Alex and I took a 3-hour bus trip back down from El Chaltén to El Calafate, and then another 1-hour flight from El Calafate to Ushuaia, the capital of Isla Tierra del Fuego, Argentina on southern tip of South America.
Ushuaia AKA Fin Del Mundo (The southernmost city in the world). The southernmost city in the world is actually just a slogan used for tourism as well as the tourists headed for Antarctica. There are currently 3 cities use this slogan: Ushuaia in Argentina, Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams in Chile, but Puerto Williams is the absolute southernmost city by latitude.
We arrived Ushuaia in the afternoon. The city is surrounded by snow mountains. The weather was cold and windy, but still nice with blue sky and fluffy clouds.
We stayed at Hotel Austral, friendly and helpful staff, quiet, large and clean room, comfortable bed (Time to get some good sleep!), nice breakfast, Oh and heater, they got a heater and it was working well, yayy!!, and 5-minute walk to the beach.
We went to walk on the beach before sunset, there were vary type of birds there, our favorite ones were the funny but cute black huge ducks (I really don’t know what were that birds), they were hunting and eating small fishes and seemed like didn’t care about us human at all. We couldn’t help but kept watching them and stick around for almost an hour until the sun almost gone, and it was so cold and windy to stay outside then we went back to our nice and warm hotel; I loved this hotel (specifically, with that heater!).
Exploring Beagle Channel, worth spending time!
Came far to the southernmost city, so what we wouldn’t want to miss was exploring the important Beagle channel which being the border between Argentina’s island chain of Tierra del Fuego and Southern Chilean islands, not for most commercial shipping uses but at least for whales, yeah, to immigrate between Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. And to observe many interesting inhabitants in the area.
We booked an afternoon sailing trip through Hotel Austral which we had stayed with. Departing from Ushuaia 3 pm on a small yacht which limited to 25 people. There was also morning tour departing at 9 am. They said, the trip in the afternoon would be more cold and windy but exchanging with very beautiful sunset sceneries was worth doing it.
The tour took about 4-hour: sailing past Alice Island, home to large colonies of sea lions, and observing king, imperial, and rock cormorants perched on the rocky cliffs of Bird Island.
Afterward, we went for a short trekking in Bridges Island, admiring local floras and faunas, and archaeological ruins from the Yámana’s culture.
Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about what she’s doing. She told us about a lot of things and the most interesting one was Yámana People’s story.
Yámana People are one of the indigenous peoples of the southern tip of South America for more than 10,000 years. Their traditional territory includes all the islands south of Isla Tierra del Fuego to Cape Horn. They were truly nomads, lived in shelter, traveled by canoes between islands to collect food: the men hunted sea lions, while the women collected shellfish. Their bodies well adapted to the extremely cold climate with no clothing. Awesome facts?
The Yámana had all practically disappeared since 1911 after several epidemics. The last living full-blooded Yámana, Cristina Calderón, who reputed to still speak the Yámana language, now lives in Chile. She published a book of Yámana stories called Hai Kur Mamashu Shis (I Want to Tell You a Story) in 2005.
After spent about 30 minutes on Bridge Island, then we were heading toward to the famous Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, while hot beverages on board were served which saved us from being frozen. The sun was also setting and sceneries around turned to be like a fairytale.
When we were heading back to Ushuaia, we also saw some penguins appearing around the boat. That was also very nice one!
Eating the most delicious crab in the world
Another thing we wouldn’t want to miss in Ushuaia was eating fresh seafood, especially, King crab. For us, there were no any special lists to do about how to pick a restaurant, we just picked one that were opened (There were only some restaurants still working in autumn!) and then picked a crab from the tank, and it will be cooked for you in 20 minutes.
The whole steamed King crab served with rice, salad, sauce and scissors. Trust me, to crack the shell is easier than you would expect, easier than cracking blue or black crab shell! The crab meat was very delicious and sweet itself which I believe there is no needed to add anything else, only a glass of white wine!
So far, it was the most delicious crab in the world we have ever tried!
Have you ever been to Ushuaia? Did you go exploring Beagle Channel? Do you like it? And also did you try King Crab? Yummy yummy? Let’s share :)