5 Travel Experiences in Ushuaia Beyond the Beagle Channel
Most travellers come to Ushuaia to experience the iconic Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego National Park. These classic activities capture the long-held appeal of the southernmost city in the world, as explored by Charles Darwin and Captain Fitz Roy on the HMS Beagle, but Ushuaia has a lot more to offer. If you have time beyond exploring the wild, windswept landscapes of Tierra del Fuego, here are some alternative things to do in Ushuaia away from the usual tours and activities.
See the stunning landscapes surrounding Ushuaia from a different perspective / Image Source
1. TAKE A SIGHTSEEING FLIGHT
To really appreciate the untamed landscapes of southern Patagonia, you need to get a bit higher. A sightseeing flight will give you a unique view of the dramatic snow-capped mountains, the famous Beagle Channel, the sparkling lakes, and the pretty port city. With Argentina4u, you can choose between a helicopter flight or an panoramic tour in a light aircraft.
2. EXPLORE ON A 4X4 EXPEDITION
Heading north, away from the Beagle Channel and beyond the mountains that form the backdrop to the city, is where the real hidden gems of Tierra del Fuego lie. Here you’ll discover a set of dazzling lakes, peat bogs, and magical forests. Undisputably, the best way to explore is with a 4X4 tour, taking you off-road and right into the heart of these incredible landscapes.
A 4X4 off-road expedition is the perfect way to explore Tierra del Fuego / Photo by Brasileiros em Ushuaia
3. GET HIKING ON THE MOUNTAIN TRAILS
To really get close to nature, you need to lace up your walking boots, for there are some spectacular hiking routes in and around Ushuaia. The trek to Emerald Lagoon is one of the most popular routes, and it is a easy to do alone, or with an experienced guide. Other trails are the one up to Martial Glacier (watch out, it’s not a long walk, but it is steep), the trail up to Vinciguerra Glacier (a more challenging hike), and the more laid-back trails in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Further inland you’ll find plenty of walks around the lakes. If you want a guided hike that is a bit different, you can also do a night hike through the forest, which includes dinner.
4. UNCOVER HISTORICAL USHUAIA
Ushuaia has a fascinating history. It was first inhabited by the Yámana, an indigenous tribe that lived naked, despite the harsh conditions. Then came the British missionaries, and of course Captain Fitz Roy aboard the HMS Beagle. Skipping a few steps ahead, it became a penal colony for a large part of modern Argentine history, and the prisoners built a railway to what is now Tierra del Fuego National Park, in order to transport the wood they cut down. Discover all the secrets of the island’s infamous history by visiting the city’s museums. Start at the museum in the old prison itself, then wander through the town to pop in at the Yámana Museum, the Galeria Tematica Historia Fuegina (Fuegian History Thematic Gallery), and the End of the World Museum.
The museums of Ushuaia offer a fascinating insight into the history of the region / Photo by Daytours4u
5. SKI THE SNOWY SLOPES
Skip the crowds in Bariloche and head south to Ushuaia if you’re looking for a really stunning ski experience. With the longest ski season in the country, thanks to its southerly position, Ushuaia has plenty of snow and a large variety of options for skiers and snowboarders of every level. Cerro Castor is the main resort, and you can take lessons here, hire equipment and enjoy a variety of ski passes to suit your itinerary. Those not keen to hit the slopes can still make the most of the snow with one of Ushuaia’s many winter activities on offer.
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So when planning your trip to Ushuaia, make sure you leave yourself time to enjoy the alternative activities on offer, and not just the most famous excursions. Looking for more ideas? Here are some more fun things to do in Ushuaia city.
By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.