Situated on the Beagle Strait, Ushuaia is the largest city in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, and arguably the southernmost city in the world. In the past, the town has been a missionary base, penal colony and naval base for the Argentine navy. Ushuaia is now a major tourist town, complete with wide range of hotels and restaurants, nightlife, casinos, museum and a good base for hiking, winter sports and cruises to Antarctica.
Ushuaia lies on the Andes foothills (which run West-East at this latitude) and the Beagle Channel coast. Its sole road connection is "Ruta 3" which traverses the city west-east and later drifts north-east across the Andes all the way to Rio Grande and ultimately to Buenos Aires.
Consequently, Ushuaia's tourist attractions are either to the west (End of the World Train & National Park), to the east (Fagnano Lake, Haberton ranch and lots of hiking trails) or within the city itself (Presidio Museum, boat trips, Martial Glacier).
In the late 19th century, the land that is now called Ushuaia was inhabited entirely by Yamana Indians and a handful of missionaries. At the time of writing (October 2005), there is allegedly one pure-blooded native-speaking Yamana Indian left. An excellent book on the history of the Yamana and their demise is The Uttermost Part of the Earth by E. Lucas Bridges, the son of one of the early missionaries. His father, Thomas Bridges, documented what he could of the Yamana language and found that it had a far larger vocabulary than the English language. Darwin, who famously sailed through the Beagle Channel, thought that the Yamana, were "the missing link".
Today the town is growing fast as a result of increased tourism since the 2002 economic crash. The government has encouraged this growth by designating Tierra del Fuego a virtually tax-free zone to encourage people to settle (many of the inhabitants of today's Ushuaia come from Chaco, in the north of Argentina). The cost of living however, is relatively high as all goods have to be transported long distances, usually by container ship. Inflation is rampant even in USD terms, expect your guide-book to be well out of date and prices to be double or triple a few years ago.
Climate-wise, Ushuaia is warmer than many assume; although (arguably) the southernmost city in the world, it is no further south than Belfast is north, and temperatures rarely drop below -10°C. However, summers tend not to climb much above +12°C and, as in all of Patagonia, strong winds add a significant wind chill factor.
There are daily flights to Ushuaia – Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH) on Aerolineas Argentinas  and LAN flights  from Buenos Aires. LAN Chile, through its LAN Express services, flies daily from Santiago de Chile, stopping over in Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. Flights can be booked from the Aerolineas Argentinas  office, as well as from some local travel agencies. The local LAN Chile  representative is the Rumbo Sur travel agency. LAN Chile tickets can be purchased online; With Aerolineas Argentinas  you can make a reservation online but the ticket must be purchased in person at an Aerolineas office within 24 hours (Jan 2008).
An interesting alternative is to fly to Rio Grande, 210 km short of Ushuaia to be covered by a 3 hour bus ride that yields a fair sample of the landscapes and climates that make up Patagonia: from sunny rocky seaside & dry steppe to cloudy scrubland and on to misty/rainy Andes covered with lush rainforest.
Buses from/to all destinations (apart from Punta Arenas) all stop at Rio Gallegos. It can be cheaper to just buy a ticket to Rio Gallegos and purchase an onward ticket from there. The ride from Rio Gallegos involves crossing into Chile, a ferry crossing, and back again into Argentina and is advertised as taking around 12 hours. NOTE: it used to be best to change money before getting to Rio Gallegos, but rates have changed wildy due to inflation) However, it is often longer if there are delays at the borders or if the ferry is delayed by inclement weather.
A speedboat connects Ushuaia with Isla Navarino, across the Beagle Channel in Chile. The cruise takes 40 minutes to Port Navarino and continues with a 30 minute shuttle to Puerto Williams. The cost is a total rip-off at USD 120. This ride is nowhere close to making the boat tours described below redundant.
There are city buses within Ushuaia, but they only reach few of the tourist attractions. They are good to get to Playa Larga, for example, or from one part of the center to another, along the east / west axis.
Tours / transport to the main tourist attractions can be booked through the Tourist Office (on San Martin) or through many of the hostels.
Regular minibuses leave from a parking lot at the corner of Maipu and Fadul for the National Park to the West (25 km), Glaciar Martial to the North (7 km- see more information detailed below), or the various attractions along Valle Mayor to the East (30 km to the Cerro Castor terminal). The minibuses are expensive: AR$350 (USD 8) one way to the National Park or AR$250 (USD 6) to Valle Mayor one way. Groups may find it cheaper to go by taxi or even to rent a car.
