ushuaia: southern-most city in the world
The remote southern tip of South America is a region rich with tales of conquerors, pirates, resilient natives and brave adventurers. It’s also the setting for our legendary Patagonia Wilderness trip and Emily Mitterhuemer loved spending time in the world’s most southern city…
“Ushuaia is located right on the tip of Argentina on the island of Tierra Del Fuego. It’s not far from Antarctica and the cold is proof of that. A panorama of snow capped mountains hug the town, which sits on the Beagle channel. Wind whips across the channel at high speed and causes the weather to change within hours. It is a place where adventure is in the air and where people flock for a spectacular outdoor experience. Be it hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horse-riding or wildlife watching, you can find it all here.
Unlike many cities in South America, Ushuaia is built for the cold. Behind every door is a toasty warm fire and lively atmosphere. It is clean, you can drink the water straight from the tap and the locals are super friendly. You can snuggle up to a great cup of coffee or hot chocolate or feast on homemade pastas and king crab in the town’s many restaurants.
As I write, I am sitting in a cozy cafe on the main street after a wonderful morning of horse riding gaucho style followed by a hot bath at our homestay. My other half, Stuart, opted for a day of fly-fishing and I am hoping he returns with tales of giant trout, and plenty of them. Other group members went to view a nearby glacier and some will soon return from a day of hiking and canoeing. Yesterday we all piled onto a small boat and skidded to a nearby island which is home to thousands of penguins. You can walk just meters from them as they are fairly unafraid of humans. Two types of penguins inhabit the island, the Magellanic Penguin and the Gentoo Penguin and both are fascinating and amusing to watch. We also managed a ride out onto the Beagle Channel and spotted sea lions sunbathing in the Arctic temperatures.
For a city that was originally founded around a prison, it is a very welcoming place to be. It is the last stop before heading back to Buenos Aires on Intrepid Travel’s Patagonian Wilderness tour, which is an incredible mix of spectacular scenery, hiking and quaint towns. You can even head to the tourist office in Ushuaia and have your passport stamped with proof that you have been to the Southern-most city in the world.”
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* photo by Kelly Clark – Intrepid Photography Competition