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Ushuaia

Travel Guide South America Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia

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Introduction

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

© All Rights Reserved Aninha

Ushuaia is located in the Argentinian province of Tierra del Fuego and is the world's most southern city. It has about 64,000 inhabitants that live on the edge of the world. There is even a sign that says welcome to the end of the world! The city has a distinctive end of the world feeling which for most travellers is reason enough to come here. There are however much more things to do and see in and especially around Ushuaia. The city is backed by the Martial Moutains to the north and the famous Beagle Channel to the south. It is also the most popular starting point for trips to Antarctica.

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Sights and Activities

Much of the sights and activities are actually located outside Ushuaia and most of them can be done on a daytrip from the city. Note that some of them are not possible from June to September.

  • The city itself is worth a nice walk and there are few good museums, like the one about the historical settlement of Ushuaia, including the time it was a prison colony.
Tierra del Fuego, beaver dam

Tierra del Fuego, beaver dam

© All Rights Reserved Gitan Jean

  • Tierra del Fuego National Park is located west and northwest of Ushuaia, stretching from the Beagle Channel north along the Chilean border. The park is famous for great hiking and the scenery contains waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, forests and lakes. You can also witness some of the park's fauna, like foxes, beavers and guanacos (family of the llama).
  • The park can be reached by the Train at the end of the world (Tren el Fin del Mundo), which runs from the outskirts of Ushuaia for about 5 kilometres.
  • In winter you can go skiing at the Mount Castor Ski Resort.
  • There are daily bus/boat tours to Estancia Harberton, east of the city, where the Bridges family used to live during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nearby is a museum about the natural history of the region.
  • Another popular daytrip is a boat tour on the Beagle Channel, which enables you to see Ushuaia from a distance and to add you can also see numerous aquatic birds, seals and sealions. With some luck, penguins and orca's may be spotted as well!
  • Finally, you can go even further away and hop on a cruise to Antarctica or if you haven't got the time or money to the Falkland Islands or Cape Horn.
Seals Beagle Channel

Seals Beagle Channel

© All Rights Reserved Flav-Greg

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Weather

Most people do not come to Ushuaia for the climate, although they do hope that the weather will be fine. The best chances for fine weather are in summer, which lasts from November through to March. Daytime temperatures are averaging between 12 °C and 14 °C, while nights are rather chilly with 2 °C to 5 °C. Lucky travellers will experience temperatures of 20 °C or a bit more, but these days are pretty scarce.
Winters last from May to September when temperatures are between 3 °C and 7 °C during the day and a few degrees below zero at night with sometimes temperatures dropping to -10 °C although it rarely gets colder.
Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year with around 40 mm a month, though summers tend to be somewhat wetter compared to winters, when some precipitation comes in the form of snow.

Be aware that even though there are plenty of things to do in the winter months such as skiing and dog sledging, a lot of the hotels and hostels will close down. Also, bus routes may stop, or at least run infrequently.

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Getting There

By Plane

Most people arrive in Ushuaia by plane at the Ushuaia - Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH). Destinations include Buenos Aires, Punta Arenas and Santiago de Chile, as well as Comodoro Rivadavia, Puerto Deseado, Rio Grande, Trelew, Rio Gallegos and El Calafate, and a few smaller places.

By Train

There are very few train links in Argentina, so you can not get to Ushuaia by train. Although the Tren el Fin del Mundo is a nice daytrip (see above).

By Car

If you have a rental car, you can travel to Ushuaia yourself. Part of the route is unsealed through but in relatively good condition and normally passable by a regular 2wd car.

By Bus

Several cities are connected with Ushuaia by bus. There are daily services with Tecni Austral to Rio Grande (4 hours), except Sunday. They have further connections to Punta Arenas in Chile on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, taking around 11 hours. On weekdays, connections are possible to Rio Gallegos as well (12 hours total). Lider has 6-8 services a day by minivan to Tolhuin (2.5 hour) and Rio Grande (4 hours).
Transportes Pasarela runs roundtrip shuttle buses to Lago Esmeralda and Lago Escondido, and you can stay overnight (camping) if you let them know.

By Boat

Most of the boat tours are luxurious cruises to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Cape Horn or Punta Arenas. Still, it is also possible to get a seat on a chartered boat to Puerto Williams, across the Beagle Channel and on Chilean grounds. You may even be able to get onto a luxury boat, if for some reason the boat is not full the company may sell a room cheapily just to fill it. However, theses are rare and you have to be in the right place at the right time.

