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Ushuaia is the largest city in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, and arguably the southernmost city in the world. In the past, the town has been a missionary base, penal colony and naval base for the Argentine navy. Ushuaia is now a major tourist town, complete with casinos and nice restaurants, and commonly used as a base for hiking, winter sports and cruises to Antarctica.
There are daily flights to Ushuaia – Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH) on Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN flights from Buenos Aires. LAN Chile, through its LAN Express services, flies daily from Santiago de Chile, stopping over in Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. Flights can be booked from the Aerolineas Argentinas office, as well as from some local travel agencies. The local LAN Chile representative is the Rumbo Sur travel agency. LAN Chile tickets can be purchased online; With Aerolineas Argentinas you can make a reservation online but the ticket must be purchased in person at an Aerolineas office within 24 hours.
Buses from/to all destinations (apart from Puerto Natales) all stop at Rio Gallegos. It can be cheaper to just buy a ticket to Rio Gallegos and purchase an onward ticket from there. The ride from Rio Gallegos involves crossing into Chile, a ferry crossing, and back again into Argentina and is advertised as taking around 12 hours.
There are city buses within Ushuaia, but they only reach few of the tourist attractions. They are good to get to Playa Larga, for example, or from one part of the center to another, along the east / west axis.
Tours / transport to the main tourist attractions can be booked through the Tourist Office (on San Martin) or through many of the hostels. Regular minibuses leave for the National Park, Glaciar Martial (see more information detailed below), the trailhead of Laguna Esmeralda, or other places, from a parking lot at the corner of Maipu and Fadul.
What to see
Museo Marítimo, Yagones y Gobernador Paz. Located in an old prison displays a collection of the history of Tierra del Fuego. Admission includes entry into the Presidio which is on the same site as el Museo Marítimo.
Presidio - Museum of the historical military prison of Ushuaia. One wing of the museum has been converted to an art gallery featuring the work of local artists. Museum admission 200 pesos for adults, 150 pesos for students.
Museo del Fin del Mundo. Highlights include the largest exhibited collection of birds from Tierra del Fuego, the figurehead of the Duchess of Albany (a sunken vessel), and library dedicated to the history and nature of Tierra del Fuego.
Estancia Harberton - Open only in the summer months, Estancia Harberton is a worthwhile trip for those interested in the Bridges family and their role in the local history. It is located about 40 miles East of Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel.
Mastil de General Belgrano - A remote area west of the city of Ushuaia on Isla Redonda, paying tribute to one of the founders of Argentina, and to the navy cruiser named after him which was sunk by the UK in the Falklands War. It was a stop on one of the televised Amazing Race contests, and features a one-person post office for sending letters from the end of the world. Accessible by boat from Playa Larga.
Museo Mundo Yámana. Privately run museum with several dioramas of traditional Yaghan/Yámana life, origins and migrations, as well as displays of the period of early contact with Europeans. Located at 56 Rivadavia, near the Museo del Fin del Mundo.
Martial Glacier - Provided that you wear comfortable shoes and have the patience, a hike up the Glacier Martial will provide a very beautiful view of Ushuaia and the Beagle Chanel. There is also a single ski slope open during the winter months (unfortunately currently closed), and ski hire is available from the site.
Catamaran trips - Catamaran trips will take you around the Beagle channel and give you nice views of the mountains, cormorants, sea lions and penguins.
Tierra del Fuego National Park - This national park provide some nice day hikes on well marked trails. Longer treks are also possible, such as Paso de la Oveja (2 days) or the Sierra Valdivieso Circuit (4 days). These treks cross part of the national park but start and end elsewhere. The Compania de Guias de la Patagonia and Club Andino Ushuaia can help with organisation and renting gear.
Cerro Castor - This centre for winter sports offers skiing and snowboarding. Nearby, you can also ride snowcats or husky sleighs.
Kayak the Beagle Channel - Kayaks can be hired near the Aeroparque on the promontory jutting out from Ushuaia. -Just checked (2011) - there are no kayaks for hire anymore without the guide.
Motonave Barracuda sail -ship trips will take you around the Beagle channel and give you nice views of the mountains, cormorants, sea lions and penguins.
Ushuaia Golf Club -Located west of town just before the entrance to the National Park. Probably the southernmost golf course in the world.