America,  Argentina,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Ushuaia (Argentina): the southernmost city of Argentina

After a whole day of bus (12 hours), we finally arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost city of Argentina. Because the real southernmost city in the world is Puerto Williams in Chile, accessible by boat from Punta Arenas, for a very expensive price

Ushuaia is the departure point of most of the boats for Antarctica. Last-minute deals can be found very easily. Honestly, I don’t know if 5000 USD for 10 days in last-minute is a good price


Part 1: Travel Diaries
Part 2: Practical Tips

Part 1: Travel Diaries

Day 1 :

When we arrive at 8 pm after a long day in the bus, we only think about eating and sleeping. Our inn (Los Cormoranes) is at the top of the hill, when we finally reach it, we are in sweat. I do not know why this inn is badly noted, personally I find it very clean and the shower very pleasant. And the most important: they speak English!

We move on to a supermarket with a butcher’s shop. We buy a piece of entrecote for 5€, 2 avocados (there is no salad) and 2 Danettes. All for 10€. Direction the kitchen of the inn where there is a very friendly atmosphere. The entrecote is super tender, enough for 2. We are well in Argentina!

Day 2 :

Despite a bed neighbor who watched his series all night, I had a good night thanks to my night mask (found on an Air France flight) and my earplugs

Our bed neighbors tell us that they are here for the Dragoman tour, reserved for trek lovers but not experienced enough to go alone. This one will take them to the most beautiful sites of Chile, starting from Ushuaia (which only serves as a starting point because it is very accessible unlike Punta Arenas in Chile) to Santiago (for 1260USD/person, some famous treks aren’t included in the price). They travel with this big truck


We, little players, will simply go around the city center of Ushuaia, without even trekking to the Tierra del Fuego park, because it’s raining ropes

Moreover, the youth hostel tells us that they made a mistake in their planning. We must leave our room ASAP but to apologize, we will spend our next night in a private room with private bathroom. JB and I are super happy that all this is explained in English and not in a Spanish that we would probably not have been able to understand

Direction Oficina Antartica where we can stamp our passports ourselves

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Just opposite, the tourist office stamps the passport for us


The advantage when you have dual nationality is that you have 2 passports, and twice as many places for Ushuaia hihi stamps


At the tourist office, there is Wifi, and English speaking counsellors. It’s great! They gave us the map of the city with some points of interest, including this one, only 200m from the tourist office


We go to HSBC, right across the street, to withdraw as much money as we can (2 times 2000$AR yes! but paying 96$AR fee at each withdrawal, thieves!)

The last thing you have to worry about is the bus tickets to go to El Calafate. The tourist office indicated us the office of Taqsa. There also we find advisers who speak English and we can pay by credit card. While leaving we even notice that the adviser of next door speaks very well French

It’s 2pm and we are super hungry. JB spots the restaurant La Parilla which serves an all-you-can-eat buffet that makes you want to eat too much (250$AR/person excluding drinks)

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I didn’t take the salad buffet as a picture, but that’s what makes us feel better in the end 🙂 In Chile and Argentina, salads are expensive, and you don’t necessarily find any. Here, they also serve a kind of offal salad, which looks like an octopus salad, explosion of flavors guaranteed! Meat is served at will but we realize that our stomachs have shrunk during the world tour and we aren’t able to eat as much as before. Moreover, we will eat only cookies in the evening because the all-you-can-eat buffet delighted us more than enough

The rain stops, it’s a good time to go for a walk. It’s crazy to realize that we are only 1100km away from Antarctica



There is a kind of “view point” at the intersection of Onas and Gdor streets. Deloqui. On your way there, don’t hesitate to stop for a good Italian ice cream


The city lacks a bit of charm, it is very industrial with containers everywhere. Apparently at the top of the hill, there are even shantytowns (we didn’t see any). However, this feeling of being at the end of the world is satisfying enough to forget Ushuaia’s lack of charm

While going up towards our inn, we have a beautiful sight on the Martial Glacier. Some walk until the Glacier, we are satisfied with this view. We will see glaciers more beautiful than that in a few days


Walking around we come across a kind of memorial for the Falklands. This old territorial dispute was even the object of an armed conflict in 1982. It seems that the Argentinians still haven’t digested it, as this sign invoking “English pirates” shows