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Getting Around

By Car

A car is not really needed to explore the town but is handy to get to the parks or head to somewhere a little off the beaten track.

By Public Transport

Buses will take you all over town and to the National Parks. Just wait at a bus stop for the next one to arrive. Always check on the time of the final bus though as you do not want to be stranded a night in a cold National Park.

By Foot

The town is best explored on foot. There is a nice pace of life here so enjoy it.

By Bike

Bikes can be rented but be careful in the winter as there may be ice on the roads.

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Eat

As it can get cold here then you will definateley want some good warm filling food. What is better than locally sourced steak!!

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Sleep

Budget

There are plenty of hostels and hotels in all price ranges but we aware that they can fill up very quickly and are often not as cheap as you would think. If you know when you will be travelling it is always a good idea to book head to be on the safe side.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
AlbaBelakamain 247 Ushuaia, ArgentinaGuesthouse-
Antarctica HostelCalle Antartida Argentina 270 Tierra Del FuegoHostel91
Cabañas del Hain (Cabins)Barrio Tierra de LeyendasApartment-
Free StyleGobernador Paz 866Hostel-
Galeazzi - Basily B&BGob. Valdez 323Guesthouse83
Hostal del MonteRosales 305 Tierra del FuegoGuesthouse-
Hostel Patagonia PaisAlem 152Hostel84
Hosteria Bella VistaCabo de Hornos 4018 - Ushuaia - Tierra dGuesthouse85
La Casa en UshuaiaGobernador Paz 1380Guesthouse86
La Posta AlberguePeron Sur n 864 Rafaela Ishton Nº 865Hostel88
Las Retamas B&BMagallanes 1780Guesthouse86
Los CormoranesKamshem 788Hostel83
Los LupinosDeloqui Nº 750Hostel78
Pueblo ViejoGobernador Deloqui 242Hostel-
Tango B&B - UshuaiaGob. Valdéz 950Guesthouse84
The End House623 Gobernador Gomez St.Guesthouse-
Viento del Sur BLugones 1945Guesthouse83

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are still widely available in most places, even in smaller towns, though many people are connected through the internet at home or by mobile device. Many cafes and restaurants offer free WiFi with an advertisement in their windows. All you need to do is buy something and ask for the password. Apart from specific places, including soms airports and major stations, quite a few cities are offering free wifi, including Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazu Falls.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Argentina is 54. To make an international call from Argentina, dial 00 followed by the country code and the rest of the telephone number. All 0800 numbers are toll-free numbers, except if you call from a mobile phone. Emergency numbers are available for Police (101), Ambulance (107) and Fire (100). Emergency dispatcher for Buenos Aires (city), Santa Fe (city), Rosario (city), Salta (province), Corrientes (province), and Buenos Aires (province) 911. In a mobile phone 112 forwards to 911.

You can get a prepaid Movistar / Claro / Personal SIM card for a few pesos / free at phone shops, all you pay is about 20 Pesos for your initial credits. Inserting the SIM card into your unlocked American or European mobile phone should work, although to register the SIM you have to enter your passport (or any 9 digit) number - you then have your personal Argentinean phone numbers. Calls cost around 1 Peso per minute. Receiving calls is usually free, except for international calls, and some cross network / inter-city calls - hence buying a SIM card purely to keep in touch with people overseas may not be worth it.

Without a cellphone, there are similar cards with credits for international calls. You get them at so called locutorios, where you can also use the phone booths. You dial a free number to connect to the service, then your secret number for the credits, and then the international phone number you want to call. Using these cards, a one-hour call to Europe will cost about 10 Pesos. Don't call without such cards or even from your hotel - it will be way more expensive.

Post

Correos de Argentina is the national postal service of Argentina. There are also two private carriers operating nationwide (OCA and Andreani) and a number of regional ones though Correos de Argentina will be the one most likely to be used by travellers. Post offices are mostly open between 8:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday, though there are regional variantions with longer hours in central post offices in big cities and shorter ones in small towns. Services are pretty reliable but slow, mostly taking about two weeks to deliver a postcard or letter to the USA or Europe, but usually within a few days sending it domestically. There is also a more expensive express options. You can track a package online at the Correos de Argentino website. Parcels take at least 3-5 days domestically and weeks internationally. Otherwise try international companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS to send parcels. It is probably more reliable as well as faster.

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This is version 13. Last edited at 8:09 on Feb 7, 14 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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