Things to see in Ushuaia Argentina Beagle Channel

HOW TO SPEND TIME IN USHUAIA / ARGENTINA

If you’ve stumbled upon this article and now you find yourself wondering where is Ushuaia located, it is the southernmost city in the world. It is at the bottom tip of Argentina.

Now if you’re wondering what the Ushuaia pronunciation is, it is pronounced: Ooosh-why-ah.

And if you find yourself visiting, then this guide might give you ideas for how to spend your time in Ushuaia.

How to get to Ushuaia

Direct flights to Ushuaia can only arrive from a small number of other Argentinian airports. A direct Buenos Aires to Ushuaia flight will take just over 3 1/2 hours. There are multiple flights per day between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. When I flew it cost around $250 USD (booked in June 2019 for a February 2020 flight).

Flying into Ushuaia is an amazing experience. Ushuaia airport would have to be one of the most picturesque airports in the world as it sits on the shores of the Beagle Channel.

Ushuaia airport Argentina Andes

Best time to visit Ushuaia

The best time to visit Ushuaia will depend on your reasons for travelling there. The Ushuaia climate can be harsh. It is considered a year-round cold climate. The average January highs are around 13°C.

If you are visiting to travel to Antarctica or to hike in the Tierra del Fuego National Park, then November through to March will be the best time to visit Ushuaia. Ushuaia weather can change quickly though given its proximity to the Andes, so make sure you are prepared.

Best things to do in Ushuaia

There are many things to do in Ushuaia. I spent 3 days in Ushuaia, two days before and one day after my cruise from Ushuaia to Antarctica. The following is an idea of some of the activities in Ushuaia that you can add to your itinerary.

Explore the Tierra del Feugo National Park

Tierra del Fuego National Park is located in the southern Ushuaia Patagonia region in Argentina. The national park is perfect for bird watchers and hikers. There are many trails to explore around the park and each trail offers something different.

Tierra del Fuego National Park is located 12km outside of Ushuaia. The easiest way to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park is to take a bus or taxi from the city.

In addition to the hiking, there is the End of the World Train that you can catch. The train travels on a 7km section of railway in the Tierra del Fuego Argentina region.

Explore the Tierra del Feugo National Park

Visit the museums in Ushuaia

I visited a few museums in Argentina, but the Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia was the one I enjoyed the most. Three museums are housed in this former Argentinian prison.

Firstly, there is the Maritime Museum Ushuaia, which has information on early sailing explorations of the area. There is also some information about the Tierra del Fuego native peoples.

Secondly, there is the Ushuaia Prison Museum. It is a fantastic museum that explores the history of the area as a convict settlement. When the penal colony idea failed, the jail was built. There is also information on some of the more infamous prisoners.

The third museum is dedicated to Antarctic exploration. There are displays on explores, whaling and of course, penguins. It is really interesting if you are embarking on a Ushuaia to Antarctica cruise.

Time in Ushuaia prison museum

You can purchase a two-day ticket so you aren’t required to see all this in one day. The ticket also gives you access to Museo del Fin del Mundo. This is a small natural history museum. Additionally, the ticket gives you access to the Antigua Casa de Gobierno, or the Old Government House.

Natural History Museum Ushuaia Argentina

Go on a city tour of Ushuaia

There are many large cruise ships that dock at Ushuaia Port. To cater to the cruise ship tourists, there are two Ushuaia city tours that are available for people to go on. You can either catch the double-decker Ushuaia City Tour bus that travels around the city stopping at major points of interest. Alternatively, there’s the Ushuaia City Train that you can catch. Both offer a different view of Ushuaia and it’s a great way to explore while not getting sore feet!

Spend time in Ushuaia city tour

After you’ve rested your feet, there are a few local attractions that are worth visiting. The first one is the huge Ushuaia sign, just a medium walk from Ushuaia Port towards the Aeroclub.

How to spend time in Ushuaia Argentina

Make sure you have your photo taken with the Ushuaia End of the World sign as well. It is located at Ushuaia Port amongst the colourful tour huts.

Travel to the end of the world in Ushuaia Argentina

There’s also a handmade market near the port that is worth a walk through. You’ll also find local artisans selling their goods from stalls along the main street of Ave. San Martin. You can find some amazing handmade items for souvenirs.

Feria De Artesanos Handicraft Ushuaia

Argentina loves monuments and street art! While walking around the city, be sure to keep an eye out for all the different monuments that are scattered around Ushuaia. Additionally, you’ll find amazing street art everywhere. Keep your eyes out for these nuggets of goodness.

Spend time in Ushuaia Argentina

Hike to Martial Glacier Ushuaia

Martial Glacier is 7kms outside of Ushuaia. The easiest way to get there is to get a taxi. It will take around 15 minutes and cost around $10 USD to be taken to the beginning of the trailhead.

If you find yourself in Ushuaia hiking the Martial Glacier, you will be in for a real treat. There are spectacular views from the trail. The hike to the glacier is considered difficult. From the parking lot, the hike will take in excess of 60 minutes to get to the top. The path deteriorates as you get further up the mountain as there is a lot of slippery shale, so make sure you take your time and tread carefully.

There’s a cafe at the beginning of the trailhead and it’s a nice place to relax and have a drink after your hike while gazing upon the mountain you just hiked up. I definitely recommend hiking the Martial Glacier.

