Nicknamed the “End of the World,” Ushuaia is a popular resort destination and adventure hub located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the southernmost tip of South America. The windswept town is perched on a steep hill and is surrounded by the snow-covered Martial Mountain Range and the Beagle Channel. It’s also known as the gateway to Antarctica, as well as its tours to nearby Isla Yécapasela, known as “Penguin Island.”
Needless to say, it’s an incredible place to visit that will make you feel like you never want to leave. And while you may prefer to stay forever exploring the endless beauty of Ushuaia, in most cases, that’s simply not an option! So if you find yourself with only a weekend to spare, then take a look our tips on how to enjoy the perfect weekend in Ushuaia below. You can also learn more about the destination by checking out our dedicated Ushuaia Travel Guide and various tour packages, like our 3-Day End of the World Trip!
While a weekend seems fast, it does provides enough time to scratch the surface and appreciate the destination – though it will no doubt leave you desiring more. One factor working in Ushuaia’s favor is that it’s well connected with flights both to Buenos Aires and to the other destinations on a Patagonia trip, like Calafate for example. In contrast, it takes an entire weekend to reach Ushuaia by bus from starting points such as Puerto Natales or Calafate.
Despite how you arrive, once you have reach this exciting frontier town on the coast of the Beagle Channel, you’ll have to make some tough decisions, including how to spend your time, what to eat, and even where to shop! As far as picking from the various possible activities, one can easily divide them into excursions in the surrounding area and the options within town.
Excursions out of Ushuaia and Patagonia trips include visiting the penguin colony mentioned above, going fishing, hiking, camping, or even scenic flying in the strikingly beautiful mountains, lakes, forests and sea that make up this part of Tierra del Fuego. For nature lovers, we recommend heading right next door to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Venture into this wild spot on a guided trek (highly recommended for the large number of things that the guides point out along the way), and follow it with a kayak or rafting trip out into the river and bay. Alternatively, one can hike, camp, and even cross country ski in the park for the entire weekend.
There are a variety of exciting ways to venture out into the Beagle Channel, such as a sailboat, catamaran, or slower sightseeing boat. These rides are enjoyable because of the number of different highlights along the way, which include colonies of cormorants and sea lions, as well as a picturesque lighthouse.
A weekend in Ushuaia is also a weekend to enjoy some of the best seafood in the world. Given the area’s fruitful and unpolluted oceans, there are plenty of delicious options, chief of which include trout, hake, and, most especially, king crab. Besides this, Ushuaia is home to places serving every bit as high a standard of the meat-centered Argentine diet as anywhere else in the country.
Nowadays a Patagonia trip can include a fair amount of luxury and comfort, and this is especially true of Ushuaia. One can find places to stay in town that meet all needs and budgets from hip hostels to honeymoon hotel rooms to family run B&Bs. Given its unique status within the complicated economic world of Argentina, Ushuaia is also a pretty decent place to shop, especially for expedition related equipment, duty free goods, and souvenirs. All in all, a perfect weekend in Ushuaia is bound to be a good one, though it is sure to give the visitor a taste for more.
There are a great variety of tours in Patagonia that visit Argentina’s glaciers, hike Patagonia´s trails and travel to key destinations like Calafate, Chalten, Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine and more – so no matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that jumps out at you!