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Ushuaia needs no real introduction, its famous title of being the ‘most southern city in the world’ and being the starting point for all Argentina travel in the Antartica, is know among travels and outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. Located in the Tierra del Fuego national park in an area of Argentina that is ancient, mythical, and fascinating, Ushuaia offers visitors a once in a lifetime experience and the opportunity to feel what its like to truly be at the end of the earth.
The Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego where Ushuaia is located includes areas of barren land, sea, lakes, forests, glaciers, and mountains, making the climate as diverse as the terrain. Summers in this area are beautiful; sun, warm temperatures, cool breezes, and long days are common. At higher elevations or at sea, the temperature can be cool and travelers should be prepared for changes in the climate. Winters bring a different feeling to the area; snow, cold winds, clear days, and cool temperatures, often below freezing, are seen between the months of April and October, the coldest months being June, July, and August. During this time, warm clothing and protective gear is recommended especially when venturing into the outdoors and during any excursions on the water.
The city of Ushuaia is home to 58,000 people and characterized by small quaint homes, metal rooftops, old architecture, Swiss styled themes, commercial buildings, and steep narrow streets. The city accommodates its thousands of visitors that come every year by offering a myriad of accommodation options, restaurants, stores, and tourism offices that arrange tours in and around the area. The city features a few museums, including the Museo Maritimo & Museo del Presidio, a building which was once the national prison in the area built by the convicts themselves. Closed in 1947, the museums feature penal life, as well as an area about Antarctic exploration.
There are many activities to enjoy in Ushuaia…
The national park and nearby mountain ranges made for perfect hiking excursions all year long. It is best to go with an organized group or stock up on local maps and trail descriptions if going on the hike independently; many trails are poorly marked, so be sure of the area where you are going as well as the entrances and exits.
Boat excursions around the Beagle Channel where Ushuaia is located are popular and take visitors to a nearby sea lion colony, and other islands in the area. There is also a special boat tour that takes place on an old historic boat that visits a local lighthouse and the seal lion colony. Other excursions include tours into the Antarctica; these excursions are long, expensive, and perhaps the most memorable experience you will ever have in your life, and if you have the time, money, and desire, it’s a must-do. The excursions may include visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, places where there are few humans, lots of snow and glaciers, and enormous penguin colonies, 2-3 million penguins! Tours run from about 3,000US-70,000US depending on the ship and length of voyage. These tours can be booked online or in the city of Ushuaia.
Just outside of Ushuaia are a few great ski resorts that have a season from June until September. The largest resort in the area is Cerro Castor, only about 20 minutes from the city, and featuring fantastic downhill slopes and cross country options. Altos de Valle is also a great resort offering downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Transport to these mountains can be found in the city for very little cost, often leaving in the morning and returning in the afternoon or night.
Ushuaia is a destination that is for the traveler that is looking for something different, something unique in Patagonia, and an experience that they will not soon forget. Its for the adventurous heart and for those who live for the beautiful outdoors.