The Perfect 5-Day Itinerary For Your First Time in Ushuaia, Argentina
Food & Wine
There is something magical about visiting the most southern city in the world located in Tierra del Fuego or "land of fire." Known as the as the “end of the world”, this destination has forever held a special place on my travel bucket list. While traditionally known as a stopover for those embarking on Antarctica cruises, Ushuaia has evolved into a remarkable standalone vacation destination over the years, thanks to its unparalleled beauty and charm. Finally, the time came to check it off, and Ushuaia surpassed all my expectations, leaving me captivated and in awe.
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Where to stay
Los Cauquenes Resort + Spa + Experiences
Located in Ushuaia, Los Cauquenes Resort + Spa + Experiences offers different activities to live a unique experience of adventure tourism, dining, spa and wellness treatments and in/out pool.
Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa
An indulgent spa-style resort with views across Ushuaia — try the "Train to the End of the World" experience.
Complimentary lunch or dinner for two.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort
Beautiful mountain lodge at the end of the world in Ushuaia with an array of activities including skiing.
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Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia
The airport is conveniently located just a short ride from the city center, and the hotels in the area are easily accessible within 10 to 20 minutes. To add variety to our experience, I opted to stay in two different hotels during my visit. My first choice was the breathtaking Los Cauquenes resort, situated just a 15-minute ride away.
As soon as I arrived, I couldn't resist exploring the hotel and its stunning surroundings. Located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, the views were simply awe-inspiring. I took my time to appreciate the beauty, and the hotel itself offered plenty of amenities, including a spa, pool, and a fantastic restaurant called Reinamora, with equally picturesque views so there is plenty to do without leaving the hotel.
I decided against renting a car, as most hotels, including Los Cauquenes, provide transportation services. The hotel shuttle conveniently operates hourly until the evening, making it easy to reach the city center.
After immersing myself in the hotel experience, I made our way to the city center. There is one main street, Avenida San Martin, a vibrant street is filled with a variety of shops and restaurants, offering everything from outdoor adventure gear, electronics, and sports equipment to local boutiques and bookstores. Ushuaia has no sales tax and a very low import tax so it is a duty free haven and a great place for shopping.
I decided to stop for a quick bite at Ramos Generales, a unique and lively restaurant adorned with historical memorabilia. Their extensive menu offered a variety of dishes, pastries and desserts, drinks and coffees. I also took the opportunity to visit Plaza Malvinas, a war memorial located near the downtown area. This memorial pays tribute to the soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the Falklands War with the UK. The centerpiece of the plaza is a wall bearing the names of the fallen soldiers. The topic is a delicate one, and the Falklands War remains deeply ingrained in the lives and hearts of the people of Ushuaia.
For dinner, my initial plan was to dine at Bodegon Fuegino, a renowned restaurant specializing in meats. However, I discovered that it was closed on Mondays. I found an excellent alternative in Tia Elvira restaurant. Nestled along the waterfront, this cozy seafood eatery quickly became a favorite. Their specialties included the must-try centolla (king crab), a local delicacy, and merluza (hake), a flavorful and typical fish found in Ushuaia. The food was exceptional, and the service matched the quality. Notably, the prices, even when converted to USD, were very reasonable, adding further satisfaction to the dining experience.
How to get to Ushuaia
Although it’s located in the end of the world, getting to Ushuaia is relatively easy and convenient. Most US & European cities have direct flights to Buenos Aires. Once in Buenos Aires, Aerolineas Argentinas has daily direct flights from both Buenos Aires Ezeiza International airport and Jorge Newberry Airport, which is closer to the city center. If you want to visit Calafate which is another beautiful region in Patagonia, you have the option to purchase a ticket that includes a stopover in Calafate before or after visiting Ushuaia.
However, for this particular trip, I decided to focus solely on Ushuaia to fully immerse myself in the destination and make the most of my time there.
Before diving into the itinerary, it’s worth mentioning my travel preferences and what I seek when exploring new places. I am a traveler who likes a little bit of everything. I’m an adventurous traveler who enjoys outdoor activities, a self-proclaimed foodie who loves exploring local dishes and trendy restaurants, a history enthusiast who appreciates learning about the destinations’ past and someone who values both relaxation and urban exploration to truly experience the essence of a city.
With these interests in mind, I’ve curated an itinerary that encompasses a little bit of everything, ensuring a well-rounded and memorable trip to Ushuaia. Other things to note Ushuaia is not only a popular summer destination but also a renowned ski resort. As the southernmost ski resort in the world, it boasts excellent snow quality due to its unique location. While lodging options at the resort itself are limited, most people choose to stay in the city center or at accommodations like Los Cauquenes and Arakur, which offer free shuttle services to the resort.
