End of the World - Guide to Ushuaia, Argentina - Uncharted Backpacker (2023)

Ushuaia, Argentina

The most remote city in the world, a place teeming with explorers, a place with a Borderland vibe. It's the gateway to Antarctica, the real last frontier, but Ushuaia has a lot more to offer than being the starting point for Antarctica. The mountains of "Tierra del Fuego" at the end of Patagonia form a catastrophic natural defense wall that descends to the black, cold sea. It is a magical performance of Mother Nature, a bit like a fairy tale. Local Argentine workers, in search of a better future, mix with Guacho cowboys, whose lineage goes back to the local indigenous people. Ushuaia's unique culture makes a stay in the world's last outpost that much more interesting.

How to get to Ushuaia - the end of the world

For many, this is the end of the road, literally the Pan-American Highway that stretches from the northern tip of Alaska and ends here. For others like me, it's the beginning, as Ushuaia is the starting point for most excursions that lead through the perilous Drake Passage to the last natural paradise on Earth, Antarctica.

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For those who are at the end of their journey, it is very likely that they came overland on their own wheels. Driving a 4×4 car or motorcycle is extremely popular here! Cross South America and Patagonia to be able to say: "I went to the end of the world,Ushuaia”.

For my own good, I flew from Buenos Aries. Coming here, you pass through empty mountain valleys and discover bits of untouched wilderness before Ushuaia finally appears like a mirage at a small exit from the black mountain walls of Tierra del Fuego.

Ushuaia wg

The city of Ushuaia is an eclectic mix of historic fishing buildings and Art Deco buildings. In other words, when you first show up, you'll be saying to yourself, "Where the hell am I?" . Still, it's a strange place, but once you love it, you'll dive deeper into its unremarkable appearance.

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Most travelers here stick to the two main streets, Avenue San Martin and Avenue Maipu. Here you will find most of the city's shops, restaurants and museums. Further in the cities with congested side streets you will find better (quieter) hotels.

Where to stay in Ushuaia

While in Ushuaia, I stayed at two hotels worth mentioning. One is an affordable backpacker and the other is a five-star hotel perched on top of a mountain overlooking the city. Regardless of your budget, the accommodation is excellent.

antarctic shelter- To be honest, I stayed here because of the name. "I'm going to Antarctica, right?" it was all I thought about before I came here. The rooms themselves are not bad, they are a bit overpriced as most budget accommodation in Ushuaia is expensive. On the plus side, the lobby has a great, spacious bar serving local beers. They also offer transportation to the park. The downside is that if your budget takes you to the dormitories, they are cramped, smelly and you won't get a good night's sleep.

Arakur Resort Ushuaia“Like a castle looking down on inferior hotels, Arakur sits atop Ushuaia's highest hill. Although it is a short taxi ride from the city, it offers hiking trails in the mountains, incredibly beautiful views of Ushuaia Bay and a restaurant serving many local delicacies. If you're on a budget, I highly recommend staying at this amazing location.

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Where to eat in Ushuaia

The generals troop Pakhuseta - My favorite place to eat in Ushuaia, this small historic restaurant turned market serves the best burgers, beer, coffee and desserts. The atmosphere also exudes authenticity.

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Thematic gallery– History of Fueguin – Not just a tacky museum! The restaurant upstairs offers numerous local specialties! Fish stew was especially memorable.

Kuape– If you are interested in local ingredients mixed with Argentinian cuisine, this is the place for you! I had the Patagonian toothpick with chimichurri on the side.

crabs- I didn't choose a specific restaurant, because when you come to Ushuaia, you will see that there are hundreds of places that serve Antarctic snow crab. I've tried a few and honestly they've all been amazing!

What to see in Ushuaia

Thematic gallery - History of the Fuegians What's better than seeing the story itself? How about the slightly offensive wax figures depicting the various local native tribes and um...colonial heroes who "discovered" these areas. It's a strange but enlightening insight into the history of Ushuaia.

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Nearby points of interest are the Maritime Museum and the Ushuaia Prison- The prison at the end of the world and the biggest landmark of Ushuaia, closed in 1947, a prison that housed strange criminals. Aside from being a bit creepy, the prison also offers several side galleries for local history and exploration.

Luka Ushuaia- I spent my mornings here, the port has a long walking path that takes you to several historic ships, but more importantly, a beautiful view of Ushuaia Bay. In the evening it is absolutely beautiful.

Vandring i national park Tierra del Fuego

I'll be honest, I love hiking, but the time I spent in Ushuaia was not always the best memory. Being the southernmost city in the world has its downside, the weather here is extremely unpredictable. Most of my wanderings have ended in sailing the gods in a downpour, but I have said that the scenery I have seen is simply exceptional.

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Near Hotel Arakur you can walk through groves of broken treesNational Park Tierra del Fuegooffers walks along the sea, mountains and nature that seems very untouched. Despite the weather, go for a walk, just have an escape plan, that's all I'm saying.

