Ushuaia… if you’d ask us, it’s our number one destination where we would love to go back to in a blink of an eye. With its imposing snowcapped mountain peaks that look like a background wallpaper and the Beagle Channel as the gateway to Antarctica, this port town takes you to the end of the world offering everything a traveler’s heart desires. 5 reasons why we think you should have been there at least once in your lifetime.
The end of the world
When your plane is carefully making its descend towards the city of Ushuaia, you’ll immediately notice you’ve entered a unique location. Landing on a (seemingly) short, narrow landing strip on the water, enclosed by rugged mountains rising high around the city, not only requires excellent manoeuvring skills from the pilot but also makes for a challenging test for your stomach. When the plane touches down, you’re really there: at the end of the world! Or at least in the most southern city of the world to be more precise. You have to admit, it’s pretty cool to be able to say that, right? (And while you’re there, don’t forget to get your passport stamped with the – ok it’s touristy but rewarding at the same time – Ushuaia stamp).
Ushuaia isn’t that big but has got this pleasant, raw charm of a desolate town surrounded by an overwhelmingly beautiful landscape. Wedged between the Beagle Channel and the Martial Glacier, the southernmost city in the world is the starting point for most expeditions to Antarctica. But even if you don’t have €8.000 to spare for a visit to the South Pole, Ushuaia remains a top destination for a short or longer stay. There’s beautiful nature everywhere around, where you can go trekking or make boat trips. Don’t miss walking up the Martial Glacier right on the northwestern outskirts of town. In summer, you can easily walk up to the top where you’ll be treated with a mighty view of the city, the Beagle Channel and the glacier itself ofcourse.
Boat trip on the Beagle Channel
When you’re in Ushuaia, an absolute must do is doing a boattrip on the Beagle Channel. Choose a smaller boat that will bring you closer to all the sights and will reward you with stunning views of the famous red and white lighthouse and islands crammed with loud penguïns and slow sea lions. Try to leave in the late afternoon, giving you the opportunity to catch the sun setting down behind the horizon, shining its soft evening light on the mountain peaks. It’s absolutely one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences, spoiling you with lots of opportunities to take impressive pictures. Even if you’re hanging outside of the boat during the whole trip, ready to vomit like I did…
Walking in Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is Patagonia at its best: beautiful nature with rivers, lakes and glaciers that cross the miles and miles of untouched land. Here’s where you’ll get a real taste of the wild life. A day walk through Tierra del Fuego rewards you with views of scenic bays where foxes, beavers and albatrosses can cross your path. If you’re into it, you can go climbing or kayaking. Whatever you choose, the setting remains stunning in every direction. Tierra del Fuego can be reached by bus from the centre of Ushuaia. Or you can take the touristy ‘Tren del Fin del Mundo’. Start the day as early as possible with plenty of snacks and drinks, so that you can enjoy this area to the fullest.
Eating local king crab
Even now, five years later, we sometimes catch ourselves dreaming about the food we ate in Argentina and espcecially the king crab of Ushuaia. Straight from the sea, fresher than fresh: we had no idea crab could taste sooo good. Try some in its purest form at restaurant Maria Lola or in a delicious stew covered with parmesan cheese like the one at Andino.
Travelling to Ushuaia: how do you get there?
Ushuaia is located in the southernmost point of Argentina, about 3.000 kilometers from the capital Buenos Aires. You can get there over land via a long and difficult journey. If you’re looking for a faster way, flying is the answer. Argentina is far from being a cheap country, but if you’re planning to see a big part of this vast country in a limited amount of time, flying from one of the bigger cities to Ushuaia is your best option. In the city itself, you’ll find enough taxis if you’ve had enough of walking around.
Best travel time
The best time to visit Patagonia and Ushuaia is during the summer months from December to March. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘summer’, as the averages won’t go much higher than 10°C here. However, this is also the busiest time of the year resulting in fully booked hotels and bigger crowds. We were there in the beginning of November and even though the weather can still be a tiny bit grim at that time, Ushuaia and the surrounding parks are not yet flooded with people.