Argentina | Ushuaia: Welcome to the World’s End

It was a beautiful flight here, but the arrival was less than stellar – a steady drizzle of cold, sharp rain made walking around town unpleasant, and prices made desirable accommodation most difficult to find. Luckily, we have found an absolute winner: Torre Al Sur. Though it’s a bit further from the commercial center of town, we both love the hostel’s atmosphere, complete with a cheery group of mostly older international travelers. The bright sitting room is fixed with vividly colored furniture and provides guests with a wonderful harbor view. Plus, evenings here are spent wining and dining with the other guests – very communal. Our room is practically a window, so we get lots of sunlight. Given how often Ushuaia’s weather seems to take a downturn, it’s nice to have somewhere comfortable to retreat from the hostile cold.

And trust me folks, the end of the world is COOOOOOOOOLD. This is earth’s southernmost city, after all.

Anyway, we quite like it here, and it’s unlike any place I have ever been in my life. Titanic mountains envelop this charming little place where colorful houses sit righteously and locals treat the newcomers with the warmth of southern hospitality. It’s not an especially fancy place, but it’s rather stunning, especially when you start thinking about where you actually are: on the south end of the Tierra del Fuego (“Land of Fire”) archipelago, just off the tip of the South American mainland. Here are some fun End of the World activities:

  1. Visit the Beagle Channel Islands – I would guess that nearly everyone who visits Ushuaia does the classic boat tour, as it’s the only way to see the famed Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and provides access to a lot of exciting wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, orcas, and all sorts of crazy birds. We chose the longer tour because I wanted to see the penguins, and it was tremendously worthwhile. Our stop at a small, sandy island afforded almost an hour’s worth of hilarious penguin watching; they really are the funniest creatures, especially when they are interacting with water. Though they seem terribly clumsy on land, each penguin glided through the ocean’s waters with striking grace and effortlessness. Aside from gaping at penguins, one of the best parts of taking a boat in the bay is the stunning panoramic view of Ushuaia, which is a hauntingly pretty type of place.
  2. Chocolates of Ushuaia – Oh. My. Goodness. This is the best (and most delicious) way to warm up in Ushuaia. The hot cocoa and chocolate crêpes are the best in town, and really hit the spot when you’ve been wandering around outside. In addition to the food, the staff is friendly and the Bavarian atmosphere is cozy. (Also, I know from personal experience that if you come here every day for a several days running, they start handing you free chocolate! Yummmmm.)
  3. Pop by the Museums – While the petite museums are nothing extraordinary, they are a calm way to spend the day when the weather is particularly uncooperative. Highlights include the Museo del Fin del Mundo’s ship head of the Duchess of Albany and stuffed wildlife collection as well as Museo Yamana’s photographs and collection of historical tidbits.

If these activities just don’t do it for you, you could always hop on over to Antarctica… it’s only 1200 km and two days away!

One Response to “Argentina | Ushuaia: Welcome to the World’s End”
  1. Great blog! Can’t wait to visit here.

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