Activities & Tours

Chile ski road trip
Ushuaia Argentina offers a modest number of activities. During winter and early spring, a popular activity is skiing or snowboarding at the Cerro Castor Ski Resort.

Backcountry Skiing Glaciar Martial

Backcountry ski touring provides an alternative to Cerro Castor for those with ski touring or split boarding equipment or snow shoes, and a desire to earn the turns. Martial Glacier goes up to 1,050 metres elevation, whilst the old chair lift goes from 330-520m which is where the snowline may be, so the real skiing vertical is realistically about 500m. The slopes range from mellow open bowls to reasonably steep chutes. One of the highlights is the amazing views across the city and the water.

Skiing at the Martial Glacier is ideal in winter or early spring when the snow is somewhat fresh, and the off-snow walk from the tea house up to the snowline is lessened.

The parking lot for the Glacier Martial is about 7km from downtown up a windy road, and it is a reasonably inexpensive taxi fare to get there. Usually there are taxis waiting for return trips.

The Ushuaia area also provides other backcountry skiing options with examples such as Cerro Portillo and Mt Alvear. And heli skiing is an option if you don’t want to hike.

There are a few backcountry ski tour guides in Ushuaia that can show you around. One example is  Guias Del Sur Mountain Specialists.

Other Winter Activities

The region also offers other winter and spring activities such as cross country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and ice skating.

Tierra Del Fuego National Park

The Tierra del Fuego National Park (Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego) is located about 11km west of Ushuaia. It is a coastal park with lots of nice bays and waterways, lenga trees, and mountains perched in the background. Whilst the national park is somewhat pretty, it’s not “blow your socks off” stunning.

It’s popular for hiking and the walks range from gentle 5 minute walks to all-day treks up mountains, although in winter the trekking can be difficult without snowshoes (and trails may be officially closed).

To get to the park you can catch a bus from downtown Ushuaia, go on a tour, or it’s best explored by getting a rental car.

A very touristy option is to take the historical Train of the End of the World (Tren Del Fin Del Mundo) from just outside the park (buses and tours connect with the train station). The train ride goes for one hour along a narrow gauge railway track that was built by the convicts to transport firewood. The scenery is reasonably impressive, but the train is rather costly and you only get to see a tiny part of the national park.

Boat Tour Beagle Channel

A great way to explore the area is to go on a boat tour along the Beagle Channel. Boat trips range in duration and may include passing by islands in the channel to observe bird lift and sea lions.

Or for the ultimate, head out with Pira Tour because their boat trips include a visit to “penguin island” (Martillo Island) where you can watch the penguin antics of two different species (Gentoo and Magellanic penguin) up reasonably close. During winter the magellanic penguins head up north to enjoy the warmer waters, but heading onto the island to only see the Gentoos is very worthwhile.

Museums

In downtown Ushuaia you’ll find the old jail which houses multiple museums/sections that cover maritime history, Antarctica information, the yamanas (the extinct natives), and the history of Ushuaia. Ushuaia started as a penal colony, and the old jail cells depict the history of the prison and what life was like for the prisoners.

Relaxation

A few of the upscale Ushuaia hotels have day spas, which offer a range of reasonably priced massages and treatments.
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