The end of the world

“The end of the world” sounds a bit drastic, but that’s how Ushuaia is sometimes referred to, as it is supposed to be the southernmost city of the world. It depends how you define city, this is correct or not. Puerto Williams, the town I started the trek to the Dientes de Navarino is even further south. But at the end: Who cares if it is the southernmost city or not. It is definitely beautiful. Embedded between the Beagle Channel and the mountains on the other side, it is a place to visit if you like the mountains. With around 70,000-90,000 inhabitants (I couldn’t find exact numbers) it is a city with a nice size. There are many chocolate and outdoor equipment stores and the prices are pretty decent. Here I bought my hiking boots as the one I brought, broke in the Torres del Paine.

Ushuaia is also the getaway to the Antarctica, but as cruises start from 5000€ onwards, I skipped this experience for now. Instead, I did the Dientes de Navarino, a hike to the glacier Martial, which is right above the city. As my hostel was a bit out of the city, it was the perfect starting point for the hike. First up through the city and later along a ski lift until getting on a smaller path up towards the glacier. The hike wasn’t very hard but at the end there was quite an ascent until the end of the path. You could have continued a bit further all the way to the glacier at your own risk, but as I was coming from the 4-day hike the previous day, I decided that this was the end of this trek for me. So I did not get to touch the glacier but I have seen some before, so I wasn’t too excited about it.

The top had a nice view of the city an parts of the Beagle channel, as well as the island of Navarino. Up here, I met a very nice Chinese girl, Vivienne. Unfortunately I don’t remember her Chinese name, just that it was translated “red rose”. She was a Chinese teacher in the US and would return to Beijing in August, so we exchanged numbers and I will probably contact her as soon as I am in Beijing. Knowing locals from a place is always nice.

The next day, I went to the National Park Tierra del Fuego or translated the land of the fire, the famous National Park in Ushuaia. It is just 15 kilometers outside of the city and I shared a taxi with Pablo from Buenos Aires and Pablo from Colombia and we set of to explore the National Park. As we were told, that you didn’t have to pay the entrance fee if you arrive before 8 am, we left very early. Apparently they changed the opening hours and they start charging starting from 7:30 am, so we had to pay the entrance fee anyways. Like always, foreigners have to pay over double the price that Argentinians pay.

There are various treks in the park, some pretty flat and others walking up mountains. As we didn’t have a car, we chose the path along the shore and towards the restaurant in the park.

The path was easy, just some light up and down for around 8 kilometers. This proved to be very long and exhausting to me because I was still tired from the 9-day trek in the Torres del Paine and, without a big rest, the 4-day trek around the Dientes de Navarino. It was a nice path with very beautiful views, but for me it was not as worth it, as I had seen similar scenery while being on the Island Navarino.

After a little break in the restaurant inside the park, we continued to the end of the Route 3, that runs all the way from Buenos Aires to this point.

Since all the three of us were very tired, we opted for some hitchhiking (actually my last one for now) out of the park. The couple was so nice to bring us all the way back to the hostel. From where I left the next day to Punta Arenas.

I liked Ushuaia a lot and I could have spent more days here as there are so many other treks to do but I was far too tired to do more. For me it was worth going all the way south to this city, even though I wasn’t that fond of the park but that obviously always depends on what you have seen before. It’s a nice place to spend a week or so.

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