The End of the World – Ushuaia
As the bus was approaching the southern most city of the World, Ushuaia, I was absolutely astonished by the surrounding nature. The snow covered mountains and the lakes reminded me of Switzerland. The sky was blue and beautiful. My only issue was cold. It was the beginning of the Summer, but the wind was strong and the temperature was below 5C. As soon as I got off the bus, I saw the sign “Fin del Mundo” next to the bus station. This indicated that this was the end of the World. There were lots of fun things to do in Ushuaia, even if the place was a bit surreal because it was so remote from everything.
Fun Things to Do in Ushuaia
It did feel like the end of the World, as everything around me was totally different from anything I had ever seen. Ushuaia city was one of the most expensive destinations I had ever visited. Apparently, it is very costly to transport everything down this far, therefore everything was very pricey. The town was full of souvenir shops, chocolate shops and travel agencies offering a variety of services, such as cruise trips to Antarctica. The town was fairly small and I could visit everything in a few hours. I arrived in Ushuaia on a long weekend and everything was closed for four days. The ATMs quickly ran out of money by Sunday night and some unprepared tourists were left without cash until Wednesday. This is what I call tough luck on a vacation. I stayed at the luxurious Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa on the top of the mountain, overlooking the entire city. It was a real treat.
I went to the port and found an excursion to cruise around the Beagle Canal for a few hours to see the surrounding islands around Ushuaia and the various species that lived on the islands.
Cruising the Beagle Canal
I chose a 5-hour excursion on a catamaran with Canoera Catamaranes. Their office is right at the port next to the Tourism Office and they have two tours every day. They have a shorter tour that does not take you to see the penguins, but you can see the canal, the birds, the sea lions and the lighthouse. The longer tour takes 5 hours and takes you around to various islands to see the sea lions, birds, the southernmost lighthouse on the Earth as well as the penguins on their own habitat.The boat took off in the early afternoon. The view of Ushuaia was spectacular as we left the port. I just wished it wasn’t so windy on the deck of the boat. It was difficult to stay outside, because of the wind and the cold. I quickly became friends with a group of Brazilians who brought a large amount of wine on board and they were trying to get me drunk. The catamaran stopped at many different islands, we saw sea lions tanning on the rocks as well as many different birds. We visited the southernmost lighthouse in the World that still functions today. The last stop was on the island of the penguins. They did not let us exit the boat and we could only take photos of them from the distance.
I was a bit sad because of that. Anyway, it was incredibly cold and windy and I couldnt stay outside for very long. I took a couple of photos of the penguins and went inside the boat and continued drinking with the Brazilians. The boat took a few hours to get back to Ushuaia. We had the opportunity to see much of the Beagle Canal and the surrounding nature. It was a cold and beautiful day on the canal. After the trip, I went to get dinner with my new Brazilian friends. I tried the local speciality, the Kind Crab (Centolla). These are some of the largest crabs I have ever seen in my life. They were fresh and tasty.
Lakes Around Ushuaia
The first stop of the tour was at the Tierra Mayor Valley to see the Huskies. These dogs are used in the Winter for Winter activities. We drank some Mate tea, which is everyone’s favorite here in South-America and set out to cross the Andes Mountains to see the two beautiful lakes, the Escondido Lake and Fagnano Lake.
It was beautiful to see the wildlife and the flora of the mountains. It was quiet and peaceful. As we drove through the mountains, we were able to observe a big variety of birds, gray foxes and beavers on their beaver dams.
Walter was navigating the Jeep through rivers, mountains. After a few hours of exploring the nature, we drove to a wooden house in the mountains near Tolhuin town, where the two guides prepared a delicious Argentinian BBQ (parilla) on the grill. It was served with Argentinian wine. I wasn’t in the mood for steak, so they prepared some grilled pumpkin for me with eggs and cheese. It was very tasty! It was beautiful to dine in the middle of the forest and enjoy the sun shining on us.
We were also able to buy local honey and other products that the locals were selling in the mountains. Everyone had a great time on the excursion! The Jeep dropped us off in Ushuaia around 5 pm. Ushuaia Argentina
As I was heading back to the hotel, I noticed a big crowd of people waiting for something to happen. A news reporter was present. Then I heard that a runner, who ran from Northern Argentina all the way to the South on route 40 (It is more than 5000 kms long) is about to finish this incredible achievement of running across the entire country. Soon the runner arrived, he was wet from the rain, his left arm was broken. He was crying. Everyone was congratulating him as he was being filmed. It was amazing for me to see him complete such an achievement. Ushuaia Argentina
Later it was getting really cold in Ushuaia. Let’s not forget that it was Summer in Ushuaia, but it was windy and rainy the whole time. I was up in my beautiful luxury hotel on the top of the mountain when it started snowing, so I ran to the bus station to hop on the next bus to Chile. I figured I wasn’t able to do any hiking in the snow anyway, so I might as well escape from the snow.
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