Ushuaia Tourist Attractions
Tierra del Fuego's main town is Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Originally used as a penal colony from 1902-1947, travelers now use the city as a jumping-off point for trips to Antarctica or sailing trips around the Cape Horn.Situated on the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains, this city offers a unique landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers and woods. Colorful man-made structures are picturesque against the silhouette of the Andes.In winter, when snow changes the landscape of Ushuaia and temperatures drop to 1ºC/34 ºF, there are several winter sports centers.Summer, when the temperature reaches 13ºC/56ºF, is ideal for adventure tourism activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking and sport fishing.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
The lakes, rivers, peaks and glaciers within Tierra del Fuego National Park attract visitors and hikers to Argentina's first coastal national park, a 63,000ha/156,000ac area extending from the Beagle Channel to the Chilean Border to Lago Kami in the north.The park lacks good hiking trails but there are several short routes. Inside its borders, the local flora and fauna are protected.
Excursions leave from Ushuaia to sail the waters of the Beagle Channel.Beagle Channel's bays and islets and transparent waters are the habitat for cormorants, penguins, sea gulls, swallows and sea-mammalsThe Beagle Channel was named for Charles Darwin's ship Beagle, in which he explored the area in 1833-34.
The Maritime Museum in Ushuaia features scale models of famous ships such as Darwin's Beagle and Amundsen's Fram. The museum is housed in the infamous former military prison.
Address: Yaganes y Gobernador Paz (Ex Presidio), Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego 9410, Argentina
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 10am-8pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9am-8pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9am-8pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in ARS: Adult $45.00, Students $30.00
Useful tips: Prices are reduced for nationals and Tierra del Fuego residents.
Facilities: Gift shop
The Military Prison in Ushuaia displays mannequins and cut-outs which are placed in the cells of Ushuaia's most famous prison that was in use 1902-1947. Information on the penal railway is included.
East of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, separated by a 30km/19mi strait called Le Maire, are the sharp and craggy peaks of Isla de los Estados.The island is 65km/40mi long and in it ranges from 16km/10mi to 500m/.3mi in width.The south of the island is beaten with storms and many sailing ships have vanished in the surrounding waters.
San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse
In 1884, the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse was built on the Isla de los Estados. A base was also built to rescue eventual shipwreck victims.The lighthouse was named the "End of the World Lighthouse", due to a novel written by Jules Verne.It was the last reference sailors had before Antarctica.In 1995, an agreement was signed between the Ushuaia Maritime Museum and the Argentine Navy to carry out archeological research in San Juan de Salvamento.
Austral Railroad Fuegino
Ferrocarril Austral Fuegino is an elegant, antique collection of heated train carriages, pulled by a steam locomotive.Leaving from the Fin del Mundo station, 8km/5mi west of Ushuaia, the train travels through the Tierra del Fuego National Park as far as Canadon de Toro during a two-hour round trip.
End of the World Museum
Exhibits on the area's natural history, aboriginal life, and the early penal colonies are overseen by an informed, enthusiastic staff at the End of the World Museum in Ushuaia. The city has restored the original façade of this unusual block construction, dating from 1903.
The land founded by pioneer and missionary Thomas Bridges as Estancia Harberton, includes a native botanical garden, the farm's wool shed, carpentry shop, boathouse, a museum of marine mammal bones and the family cemetery.A boat can be taken to a nearby penguin rookery.
50km/30mi from Ushuaia is beautiful Lake Escondido, at the foot of the Andes' Garibaldi Pass.This combination of lake, forest and mountain is the setting for petrels and damaging beavers brought from Canada in 1945.Hiking and catch-and-release fishing are enjoyed.
Every summer many cruise-ships arrive at Ushuaia's harbor with people wanting to experience land's end. Polar ships stop here too, before reaching the Antarctica.
The Legislature in Ushuaia is housed in a very traditional Magellanic building typical of the area.
Ushuaia offers a great variety of tours over land or sea; from half-day tours of national parks to week-long excursions around Cape Horn.
A crafts market in Ushuaia operates outside the former library, Sarmiento Library.