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Visit the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia (prison)

One of the most important things to do in the city of the end of the world is to visit the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia, located in an old prison. Be sure not to miss it!

Check here the guide to travel to Ushuaia.

The old prison for recidivists of Tierra del Fuego or the so-called End of the World Prison, functioned as a place of detention from 1896 to 1947. Its walls hold stories of prisoners and, at present, thematic exhibitions.

This is due to the fact that within its five two-story pavilions and its central hall, there is the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia, but in reality there are four museums in one. Among them we find:

  1. Maritime Museum of Ushuaia
  2. Museum of the Prison of Ushuaia
  3. Marine Art Museum
  4. Antarctic Museum

We will tell you more about each of them below.

Check here to see the top 5 things to do in Ushuaia.

1. Maritime Museum of Ushuaia

The Maritime Museum is located in one of the pavilions on the upper floor of the former prison of recidivists of Tierra del Fuego. Its subject is very clear: it tells the history of Tierra del Fuego through the sea, the main element that surrounds the island.

Here you can experience first-hand the history of shipwrecks at Cape Horn, everything that has to do with the Isla de los Estados, the so-called lighthouse at the end of the world, the searchers of precious metals and even the canoes used by the Yamana Indians, the first inhabitants of the region. There is also an interesting sample of model boats made to scale.

2. Ushuaia Prison Museum

This part of the museum is what attracts many to visit the Maritime Museum and the Ushuaia Prison. The old prison of recidivists of Tierra del Fuego occupied an important place in the history of the city, working from 1896 to 1947. It was the place of reclusion of dangerous characters, among which the Petiso Orejudo, Cayetano Santos Godino and Mateo Banks stand out.

During the tour, you can take a walk through the different cells whose walls keep interesting stories of the inmates, the hard way of life in prison and the punishments they were subjected to.

The inmates with good behavior were the ones who made the journey on the now known End of the World Train to cut down trees and provide firewood to heat the buildings in the city. The prisoners practically built the city, participating in the construction of bridges, public buildings and city streets.

Did you know? In 2001, the prison of Ushuaia gained some notoriety because it was the stage for the filming of the Argentinean movie “La Fuga” (The Escape), directed by Eduardo Mignogna and starring renowned actors, such as Miguel Ángel Solá, Ricardo Darín, Inés Estévez, Gerardo Romano, Arturo Maly, Alejandro Awada and Patricio Contreras. In reality, the story is based on a real event that took place in a National Penitentiary in Buenos Aires but, since it was demolished, the Ushuaia Penitentiary was used for the filming.

3. Marine Art Museum

Another of the spots to visit in the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia is the interesting museum of Marine Art that works in one of the pavilions on the upper floor.

This museum shows the collection of different works of art always linked to the sea. Thus, one finds works made by artists who had a past as sailors and other paintings that are linked to port life or fishing in the sea. It has works of art ranging from the late nineteenth century to the present.

4. Antarctic Museum

Especially focused on the white continent, the museum operates on the top floor of Pavilion IV of the Maritime Museum and the Ushuaia Prison.

Its main wealth lies in the great collection of model ships of Antarctic expeditions and ships of the Argentine Navy, among which the ship Bahía Paraíso of Argentina and the icebreaker Almirante Irizar stand out.

Also, in the enclosure are exhibited stamps and postcards of Antarctica, utensils used by expeditions, reproduction of ancient communication elements used by sailors and even the history of whaling in the area.

Other facilities of the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia

In addition to the four museums, the former prison houses a store to buy books and maps of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, two event rooms, one of which is located in the old prison bakery, and the Roberto J. Payro library, which has over 600 works, including one of the only two copies of “The Lighthouse at the End of the World”, written by Jules Verne in the early 20th century.

Traveling tip: Don’t leave without your diploma certifying that you have been released from the Prison Museum – a souvenir to take home!


Opening hours to visit the Maritime Museum in Ushuaia

The museum is open all year round, with different schedules according to the time of year:

Access to the museum is allowed until 7:30 pm. Please note that the total tour to visit the four museums takes at least one to two hours.

– Guided visits

Guided tours in Spanish are held from December to February at 11:30, 16:30 and 18:30 and from March to November at 11:30 and 18:30.

Admission fees to visit the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia

The ticket is valid for access for two days in a row, but it must have the entry table stamp and document number.

ForeginersNationalsResidents of Tierra del Fuego
Adults
AR$ 1300
Adults
AR$ 700
Adults
AR$ 600
Students (1)
AR$ 900
Students (1)
AR$ 400
Students (1)
AR$ 400
Family Ticket (2)
AR$ 2900
Family Ticket (2)
AR$ 1700
Family Ticket (2)
AR$ 700
Children under 12 years old:
Free
Children under 12 years old:
Free
Children under 12 years old:
Free
(1) Must show student ID
(2) Includes two adults and three children under 18

Due to the high inflation in Argentina, prices can suffer constant increases. It is recommended to check the updated prices in the official websites. To consult how much it costs in dollars or euros, we leave an online converter (you can also check in your home currency):

Take a look into the Maritime Museum official webpage.

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