Taxis and remise are a popular (despite expensive) option, costing, for example, Ar$220 (USD 6) to get from the city centre to either the airport or Glaciar Martial.
There are also several car / bicycle hire companies.
View of a restored wing of Presidio. Exhibits are located in each prison cell.
- Museo Marítimo & Presidio (Maritime & Old Prison Museam), Yagones y Gobernador Paz . Two day admission including access to both costs AR$600 (USD 14). The historical military prison of Ushuaia consists of five long and narrow pavillions converging on a central hall. Small maritime museum, featuring various historic items, stands on the first tranche of the first wing, followed by an array of refurbished prison cells. Other wings have been converted to an art gallery featuring the work of local artists and one of them left unchanged allows an intersting spooky feeling of what prison life must have felt like. The visit also includes (no extra charge) a replica of San Juan de Salvamento lighthouse, featured in Jules Verne's End of the World's Lighthouse.
- Museo del Fin del Mundo, . Highlights include the largest exhibited collection of birds from Tierra del Fuego, the figurehead of the Duchess of Albany (a sunken vessel), and library dedicated to the history and nature of Tierra del Fuego. Admission price of 400 pesos to non-local, non-Argentines (roughly 7 US$).
- Estancia Harberton - Open only in the summer months, Estancia Harberton is a worthwhile trip for those interested in the Bridges family and their role in the local history. It is located about 40 miles East of Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel.
- Mastil de General Belgrano - A remote area west of the city of Ushuaia on Isla Redonda, paying tribute to one of the founders of Argentina, and to the navy cruiser named after him which was sunk by the UK in the Falklands War. It was a stop on one of the televised Amazing Race contests, and features a one-person post office for sending letters from the end of the world. Accessible by boat from Playa Larga (approx Can$20).
- Museo Mundo Yámana, . Privately run museum with several dioramas of traditional Yaghan/Yámana life, origins and migrations, as well as displays of the period of early contact with Europeans. Located at 56 Rivadavia, near the Museo del Fin del Mundo. Admission price 35 pesos as of November 2012.
- Martial Glacier. (59.795176,68.382826) edit - Provided that you wear comfortable shoes and have the patience, a hike up the Glacier Martial will provide a very beautiful view of Ushuaia and the Beagle Chanel. There is also a single ski slope open during the winter months (unfortunately currently closed), and ski hire is available from the site.
There is a Touristic reserve on this area.
Simple map of Martial Glacier Trails
7km (40 minutes walk) from downtown Ushuaia. The trail can be started at
Paseo de las Rosas in front of the old cemetery. Besides chairlift you can also
climb on foot, following the same route as the chairlift, bordering a stream.
You should always ask at the base to check conditions of the paths.
To access these trails you must first walk along the main ski slope or the variant
crossing the forest, which follows the Buena Esperanza jet. Both roads begin at the
base of the Mountain Center (315MSL) ending at the panoramic point of the upper
platform (dimension 515MSL).
Trail from upper Chairlift Station to the edge of the glacier
(3 hours round-trip; Distance: 5.9 km, Difficulty: intermediate-difficult).
Only part of the main trail is marked.
| MSL (Start)
|| MSL (End)
|| Base de la Aerosilla (Chairlift; maybe closed)
|| Retorno de la Aerosilla
|| 1300m-1500/40-50min (from base)
|| Sendero de Filo (ends at Punto Paramico)
|| 900m/30min one way
|| Canonada Negro (pipe black)
|| Sendero del Glacier (Pie del Galacier?)
|| 1600m/60min one way
|| Sendero del Bosque (Forest Path)
|| 15-30 min
|| Sendero del Cascada (??path going into pure lenga forest (20 min) ??)
- Ushuaia Golf Club -Located west of town just before the entrance to the National Park. Probably the southernmost golf course in the world.
- Tren del Fin del Mundo --Located west of town just before the entrance to the National Park. A pleasant train ride into the park on a narrow guage railway rebuilt on part of the roadbed of the old logging train. The ride takes about 75 minutes, including a short stop along the way to visit a small waterfall, the return trip another 20 min. Standard fees at 1400 ARS (USD 28) + National Park entry fee. One way costs the same as round trip costs the same.
