Ushuaia in Argentina – City at the Edge of the World
Ushuaia in Argentina is not only the southernmost city on the planet, but also the official edge of the world. As proof of this, the local post office will easily stamp your passport with “Fin del Mundo”. From the port of Ushuaia from Argentina to Antarctica start polar cruises and expeditions. In addition, Ushuaia is a popular ski resort and one of the stops on tourist routes in northern Argentina. In this article, we have gathered all the necessary information about the city of Ushuaia in Argentina – where it is located, how to get there, when is the best time to go to this region and what to see locally.
Ushuaia in Argentina: on the map
Ask any experienced traveler, “Where is the edge of the world?” And he won’t hesitate to answer you, “The same place as Ushuaia in Argentina.” This small but famous city is located in the very south of Argentina – in the Beagle Strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago. The city serves as the administrative center of the Tierra del Fuego province of the same name. Just 900 km from the coast of Ushuaia in Argentina is Antarctica. The city itself is home to only 57,000 people. However, during the high tourist season (December-March) its population grows by almost half due to the arrival of tourists.
The southernmost national park in Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, is located 7 km from Ushuaia and is connected to the city by a narrow-gauge railroad. The island of Martillo with its colonies of Emperor and Magellanic penguins is hidden 76 km from Ushuaia on the coast of the same Beagle Strait.
Ushuaia: How to get to the end of the world?
The fastest and most comfortable way to reach Ushuaia in Argentina is to fly here. The capital and the southernmost city of the country are separated by 3000 km. By plane this distance can be covered in 3.5-4 hours.
There are also intercity buses to Ushuaia, but the long drive and the ferry crossings on the way are not something you want to waste your time on vacation. A bus trip from the Argentine capital to Ushuaia takes as much as 40 hours and costs around $200. And there are no direct flights, so you have to make a connection in Río Gallegos.
Ushuaia Malvinas Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de Ushuaia Malvinas Argentinas) with the international code USH is located on a small island in the Beagle, only 4 km from the city center. The flagships Aerolíneas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina fly here from the main airports in the capital, Ezeiza and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery. A one-way ticket will cost from 130 U.S. dollars.
In addition, these same airlines have regular flights to Ushuaia from the large and popular tourist cities of Cordoba (about $130), Salta (around $170) and El Calafate (the same $170). During the high tourist season, there are also temporary flights to Malvinas airport from Argentina’s Bariloche and Rosario.
Ushuaia in Argentina: weather
The southernmost lands of Argentina are quite close to the south pole. Therefore, Ushuaia has a cold and sub-polar climate. True, the weather here is not as harsh as in Antarctica, but it is not a southern resort either. In the local summer, which falls in December and January, the average daily air temperature rises to +9 ° C. On sunny days, the air warms up to +18°C. In winter, the temperature rarely drops below -5°C.
The peak tourist season in this region comes in the local summer, from December to March. Spring and fall are much cooler in southern Argentina, although this time is also suitable for exploring the national park and touring the surrounding area. The local winter weather in Ushuaia, Argentina is less comfortable, but this does not stop many travelers at all.
In general, in the city of Ushuaia in Argentina, the weather can change several times a day. In addition, rainfall is a frequent guest here. Ushuaia has an average of 200 days of rainfall per year! Thunder or snow clouds cover the bright sun in a flash, or the strong gusts of wind calm down to the calm. This is why it’s best to always bring warm clothing and rain protection when touring the city’s surroundings or the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Ushuaia: Sights and Natural Monuments
Most travelers do not come to Ushuaia for the historical and architectural sights, but to enjoy the harsh and beautiful northern nature. It is surrounded by high snow-capped mountain ranges, frigid ocean waters, glaciers, wild forests, and tundra plains.
Small Martillo Island, in the Beagle, is also called Penguin Island. That’s because its only inhabitants are several thousand emperor and Magellanic penguins. Tourists visiting Ushuaia often come to see the lives of these northern animals.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park is famous for its hiking trails. Its territory is equipped with about 40 km of trekking trails. So when choosing a tour in Ushuaia, make sure to include hiking in your visit to the national park!
Lake La Roca.
This large lake stretches across two countries at once, Argentina and Chile. It is considered one of the main attractions of the Tierra del Fuego National Park. There are several hiking trails along the lake’s shores. In addition, many excursions from Ushuaia include a modern canoeing trip on the Lapataia River, which connects the lake to the Beagle Strait.
You can’t come to the end of the world and not take a marine excursion in Ushuaia along the Beagle Strait. This narrow (5 km) and long (240 km) channel separates the largest island of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, where Ushuaia is located, from numerous smaller islands. Only a small part of the strait belongs to Argentina, and most of it runs along the Chilean coast. The strait offers an excellent view of the city and the surrounding mountains. During the walk the ships also sail around the islands of Alice Island and Isla de Los Lobos, where there are large sea lion colonies.
The Martial Glacier certainly does not compare to the picturesque Perito Moreno and looks more like a snow-capped mountain. In Ushuaia, however, it is considered one of the main attractions. The glacier is located 7 km northeast of the city, so you can get here on your own with public transportation or with an excursion from Ushuaia. Trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, and mountain biking are popular there. However, if you are not a fan of active and extreme holidays, the glacier to a height of 1050 meters can always be reached by elevator.
Historical attractions in Ushuaia
Although there are not many historical sites in Ushuaia, you can still find interesting places in the city. Most of them are devoted to three themes: the flora and fauna of Patagonia, ethnography or imprisonment. The last theme is on the one hand surprising, on the other quite understandable. After all, for a long time all life in Ushuaia was centered around the local prison, where prisoners were sent from all over the country.
Most of the museums in Ushuaia are located on the former prison grounds. Here you’ll find the Museo del Presidio, which is dedicated to the imprisonment, and the Fin del Mundo, an interesting local history museum that tells not only about the indigenous inhabitants of the archipelago, but also about its exploration by Europeans. In addition, in the building of the former prison there is the famous Maritime Museo Maritimo, recognized in 1997 as a National Historic Monument.
Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino Railway
A symbol of Ushuaia, the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino used to bring inmates from all over Argentina to the ends of the earth. Nowadays the historic train has been re-equipped for tourism. The train departs from the station in Ushuaia to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. The length of the route is only 8 km. A round trip on it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. Along the way you will see not only the scenery of Tierra del Fuego, but also recreated historic Yamana Indian settlements.
Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse.
This 11-meter red and white lighthouse is the most recognizable symbol of the city, which invariably appears in all photographs of travelers or postcards brought as souvenirs. The lighthouse is located on the small island of the same name in the Beagle. It was built in 1919.
Estancia Harberton Farm
The old Haberton farm was founded by Englishman Thomas Bridges on the outskirts of Ushuaia in 1886. Almost 100 years later it was declared a national monument of Argentine history, but still continues to function. Now the farm has about a thousand cattle. However, this does not prevent organizing excursions here from Ushuaia. In the warmer months there are buses from the city to the farm.