Travel to the very edge of the world. Ushuaia, Argentina, is a small coastal city that’s often the stopping-off point for people en route to Antarctica or Tierra del Fuego National Park. However, the world’s southernmost city (at least according to the Argentineans) offers all kinds of adventures. Here are our top five things to do in Ushuaia.
- Experience the wildlife
With average summer temperatures reaching 55°F, Ushuaia is more suited for hiking than sunbathing, but the beaches are perfect for a peaceful walk. The water is so clear that, even at ten feet deep, you can see fish darting among the rocks. The most exciting beaches in Ushuaia are on Isla Martillo, where thousands of gentoo and Magellanic penguins nest.
- Take a cruise down the Beagle Channel
Named after the British Royal Navy survey ship that charted the area, cruising down the Beagle Channel is among the top things to do in Ushuaia. Not only is it a great way to see local wildlife, like sea lions and seals, it’s also a chance to see Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse. Also known as the "lighthouse at the end of the world," this local landmark is still in use today. Its distinctive red and white stripes against the rugged and mountainous backdrop make for an excellent photo opportunity.
- Stop by a museum
Despite its small size, Ushuaia has several museums. The Maritime and Prison Museum features two exhibitions housed in the old prison building. Built in 1902, much of the building's original architecture remains intact, and visitors can see the prison cells and get a feel for the conditions under which prisoners lived. The maritime section has expedition displays and scale models of ships.
While it sounds apocalyptic, the End of the World Museum details both recent and ancient history. There’s a hall dedicated to the Duchess of Albany shipwreck and another to the region's indigenous peoples — the Yámana and Selk’nam — with artifacts dating back 8,000 years.
- Get closer to nature
Without a doubt, the best thing to do in Ushuaia is to take advantage of the bountiful outdoor activities, enhanced by the stunning coastal location and dramatic mountains encircling the city. Tierra del Fuego National Park, near Ushuaia, spans an incredible 155,700 acres of subantarctic forest. Here you’ll find snowcapped mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. You can go for a peaceful walk around a lake or a guided tour to learn more about the wildlife and dramatic scenery. Skiing is popular in wintertime, or you could go scuba diving, where you might spot a king crab or leopard seal.
- Dine on king crab and traditional slow-cooked Fuegian lamb
When you’re at the end of the world, don’t skimp on food. Grab a table overlooking the water for a king crab dinner. Or, if you’re after something low-key and local, it’s easy to find dishes that incorporate local seasonal berries, herbs, and algae.
With so many things to do in Ushuaia, your trip to the end of the world is sure to be a memorable one.
Did you know Ushuaia is a launch point for many of our Antarctica expedition cruises? Explore our Antarctic itineraries.