Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world in Tierra del Fuego on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia means ‘the bay facing westward’ in the language of the original Yamana inhabitants. The town is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. It is in Ushuaia where the Andes meet the southern ocean in a sharp ski.
Ushuaia was once a penal colony for political prisoners and criminals. Nowadays it is a busy adventure hub for tourists. Antarctica cruises start here in Ushuaia’s port.
The Tierra del Fuego National park is 63,000 hectares huge but only a small part of it is open to the public.
How do you get there:
There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
In case you are planning to see El Chalten, El Calafate and Torres del Paine National park in Patagonia first, you can take a bus from Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is a small town of approximately 100,000 people, Chile’s southernmost city. The estimated travel time via bus is approximately 12 hours depending on the border. Once you get close to Ushuaia the scenery suddenly changes. It is worthwhile experiencing the bus ride if you have the time.
What to do in Ushuaia:
In winter the town is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.
There are plenty of hiking options available in the Tierra del Fuego National park. Also sailing, kayaking and even scuba diving options are just minutes away.
Ushuaia is the base for cruises along the Beagle Channel to observe the marine wildlife. Expect to see lots of sea birds, sea lions and penguins. In case you cannot get enough from penguins, you can book a trip to the penguin colony and walk around the little cuties and get a bit closer to see the king penguin.
The Beagle channel:
The Beagle channel is named after Darwin’s expedition vessel and is a strait in Tierra del Fuego Archipelago on the extreme southern tip of South America partly in Chile and partly in Argentina.The channel’s eastern area forms part of the border between Chile and Argentina and the western area is entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel is about 240 kilometres long and about 5 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.
Harbor cruises are usually four-hour morning or afternoon excursions to cormorant colonies
and to sea lions.
You will be cruising along small beautiful islands:
and pass the lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘end of the world’ on the north shore of the Beagle Channel:
After a few hours on the boat you will finally arrive at the penguin colony.
The Magellanic penguins were named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who observed the penguins in 1520.
If you prefer to take the bus to the penguin colony tour you will pass some interesting rough scenery on the way.
Reached at the colony you will be able to get closer to the penguins
and also see the famous king penguin.
When you are visiting Patagonia, make sure you stop in Ushuaia and enjoy the wildlife and scenery.
Have you missed my previous posts about Patagonia? Just click on the following links:
- Photos that make you want to travel to Patagonia
- The magic Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia
- The challenges you face when trekking in Torres del Paine Patagonia and
- Trekking the W-circuit in Torres del Paine National Park.