- Tierra del Fuego National Park - This national park provide some nice day hikes on well marked trails. Longer treks are also possible, such as Paso de la Oveja (2 days) or the Sierra Valdivieso Circuit (4 days). These treks cross part of the national park but start and end elsewhere. The Compania de Guias de la Patagonia and Club Andino Ushuaia can help with organisation and renting gear. Park fee for non-locals at 450ARS (10 USD) by summer 2019. The city bus will take you half way to the park's gate, from where you can walk or hitch 5 km to the entrance and another 13 km to the terminus in Lapataia.
- Boat tours - A traditional and very popular tour that takes you around the Beagle channel, stopping real close to rocky islands bustling with cormorants, sea lions (penguins on the longer tour in the right season) and Les Eclairs Lighthouse (beautifull though not to be confused with Jules Verne novel's). You have many options which mainly evolve around big, crowded catamarans vs smaller vessels with a more personalized guidance; as well as the short routes which includes a 45 minute hike around "H" Island or Bridges Island , the longer route which goes all the way to penguin rich Martillo Island (no trek but with views of Puerto Almanza, Argentina and Puerto Williams, Chile along the way) or an even longer route which combines with a visit to Haberton ranch (see previous section).
- Motonave Barracuda sail -ship trips will take you around the Beagle channel and give you nice views of the mountains, cormorants, sea lions and penguins.
- Kayak the Beagle Channel - Kayaks can be hired near the Aeroparque on the promontory jutting out from Ushuaia. -Just checked (2011) - there are no kayaks for hire anymore without the guide.
- Diving - Ushuaia Divers located in the AFASIN Yacht Club. US$150 + AR$40 for 2 dives. Contact: Carlos Giuggia 15619782 
- Last Minute Antarctica Cruise with Freestyle Adventure Travel, Gobernador Paz 866 (Between 9 of Julio and Rosas), ☎ +54 (9) 2901-609792, . Mon-Sat 9 am to 6pm. If you are interested in Antarctica, Freestyle is a friendly & helpful agency with perfect English & good deals. Talk to Sarah for help on planning an Antarctic voyage. Located at bottom of a ramp on Gob Paz beside Alto Andino Hotel. edit
- Cerro Castor - This centre for winter sports offers skiing and snowboarding. Nearby, you can also ride snowcats or husky sleighs.
- Valle de Lobos (Valley of Wolves) -- Located 19 km from town. 3 hour Trek to Laguna Esmeralda. Entrance Fee: 50 Peso; The Lagoon is on the way to the "Ojo de Albino Glacier".
- Aircraft and helicopter tours: flying out of the old airport, 1 km away from the city centre. 15, 30 or 60 minutes flights over the city, the Beagle Channel or the valleys inland are available (www.argentinaflightadventures.com)
The main shopping district of Ushuaia is located near the waterfront and offers everything that souvenir-seekers and Antarctic travelers could want. While Antarctic travelers should (obviously) arrive with proper gear already in their possession, quality winter gear including boots, coats, and other necessities can be purchased from a variety of shops.
- Altos Restó, Luis Fernando Martial 1441, ☎ +54-2901-422990 ([email protected]), . from 07.00hs to 23.00hs. Owning some of the best views over the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia's bay, it is the perfect restaurant to enjoy a fantastic moment in this restaurante at any time of the day. It offer special international dishes and Patagonic specialities at middrange prices. It is recommended to book a table in advance, particularly in specific festive dates. edit
- Kaupé, Roca 470, ☎ +54-2901-422704 ([email protected], fax: +54-2901-422704), . Expensive compared to other restaurants in Ushuaia, but the view is spectacular and the food is absolutely, positively guaranteed not to disappoint. edit
- Kuar, Perito Moreno 2232, ([email protected]), . A couple of kilometers outside town, right above the rocks by the sea, breathtaking bay views and good live music scene, sophisticated and good but not outstanding and a bit pricey dining. If you don't mind the occasional dropping by of a bunch of gringos, be sure to book a table by the window in the restaurant area or to take a seat by the big wooden steps in the bar area. edit
- El Turco, San Martin 1440. Not a restaurant with a Turkish cuisine (if this is what you expect). Open from 12:00 - 15:00 and 20:00 - 24:00. Tasty meals with good price. Ordering takes some time because place is always crowded but serving is fast (so no problem in the end). Nice staff. 5 minutes walk from center. edit
- Un Lugar Empanadas, Gobernador Deloqui 415, ☎ 424687. Awesome empanadas edit
- Dublin Bar, on 9 de Julio, is popular with tourists.