Day 2: Explore in a 4x4
My day began with an exciting 4x4 tour, which I had booked directly through the hotel. I was fortunate to have Manolo as my guide, who not only entertained me with his fun personality but also shared a wealth of knowledge about Ushuaia's history.
The first stop was Park Austral, where I explored a fascinating motorcycle museum and enjoyed a taste of the southernmost gin at the gin bar.
Continuing the journey, we ventured into a private area to discover the rugged lands of Tierra del Fuego. Manolo shared stories about the invasive beavers known as Castores, which arrived in Ushuaia from Canada in 1946. Their presence was evident throughout the area.
We then made our way to Lago Fagnano, where I experienced the thrill of riding in the lake—a true adrenaline rush. We paused at Estancia La Carmen, a local estancia, to savor some delightful local beer- Beagle beer and snacks while soaking in the stunning lake views.
As lunchtime approached, we made a stop at Tierra Mayor, a cross-country ski area in winter. At Tierra Mayor restaurant, I indulged in a delicious meal, savoring the taste of Cordero patagonico, a traditional patagonian lamb dish of Ushuaia.
On the return journey, I couldn't resist stopping at various picturesque spots, capturing the beauty of Ushuaia in photographs. By around 4 pm, I arrived back at our hotel, feeling fulfilled after an eventful day of exploration. To unwind from the day's adventures, I decided to pamper ourselves at the hotel's spa and pool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to book any spa treatments this time, but took full advantage of the tranquil pools and hot tubs, allowing myself to fully relax and appreciate the beauty that surrounded us.
For dinner, I had made reservations at Reinamora, the fine dining restaurant located within the hotel. The ambiance was elegant, and the menu featured a delectable array of dishes. Once again, I had the pleasure of savoring the Merluza and risotto, both of which were delicious. Even if you're not staying at the hotel, I highly recommend visiting Reinamora for an exceptional dining experience.
Day 3: Trek through Laguna Esmeralda
This day was dedicated to the Laguna Esmeralda trekking adventure. Even though you don’t need a tour for this as the area is very well signaled and a lot of people do this hike, I am glad we went as it made the experience so much more personalized.
We booked the tour from the hotel and they used Titan 4 Elementos, a tour operator known for providing a boutique, personalized experience. Opting for the tour truly enhanced the journey. The trek itself is relatively moderate, lasting around three hours. The views along the trail were absolutely breathtaking, surpassing what any picture could capture. One of the highlights of the tour was having access to a tent, where we could warm up, enjoy a comforting lentil soup, and even sip on some Malbec wine. I highly recommend booking the Laguna Esmeralda Trekking with Titan 4 Elementos to make the most of this extraordinary experience.
Upon returning to the hotel, it was time to check into our next accommodation, Arakur. Situated on the cerro Alarken natural reserve at the opposite end of Ushuaia as Los Cauquenes, Arakur offers a stunning setting. They also provide a convenient shuttle service to the city center, departing every hour. While Arakur is larger than Los Cauquenes, it possesses the same level of beauty with a touch of modernity. The hotel is relatively new and features impressive facilities, including a magnificent spa and a stunning pool area that offers captivating views of Cerro Alarken.
Once settled in, I decided to unwind from our trek by spending some time at the pool, enjoying the serenity and admiring the picturesque surroundings. As it had been a long and eventful day, I opted to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, La Cravia. This spacious and airy restaurant boasts large windows that offer enchanting views of Cerro Alarken. They offer both à la carte and buffet options, and I chose the buffet to sample a variety of dishes. If you're staying at Arakur, I highly recommend dining here, as it perfectly complements the overall experience of the hotel. However, if you're not a guest at Arakur, Ushuaia offers other fantastic dining options to explore.
Day 4: Experience Tierra del Fuego National Park
This was the day to explore the Tierra del Fuego national park and the end of the world train. This time we went on a tour organized by Arakur hotel. Unlike the tours from Los Cauquenes, this tour was not as private and had a larger group.
I began by visiting Tierra del Fuego National Park, a remarkable natural wonder located just a short distance from Ushuaia. While it is possible to visit the park independently, I highly recommend taking a tour as it provides a curated experience, highlighting the best points of interest within this vast area. Fun fact is that it offers a rare opportunity to simultaneously immerse oneself in the beauty of lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and snow-capped mountains.
As I embarked on the tour, our first stop was the Correo Fin del Mundo, the famous "end of the world" post office, the most southernmost post office in the world where you have the opportunity to buy stamps, send postcards, and even have your passports stamped, adding a special touch to the journey.