Hiking Ushuaia

Ushuaia day trips

There are many day trips that are available to take while in Ushuaia. Make your way to Ushuaia Port and you’ll find an area with colourful huts. The huts contain tour operators where you can book a Ushuaia day trip.

Day trips consist of cruises from Ushuaia to Puerto Williams in Chile, Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse, and to other islands for hiking and walking. There are day trips to see penguins, seals and birds also.

Other tour operators around town can take you out on a 4×4 drive. Ushuaia is an adventurers playground with many choices for activities.

Eating in Ushuaia

Ushuaia restaurants are numerous and mostly situated on or near the main street, Ave. San Martin. King crab in Ushuaia is readily available at many restaurants. It is one of the regions popular cuisines.

One of the best restaurants in Ushuaia that I dined at was Paso Garibaldi on Deloqui St. I ordered pasta with king crab and it was honestly the best pasta I think I’ve ever eaten. The prices in Ushuaia are more expensive than other areas of Argentina, but given its location, you can understand why.

Another recommended restaurant in Ushuaia is the La Casa de Los Mariscos. Unfortunately, the night I went they did not have any king crab so I settled for fish in a tomato sauce and it was delicious.

King Crab Ushuaia

Shopping in Ushuaia

As Ushuaia is a cruise port, the main street is dominated by shops. This includes many large duty-free shops. Additionally, there are multiple hiking and outdoor clothing stores if you need extra items for your outdoor activities.

Souvenir shopping in Ushuaia can be a fun experience and a walk down Ave. San Martin will see you visiting many of these stores. Some stores have very similar products, but there are a few hidden gems such as Tierra de Humos.

Ushuaia accommodation

There are many different levels of accommodation that are available in Ushuaia. When choosing accommodation, it was more important for me to find central Ushuaia hotels because I walk everywhere.

I also like to find a happy balance between cost and luxury. I pretty much just look for something clean and decent at the lowest cost. I’m never in the hotel long enough to care about luxury inclusions. I stayed at Hostel Malvinas and it was in the perfect location as it was in walking distance of everything.

Ushuaia to Antarctica

Tourists come from near and far as this is usually where a trip to Antarctica commences. Ushuaia to Antarctica cruises is common because it is the least distance to travel between the continents.

If you are looking to travel to Antarctica, you can buy last-minute cruise berths from Ushuaia which may be cheaper than if you have booked in advance.

The best time to visit Antarctica is between November and March This is because the Antarctic ice sheets have receded during Summer. Cruise ships are able to travel more freely in the Antarctic waters during this time.

So if you’ve always wondered how to travel to Antarctica, a small cruise is the best way because if the weather is right, as you will be able to do shore landings. You’ll be able to get up close and personal to penguins and seals this way.

best time to visit antarctica

Final thoughts

If you’re heading to the End of the World to tour Ushuaia, you’ll find a remarkable and resilient city. There are so many things to do in Ushuaia, especially if you love the outdoors. Make sure you’re time in Ushuaia is comfortable by visiting at the right time of the year depending on what you’re planning on doing.

I hope this article has helped you to decide on what to do in Ushuaia when you visit. I spent 3 days in Ushuaia, but I feel like a couple more would have been better as there’s just so much to see and do.

More on Ushuaia

Ushuaia Tourism Board
Tierra del Fuego National Park

Recommended tour ideas in Ushuaia

Compensated links are contained in this post. If you purchase through these links, I earn a small commission, at no cost to you! Please read my disclaimer for more info.

More on Argentina

Tips for staying safe while travelling in Buenos Aires
Ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento

More on Antarctica

How to get to Antarctica
From Ushuaia to Antarctica

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10 thoughts on “HOW TO SPEND TIME IN USHUAIA / ARGENTINA”

  1. I’m so glad you shared how to pronounce Ushuaia – I was saying it all wrong in my head! I’d be keen to learn more about the Prison Museum. I noticed there is a fireplace in the middle of the cells, I can’t even imagine how cold those prisoners must have felt. Doing the Martial Glacier hike would be fantastic and I definitely love the idea of having a coffee at the bottom afterwards.

    1. I’m forever getting pronunciations wrong and I always feel a bit silly after being corrected! It would be absolutely freezing in the prison. I don’t think the heater would offer enough warmth. It gets very cold in Ushuaia!

  2. Wow! I would love to hike there. I also didn’t realize that it is a main port for traveling to Antartica! It seems like three days was just the tip of iceberg. Great post! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks, Molly! And definitely, I could have done with an extra couple of days! A great little city at the end of the world.

  3. Ushuaia is one of the places I want to visit in this lifetime. Not for Antarctica! I would love to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is one of the most beautiful places on this planet. I was wondering is it gets extremely cold during the winters. Although, from where I live it seems like a different world altogether.

    1. It definitely gets super cold there and it snows! I came across a lot of travellers there who didn’t even know it was a major launching city for cruises to Antarctica, so it must be a popular spot regardless!

  4. We researched Ushuaia last year while planning a cruise to Antartica. I thought it was a cute place to spend an extra day. The Puerto Williams tour would be a good idea to think about.

    1. If you’re not into hiking, then I’d definitely check out one of the other day cruises. I hope you get to go to Antarctica. It truly is spectacular.

  5. Antarctica is high on my bucket list, so by default so is Ushuaia, it’s good to see there’s lots of other things to do around the town though for before/after a cruise

    1. I was really surprised to find that there was so much to do and see. I could have done with a couple of extra days!

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