All you need to know about Ushuaia - why is this city so famous, the top highlights and all the beautiful experiences you can enjoy - in one handy and comprehensive guide. The “city at the end of the world’, as Ushuaia is most famously known, is not only the most popular springboard for expeditions to Antarctica but is also a sensational travel destination in its own right. The capital of Tierra del Fuego is an ideal base to explore southern Patagonia, the ease of access, flight connections and proximity to some of the region’s highlights being just a few of the best reasons to visit. Aside from its sheer convenience, however, Ushuaia also boasts a fascinating history, unique cuisine and a most ‘out-there feel.
The End of the World, at the tippy-toes of South America, really feels like the end of the world.
So why should you visit Ushuaia, you ask? Because at the end of the world lies the start of your unforgettable Patagonian adventure.
Cruise the Beagle Channel & visit penguin colonies
The Beagle Channel in Ushuaia’s gateway to the Drake Passage, the infamous sea that separates South America and Antarctica. Along the calm bay of Ushuaia, there are several islets and rocky outcrops that attract sea lions and migrating birds in droves. Sightseeing boat trips and even kayaking outings are the two most popular activities here, highlighting the incredible wildlife richness of this region.
The single most popular destination in the channel is Martillo Island, home to one of the largest penguin colonies outside of Antarctica. If you’re visiting Ushuaia to explore Patagonia and are not heading to Antarctica, Martillo is absolutely unmissable for penguin value alone. Every boat trip in Ushuaia includes extensive cruising and visits to the most famous marine-life hubs, making them unmissable excursion and wonderful precursors to Antarctica expeditions. Beagle Channel cruises differ not only in duration but also in activities, with some offering extensive on-land hikes and others much shorter ones.
Hike the Tierra del Fuego National Park
If you’re among the first (or last) of the season to head to Antarctica, you will arrive in Ushuaia at a time of year when the spellbinding Tierra del Fuego National Park is at its most colourful. The resplendent wilderness here is unreal, the southernmost Andean forests boasting outstanding biodiversity and a mix of high-altitude, forested and marine ecosystems. All this unspoilt nature, replete with lakes, rivers, glaciers and high granite peaks, is home to a wide range of wildlife, including guanacos, Fuegian foxes, kelp geese, Austral parakeet, albatrosses, woodpeckers and Andean condors. Hiking trails abound, but if you’d love a more sedate visit, you can also sit on the Train at the End of the World and soak up the splendours in comfort.