Ushuaia

The city at “the end of the world” is another world to be discovered. Ushuaia is a mixture of mountains, forests, lakes and colorful houses displaying a fanciful layout where you can see the city’s past and its origins and development. The past is tied to the present in Ushuaia, the capital city of the province of Tierra del Fuego, the only Argentine city located to the west of the Andes Mountain Range. Here nature’s expressions are grandiloquent as the Tierra del Fuego National Park is the biggest reserve in the Argentine Sub-Antarctic forest, a real southern paradise. The train called today “Tren del Fin del Mundo” (Train to the End of the World) takes you inland reminiscing the historical fact that promoted the development of Ushuaia: The opening of a penal colony, the current Prison Museum. Also, Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is one of the milestones of the island capital appearing on the horizon of the Beagle Channel, the one connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Travel to Ushuaia

Excursions to Ushuaia

Knowing Ushuaia: The Maritime and the Prison Museum & The End of the World Museum

We will do a very special tour in the morning as we start knowing the magic of the city of Ushuaia which is very famous for being recognized as the "End of the World" (also known as the most southern city of all). We will also visit the Museum of the End of the World which started working in 1979. It was firstly for families and then became part of the heritage in Ushuaia. This museum shows its collections in five different rooms where there are glasses that honour those people linked with the local history such as the explorers, natives, etc. We will know the main and most famous attractions that Ushuaia has: the old Recidivists´ Prison which is known because of its exciting and strong history, every year many visitors go visiting it because of its prison architecture and also because of its history. It is important to higlight that it worked from 1900 to 1947 and the city started growing more and more around this prison where today many and important cruises and transatlantic.

We will enjoy the building, its corridors and even today we can feel the pain the people suffered. This militar prison worked firstly in the Staten Island in San Juan de Salvamento, then it was transferred to CooK Port until it was settled in Ushuaia for humanitarian reasons. It accommodated sentenced people like the anarchist Simón Radowitsky or Cayetano Santos Godino known as the big eared shorty or the writer Ricardo Rojas. We will visit the Port, the Paseo del Centenario, an excellent panoramic spot where there is the monument for the Ushuaia´s Centennial and then, the Beban House an important architectural heritage, which was bought in Sweden and made in Ushuaia between 1911 and 1913 by Don Tomas Beban. Is one of the most ambitious buildings in the city.



Beagle Channel Navegation

Breakfast at the Hotel. We take a trip to the Beagle Channel. Our leaving point is in the Ushuaia Bay, which is on the banks of the City of the same name, entering the Canal by the Paso Chico. In old times the Reverend Thomas Bridges said that the 'Ushuaia Bay' means the 'the calm water bay'.

The Beagle Channel, situated at the south of the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego, was originated from glaciers and it covers an area of 180 kms, it joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was baptised by Captain Fitz Roy in honour of the ship "Beagle' on which was the Lieutenant Murray who discovered the Canal in 1930. It is now the political frontier between Argentina and Chile. As in the Ushuaia Bay, the Beagle Canal offers a variety of sea birds and mammal marine life, where it is possible to watch skuas, black capped albatross, cauquenes, seagulls, etc. The crossing goes until the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. This has a conical tower of over 11 metres and is 22.5 metres above the sea level. The lighthouse name was given by Captain Luis Fernando Martial and that was after the place where it is located.

The journey continues to the naval station Isla de los Lobos Marinos (Sea Lion Island) where we will be able to watch one and two hair seals and the cormorants settlements. Following our route we navigate to the Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) a place where we can see settlements of Magellan and Imperial Cormorants as well as enjoy more than 20 species of other marine birds. Both Islands are part of the Bridges Archipelago.

Optional - Disembarkation on the Bridges Islands: It is possible to ask for a landing on the Bridges Islands during this navigations, in which we can have a trekking of half an hour with the guides assistance while we go along the paths of one of the Bridges Islands to see the Concheros Yámanas (Yámana shells), relics of an old indigenous tribe.



