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Ushuaia
The end of the world

Text by Silvia Dudiuk | Photos by Alfredo Sánchez

 

 

Nature, beauty and mystique at their finest. The planet's southernmost region, where myths and tales continue to be spun.
Its first inhabitants arrived more than six thousand years ago. They were mostly indigenous nomadic hunters, including the Yámanas who gave the city its name.  Ushu means "bottom" and waia means "bay" or "port".

Ushuaia was founded on October 12, 1884 by Augusto Lasserre, an Argentine sailor originally from Uruguay. It is located on Ushuaia bay, on the coast of the Beagle Channel, and is surrounded by the Martial Mountains. On June 27, 1885, it was designated the capital and seat of the government of Tierra del Fuego.

Shortly thereafter, immigrants arrived, attracted by a rumor about the abundance of gold to be found there. Croatians, Lebanese, Lithuanians and Spaniards, among others, came in search of riches and never returned to their home countries. In 1899, the Argentine government decided to set up a military prison on the Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island). Later, it was transferred to Bahía Golondrina, which is connected to Ushuaia by a channel.

The prison laid the foundations of this beautiful city. It was the prisoners who built the bridges and roads and even sustained, so to speak, the rest of society, since they had shoemaking, sewing and photography workshops as well as medical and pharmaceutical services. The distance and the inclement weather meant that ships often could not reach this corner of the world and if they could, they came once a month at most.

Today, Ushuaia is the capital of Antarctic tourism.  It's a genuine natural sanctuary with native animal species such as guanacos, Andean foxes and tuco-tucos, as well as lush mountains covered in forests.  The edge of the world, as it's often called.

Ushuaia not only delights visitors with its picturesque landscapes but also with its culture and its charm, which immerse us in a natural paradise and offer us an endless array of water, land and cultural activities. In winter, visitors can hit the slopes at the wonderful Cerro Castor ski center, and in summer, they can take advantage of the fantastic boating opportunities offered by the city's nautical club. Ushuaia also has interesting museums, such as the End of the World Museum and the Maritime and Prison Museum.

And, of course, there is no lack of five star hotels or typical and original restaurants with unique dishes, like southern king crab, Patagonian toothfish, and the Patagonian lamb. The city if famous for its delicious chocolates and artisan beers too. And, since it's a free trade area, visitors can purchase products at incredible prices. 

Ushuaia, attractive and seductive. There, where the world ends...