Why go to Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)?
Bragging rights that you have been to the "end of the world"; stunning scenery; amazing history
Expensive; variable weather; overwhelmed with tourists year-round
The feeling of frontier and the knowledge the next stop is Antarctica, makes Ushuaia a must-visit
Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) Cruise Port Facilities?
The dock itself has several shops in glass-enclosed kiosks for those last-minute purchases of branded caps, T-shirts, fleeces and, of course, penguins; the selection is smaller, but the prices are cheaper than in town.
At the very end of the dock is a visitor's center with maps and info about the area, but unfortunately, little of it is in English. In the same area, to the right of the dock's end, are several booths for tourist activities and excursions, including boat trips to Wolf Island and through the Beagle Channel, flightseeing to Antarctica, bus tours to Tierra del Fuego National Park and longer trips, if you are staying on after the cruise.
To the left of the dock's end is a series of handicraft and artisan's huts, which open at around 11 a.m. Here, you can seek handmade items indigenous to the region.
Before crossing Av. Maipu into the city, there's a comfortable little square with benches, colorfully dressed in flowers and shrubs -- an ideal place to get your bearings and contemplate the mountains and sea surrounding you. Taxi stands and enterprising locals handing out maps and shopping coupons are also found here.
Good to Know?
The weather, even in summer, is volatile, changing from sleeting rain to blistering heat in a matter of minutes. And it's important to note that sunscreen, even on the bleakest of days, is a necessity: The ozone layer here is one of the thinnest in the world, and the sun's rays can wreak havoc on the unsuspecting tourist.
By Taxi: Taxis are cheap and plentiful in Ushuaia and are located, as noted above, at the end of the dock.
By Bus: Bus service is available from the dock area to the big shopping mall to the left and the prison museum to the right.
On Foot: This is a small city with a central downtown core, so if you just want to visit the shopping and dining areas, walking is the preferred method.
Note: Beyond Maipu (the Coastal Avenue) and San Martin (the main thoroughfare with shops and cafes), the streets become steep and uneven. They're not suitable for mobility-impaired visitors.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
As there are no ATMs in the dock, you'll need to head east along the main street (Avenida Prefectura Naval) to find banks. Note the Argentine currency is notoriously volatile and is rarely exchanged out of the country, so do not take too much out if you are just here for a day. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.
Spanish is the official language in Ushuaia, although English and German are widely spoken.