Named by missionaries after the indigenous Yámana word for the region, the British first established a settlement at Ushuaia in 1870. The missionary soon gave way to an Argentinean penal colony, opened in 1896, which was modelled roughly on the Australian model of relocating troublesome prisoners to remote locations. The Argentine government were also keen to maintain a claim to the land against British interests. Today the town relies heavily on tourists determined to explore the incredible natural beauty before boarding their ship to tour Antarctica.

Cruise ships dock at the centrally-located port.

Sights to See

While in town consider exploring the Museo Maritimo and the Presidio. The Museo Mundo Yámana covers the culture of the indigenous people who lived on the land prior to European settlement. However the primary reason for visiting Ushuaia is for the surrounding natural beauty. Take the chair lift to the Martial Glacier and enjoy the spectacular views of the Beagle Channel before hiking across the glacier. Trekking enthusiasts will enjoy the various trails through the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

What's for Lunch

Seafood lovers will appreciate fuegian crab expertly prepared by skilled Argentine chefs.

If you see only one thing...

The railway was constructed by Argentine inmates and is the southernmost railway in the world.

Local speak

A phrase that defines Ushuaia is, “confines de la tierra.”


Take a stroll down Avenida San Martin and have a browse through the novelty shops to select your perfect souvenir.