable to work up your appetite. The cuisine at the “End of the World” is quite delicious, as the locals make the most of their surroundings. Expect to dine on local lamb, fresh seafood, and other Fuegian delights! Below are my three favourite Ushuaia restaurants:
- Reina Morea Restaurant: Located inside the Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa, this fine-dining restaurant serves a blend of international and Patagonian cuisine. Order the braised hake followed by Crème Brûlée.
- Chez Manu: This is one of Ushuaia’s most popular fine dining restaurants. Head chef Emmanuel Herbin takes traditional French cuisine and adds an Argentinian twist. I recommend the Patagonian Lamb and the Tenderloin Carpaccio!
- Patagonia Mia: If you’ve just returned to Ushuaia after a day of adventure in the surrounding wilderness, head to Patagonia Mia and tuck into some Argentinean BBQ. Expect hearty dishes, slow-cooked with love.
“Empanadas” must mean “little pockets of savoury goodness”!
Regardless of where you eat, you’ll find the food healthy, hearty and an excellent value!
Because of its reputation of being about outdoor adventure, Ushuaia isn’t renowned for being a party town. There are a handful of places to enjoy a tipple or two, however. Check out my favourite bars below:
- Krund Ushuaia: Krund is an American restaurant and bar serving pizzas and craft beer. The long tables and benches make you feel like you’re in a German beer hall!
- Viagro Bar-Resto: This small bar and restaurant is known for its cocktails, but also has a nice array of craft beers behind the bar. If you’re lucky, you might land on an evening of live music
- Casa Olmo – Similar to Krund, Casa Olmo is another popular American pub serving craft beer and pizzas. You’ll find it just behind Ushuaia’s Museum of Local and Natural History.
From mountain side resorts to luxury hotels with onsite spa’s, below are my favourite hotels in Ushuaia:
- Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa – The Arakur resort sits high on a rocky outcrop above the city and is one of the most contemporary hotels in Ushuaia. If you’re after a 5-star stay with state-of-the-art amenities, look no further
- Los Cauquenes – This luxury hotel overlooks the Beagle Channel and boasts smart and spacious rooms. Ask for a room with mountain or channel views, and you’ll have spectacular views from your bed!
- Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort – With a spa, Turkish baths, and hot tubs, Las Hayas is the perfect accommodation when you need rest and relaxation. This hotel is particularly well suited for couples on a romantic break.
Ushuaia offers all of the spectacular scenery of Alaska in less explored and largely unspoiled grandeur. Ushuaia might be the furthest destination from my home on the Cloud, but it’s definitely the closest to my heart!