Ushuaia in 4 Days - Experience the Magic of "The End of the World City"

By viajaleaks | May 28, 2023
South America > Argentina > Ushuaia

Ushuaia is one of the most beautiful cities in Argentina that you can visit at any time of the year, offering a wide range of outdoor activities. If you want to know the must-see attractions, where to stay, what clothes to bring, and the best places to eat, take a look at this 4-day itinerary for Ushuaia.

Known as "the southernmost city in the world" (despite the debate of whether it is Ushuaia or the Chilean city of Puerto Williams), it is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel in the province of Tierra del Fuego.

It is a little less than a 3.5-hour flight from Buenos Aires and approximately 1000 kilometers from Antarctica. It is a must-visit destination if you are exploring Patagonia, and you can also combine it with a stopover in El Calafate to experience the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier.

When is the best time to travel to Ushuaia?

The best time to visit Ushuaia depends on the activities you want to do.

If you want to go skiing or see snow, the ideal time would be between July and September (although it can snow in Ushuaia almost any time of the year, from March to almost December).
Keep in mind that during very cold weather, some excursions may not be available. Therefore, the best time to visit Ushuaia will depend mainly on your desired activities.

What clothes to pack for Ushuaia

One of the main concerns when traveling to Ushuaia is what to pack.

The most important thing to know is that Ushuaia experiences highly changeable weather throughout the year, and rain or snow can occur at any time. So, even if you visit during the summer, it is advisable to bring warm clothing and, especially, a rain jacket.

Layering your clothing is always recommended, as indoor spaces are usually well heated.

Some essential items to pack include: an waterproof jacket, with insulation appropriate for the season, comfortable shoes or boots that can get muddy as you will be doing a lot of walking, preferably trekking shoes. Thermal shirts, sweaters or hoodies, thermal leggings, a hat, scarf, and wool or thermal socks. Don't forget to bring sunglasses and sunscreen as well.

How to get there and where to stay in Ushuaia

The most common ways to reach Ushuaia are by plane from Buenos Aires or from El Calafate.

Ushuaia International Airport is quite close to the city center, and from there, you can take a taxi or remis (private car service) to your accommodation. You can request one directly at the airport.

The city center is not very large, and to be closer to everything, it's ideal to stay near Avenida San Martín, which is the main street.

When looking for accommodation, you will find many options near San Martín, but keep in mind that as you move away from the waterfront, where the Bay of Ushuaia is located, the streets start to go uphill. A lodging that is 3 or 4 blocks away from the center may involve climbing steep streets with stairs.

However, if you don't mind walking and climbing stairs, you can choose to stay higher up as the views from there are unforgettable.

What to eat in Ushuaia

The cold climate and the abundance of outdoor activities make it the perfect opportunity to try the local cuisine.

The most famous dish in Ushuaia is the king crab (centolla). But you should also try the black hake (merluza negra), Fuegian lamb, craft beer, and artisanal chocolate.

There are many gastronomic establishments in the city center.

Among the most popular ones are La Estancia, known for its lamb dishes, and La Cantina Fueguina de Freddy, famous for its king crab. At Almacén Ramos Generales, you can find a variety of dishes, but for vegetarian options, I recommend trying the vegetable risotto. Dublin Pub offers local beers, and for a delightful tea with cake, visit La Cabaña Casa de Té. For chocolates, you can go to Edelweiss or Laguna Negra chocolateries, although there are other delicious options as well.

What to do in Ushuaia in 4 days

Now let's start with the itinerary for your 4-day visit to Ushuaia, highlighting the most beautiful places for a first-time visit to the city.

Day 1 in Ushuaia - City tour

On the first day, we suggest taking a city tour, as it's usually the day of your arrival. If you arrive early or the night before, you can take advantage of it to go on an excursion. Otherwise, spend the day exploring the area around the city center.

The three main areas to explore on the first of the 4 days in Ushuaia are the waterfront area along the bay, Maipú Avenue, and San Martín Avenue.

Waterfront or Argentine Naval Prefecture Avenue

Walking along the waterfront, you will come across the famous Ushuaia sign (the one we showed you on the cover), perfect for your first photo in the city.

Following the bay, you will reach the tourist dock and the "End of the World" sign.

In this area, you will find stalls selling tours departing from the port, so you can take the opportunity to book or purchase - if you haven't done so previously - the tours you want to do.

From there, you can continue to the Maritime Museum and the Ushuaia Prison Museum. The famous prison is one of the highly recommended attractions to visit in Ushuaia in 4 days.

The entire history of the city starts with the construction of "the southernmost prison in the world." In reality, it consists of five museums where you can also see a replica of the true "End of the World Lighthouse."

San Martín Avenue

San Martín Avenue is the main street. There, you will find many shops and places to eat.

You will also find the typical stores selling souvenirs and the Duty-Free Shops, such as the Atlántico Sur Duty-Free Shop and the Yehuin Duty-Free Shop Ushuaia.

You will also come across the little blue house where the first Argentine to live in Ushuaia resided, the Museum of Tierra del Fuego's History with its beautiful facade for photography, and the Hard Rock Cafe, among other things.

There are also two beautiful murals: one depicting the prisoners of Ushuaia, featuring the "petiso orejón" (big-eared short man), and the most famous mural of the penguins, located on San Martín Avenue and Comodoro Augusto Laserre Street.

Maipú Avenue

This avenue runs parallel to the waterfront, and you can visit the End of the World Museum, which offers various exhibitions.

