Reach the end of the world - UshuaiaJanine Gates ▼ |
In the Yamana language "Ushuaia" means "bay looking onto the West" and it is the name well chosen because Ushuaia is located on the shores of the vast Beagle Channel. The forests, the mountains, the sea, the glaciers and the wind dominate the landscape. The city is surrounded by Mount Martial to the West and by Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the East.
Ushuaia is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and Southern Atlantic Islands Province of Argentina, and its superlative location allows you to enjoy sea, mountains and forests at the same time. This southern town is a great place for shopping: the whole island is a tax free zone.
Ushuaia's slogan is "reach the end of the world" and it attracts tourists from all over the world. They love hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, sport fishing and the most spectacular voyages along the Beagle Channel and Lapataia Bay in Tierra del Fuego National Park. In the winter, visitors may enjoy skiing and rides on sleds pulled by dogs at Mount Castor. Its modern chairlifts and its school have turned it into one of the best ski centres in the country. Ushuaia is very near to the South Pole, so it has eighteen hours of sunlight in the summer, and eight hours in the winter.
An extremely picturesque and colourful town is best to be seen in the summer when a visitor can go trekking, fishing, horseback riding or even mountain biking inside Tierra del Fuego National Park. The summer is also fishing season and ideal time of the year for the amazing trip across the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and up to Argentine Antarctica. (Average temperatures don't oscillate too much, from -15C to 3C in July, to 18C in February.)
The Tierra del Fuego National Park is an attraction which gives you a chance of discovering natural beauties like Lakes Escondido and Fagnano, as well as the Martial Glacier.
If you wish to explore the amenities of the town at the end of the world it is best to start your tour along the Coastal Avenue which borders the Beagle Channel. Along this avenue you will get to the Port of Ushuaia and the Nautical Club. At the end there is a catwalk that takes you to the peninsula with magnificent views of the city.
In this area you will find Bahia Encerrada, which gets frozen during winter and becomes a Skating rink. On your way back to downtown along Malvinas Argentinas street, you will see the historical Beban House and the reconstruction of the old town, a relic that recreates Ushuaia during the days of the pioneers.
On the opposite extreme of the city you will reach the legendary Jail of the end of the world, now transformed into a museum Museo del Presidio. The museum should not be missed with wax statues of the most famous criminals that were sent to that place. "Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino", the Train of the End of the World which, along with the jail, constitutes an icon of the island; this railway's history is, as almost everything in this city, linked to the prisoners of the mythical jail.
An elegant and antique formation of heated wagons, with wide windows and pulled by a steam locomotive, will take you along eight kilometres long tour departing from the End of World Station up to the Tierra del Fuego National Park Station. The round trip total time is 1 hour 40 minutes.
One of the most important things a visitor should know is that the average price for a complete meal in Ushuaia is around 17 dollars, and there also are "eat as much as you can" restaurants with menus of 10 dollars. Not bad for the city at the end of the world. ■