Katamaran do Faro Les Eslaireurs – Pira Tour

My favorite experience in Ushuaia was the catamaran cruise from Ushuaia Harbor to Martillo Island. As you enter the Beagle Channel, the majesty of the Tierra del Fuego mountains soar above you, revealing their immense size.

On the way to the island, you will stop at Isla de Pajaros, a small rock covered with what looks like millions of cormorants. Nearby is the photogenic lighthouse Faro les Eslaireurs, also known as the lighthouse of the end of the world. The cliffs jutting out of the sea here are lined with families of sea lions sunbathing and fighting. You can almost hear David Attenborough talking about male phallic positions.

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Penguins on Hammer Island –Pyrrhic tower

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After about two hours, you will arrive at the remote island of Isla Martillo, home to a huge colony of Magellanic penguins. However, there are also a few king and gentoo penguins from Antarctica that have been lost during migration. Now, as if the Magellans don't notice, they live among them, oh how the world could learn from this.

I decided to go togetherPyrrhic towerin Ushuaj on an expedition. As one of the oldest companies, they are one of the few that have the right to stand on the island. Almost all other companies will not let you step among the penguins.

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A trip to Antarctica

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If you're lucky like me and have the chance to sail from Ushuaia to the last untouched wilderness on Earth, you'll get the full Ushuaia experience. There really is something magical about this trip that travel explorers (and travel writers in my case) dream about.

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Leaving Ushuaia, the mountains of Tierra del Fuego slowly disappear into the distance before the choppy waters of the Drake Passage begin, but that's another story and that's where my Ushuaia story ends.

with whom I traveledPoseidon's expeditions! They travel on a small ship that allows much better access to land in Antarctica. If you want an up close and personal trip that you will never forget, this is the company you want to travel to the end of the world with!

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Argentina South America Ushuaia


Is 2 days enough in Ushuaia? ›

2 days is enough to explore central Ushuaia but I recommend allowing yourself at least 5 if you plan on hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego or taking a boat trip to explore the islands of the Beagle Channel.

How many days is enough in Ushuaia? ›

Aim to spend a minimum of three days in Ushuaia: this allows you a day in the national park, a half-day cruise on the Beagle Channel and a day looking around the city's various museums. If you want to do some winter sports or explore further afield, a 6-day stay is preferable.

How do you get to the end of the world in Ushuaia? ›

Poster of the end of NR 3

It is located 25 km from the center of Ushuaia along the same route 3 in the direction of Tierra del Fuego National Park. There is no public transportation up to here, but you must do it with your own car or by tour. 🔎 Check here our article to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Is it worth going to Ushuaia? ›

Ushuaia is a city that you absolutely want to visit during a trip in Argentina. The Ushuaia area lends itself to beautiful hikes in Tierra del Fuego, to glaciers, tours of remote farms and husky dogsledding in winter.

How much money do I need in Ushuaia? ›

You should plan to spend around AR$9,875 ($36) per day on your vacation in Ushuaia, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, AR$1,886 ($6.83) on meals for one day. Also, the average hotel price in Ushuaia for a couple is AR$9,741 ($35).

What is the best month to visit Ushuaia? ›

Weather in Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego is very unpredictable and you will often experience four seasons in a day. The best time to go would be December until March as these are the summer months and many outdoor activities are possible, but the region can be visited any time from September until April.

What is the hottest month in Ushuaia Argentina? ›

January is the hottest month in Ushuaia with an average temperature of 10°C (50°F) and the coldest is June at 1°C (34°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 6 in December. The wettest month is January with an average of 40mm of rain.

Do people in Ushuaia speak English? ›

Spanish is the language of Argentina, but English is widely spoken in tourism outlets. As a duty-free city, Ushuaia has become a paradise for shoppers, particularly those from other parts of Argentina.

Which is better El Calafate or Ushuaia? ›

Ushuaia is in a far more spectacular location than El Calafate, nature-wise, but the natural scenery 1-3 hours drive away from El Calafate (Mount Fitzroy, Perito Moreno NP, Torres del Paine) is some of the best on the planet and nothing on Tierra del Fuego can compete.

Is it worth going to Iceland for 2 days? ›

Of course, 2 days in Iceland is not enough to see everything Iceland has to offer, that would be impossible! However, as long as you plan your days correctly, 2 days in Iceland is still a great amount of time to see a few epic highlights that this country has to offer!

Is 2 days in Ibiza enough? ›

Anyone who has visited Ibiza will tell you that it is impossible to enjoy all it has to offer in just two days. There's so much to do and see on this well-known Balearic island that only 48 hours may not be enough. Either way, if you set your mind to it, you can make the most of your getaway.

Is 2 days enough in Buenos Aires? ›

Two days in Buenos Aires isn't enough to see everything, but it's enough to hit the major destinations without being too overwhelmed.


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