A must-visit stop is the Almacén Ramos Generales, ideal for a snack or even staying for dinner and enjoying its decoration filled with vintage objects, immersing yourself in the history of this unique place in Ushuaia.

It was founded in the early 20th century by Lebanese immigrant Don José Salomón as a general store, one of those establishments that sold a little bit of everything. It was also a meeting place for the city's few inhabitants and a refuge for those arriving at the port of Ushuaia.

Day 2 in Ushuaia in 4 days - Beagle Channel Navigation

On your second day in Ushuaia, you can take a navigation tour of the Beagle Channel.

There are several options available, depending on the time of year and your preferences.
If you want to see penguins, you should take the Penguin Navigation tour that goes to Martillo Island. The season runs from October to April and departs from the Ushuaia port on the waterfront.

The tour takes you through the Ushuaia Bay to the Beagle Channel, passing by the Birds Island and the Sea Lions Island, which are part of the Bridges Islands archipelago. Then, it passes by the Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse, where you can take the most iconic photo of Ushuaia.

This is the one commonly referred to as the "Lighthouse at the End of the World," although it is not. The navigation continues to Puerto Williams on the Chilean side before reaching Martillo Island, where the penguins are located, and returns to the Ushuaia port.

Depending on the time of year, it is also possible to spot some whales.

There are morning and afternoon departures. You can choose to do the tour on a catamaran or a smaller boat with fewer passengers. If you opt for the second option, you'll be able to get closer to the islands.

Glacier Martial

It's best to do the Beagle Channel navigation in the morning so that you have the afternoon free to visit Glacier Martial.

You can either buy the Trekking tour to Glacier Martial or do it on your own. In this case, to reach the base of the glacier, you can take a taxi or hire a transfer.

There is a transfer booth located next to the YPF gas station on Maipú Avenue, in front of Ramos Generales. From there, you can arrange transportation to different places in Ushuaia.

Once at the base of the glacier, you can begin the ascent to the panoramic viewpoint, where you'll have a view of the city of Ushuaia, the Beagle Channel, and the Fuegian Andes. The total hike takes approximately 4 hours and follows marked trails that are open to the public.

In addition to wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, it's important to consider that the difficulty level is high and temperatures can be very low, especially in autumn and winter when it gets dark early.

After descending from the glacier (or directly after getting off the taxi), I recommend visiting La Cabaña Casa de Té, a picturesque teahouse located at the base of the glacier.

This is one of the must-visit places in Ushuaia in 4 days, perfect for enjoying an enchanting afternoon tea surrounded by forests, streams, and waterfalls. You can try some Patagonian fruit tea and pair it with a delicious cake.

Day 3 in Ushuaia in 4 days - The End of the World Train

On the third day in Ushuaia, we recommend taking a trip to Tierra del Fuego National Park. You can either book a guided tour or explore the park on your own by taking a taxi or transfer.

We started by taking a transfer (which we arranged in front of the YPF gas station) to the End of the World Train station.

It's advisable to purchase your train ticket in advance, as the morning slots tend to sell out quickly. You can buy the entrance ticket to the National Park directly there.

The End of the World Train is another major attraction that you can experience during your 4-day stay in Ushuaia. The train station has preserved its old-world charm, and you can explore it while waiting for your departure time.

The train ride follows a route that used to be taken by prisoners who went to gather firewood in the forest.

You'll traverse the Fuegian forests aboard a steam train while learning about the history and witnessing the remnants of trees cut by prisoners in the early 20th century. The train makes a 15-minute intermediate stop at the "La Macarena" station, allowing you to explore part of Tierra del Fuego National Park before returning to the station.

The round-trip journey lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Tierra del Fuego National Park

The same transfer you arranged to reach the train station can take you to the national park. You need to arrange everything in advance and choose where you want to disembark. For example, you can get off at Bahía Ensenada, where the "End of the World" Post Office is located. It's the southernmost post office, and they can stamp your passport there. From there, you can continue your journey on foot.

Another option is to disembark at the Alakush Visitor Center, where you can have a meal and then hike to Lapataia Bay.

Lapataia Bay is one of the must-see places in Ushuaia. There, you will find the sign indicating the end of National Route 3. This route starts from kilometer zero in Buenos Aires and covers a distance of 3,079 kilometers until it reaches that point. It is the second longest route in Argentina, after Route 40.

If you enjoy trekking, there are several trails with varying levels of difficulty that you can explore within the park.

Day 4 in Ushuaia in 4 days - Emerald Lagoon

For your last day in Ushuaia, we recommend the excursion to Emerald Lagoon.

Just like in the previous cases, you can also do this on your own. It is one of the most beautiful places in Ushuaia, and to reach the starting point of the hike, you can take a taxi or a transfer.

If you enjoy trekking, it's one of the best options. It's about a 5-kilometer hike through forests until you discover this hidden gem of Ushuaia.

Other options for this day include visiting Lake Fagnano and Tolhuin. If you visit in winter, you can go skiing at Cerro Castor, take a tour through the snowy forests on dog sleds, or go snowshoeing.

With this, we conclude the 4-day itinerary for Ushuaia.

Itinerary South America Things to do Ushuaia Argentina Food

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Written by viajaleaks
Hi, we are Viajaleaks, just curious travelers interested in sharing our discoveries in art, stories and food. The unusual places of our country Argentina, and all the places we discovered in the rest of the world We invite you to travel together, join us!"

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