Classic Navigation on the Beagle Channel and Magellan Penguins watching on the Martillo Island

After breakfast we leave during the morning from the port to navigate the icy waters of the Beagle Channel. We visit the Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) to see its abundant marine fauna, including skuas, steam ducks and grey seagulls. We can also watch sea lions of one and two hair on the Isla de los Lobos Marinos.

Both Islands are part of the Bridge's Archipelago. On the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse there are Imperial and Rock cormorants. This was the place where the SS Monte Cervantes sank in 1930. We continue our navigation to get to Port Almanza in Argentina and Port Williams in Chile until we disembark in the Martillo Island to appreciate the Magellan and Papúa Penguins.

On our return to Ushuaia it is possible to see the Túnel and Remolino Estancias, which hoard the remains of the Monte Sarmiento steam boat that sank at the beginning of the 20th century. Our return to the city is very inviting due to the presence of the ultimate mountain chain of the Andes. This navigation lasts approximately four hours and a half.



Classic Navigation on the Beagle Channel, Martillo Island & Harberton Farm

We begin our crossing setting off from the dock of the Ushuaia Port heading to the Beagle Channel via the Paso Chico. We arrive in the Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) and the Isla de los Lobos Marinos (Sea Lion Island) where we enjoy the presence of marine birds such as the Cook Seagulls or the Fuegino Albatros and we are impressed by the sea lion colonies. On the Eclaireurs Light House we see cormorants. As we continue with our route we leave behind Port Almanza on the left and the Chilean military base of Port Williams on the right before we reach the Martillo Island and disembark to watch the Magellan Penguins, and in some cases, the Papúa Penguins.

We continue to the Harberton Estancia where we land to visit its facilities such as its surroundings, the sheep shearing and woodworking sheds and we can spend some time in the Marine Bird and Mammal Museum that owns the most important collection of South America (this is not included in the program but it can be booked apart). We return to Ushuaia crossing the valleys, rivers and mountains, while we enjoy the geography of the end of the world that also includes peat bogs and the work of the beavers. These landscapes are very particular due to the trees that are pushed because of the strong and constant Patagonian winds and they are called 'flag bushes' due to their shape. Before we get to Ushuaia we enter the Garibaldi Pass in order to have a unique view of the Escondido and Fagnano Lakes. If we have some free time we can go and see a breeding and training place for the Siberian dogs that are used to pull snow sleighs in the skiing season.



Fagnano & Escondido Lakes

Breakfast at the Hotel. We will go to Escondido Lake or Escondida Lagoon as it also frequently known. It is located in the Andes Mountain Chain in the middle of the fueguino chain, where we will be able to appreciate the wonderful view of the woods which are full of ñires, lengas; there we can also see the valleys that are surrounded by "turbales", such as the Carbajal Valleys, Las Cotorras and Tierra Mayor. During the trip we will be able to appreciate one of the most attractions as it is the Paso Garibaldi to 500 metres over the level of the sea, where the fueguino Andes are mixed and mistaken with the Escondido and Fagnano lakes. From this spot we start descending over the coast of the Escondido lake, then we go through the Hostería Petrel to continue our way to the sawmills.

Later on we continue descending to the north to another water mirror: the Fagnano Lake which is considered the largest of the Island of Tierra del Fuego with its 100 km and it is internationally famous because of the sport fishing. A hundred years ago the Onas used to call it "the Horizon Break" (El Descanso del horizonte), which honours the catholic priest Monseñor José Fagnano who was the first administrator of the region. Then we will go for a walk along this magnificent lake enjoying all of its natural beauties. Going on our tour, we will know the Tolhuin town which was founded in october 1972, at the edge of the Fagnando Lake in the very centre of the woods.



