Its dramatic location between the Beagle Canal and glaciated, rugged ridges is only one part of the attraction that Ushuaia has become as a city at the end of the world for visitors from all countries.
As the southernmost city in the world, the former penal colony is one of the mythical destinations that have a place of honour in the collection of globetrotters and frequent travellers.
Ushuaia, in turn, offers its visitors a varied programme, both within the city and in the hinterland. Preferred activities include a boat trip on the Beagle Canal to the sea lion colonies of Isla de los Lobos, the bird island Isla de Pájaros and Faro Les Eclaireurs lighthouse.
In the Parque Nacional del Tierra del Fuego, of which only a small part of 63,000 hectares is open to the public, you can walk along carefully laid out paths along rivers or through dense primary forests of native tree species and study the bird life of the national park, especially in coastal areas. The resident species include the Albatros, terns and the flightless steamships.
In the west of the city, after a long walk or by taxi, one reaches the Martial Glacier, from which one has an impressive view of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel, whereas the glacier itself is not necessarily impressive.
Attractions within the city are the Iglesia de la Merced church built by prisoners and the “Antigua Casa de Gobierno”, built in 1894 as the governor’s residence, as well as the Casa Beban, built in 1911 from Swedish prefabricated elements, in which changing art exhibitions are shown.
The Mundo Yamaná tries to live up to its name and to make the culture of the Fireland natives tangible. Detailed bilingual dioramas of the museum are also placed in easily accessible places of the National Park Tierra del Fuego.
Built in 1903, the building of the Museo del Fin del Mundo served as a branch of the Banco de la Nación until 1978. Its history and exhibits are modest and far less interesting than those of the Museo Marítimo y del Presidio in the former prison of Ushuaia. In particular, the exhibition on the history of the Antarctic expeditions, including detailed and true-to-scale models of famous ships from a period of 500 years, is worth a visit.
In the museum courtyard are the remains of the world’s smallest narrow-gauge train that once transported prisoners from prison to work.