Following this, I embarked on a short hike along a scenic trail that revealed stunning vistas of the Beagle Channel in the tranquility of nature and capture unforgettable moments.
Continuing the tour, we reached Lapataia Bay, which marks the end point of the Pan-American Highway, stretching from Alaska to this very point in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. As we journeyed through the forest, I was fortunate to spot a red fox, one of the iconic wildlife species in the park. Witnessing these creatures in their natural habitat added to the enchantment of the experience.
After our exploration of the national park, we embarked on the next chapter of our adventure—the End of the World Train. While I acknowledge that this is a popular tourist activity, I found value in learning about the history of Ushuaia. This historic steam train retraces the route that was once traveled by prisoners of the Ushuaia Penitentiary, who played a significant role in shaping the city's history. The train provided us with a unique perspective on the region's past, as well as its natural beauty. During the train ride, we made a stop at a station where we could admire a beautiful waterfall and capture some memorable photographs.
After the train journey, I returned to the city center and decided to grab a quick lunch and indulge in some local desserts and coffee at Tante Sara Cosas Ricas, a fantastic local bakery.
Once back at the hotel, we had some free time, and chose to go for a hike around the hotel's surroundings. Arakur offers a variety of trails to explore, right in its backyard. After a 30-minute hike, we treated ourselves to some relaxation time at the spa. This time, luck was on our side, and we managed to secure an appointment for a soothing massage. It was the perfect way to unwind after a day of walking and exploring.
In the evening, we had reservations at Kaupe, one of the highly recommended restaurants in Ushuaia. Perched on a hill overlooking the bay, this family-owned establishment offered an exceptional culinary experience. The service was top-notch, and the waiter took the time to explain each dish and its ingredients. I savored the scallop carpaccio and indulged in centolla (king crab) served in a creamy tomato sauce—an absolute delight. Kaupe also boasts an excellent collection of wines, and we paired our meal with a glass of sweet Malbec. For dessert, we treated ourselves to one of the richest chocolate mousses I have ever had. A true 5-star experience.
Day 5: Cruise down Beagle Channel + more in Ushuaia
On the final day, I embarked on a cruise along the stunning Beagle Channel. I had pre-booked the cruise through our hotel, but it's worth noting that you can easily find stands for various cruise vendors at the Ushuaia port, not far from the city center.
Near the port you can also visit the Tourism Center which has tons of useful information as well as provides you with the opportunity to stamp your passport with a variety of stamps (including Antarctica stamps). All cruises and excursions depart from this port. Initially, I had hoped to join a cruise that would take us to Isla Martillo, where we could walk among the penguins (between October and April). However, due to time constraints on our last day, we had to forgo this tour as it requires more time.
Another option to consider is a visit to Puerto Williams, a small town in Chile that claims to be the southernmost point. We embarked on the Elisabetta catamaran for our Beagle Channel cruise, and it proved to be a delightful experience. As we sailed through the channel, we made stops at the Mirador Canal Beagle y Andes Fueginos on Bridges Island where we embarked on a short hike. Back on the catamaran, we were treated to the sight of numerous sea lions and bird species resembling penguins. The catamaran also took us close to the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, providing us with unforgettable views. The entire trip lasted about three hours, which was the perfect duration to soak in the beauty of the channel.
After the cruise, I returned to the city center, where I enjoyed my final meal at Restoran Volver. This esteemed restaurant is known for its traditional cuisine and warm atmosphere. Specializing in centolla (king crab) and fresh seafood dishes, Restoran Volver offered a wonderful lunch experience. I opted for the chef's special, which featured a variety of fish and other seafood, including merluza (hake). It was a perfect dish for sharing and provided a memorable conclusion to our trip.
Our time in Ushuaia came to an end, filled with remarkable experiences, stunning views, friendly people and incredible flavors. I am very much looking forward to coming back in the winter and exploring the rest of this beautiful region - Patagonia.
More in Ushuaia
Other highly recommended restaurants (though not visited):
Maria Lola Resto
Kalma Kuar Resto
Bar Paso Garibaldi
Winter activities include Beagle Channel navigation, hikes, treks, and exploring the city center.
Ushuaia is home to several museums that are worth a visit. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to explore them all, but they come highly recommended.
The Maritimo Museum and the Museo del Presidio de Ushuaia, which was the old jail, provide insights into the history of Ushuaia and its prisoners.
The Museo del Fin del Mundo focuses on Fuegian culture and is another fascinating museum to explore.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Caitlyn Johnston’s guide, Adventure Travel in El Calafate, Argentina.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Argentina.