Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ushuaia, City at the end of the world

Sign at the end of the world
Ushuaia is a port city on the island of Tierra del Fuego in the southernmost part of Argentina.
Looking south towards the end of the world
It markets itself as the "End of the world" as it is the southernmost city (although the town of Puerto Williams is further south)

The city itself has a very small town feel with the main part of the city being sandwiched between the mountains and the sea.
Ushuaia: between the mountains and the sea
Although there are many tourists in Ushuaia, it feels like the town has not really embraced the tourist market. The waterfront, although pretty, remains very much a working port and tourism centres around trips into the Beagle Channel and organised treks.

The waterfront with the port in the background
Trekking without taking an expensive tour is still not cheap and treks outside of the Tierra del Fuego national park are only accessible by car. The local buses to the national park (which is only 10km away) cost $Ars300 (about $AUD30) return and entry into the park is $Ars170 (about $AUD17). This makes doing several hikes in the park prohibively expensive. This is a real pity since the park is a major attraction.

In the town there are many touristy high priced cafes and restaurants and a strange mix of old and modern architecture.

The Don Bosco Church and recreation centre on the main street

In the side streets are odd little local places - like the Dublin bar marketing itself as the Southernmost Irish pub. The only think Irish about it is the name but it's the watering hole for locals an tourists alike.

Ushuaia has a certain quirky feel about it - it's isolation certainly makes you feel like you're at the end of the world.