Ushuaia is surrounded by the beautiful peaks of the Andes, that stretches from Colombia to almost in Antarctica. The peaks aren’t that high in the southern part of the continent, but the southern location colours the peaks white and glaciers are abundant in this area. The peaks in Ushuaia are the last ones on the mainland. Hereafter the Andes dives under the water and comes to light now and then, for example the Malvinas or Falkland Islands. Ushuaia is the ideal base for beautiful day hikes. In almost all directions there are spectacular hikes into the mountains. This is our selection of the most beautiful hikes in Ushuaia.
The national park Tierra del Fuego is situated on the left side of Ushuaia. It is less spectacular than Torres del Paine or the Huemul Circuit in El Chalten, but still beautiful for an introduction to the Patagonian nature. Unlike the most parks in Argentina, there is an entrance fee for this park. With 390 pesos (€18) it is at high end. The entree is valid for 48 hours and inside the park you can camp for free on the park campings.
The walk to Cerro Guanaco is one of the most beautiful in Ushuaia. Above all, the views from the top are phenomenal. In the west side you see the snow capped peaks of the Chilean Andes, while the east side provides a beautiful view on the dark blue bay of Ushuaia.
The hike start at the Alaskush Visitor Center and is about 15 kilometers long. There is a sign shortly after the start which says four hours to the summit, but after two hours where standing at the top. It is, like most of hikes in Ushuaia, a steep climb which starts in the Patagonian forest, whereafter you will cross a swampy valley. The last part goes steep up on the dry mountain flanks, but the wind will probably help you reach the top.
If you don’t feel like walking the steep mountains, the Sendero Costera is an easier alternative inside the National Park. The hike starts at the parks post office and follows the coastline of the Bahia Ensenada to the Bahia Lapataia, where a sign with the end of the Pan-American Highway waits for you. It is an easy hike that is relatively flat and has beautiful views around every corner.
There are plenty of options if you prefer not to pay the high entrance fee of the national park. Some of them start in the city, while others are a some kilometers outside Ushuaia.
According to us, this is the most beautiful hike in Ushuaia. As well the hike as the destination are beautiful. The hike start in Barrio Andorra, in the north east of Ushuaia. The start of the trail goes through abandoned peat fields, and then starts climbing through the forrest until the Vinciguerra glacier. Just like all glaciers in Ushuaia, this one is retracted in fast pace. Ten years ago the glacier reached until the laguna de los tempanos, but nowadays it lies a hundred meters higher. The results are polished rocks and some fascinating caves inside the glacier.
The hike to Laguna Turquesa is a short one to a laguna in the mountains. The hike starts some 15 kilometers outside of Ushuaia, opposite to the start of the hike to more famous Laguna Esmeralda. After a steep climb through the forest, the trail continues up in the valley until the laguna.
The surroundings are full of lagunas, caves and waterfalls. Some other great hikes are to Laguna Esmeralda, Laguna Belgica and Cuevas de Alvear.
On the west side of the Barrio Ecologico starts the hike to Laguna Margot and Cerro del Medio. It is a pleasant hike through the forests and mountains. The trail is steep on some parts, but not to heavy in general. We used it as our training circuit for trail running during our two month stay in Ushuaia. On the way to the top you have nice views on Ushuaia, which looks like a little town from above, just like in the old days.
The least beautiful, but a very popular hike, goes to the Martial Glacier, which is barely a glacier these days. If you start the hike all the way at the start of the winding asphalt road, you will follow narrow trails through the forest. Once you arrive at the ski lift, the hike continues on the wide and bare ski slope, which isn’t very inspiring. The last part to the glacier is a little bit more challenging, but in the end there isn’t a nice reward. The glacier looks like a pile of snow and not like a glacier. From the city center of Ushuaia the glacier looks even more impressive.