Off Road 4x4 Adventure to the Fagnano and Escondido Lakes

Breakfast at the Hotel. We begin our adventure to the Fueguino Lakes: Fagnano and Escondido. We go to the centre of the Grand Island of Tierra del Fuego where we can see the transition between the Andes Mountain Chain and the end of the rugged Patagonian Plains. We spend some time in the Alto del Valle Ski Centre to see the breeding and training of the Siberian sleigh dogs. We then continue to the north to cross the Andes Mountain Chain by the Luis Garibaldi Pass with its unique views of the Fagnano and Escondido Lakes, the track connects the River Negro and the Estancias of the Island with Ushuaia. This mountain pass is the highest place that reaches until 460 metres high. We get closer to the Escondido Lake where we stop to have our box lunch before we start our off road experience. The Escondido Lake, also called the Escondido Lagoon is surrounded by a forest full of coihues, pines and lengas. It is possible to see what the beavers are doing with the trees: they roll them so that they can use to build their dams which produces floods in the forest. We enter to the forest by the tracks made by the woodcutters, which are covered in mud, the trucks soon look as though they have been painted. Suddenly, the scene changes as we leave behind the forest and arrive at the Fagnano Lake and then we continue until the camp site to eat before return to Ushuaia.



Observing Beavers in the Tierra del Fuego National Park

We travel in the afternoon towards the Valley of high winter Center 20 km from Ushuaia, cattery of Siberian dogs and home for this great adventure of patagonic place. We walk in the afternoon because beaver is a crepuscular habits animal and usually leave their burrows during these hours. We do a short hike of 30 minutes through the forest of lengas, covered with daisies and orchids, in order to reach to reach one castorena and observe the habitat of these rodents. It is not easy to see beavers, it is necessary to maintain silence during the visit, this form can get to watch them when they eat or work doing their dikes.

Beavers are not native animals but introduced, just were brought to the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego in the mid-20th century, with objective, the growth of the fur in the South industry. This was an unforgivable mistake, because since then the accelerated destruction of forests legendary Tierra del Fuego has been non-stop. The advance reached the Isla de los Estados. The lack of controls at the time produced this environmental catastrophe, that exterminate those beautiful Patagonian forests in a short time. The tourism sector took the opportunity to develop a new activity: the night observation of beavers, in a region where should delete it to protect the environment and prevent imbalances in the ecosystem. We ended up having dinner in refuge accompanied by heat causing the salamander to firewood.



Tierra del Fuego National Park and Train of the End of the World

During the afternoon we will go to Tierra del Fuego National Park which highlights for being the only park with sea coast because it is located at the shore of the Beagle Chanel. Outside Ushuaia, we will go through the Valley of Pipo River to get to the entrance. We will get on board the Train of the End of the World which is outside the Tierra del Fuego National Park where we start in the Central Station until getting to the Tierra del Fuego National Park Station. We will have the excellent opportunity to meet the Southern Fueguino Railway which travels along one of the routes that were used in the past by thousands prisoners who obey everyday their routine in those legendary woods. The journey starts over the embankment that the prisoners made a long time ago, going through the Cañadón del Toro so then we can ascend a steep surrounding the Pipo River until getting to the "Cascada de la Macarena" Station where we will hace the possibility to descend to the restoration of a native camp or we can have the option to appreciate the amazing panoramic view of the fall´s source.

The train´s horn give us the signal that we have to continue with the journey to get into the sub-antarctic woods. Surrounding the Pipo river and the "turbales" area where the moss Sphagnum grows, the train ends the journey when it arrives at the Park´s Station where we will descend to continue with the tour. Once we get into into the Tierra del Fuego National Park which was founded in 1960 and it is located in the region of the patagonic woods and the Andean mountain chain. Our tour goes to Ensenada Bay where we will be able to see the Redonda and Estorbo islands and the Montes Nevados in front of them which belong to the Sampaio mountain chain in Chile. Then we get to Roca Lake.

We continue the way while we are surrounded by lengas, ñires and guindos woods until getting to the bridge of the Lapataia river, an ideal area to do trekking as there are many paths such as the Paseo de la Isla, Roca Lake, Black Lagoon, etc. We will go through a winding way where we will find the Green and Black Lagoons, this last one is an impressive "turbal", until flowing in the Beavers´ dike which will guide us to Lapataia Bay.



