Ushuaia

An old penal colony converted in a paradisiacal town.

Located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, this is the southernmost tip of South America, nicknamed the “End of the World.” The desolate town, perched on a steep hill, is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel.

This small city offers an exceptional landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers and woods. Colorful man-made structures are picturesque against the shape of the Andes. It’s the gateway to Antarctica cruises and tours to nearby Isla Yécapasela, known as “Penguin Island” for its penguin colonies.

Its history is really fascinating as the village was originally used as a penal colony from 1902-1947. The city centred around a prison built by the Argentine government to increase the local population here and to ensure the country’s sovereignty over this land. The prison was intended for repeat offenders and serious criminals, following the example of the British in Tasmania and the French in Devils Island.

The prison population spent much of their time building the town with timber from the forest around the prison. They also built a railway to the settlement, now a tourist attraction known as the End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo), the southernmost railway in the world.

Nowadays, Ushuaia is a wonderful place with modern infrastructure such as the international airport and all necessary services. It is also a cruise port with comfortable accommodation and gastronomy options. You can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, sport fishing and the most spectacular expeditions along Tierra del Fuego National Park.