The city of Ushuaia, located in Tierra del Fuego, has the distinction of being the southernmost city of the world. You can imagine, then, the unspoiled nature and rugged landscapes that abound in this region of Patagonia. In just under a week you'll be able to experience the natural highlights in and around Ushuaia on trekking excursions, canoe trips, boat rides on the Beagle Channel, and even an outing to do some penguin spotting. It's the most fun you can have at the "end of the world."

Highlights

  • Exlpore the streets of Ushuaia, a beautiful mountain city with indigenous roots
  • Embark on a hiking and canoeing excursion into Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Take a boat tour along the silver waters of the Beagle Channel
  • Visit a Magellanic penguin colony

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore the City Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Ushuaia
Day 3 Tierra del Fuego National Park - Trekking and Canoeing Ushuaia
Day 4 Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel Ushuaia
Day 5 Penguins on Isla Martillo & Estancia Harberton Ushuaia
Day 6 Departing Patagonia: Ushuaia to Buenos Aires & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore the City

The Obelisco, a central monument in Buenos Aires
The Obelisco, a central monument in Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Renowned as the "Paris of South America," and the "Queen of El Plata," the capital city of Buenos Aires is defined by passion. This is exemplified in the rich tango heritage and its citizens' limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer), which is far and away the country's most popular sport. 

When you arrive at the airport, your driver will be waiting to take you in a private car to your hotel where you can relax after a long flight. But make no mistake: the city will beckon you. So after a quick recharge, be sure to venture out into the welcoming arms of Buenos Aires and explore. The best starting point would be the city center.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Obelisco, which might be the most famous icon of the city. This obelisk (which even Argentines admit is a little too reminiscent of the Washington Monument) is worth a visit for its location alone. It sits right in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio, which boasts a whopping 16 lanes, making it the widest city street in the world.

  • Stop by the Teatro Colon, one of South America's premier opera houses. The horseshoe-shaped gallery features 2,487 seats and incredible acoustics. Even if you plan on taking a tour or catching a show here on another day, it's always breathtaking to pass by its exterior. The Colon's neoclassical facade has been the face of one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.

  • Stroll Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Puerto Madero may be the "new money" finance center of Buenos Aires, but it's also one of the most pleasant walking areas in a city famous for its walking areas. A romantic stroll involves walking over the canal on the Puente de Mujer ("Woman's Bridge") at sunset. 

  • Dine at an Argentine steakhouse or parilla. When night falls and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals and enjoy a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with the nation's famous chimichurri (a garlic, herb, and vinegar sauce). Know that Buenos Aires is a culture that thrives after dark, and it's not uncommon for locals to have dinner well past nine in the evening, especially on weekends. 

Day 2: Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

City of Ushuaia
City of Ushuaia

Transfer to the Buenos Aires airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city at the edge of the vast American continent. Upon arrival, check into your comfortable hotel room and explore your new surroundings. Located in a large bay featuring a rocky coast, Ushuaia features a charming downtown and scenic dock area. This day will be relatively relaxed since the next day will feature more physical, outdoors activities.

Day 3: Tierra del Fuego National Park - Trekking and Canoeing

Great views in Tierra del Fuego National Park
Great views in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Tierra del Fuego National Park is one of the most frequently visited places around Ushuaia. It's close to the city, it's easily accessible, and it isn't expensive to enter. That means it's wide open for locals and visitors alike. There are many wonders within its 155,000 acres, so you'll want an experienced guide to show you the best hikes, the best lakes, and the best lookout points. 

On this day trip, you'll have just such a specialized guide to help you discover the true natural beauty within Tierra del Fuego National Park. You'll get to know the ins and outs of this protected paradise, from the seaside mountains to the freshwater rivers to the subantarctic forests and the tranquil bays.

You'll depart from your hotel by minibus for the short ride to the entrance of Ushuaia National Park. Then it's a seven km hike on a coastal path that follows the Beagle Channel. You'll have prime views of the channel along the way, but you'll also get to enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of the area. You'll also pass by traces of ancient settlements once occupied by the Yámana indigenous people.

After a brisk three-hour trek, you'll reach Lago Roca where you can relax and enjoy a hot lunch. Then it's time to start the canoe ride down the Lapataia River. This waterway leads to your ultimate destination, Lapataia Bay. Located in the Beagle Channel, it sits where both the Pan American Highway and Nacional Route No. 3 culminate.

Day 4: Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in Beagle Channel
Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in Beagle Channel

In the morning, head out to a nearby and board a boat for a local cruise. Sail through the Beagle Channel, one of the region’s most important waterways named after the HMS Beagle, a 19th-century British ship that once carried Charles Darwin to South America.

As you pass through the channel, get breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Ushuaia and the entire bay. Be on the lookout for sightings of diverse marine wildlife, such as cormorants and sea lions, especially near the Lobo and De Los Pajaros islands. If the winds are calm, you can even hop ashore on one of the islands’ bridges, collect some giant shells, and see the opposite coast which stretches across both Chile and Argentina. Before making your way back, see the famous Les Eclaireurs, the so-called "Lighthouse at the End of the World".

Day 5: Penguins on Isla Martillo & Estancia Harberton

Penguins on Isla Martillo
Penguins on Isla Martillo

Today's tour starts at the pier of the Ushuaia, where a bus will take you to Estancia Harberton via Route 3. After merging into Route J, the road continues through rugged Fuegian forests until reaching the docking point. Embark on a semi-rigid rubber boat for a special, up-close experience on an island featuring a Magellanic penguin colony. A guided tour will take you on a hike, where you will learn about the penguins' characteristics and natural habitat. The tour lasts about 90 minutes, includes visits to Isla Martillo and Estancia Harberton, and allows for plenty of great photo opportunities.

Day 6: Departing Patagonia: Ushuaia to Buenos Aires & Departure

Ushuaia
Ushuaia

This morning, head to the Ushuaia airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, then connect to your international flight back home. ¡Buen viaje!