Tierra del Fuego National Park and Adventure in Kayak

We set out from Ushuaia to the Ensenada Bay which is located inside the Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is also the place where the 7 km Coast Track begins and it goes through one of the most interesting locations of the Beagle Chanel. Here we can watch sea birds and mammals. We start the journey with the archaeological diggings of the well known shells, the mementos of the Yámana Indians. The Fuegino Forest on the coasts of the Beagle Chanel has nearly extinct species of trees such as the Canelo and Notro. We arrive to the Lago Roca after a few hours to have a local barbecue lunch before we start the adventure with canoes or duckies, entering by the River Lapataia. We navigate the river from its birth until it meets with the Beagle Canal. In general, the navigation takes an hour and a half for the 5 km. We will be able to watch red foxes, woodpeckers, steam ducks, condors, cauquenes, black necked swans or macaes on their floating nests while we navigate the first track of the continental area. Once we enter to the Cormoranes Archipelago in the sea region it is the end of the journey in the Lapataia Bay.



Tierra del Fuego National Park & Navigation on the Beagle Channel from Lapataia Bay

We start the day travelling to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. After we get onto the slopes of the Susana Mountain we can see the prisoners´trails of the ex penitentiary of Ushuaia. We can also appreciate the tracks of the Austral Fuegino Railway until it enters into the River Pipo Valley and then into the Ensalada Bay. We make a brief trekking to the surrounds of the Lago Roca, until we arrive to Laguna Verde and Laguna Negra. We will be able to see the dams that the beavers frequently build, but unfortunately their work is uninterruptedly destroying the National Park. Lapataia Bay is the last part of our visit to the Park and then we embark in Port Arias we embark in order to navigate the waters of the Beagle Channel while we see the Redonda Island, the Ensenada Bay and Golondrina. We also get to Isla de los Lobos, Isla de los Pájaros, Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and the Túnel Estancia as we cross the waters. We land on the port of the city.



Martial Glacier Trekking

Breakfast at the Hotel. This trekking is one of the most interesting walks on the Island. The Martial reaches almost the 1,000 metres and it is located very close to the city of Ushuaia, around 4 kms and is the biggest fresh water reserve in the Fuegino Region. In 1883 a group of French explorers arrived in Ushuaia led by Luis Martial whose name was given to the Glacier.

This Glacier offers the opportunity to reach the top in a relatively accessible way. We go by a snaking path until we arrive at the Martial slopes and from there we take a chair lift to ascend 1,100 metres from where we walk until the Cumbre Station. We climb up an easy slope until we enter a rocky area that is the real mountain side. The views are really special, typical of high mountain landscapes, not only can we see the City of Ushuaia but also the Beagle Chanel and the islands of Navarino and Hoste.



White Adventure: A ride in sleighs pulled by huskies and a walk using snow shoes

This is a very original program as we travel in handmade sleighs and pulled by huskies. Before we start this experience there will be an instructor, or the Muscher, who will explain to us how to manage the dogs and then we go to visit the breeding place that is in the Tierra Mayor Valley. After fitted with harnesses, the dogs are hitched up and we begin. The route starts at the breeding place and we sleigh across the snowy valleys of the Fueguino mountain chain. Depending on the weather the trip lasts about 30 minutes and is available during the winter season. The route of almost 7 kms is made in a winding way and passes through a legendary forest of lengas and ñires and over a ground that is covered in snow and without vegetation. We arrive at a log cabin called the Hachero Refuge where we leave the dogs and put on our snow shoes. The snow is normally above 1 metre of depth and we trek until the Alvear Ice Waterfall and the Valley Viewpoint. On our return we descend quicker because it is downhill and when we arrive back at the shelter we have a hot chocolate. Once we have rested we return walking to the Tierra Mayor Valley and then to the City of Ushuaia.



Tierra del Fuego National Park & Navigation on the Beagle Channel from Lapataia Bay

We depart from Ushuaia to go to the Tierra Mayor Valley. Before we start this new experience the instructor explains to us how to use the snow shoes. We begin the walk by entering the winter forest. We go to places that can only be accessed using snow shoes as in the case of the Alvear Ice Waterfall. From this spot we start descending until the gully of the Tierra Mayor River. From there we do an 'air' crossing formed by three hanging ropes, discovering the forest of lengas and ñires until we finish at the Hachero Refuge after visiting some unique places over the previous three hours. Here we have a good hot chocolate before returning to the Valley. In order to climb the ice, we will receive instructions in respect of natural or artificial ice falls; everything depends on the weather conditions.