is the southernmost city in the world. It is located on the Beagle
Channel which is an important and strategic waterway for Tierra
del Fuego and Patagonia. This channel, along with the Strait of
Magellan, allows powered ships to avoid the long and dangerous passage
around Cape Horn when moving between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
In the late 1800's, Ushuaia was an Argentine penal colony. In the
1950's, it became an important Argentine naval base. The Argentinian
government has successfully induced people to move permanently to
Ushuaia with tax incentives and higher than average pay scales.
Now with over 50,000 people and still growing, this city at the
end of the world is the jumping off point for most cruises to Antarctica.
We visited Ushuaia both on our way to Antarctica and on the way
back. Flying into Ushuaia is a little scary when you see the runway
below ending at the water's edge.
embarking on our cruise ship, we were given a bus ride through Tierra
del Fuego National Park. Then we boarded a catamaran for lunch and
a cruise through the Beagle Channel. There are over 200 islands
in Tierra del Fuego. We passed large colonies of sea lions and cormorants.
Beautiful snow and glacier covered mountains could be seen along
On our way back home, when we got off our ship, we were given a
tour of the Maritime Museum which used to house the military prison
and Ushuaia jail. The old cells and prison facilities are still
available for visiting.
We were then driven up the mountain to the Glacier Hotel for a
delicious buffet lunch. We
were impressed with the beautiful watermellon carvings decorating
the table. This is a popular winter ski area with a ski lift right
outside the hotel. Unfortunately, the clouds covered the mountains
around the city.
For more photos of Ushuaia, click on Photo
Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to Aitcho
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