Updated: Nov 15, 2019
2 years ago, if you had asked me where Ushuaia was, I would have said it was a pool party in Ibiza, such was my lack of knowledge and experience.
If you were to ask me now, I would describe it as a playground for adventurers at the tip of world!
We had read up on visiting Ushuaia and many blogs had suggested 2-3 days, no more. Personally, I would recommend a week minimum. We don't think you can fully appreciate the place in a short space of time. In fact, it should be visited more than once, across the seasons, as the variance opens up endless possibilities.
We spent a number of days just walking around the area, taking in the geology and geography of where we are. There is something quite incredible stood facing the Beagle Chanel and being closer to the South Pole than home or even Rio (where we started). As one of our guides put eloquently 'it refills the soul'. A day just doing this and appreciating you're at fin del mundo (end of the world) is a day well spent on any journey.
Our adventures then took us to the national park Tierra Del Fuego, which offers hikes across the beautiful landscape, with views over the Beagle Chanel and the Chilean Andes, one of the treks even takes you to the border (yes we did dip our toe in to Chile ;)). Access to the park was easy enough. Along the front of the coast in Ushuaia there are plenty of Tourist booths offering trips or go through your Hostel. We paid 850 AR$ each (£12) for a bus and access to the park, which seemed to be the going rate.
As part of our exploring in Ushuaia, we checked out the Prison Museum (Museo Maritimo y del Presido de Ushuaia). A fascinating view into what early life in Ushuaia, set in the prison which parts were kept in their original state (see below). It also follows early travellers from Europe and the native Yamanas and how they lived in these conditions. Cost 800 Ar $ each.
We made the most of our time at the bottom of the world and splashed out on a couple of excursions. One of which was a boat ride down the Beagle Chanel to see Sea Lions, Cormorants and the infamous 'Lighthouse at the end of the world' (it is even the lighthouse sticker used on instagram!). The ride was a new kind of cold, as you'd expect staring towards the Antarctic but as you can see from the stunning pics below - it was well worth it!
We booked our boat through Canoero Catamaranes costing 1800 Ar$ each, which was the cheapest we could find. They all follow the same route, so worth shopping around. All companies, if you delay in going with them or seem unsure, offer a discount - don't take the first price. Our hesitation got us a 15% discount and free hot chocolate.
We saved our most anticipated excursion to the last day - Snowshoe trek and Husky Sledding
We did have reservations on the trek, of whether it was going to be a bit gimmicky but we soon found when we were knee deep in snow, we needed the shoes! With them on we got to access areas of the valley, you'd never have got to otherwise, which was both fun and liberating. Our guide David, also gave us fascinating information, which really contextualised our surroundings. Look out for the company Nunatek Centro Invernal a definite recommendation. Total cost for 2 people 6200Ar$
The piste la resistance, was the Huskey ride - our guide also let us play with the pups. Best excursion yet!
Tomorrow we face a 17 hour bus ride to El Calafate, to continue our adventure into Patagonia!
Cost in Ushuaia for 1 week (inc. accom) = £423 for 7 nts (£60 per night)
Flight to the end of the world = £60 each
Transfer to El Calafete = £50 each
PS. Should also offer a shout out to our hostel - Antarctica Hostel. Great facilities, super friendly and helpful staff, decent value and breakfast was a good fill (especially the eggs :))
Like the sound of Argentina? Find out what we did in Buenos Aires and what we recommend by clicking here
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