- Galway Bar, on San Martin, is another popular Irish pub although it usually has less atmosphere than Dublin.
- Bodegon Fuegino, San Martin 859, ☎ 2901 431972. Locally-sourced, artesanal, home-cooked food. Tapas-style picadas recommended as sampling menu. Good wine selection. edit
- Bar Ideal (Irish Pub), San Martin 393, ☎ 0054(2901)437860, . Nice, old, irish pub with friendly staff. Open until 00:00 edit
- Macario 1910 Pub, san martin 1485. Set in an old house, excellent food and ambient. Thursdays night women have free pizza and weekends djs set the party up. edit
Hotels in Ushuaia are often booked, especially during peak tourist season, thus it is advisable to arrive in Ushuaia with reservations. Hostels are equally crowded during peak season, and you may have some trouble finding accommodation should you arrive without a reservation.
- la casa en ushuaia, gobernador paz 1380, ☎ 54 2901 423202. checkin: 12:00 am; checkout: 10:00 am. Located at barely two hundred meters from downtown Ushuaia and at three hundred from the beautiful maritime waterfront, six double or single rooms with three bathrooms to be shared between two adjoining rooms only, in an oiginal wooden family house designed and refurbished by its owner/architect. Continental breakfast is included. Free Internet and WIFI. The hostess speaks French, English and Spanish. $. edit
- Casa Alba (B&B), Belakamain 247, ☎ 0054(2901)15612415, . checkin: 10:00am. 20-30 minutes walking distance from center; good part: silent neighbourhood, bad part: weather is cold so hard to walk sometimes. Nice, clean rooms, heating in every room, clean towels, hot water 24 hours, rooms are cleaned every day. Not rich but good breakfast. No kitchen facilities but hot water for tea, coffee, etc. The owner is a nice and helpful lady but has a habit of berating customers as they enter the house and in every question they ask. edit
- Antarctica Hostel, . One of the best hostels in town. Just opened recently. Free internet access and breakfast is included. Shared kitchen. Dorm bed Ar$90, double Ar$200. edit
- FreeStyle Hostel, . the freestyle has an excellent view of the bay from their 3rd floor common room. Hostel is clean, new and well maintained with internet costing Ar$1 per half hour and breakfast is included. Kitchen is clean and fully stocked with room for perishables. Dorm rooms, private rooms and private rooms with kitchenettes are available. Dorm: Ar$50 pp; Room for 4: Ar$220; Private room (double or single) Ar$180. edit
- La Posada Del Duende, Deloqui 1482, ☎ 02901 432562 and 15514984 ([email protected]). Dorm: 55???? pesos pp, double 80 pesos pp (high season, Jan 2008). edit
- Los Lupinos, Deloqui 750, ☎ 02901 424152 ([email protected]), . Centrally located, big kitchen, free breakfast, padlockable lockers, free wi-fi and Internet. Some of the staff are apathetic at best. Dorm: 110 pesos pp Jan 2013]), double 275/315 pesos. (-54.8065336,-68.3091218) edit
- Yakush Hostel, (at Piedrabuena & San Martin (the main street)), ☎ 435807 (English spoken), . Opened in May, 2004. Very inexpensive and well located. Clean, funky decorations, free email, 24hr hot water, private lockers in each room, TV, and music. Breakfast included. Great staff - hang out, talk. $85 pesos (as of Dec 2011). edit
- Hostel Aonikenk, 25 de mayo 576, ☎ 02901-422098 ([email protected]), . checkout: 10 am. Free internet access and breakfast is included. Great view of the bay from the dining room/kitchen/living room. Dorm bed Ar$40 (low season, Apr 2009), double Ar$160, with private bath Ar$180 (high season ,jan 2010). edit
- Torre al Sur Youth Hostel, Gobernador Paz 1437, ☎ 02901-430745 ([email protected]), . Free internet access on a 15-year-old computer. Kitchen use until 22:30h. Very thin walls between the rooms. Family atmosphere. Great view in dorm and kitchen. Dorm bed from Ar$46??? (member) Ar$ 49??? (others) (Feb 2009). edit
- End House, 623 Gobernador J.M. Gomez. Free internet access and breakfast is included. Cheaper rooms are somewhat noisy. Dorm bed from Ar$30 (high season, Jan 2008). edit
