Destination: Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: February 2016
Activity: Site Seeing and visiting Tierra del Fuego National Park
While on our Antarctic cruise we stopped at the Southern most city of the world at the bottom of the South American country of Argentina called Ushuaia. Since the Argentine’s don’t pronounce H’s it is pronounced U-swa-I-uh. When our ship landed at port we were able to easily walk off the boat and into the city without having to rent a taxi. The town is located right on the waterline of town and easily accessible. The first thing that is advertised is to mail your postcards straight from the southern most city of the world, that is Ushuaia’s claim to fame.
So right there on the pier we bought our post cards that were about 12 Argentine pesos each and we purchased DHL stamps that would deliver our letters back to the US for about 35 pesos each. While we visited the Argentine peso was 7 to 1 US Dollar. So we bought the cards so we could write them out later in the day when we had a little more time to sit down and write something meaningful to our loved ones back home. I was glad that I did this because later when were shopping in the local tourist stores we found stamps to add to our postcards so they could be stamped with Ushuaia’s “End of the World” postal stamp.(Note: None of the postcards we mailed at the shop at the pier, made it home in the US!)
The town is quite cute and has a very European feel to it. Most of the stores are filled with camping , and winter attire for those who are backpacking across Patagonia. Yes this part of Argentina is part of the 11 areas of South America that make up the area of Patagonia. (Yep, it’s not just a place to buy clothing!) Patagonia is a sparsely populated area of Chile and Argentina that reaches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and includes much of the southern Andes. Therefore pack backing equipment and warm clothing is very important to this part of the world. Don’t think you will be getting any deals on these items though, because it is all very expensive and it is better to purchase these items before you arrive in the area.
The main street of Ushuaia is filled with great restaurants but many don’t open until 6:30 in the evening. However the restaurant pricing is incredibly cheap for huge Spider Crabs and seafood that is harvested in the ocean right off the shores of Ushuaia. While there we ate at La Cantina Fueguina de Freddy #9 of #115 on Trip Advisor and though the service was lousy the crab legs were delicious. I will also mention that all of the side orders like salads, french fries and rice weren’t any good either but the delicious crab legs (that didn’t even need butter) made our stop well worth it!
We had purchased tickets with a tourist company in the area to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park located there in Ushuaia. According to Wikipedia, “The park has dramatic scenery, with waterfalls, forests, mountains and glaciers.” We were able to ride a bus into the park and stop at a few lookouts and see a small part of the area while we were there. It was magnificent to see the Andes mountains off in the distance and the beautiful scenery of the area It was again very cold but the entire area we visited was all handicap accessible and gives the visitor a small taste of this beautiful landscape.
Of course the last part of the tour finishes with a stop at the parks gift shop and deli where t-shirts, mugs, stuffed animals, and then of course a sandwich and hot chocolate can be purchased, and a little wifi enjoyed before you leave the beautiful foothills of the Andes. This park reminded me a lot of Glacier National Park located in Northern Montana and was well worth setting up the tour to see while we were in the area.
So while visiting this southern most city of the world make sure to see Terra del Fuego, eat the local cuisine, send a post card to officially document your visit (pray that it makes it home), and buy a t-shirt so you can shout it to the world that you came you saw and you have the t-shirt to prove it!!
Safe and Happy Travels!