Here is a complete guide to travel to Ushuaia, the city at the end of the world and one of the main destinations if you are going to travel to Patagonia. Surrounded by high mountains, forests and on the shores of the Beagle Channel, it has unique landscapes.
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Orientation, travel to Ushuaia
Ushuaia is located in the extreme southwest of the island of Tierra del Fuego, on the shores of the Beagle Channel, an important maritime communication route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It is a city that has grown a lot in number of inhabitants in the last decades, playing a fundamental role in tourism within Argentina.
Getting there and away
– Direct Flight to Ushuaia
If you are a foreigner arriving to the country through Buenos Aires, there are direct flights to Ushuaia from the Argentine capital all year round, with a flight duration of 3.5 hours and daily frequency. The airline that makes the trip (and has more frequency) is Aerolíneas Argentinas, the argentinian flag airline. Most flights from Buenos Aires depart from Jorge Newbery airport (also called Aeroparque), located in Buenos Aires city. Only one flight departs from Ezeiza International Airport.
If you are not in Buenos Aires, you can also fly directly from Córdoba or El Calafate with Aerolíneas Argentinas.
On the other hand, the airline Latam has flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, but its frequency is reduced to two or three weekly flights. Likewise, LADE has flights from Comodoro Rivadavia to Ushuaia, but with very reduced frequency.
The 5 km separating Ushuaia airport from the city center can be done by taxi or private transfer, but there is no public transportation.
– Getting to Ushuaia by bus
There are no direct buses between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, despite how long it would take for the distance (about 2,800 km). There are two options to get to Ushuaia by bus:
- From Río Gallegos in Argentina: Río Gallegos can be reached by bus from Buenos Aires, and then travel to Ushuaia from the Rio Gallegos Bus Terminal. The trip takes about 8 hours, including the ferry crossing through the Strait of Magellan and the border crossing between Argentina and Chile (to get to Ushuaia you have to cross Chilean territory).
- From Punta Arenas in Chile: it lasts 10 hours, including crossing the border and the ferry to cross the Strait of Magellan.
– Arriving in your own car or renting a car in Ushuaia
If you want to arrive by car to Ushuaia, you must use the ferry that crosses the Strait of Magellan and make the customs between Chile and Argentina. The ferry service is provided by the company Tabsa.
If you drive from Argentina, you have to take RN 3 from Río Gallegos to the border crossing with Chile, then cross the Strait of Magallanes by ferry, then continue in Chilean territory, customs again to enter Argentine territory and reach Ushuaia. It is a trip that can last about seven hours, depending on the customs formalities and the ferry schedule.
Best time to travel to Ushuaia
Considering that it is located in the extreme south of the American continent, the climate in Ushuaia is very cold, with extremely low temperatures in winter and pleasant climate for hiking in summer. So if you are going to travel to Ushuaia, you should always wear a coat, no matter what time of year you go.
In summer, daytime temperatures range from 10 to 15ºC (50 to 59ºF), although at night it cools down to below zero. This is the ideal time of year for hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park, sailing in the Beagle Channel and outdoor activities. The duration of sunlight in these months reaches 16 hours during the day, so it’s a plus point to travel to Ushuaia.
In autumn, the maximum temperatures drop and the minimum temperatures usually go below zero. The color of the leaves of the trees changes, which offers a different landscape to other seasons of the year.
In winter, the climate is very cold with maximum temperatures that do not exceed 5ºC (41ºF) and minimum below zero. This is the ideal time to enjoy ski resorts or sled in the snow. Keep in mind that the duration of sunlight is only six to seven hours in the day.
Spring mixes cold weather with the beginning of outdoor activity. During October you can hike on trails, while enjoying the high snow-capped peaks. The days begin to lengthen in terms of the duration of sunlight.
Getting around Ushuaia
The city itself is small, you can easily walk and stroll along the shore of the Beagle Channel, as the distances are short. There are three public transportation lines that serve the city, you can check the route from here.
To pay the ticket, you have to buy a SUBE card (plastic card with the size of credit cards) and charge it at many of the stores that are “Puntos Sube”. Once on the bus, you have to tell the bus driver where are you going, hold your card over the electronic reader and the appropriate fare will be discounted from your SUBE card. You can also use the balance in other argentinian cities.
If you want to go to the most touristic places in the surroundings, such as Tierra del Fuego National Park, Tren del Fin del Mundo or the ski resorts, you must do it with your own car, excursion, private transfer or taxis.
Accommodation in Ushuaia
Ushuaia must-see sights and attractions
- Top 5 things to do in Ushuaia
- Other attractions to visit in Ushuaia
– Activities to do in Ushuaia
- Skiing in ski resorts