- La Posta, 864 Peron Sur (First traffic circle coming from the airport), ☎ 542901444650 ([email protected]), . checkout: 10:00. Free Internet & WiFi, quiet location, friendly atmosphere, 2 spacious kitchens, medical assistance on site, laundry room (small fee to use washing machine), large yard with grill, parking lot. About a 20min walk from the city center. edit
- Altos Ushuaia Hotel, Luis Fernando Martial 1441, ☎ +54 (2901) 422990 ([email protected]), . checkin: 10.00hs; checkout: 14.00hs. Located 3 km from the centre of Ushuaia, it offers scenic views and a peaceful natural environment. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the views over the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia's bay from its panoramic windows in public areas. Its three floors are reached by lift and stairs. All its 46 comfortable rooms and suites have views to mountains and/or the Beagle Channel. They all have heating temperature controls, LCD and cable TV, hair dryers, safety boxes and minibar. Staff are friendly, and internet wi-fi is complimentary in all rooms and public areas. edit
- Las Lengas Hotel, Goleta Florencia 1722, ☎ +54 (2901) 423366 ([email protected]), . This is the first eco-friendly hotel of Ushuaia and it is located over a natural elevation of the terrain. Thanks to its large floor to ceiling windows, which are insulated and provide natural lighting, it is possible to enjoy the fantastic views over the bay of Ushuaia and Beagle Channel from all public areas of this unique hotel. All 46 rooms and suites are completely insulated and all of them have views to mountains and/or Beagle Channel. They all have in-room heating temperature controls, LCD and TV cable, hair dryers, safety boxes, LED and/or low energy bulbs, flow regulators and dual-flush system. Wi-Fi is complimentary in all rooms and public areas of the hotel. The attached restaurant integrates traditional dishes from Patagonia. edit
- Posada Costa Serena, Av. Roca 129, ☎ (02901) 43-7212 ([email protected]), . Located just next to Av. San Martin in the middle of town, this posada offers simple accommodation with an excellent position. Free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms, 2 computers are available for the use of those without laptops, residents have full use of a kitchen, the room price includes all-day breakfast and snacks (e.g. coffee, cakes) and the managers are very friendly. Rates as of Mar 2007 are 100 pesos for a single and 110 pesos for a double or twin. edit
- Tango B&B Ushuaia, ([email protected]), . Offers daily room service, excellent location, seven blocks away from the main street, really exclusive, with warm and drinkable water 24 hours available, free Internet, cable TV in the living room, optional TV in the room, conditioned atmospheres, safe box in front desk, buffet breakfast and the good quality that only the owners/hosts can give you. A Tango show free with the unique view of the Beagle channel and the Islands that surround it. edit
- Albatros Hotel, Av. Maipú 505, ☎ +54 (2901) 437300 ([email protected], fax: +54 (2901) 437300), . Located on the waterfront near the port, this hotel offers 78 comfortable rooms and suites and excellent service. Although most of its rooms do not have a view, they are warmly decorated. Free Wi-Fi is available to all visitors, the room price includes a continental buffet breakfast, and the staff are helpful and speak English. Amenities include the Albatros Spa: Sauna, Scottish and Finnish showers, Hydro-massage and a gym. The use of the spa & health club is included in the rate (only massage sessions need have an extra cost). An on-site restaurant serves international food and also traditional dishes from Patagonia, with an air-conditioned wine cellar featuring Patagonian wines. High season rates (as of January 2012) were US$150-180 for a single or double room, US$175=200 for a triple, and US$225+ for a suite. edit
- Isla Navarino - Zodiac boat to Puerto Williams one way US$125. It's a 15 minutes boat ride to Puerto Navarino and then the minibus takes you to Puerto Williams.
- Punta Arenas - Daily bus at 5AM from the bus station (there is one now). AR$180-210.
- Tierra del Fuego National Park
- Antarctica — Ushuaia is one, if not the, largest port and airport for cruises and flights to Antarctica.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!