Ushuaia, Argentina

Located on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern end of the island of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, with a population of about 57,000 inhabitants is generally considered to be the southernmost city of the world. Although this title belongs, in fact, to the Chilean town of Puerto Williams, its small size (less than 3,000 inhabitants) and difficulty accessibility (at the Navarino Island, almost "in front" of Ushuaia) make the Argentinean city a more convenient call to be considered the southernmost city in the planet.

Ushuaia, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina

The city itself is very attractive and has good accommodation and food options, besides a variety of shops and a large casino. In addition, the urban landscape, with snowy mountains on one side and a sea arm on the other, turn Ushuaia into an excellent base for exploring all that southern Tierra del Fuego has to offer.

Ushuaia, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina

After devoting some time to walk through the most central area of the city, possibly visiting a museum such as the Prison Museum or the End of the World Museum, it is worth taking a boat trip at the Beagle Channel. The standard tour departs from the Touristic Pier (Muelle Turistico) and lasts about 3 hours, visiting the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and the islands of the Birds and of the Wolves. Back in town, you can take a bus, taxi or even walk the 7km (4.3mi) to the base of the Martial Glacier, where a ski lift takes visitors up to some beautiful views of the city and the Beagle Channel. On wintertime, the Martial is also home to a small ski resort.

Cerro Martial, Ushuaia, Argentina
Cerro Martial, Ushuaia, Argentina

The Tierra del Fuego National Park is a great place to learn a bit about the flora and the fauna found in this part of the world. A popular way to get to the park is through the "End of the World Train," a 7km (4.3mi) ride on board a small touristic train that revives the last few kilometers of the old prisoners’ train. Once at the park, you can choose among a number of recreational activities, such as navigating the calm waters of the Lapataia Bay in a kayak. One of the busiest spots within the park is the sign indicating the end of Route 3, the road that connects Buenos Aires with southern Argentina following the Atlantic Ocean: this is literally the end of the line.

Bahia Lapataia, Ushuaia, Argentina
Bahia Lapataia, Ushuaia, Argentina

Taking Route 3 in the opposite direction, however, will take you to many other wonderful places in the southern region of Tierra del Fuego. Cerro Castor has grown in popularity and now offers some of the best skiing in the country. The Valle de Tierra Mayor, actually the River Lasifashaj Valley, has a winter resort where you can besides just riding on a sled pulled by huskies, also participate in a program that will have you interacting with the dogs and will even allow you to “drive” your very own dogsled. Snowmobiles and snow tractors are also available to visitors. The Valle de Las Cotorras is also an option for dog fans or simply for those who enjoy the canine presence. Finally, the vicinity of the Escondido Lake allows some spectacular panoramic views, especially in the region around the Garibaldi Pass, where you get the best view of the Escondido Lake. It is likely that some of the lakes in the area will be frozen during the winter, allowing those who decide to venture in the area some great fun opportunities.

Valle de Tierra Mayor, Ushuaia, Argentina
Valle de Tierra Mayor, Ushuaia, Argentina

The easiest way to get to Ushuaia is through its international airport, which has direct flights to the national capital, Buenos Aires, as well as some other cities like El Calafate and eventually Punta Arenas, in Chile. By land, the city is more than 3,000km (1,860mi) south of Buenos Aires, and 450km (335mi) south of the South American landmass in Chilean territory. Punta Arenas can be reached 170km (105mi) after crossing the Magellan Straits in this point or through ferry that offers daily departures from Porvenir, a town in the Chilean part of Tierra del Fuego, located 440km (275mi) from Ushuaia. Ushuaia is also a frequent stop or port of embarkation for cruise ships during the summer in the southern hemisphere.

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