THINGS TO DO IN USHUAIA – TIERRA DEL FUEGO
When the first expeditionary arrived on these lands, they saw from the distance lots of flames getting out from the ground. Those were bonfires made by the natives in order to get warm during the cold days, and the sight had such an impact on the visitors that they named the territory “land of fire”.
Nowadays, Tierra del Fuego (land of fire) is the name for both the island (shared by Argentina and Chile) and the province (Argentina) of Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia is the most popular destination of the province, and the southernmost city in the world.
The high season starts in October and finishes in April, with a peak in the months of December, January and February (summer time). Even though the Ushuaia weather is very unpredictable, the temperature in summer is normally between 8 and 18 degrees Celsius during the day. The winter season is popular as well, since the quality of the snow in Cerro Castor attracts athletes from all over the world.
The main tours to Ushuaia or the suggested itineraries for a 4-night stay, include a visit to the following attractions:
Tierra del Fuego National Park
It takes half a day to visit it, and you can do it either by trekking or on a scenic tour. What is unique here is the chance of finding the most important highlights of the local ecosystem, all in one place. Even though you are surrounded by mountains, the topography is pretty flat. Therefore, the difficulty of the walking trails is usually low. The main spots are Lapataia Bay and Lake Roca. If you count with more time, you can complete your experience visiting Isla Redonda, in the Beagle Channel.
Tren del Fin del Mundo
The End of the world Train is also inside the National Park, and its tracks were used by the prisoners to look for materials in the Mount Susana. The ride takes about 1 hour one way (1:45 hs return), and it covers 7 kms. You can easily combine it with your visit to the rest of the Park.
Navigating on the Beagle Channel
This strait joins the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, and it separates the main island with an archipelago down in the south. The views are just outstanding because there are mountains on both sides, and it’s possible to see a lot of ocean wild life as well. Most of the navigations last less than half a day, where the visitors pass by the Birds Islands (inhabited by cormorants), Sea Lions islands, and the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, which was built in 1919.
TIP: If you go on a full-day navigation, you can reach Martillo Island, inhabited by Magellan and Gentoo Penguins.
Off Road experience in the Lakes Fagnano & Escondido
Visiting these two lakes, means going to the heart of Tierra del Fuego by crossing the Andean Range through Route 3. There are many ways of exploring this area, but doing it through a 4×4 full day excursion is the most popular one.
The Escondido Lake (“hidden” in Spanish) is pretty small in comparison with the colossal Fagnano. There, you can paddle in a canoe, trek through the forest on its coast, or just meditate on the shore.
The Fagnano Lake is actually one of the biggest in the region, and the panoramic points are impressive. On the way to the lakes, you can pass by the winter centers and many other spots with nice views.
Visiting Estancia Harberton, and walking among Penguins in Isla Martillo
Estancia Harberton is a historical Ranch that shows the life of the first immigrants of this region. It’s on the way to Peninsula Mitre, which has plenty of the famous “flag” trees, pushed by the harsh winds into their weird position. Puerto Almanza is also another pearl in the same area: a fishing village lost in Patagonia.
One of the main highlights of going to Estancia Harberton, is that from there you can cross to Isla Martillo, an Island in the Beagle Channel that is home to the beautiful Magellan and Gentoo Penguins. Every season, the penguins and the humans meet and greet at this remote corner of Tierra del Fuego.
Winter in Ushuaia: from Ski at Cerro Castor to Dog sledding in the Valley
During winter times (June, July and August), the temperature during the day has an average of 1 degree Celsius, going below zero many times. Due to its strategic position regarding the Andes range, the main activities in winter are connected with winter sports.
The Cerro Castor is a hill that hosts the main winter sports center, where competitors from all over the world gather every year to train their skills. Apart from skiing and snowboarding, Ushuaia offers also dog-sledding in the Tierra Mayor Valley and many other winter activities. One of them is in the night, concluding the experience next to a fire place in the middle of the valley: an authentic representation of what “land of fire” means!
An out-of-the-box tip: if you are a ski/snowboard lover, don´t miss out the chance of an adrenaline rush, going down virgin slopes through a Heli-skiing experience, after having reached the kick off point by helicopter.
Adventure, trekking, Helicopter Rides, and more
The region offers plenty of other things to do, such as overflying the city by helicopter, going on a fishing trip to Río Grande (trout), visiting the end of the world prison, trekking to Laguna Esmeralda, taking the lift to Glaciar Martial, and many other remarkable experiences.
que here is the chance of finding the most important highlights of the local ecosystem, all in one place. Even though you are surrounded by mountains, the topography is pretty flat. Therefore, the difficulty of the walking trails is usually low. The main spots are Lapataia Bay and Lake Roca. If you count with more time, you can complete your experience visiting Isla Redonda, in the Beagle Channel.
Tartillo Island, inhabited by Magellan and Gentoo Penguins.