8 interesting facts about Ushuaia that you probably did not know
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Below, we explain the reasons why Ushuaia is a unique place in Argentina and worth visiting. Ushuaia features interesting facts like no other city in the world. Let’s find them out.
1. USHUAIA IS THE END OF THE WORLD
Ushuaia bears the mark of the End of the World and that is what makes it unique to any other destination. You may visit other cities on the planet that are surrounded by mountains or sea, but you will not experience that feeling of really being at the End of the World.
The city is located at latitude 54° south, more than 3,000 km from the city of Buenos Aires and 1,000 km from Antarctica. There are many things that are the southernmost in the world, such as the southernmost forest, the End of the World Train, the southernmost golf course, the southernmost colony of Magellanic penguins and many more things that we invite you to find out
2. THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL LOCATED ON AN ISLAND
Ushuaia is located on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. This island is surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and separated from the continent by the Strait of Magellan and bordered to the south by the Beagle Channel.
To get there by car, you have to drive across the whole Patagonia and cross the Strait of Magellan by ferry to get to the island. This sometimes makes it almost unreachable, but every year more and more travelers dare to make this adventure by car.
3. THE ONLY ARGENTINEAN CITY BEHIND THE ANDES MOUNTAIN RANGE
This city is located at the foot of the Andes mountain range. One of the things that makes it unique is that this mountain range instead of stretching from North to South, as elsewhere in the American continent, it is oriented from West to East due to a tectonic fault.
Ushuaia is located on the southern slope of the mountain range. To reach the north of the country, you have to cross the Andes through the Garibaldi Pass. This is perfectly visible in our excursion to Lago Escondido and Fagnano.
4. UNIQUE LANDSCAPE
Do you enjoy mountains but also watching sea fauna? Ushuaia has it all. You can walk a few kilometers away from the city and reach high mountain environments, or you can sail with us to Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse to see birds and sea mammals that inhabit the Beagle Channel. That is why we claim that this is the only place in Argentina that combines mountain, forest and sea.
5. GATEWAY TO ANTARCTICA
Did you realize that Ushuaia is closer to the white continent than to the city of Buenos Aires? As mentioned above, we are 1,000 km away from Antarctica. If we compare the cities of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Chile, Argentina has the closest port to Antarctica. For this reason, many Antarctic cruises and scientific expeditions arrive to our city during the summer. Some tourists come to Ushuaia to buy the last tickets to board these ships.
In addition, big cruise ships with more than 2,000 passengers arrive in the summer. They cruise from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (Chile) and visit Ushuaia for a couple of hours.
6. FUEGIAN ARCHITECTURE
One of the aspects that catches the tourists’ attention is the amount of wooden houses covered with sheet metal. It is typical of Patagonia, but houses made of those materials are still being built here in Ushuaia. If you walk around downtown, you will find several houses from the early 20th century that are preserved in their original form. Also, if you walk a little further away from the old town, you will find in Paseo de las Rosas, in front of the hospital, four houses of Fuegian architecture that were originally located downtown and were placed there to preserve them. The houses have low roofs to maintain the temperature of the home, as well as gabled roofs for snow fall. To maximize sunlight, the houses have bow windows. All the houses have a cold hall or porch so that the interior of the house does not lose heat when the outside door is opened. It is also the place where we put the coats, shoes and, in winter, the sleds or skis.
7. USHUAIA WAS BUILT DIFFERENTLY FROM OTHER PATAGONIAN CITIES.
Ushuaia was founded in 1884 and, a few years later, The Prison and Jail for Recidivists was built. Its purpose was to maintain a permanent Argentinean population in the southernmost end of the continent. As a result, the most feared prisoners of Argentina arrived to serve their sentences at the End of the World, building their own prison.
In the building where The Prison operated from 1902 to 1947, today the Maritime and Prison Museum is located in the heart of the city. From there, the prisoners’ train originally departed to go into the forest where the Tierra del Fuego National Park is located today.
8. SOUTHERNMOST NATIVE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
In the region where the city of Ushuaia is located, the Yaghan people lived, a nomadic and canoeist people that inhabited from the shores of the Beagle Channel to Cabo de Hornos. They navigated the Fuegian channels as a family with canoes made of tree bark and hunted sea lions, fish and birds with harpoons. Although their population decreased sharply with the arrival of the white man, today their descendants live in our city.
As there were no native peoples on the white continent, the Yaghan are the ones who lived the furthest south of the planet. Although many imagine them covered with furs because of the low temperatures, they lived completely naked thanks to their adaptation to the weather and because they smeared sea lion fat on their bodies. To learn more about this incredible culture, I recommend you visit the End of the World Museum.
If we have already convinced you, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help you plan your trip to Ushuaia.