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We go to a souvenir store to buy postcards from Ushuaia. JB has the good idea to buy the stamps directly in this store. At 40$AR the stamp (2,3€, 3 times more expensive than the postcard), we send them only to those we love the most in the world

Thinking that the cards are being sent from the post office, we go there and meet a girl who shyly asks us how much we paid for our stamps. 40$AR each. She seems to be very upset and shows us the stamps she just bought at the post office for 63$AR. “Besides, your stamps are prettier,” she says. Indeed, her stamps are super ugly while ours have a penguin on them with the words “Ushuaia Fin del mundo”

The difference is related to the fact that we unknowingly bought DHL stamps. So we don’t have to deposit our cards at the post office but just in front of the Barraca Patagonia store, which has a DHL box


Here, all the stores marked “fin del mundo” or “fuego”. Moreover, the southernmost post office is on the way to Tierra del Fuego Park

We return to the inn where we eat cookies (we aren’t hungry after the all-you-can-eat buffet) and enjoy the purr of this little beauty img_6134.jpg


Ah, I forgot to mention the weather. It’s cold with a characteristic wind in Ushuaia, but it’s largely bearable (in winter it must however be particularly hostile…). In addition, the youth hostels are well or even too heated (underfloor heating) and the showers are very hot. Since it was raining, I dressed with several layers: at the bottom: Uniqlo HeatTech tights, summer hiking pants. Top: merino t-shirt, a fleece, a Uniqlo light down jacket with hood and a Decathlon raincoat. All this accompanied by an umbrella. The bottom of my pants are wet but I don’t feel the cold thanks to the Heattech tights. JB is dressed less warmly: hat, hiking pants, merino t-shirt, fleece and raincoat. Because his waterproof coat costs 3 times more than mine. If it wasn’t raining, I think a fleece and a windbreaker would be more than enough

To hike in the Tierra del Fuego region, we would need in addition to Gore-Tex hiking boots (to walk quietly in the mud) and waterproof pants (something we don’t have)

In fact, we are very happy to have left quickly because the next day, it was snowing a little. Yes, on December 7th, the beginning of the southern summer

Part 2: Practical Tips


As you can see, we didn’t hike because of the weather and we just watched Tierra del Fuego twice (round trip) from our bus. The way is super pleasant, we can see the work of the beavers from far and the very beautiful lake Fagnano

However, for trekking lovers, there is a bus leaving every hour from the port (ask the tourist office for more information about this bus), for 40$AR/person I think. They drop you off at the park, let you pay the entrance, there are several stops to choose from… and they pick you up a few hours later. The easiest trek is the one to the Esmeralda Lake (4h round trip or 2h round trip for the most equipped because a big part is done in the mud)

For the Martial glacier, it is better to be dropped off by cab at the bottom of the glacier, walk, and then return to the city center on foot

We went to see the penguins in Punta Arenas, that’s why we didn’t do any boat trips here. But those who have already done it recommend it warmly. There aren’t only penguins, the boat passes by a very famous light house and gets quite close to Puerto Williams, the real southernmost city

On the other hand, do not try to go to Puerto Williams from Ushuaia, no company provides transportation, only private boats. It is easier to return to Punta Arenas and take boats to Puerto Williams. Again, Puerto Williams is reserved for trekkers, there isn’thing else to do there

If you are greedy, you should try the huge spider crabs in Ushuaia. For 250$AR, you choose one (live) and we cook for you


TOTAL : 252€ for 2, 2 nights, transport included, 1 full day of transport, 1 day of visit only

  • Bus : Punta Arenas -> Ushuaia : 35 000$CH -> 50€/person with Bus Sur (review here)
  • Los Cormoranes : 20€/bed in dormitory/night -> 80€ for 2, for 2 nights – with breakfast
  • Supermarket: 140$AR -> 10€ (1 huge entrecote, 2 avocadoes, 2 danettes)
  • Restaurant La Parilla: 250$AR -> 14,7€/person for an all-you-can-eat buffet
  • Cookies, hot dog on the way: 10€
  • Postcards: 15$AR each
  • Stamps: 40$AR each
  • Visas : exempted for any stay < 90 days



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