We landed in Ushuaia around 7:30pm after our 3.5 hour flight from Buenos Aires. Stepping outside - talk about a temperature difference - cold and windy. To me it meant we were getting one step closer to Antarctica! The guy from our bed and breakfast was waiting for us at the airport and drove us to the Valle Frio Ushuaia. It was almost 9 by the time we got settled, so we immediately went to look for dinner. Our hotel was at the top of a hill and pretty much everything in town - the shops and restaurants - were down the hill near the water. Fun going down - a workout going back up! We ate at a place called Moustachio - I had a nice dinner and even tried their local beer - Beagle (after the Beagle Channel). It was so weird walking back to the hotel at almost 11pm and it was still light outside. How far south are we?!
The next morning the bus picked us up at 8:20am for our Tierra del Fuego tour. We drove about 20-30 minutes to our first stop – the Ushuaia train station (Tren Del Fin Del Mundo - Train to the end of the world). After the train station visit we drove to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park entrance, each paid our fee (140 pesos) and drove down to the start of our short hike at Ensenada Zaratiegui. We took a very short hike up to a nice viewpoint of the water and mountains, then came back down via a loop. Back at the entrance was world's southernmost post office on the dock. We were able to go in and get our passport stamped for 20 pesos if we wanted, which of course I did! Our second hike was about a mile long up and downhill. At the end we were at Bahia Lapataia, which turned into these boardwalk style walking paths and piers. Beautiful views! We stopped along some benches and our guide pulled out coffee, tea and some cookies for a snack. Then it was onto our final stop, which was a quick photo stop right along the water with the mountains in the background - beautiful, but very crowded with tourist.
We arrived back in town around 1:30, got off the bus near the water and stopped at El Turco for lunch. For the next couple hours we walked around town taking in the sights and window shopping. For dinner we found a really great place not far from our hotel called Kaupe. A very nice French restaurant and yet casual attire is ok (I love this little town)! Since it was at the top of the hill we had an amazing lookout of the entire port. Ushuaia is such a beautiful town, surrounded by the water and mountains. I can't imagine living there in the winter, considering how cold it was in the middle of summer - but it was definitely a great little town to visit. Ok - look at this view, doesn't it look like a painting on the wall!
I woke up on Sunday thinking, finally - today's the day!!! We checked out of the hotel at 10am, but had until 4pm before meeting the ship staff for our Antarctica Cruise. We left our bags at the hotel, as the ship crew was going to pick them up later. Almost all the shops were closed since it was Sunday morning, so we went to the Maritime museum. It was an ok museum – showing some history of the martime efforts and also the end of the world prison. After the museum it was almost 1pm so we walked down the road to Tante Sara for lunch. Then we walked down to the water, went to the tourism office and finally at 3:15 we went to Gustino restaurant, the meeting point for the start of our Antarctica cruise. Around 4pm they bused us just a few minutes down the pier to get on the boat...and so begins the next 12 days of adventure.
Check out more photos from this trip here - Ushuaia Photos