NOTES ON OUR TRIP TO USHUAIA, ARGENTINA . . . We recently returned to Buenos Aires from Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Here are some quick notes on our trip, with recommendations for other Ushuaia travelers.
We flew from Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinas, an airline that is well known for not keeping on schedule. The times of our flights both changed significantly after we had booked the tickets.
If you fly this airline, be sure to fill out the "reconfirm your flight" form on the airline's website more than 24 hours before the flight. You'll get an email back giving you the new flight times. This is a critical step that isn't well advertised.
Excursions in Ushuaia
Before we arrived for our six-day stay, we didn't have much of an itinerary planned, preferring to see what the unpredictable local weather had in store.
This turned out to be a good plan. Even though it's summer in Ushuaia, and therefore the busy season, we didn't have any problem getting tickets with the many excursion companies that have stands near the port.
Here's what we ended up doing--
- Day 1. We arrived from Buenos Aires and walked around the city, which has the feel of a large ski town. There are tourists from all parts of the world (we talked to people from Holland, Russia, Australia, Mexico, Argentina), all pleased to be in Ushuaia. Many are either heading to or returning from Antarctica--90% of travel to Antarctica goes through Ushuaia.
- Day 2. We hired a taxi driver (who doubled as a guide) to take us through Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. This was a crazy idea that was recommended in a book, but all the taxi drivers in town are available for this trek and there is a standard published rate. Our driver took us to all the sites and waited for us while we walked around.
Later in the day, we returned to ride Tren del Fin del Mundo (the train at the end of the world). This was fun for Sam and took us through some parts of the park that would otherwise have been inaccessible.
- Day 3. We took a 3-hour boat excursion into the Beagle Channel offered by Catamaranes Canoero, which has a stand at the port. The company has nice boats and friendly guides. The 3-hour tour featured a walk on Bridges Island.
- Day 4. We returned to the Beagle Channel for a 5-hour boat excursion, again with Catamaranes Canoero. On the longer tour, the boat goes all the way to Isla Martillo (or "penguin island"), but you have to look at the penguins from the boat.
- Day 5. We took a bus to Estancia Harberton and from there took a boat to Isla Martillo, where we hiked and were able to see the penguins up close. This excursion was run by PiraTour, the only company that offers hiking tours of the island.
- Day 6. We checked out of the Hotel Lennox and hung around town while we waited out a five-hour flight delay.
I posted three sets of photos on flickr, all with captions:
- Ushuaia: Around town
- Ushuaia: Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego
- Ushuaia: Boat Excursions (penguins and sea lions)
Here's Sam with Hans and Cindy from Holland, who we met on our next-to-last last day in Ushuaia--
If you're going to Ushuaia and want more details, please send me an email. Because of all the travel agencies with web pages hawking tours in Ushuaia, it can be hard finding good, reliable information on Google.