Tomas Haupt - Nov 4, 2008

Ushuaia, the capital of the Argentine province Tierra del Fuego, has been often referred to as the southernmost city of the world. Whether the claim is legitimate or not does not really matter. The city and its unique historical background are an absolute rarity and thus deserve to be placed in bold on the map of the tourist landmarks around the world. Until the late 1940s, Ushuaia served as the ultimate jail for the most serious criminals. Whoever arrived here had absolutely no chance to escape; that is why tourists will come across the words ‘the end of the world’ very often here.


There are many appealing sights and attractions in the province. The most shocking is clearly the old prison. In fact, the entire city grew around the prison thanks to those unfortunate, who were punished to spend the rest of their lives here. Those, who behaved well, had a chance to work outside of their cells and helped build the city as well as the infamous railway. An absolute must here is a ride on the “End of the World” train. The prison was closed in 1947 and has been transformed into a museum. Wax figurines help retain the scary and dark atmosphere and keep a hint of the old times still alive.


An old prison is, naturally, not the only reason why tourists come here. The Tierra del Fuego National Park is a marvel, where outdoor enthusiasts may spend days trekking, horseback riding and mountain biking. It also belongs to the most popular fishing areas and birdwatchers often gather here to enjoy the variety of birdlife. Orcas and penguins also attract considerable international attention. The lakes Escondido and Fagnano also present impressive highlights of the province.


There are many trip options which the keen travelers will appreciate – especially those across the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn up to Argentine Antarctica. An interesting cultural tour may take the tourists to the yámana settlement, a reconstructed sight which uncovers the roots of local aborigines.


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