How to Spend 3 Days in Ushuaia
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is surrounded by the glacial peaks of the Fuegian Andes and lapped by the icy waters of the Beagle Channel. As a convenient gateway to wilderness and wildlife, the city is a magnet for adventurous travelers. Here’s how to make the most of three days in Ushuaia.
Day 1: City Sights
Though best-known as the gateway to Antarctica, Ushuaia is also home to a wealth of cultural and historic attractions. Kickstart your stay by getting your bearings on a walking or bus tour of the city. Tours typically cover the historic La Mission neighborhood, the Brown and Solier districts, and cultural landmarks such as the Maritime Museum and Old Prison of Ushuaia. For naturalists, a must-see museum is Museo del Fin del Mundo, with its exhibits on Patagonian wildlife. Nightlife in Ushuaia is subdued, but if you head for the central Avenida San Martín, you’ll find a selection of restaurants and bars that offer king crab and locally-brewed beers.
Day 2: Tierra del Fuego National Park
Spend your second day getting active on a full-day excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Tours from Ushuaia tend to transport you there by bus or by the famed End of the World Train, the world’s southernmost train journey, which follows the route of the original convict train that ran in Ushuaia from 1910 to 1947.
Some shorter tours include just enough time for taking in views of the snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes, while others let you delve deeper into Patagonian landscapes via treks and kayak excursions that reveal beaches, forested valleys, Lapataia Bay and Lake Roca—these longer tours typically include a picnic lunch. If you still have energy left over in the evening, embark on a snowshoeing and snowmobiling tour, which typically include dinner and a dog-sledding experience.
Day 3: Beagle Channel
The narrow Beagle Channel separates the main island of Tierra del Fuego from a cluster of small Chilean islands and is easily explored on a boat tour from Ushuaia. Full-day sailing trips meander through the islands of the Alicia Archipelago and bring you up close to the area's prolific bird life,which comprises skuas, cormorants, and black browed albatross. Tours typically also sail by Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse (also known as the Lighthouse at the End of the World) and visit Seal Island in the Les Eclaireurs Archipelago, which is home to two species of sea lions.
For many, however, the highlight of these boat tours is Martillo Island, home to large colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. Most tours give you ample time to explore the grounds of Estancia Harberton, a historical settlement that dates back to the 19th century, before returning to Ushuaia.