Ushuaia, Argentina 🇦🇷 Gringo’s Guide
Part #4 from my trip to Patagonia...
Ushuaia, Argentina is one unique place. Hell, it’s unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before.
Nestled all the way on the southern tip of South America, Ushuaia has been labeled the “southernmost city in the world” — although that title has been challenged by Puerto Williams, Chile as of late.
Though many still consider Ushuaia to be the final frontier before Antarctica because Puerto Williams isn’t a “city” really, it’s more like a town.
Either way, Ushuaia is different.
Odd. Like stepping back in time a decade or two. For example, I was walking around downtown Ushuaia one chilly afternoon and I spotted a furniture store. One of those places where you rent furniture until you own it.
My buddy and I decided to walk in because we had sh*t else to do that afternoon. I expected modern furnishing like I’d find in many an Airbnb in Buenos Aires or even Bariloche.
To my surprise, the furniture in this store, supposedly some of the newer available furnishings in Ushuaia, looked like it should be on a 1990’s sitcom. It was like walking around the set of “Friends” in this furniture store.
But that’s to be expected in Ushuaia, Argentina. A city on the outskirts of civilization, far from the modernization of other Latin America cities.
And while visiting Ushuaia feels like stepping back in time, it’s also a damn good time.
The Argentinian city boosts some amazing tourism and is the gateway for visiting Antartica, as well. The spot is well worth a week or two of your life, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly while visiting.
Hanging out with penguins, “mushing” sled dogs, drunken ATV tours, and so much more.
But enough of me fluff, let’s dig into the nitty gritty of Ushuaia travel.
Below you’ll find everything you’d ever need to know about Ushuaia, Argentina 🇦🇷
How to Get to Ushuaia, Argentina 🇦🇷
I could write about the various ways to get to Ushuaia, Argentina.
However, there’s no need to overcomplicate getting to the one of the southernmost cities in the world…
You’ll want to book a flight!
Te lo juro.
Ushuaia is far, far away from the rest of the civilized world. If you want to get here, the absolute easiest way is to book a non-stop flight from one of the following cities:
You can also fly from Santiago, Chile and Bariloche, Argentina — both with layovers in Buenos Aires. The flight from El Calafate is quick, quick. It’s about three and a half hours from Buenos Aires depending on the weather.
Flying from Buenos Aires and/or El Calafate to Ushuaia generally cost anywhere from $75-200 USD one-way.
With how far away Ushuaia, Argentina is, I generally recommend not taking a bus here. You’ll be spending a full day or more on a bus to arrive at this city in the middle of nowhere. Not ideal.
However, it is possible to get to Ushuaia by land. Both by car and by bus.
Here’s how it’s done by bus:
You’ll have to arrive in Río Gallegos, a city nearly 600 km to the north of Ushuaia. You can take buses from El Calafate and Buenos Aires to Río Gallegos. These will be long, long trips — especially the Buenos Aires trip.
Once you arrive in Río Gallegos, you’ll be able to take a bus to Ushuaia. This bus has to hop over into Chile, which will require passing through customs. Then you’ll pass through the Strait of Magellan.
Eventually, around 10+ hours later, you’ll arrive in the city of Ushuaia.
This is the only way to get to Ushuaia by bus — unless you’re in Chile. In which case, you can travel from Puerto Natales to Puerto Arenas to Ushuaia. This route tends to take over a day, as you have to stop in Puerto Arenas and spend the night. Going through customs is also a concern again.
For individuals driving themselves to Ushuaia, here’s something else to consider. These are the distances from other cities in the region to Ushuaia…
Río Gallegos, Argentina: 594 km
Punta Arenas, Chile: 831 km
El Calafate, Argentina: 914 km
Río Grande, Argentina: 230 km
Buenos Aires, Argentina: 3194 km
Córdoba, Argentina: 3199 km
Bariloche, Argentina: 2178 km
Ushuaia is off-the-beaten path and hard to get to — no matter how you slice it.
As such, this gringo only recommends flying to Ushuaia. Anything else is simply too much of a pain in the arse.