The World’s Southernmost City

The Train at the End of the World. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
The Train at the End of the World. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
Rating
4.8/5

It was Day 7 on my NCL Cruise to Antarctica with time to visit Ushuaia, The World’s Southernmost City. When I was ten years old in Brooklyn, I remember reading a book called The End of The World. That story specifically chronicled a journey to and through Ushuaia, the capital of Terra del Fuego, Argentina. I told myself I would visit one day, and although it took decades to get there, I finally arrived!

Terra del Fuego, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Terra del Fuego, Argentina.

Ushuaia lies below the 54th parallel south latitude, which is why it claims the title of the world’s southernmost city. The word Ushuaia comes from the Yaghan language. Therefore, ush and waia (“bay” or “cove”) and means “deep bay” or “bay to background.” Ushuaia occasionally experiences snow in the summer (from November to March). Due to its high southern latitude, the city’s climate is influenced by Antarctica, and, as expected, it’s generally cold.

End of the World Combo

I chose a tour excursion titled End of the World Combo, and as I mentioned, I’ve waiting since age 10 to get there! Our first experience was on a catamaran. There, we navigated the Beagle Channel, passed Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, and viewed Martial’s Mountain. The weather was expectedly rainy, raw, and cold, so I stayed inside the boat.

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in Beagle Channel. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in Beagle Channel. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Next, we visited the beautiful Terra del Fuego National Park. The air was crisp and clean, as seen in the photos below.

Terra del Fuego National Park

Terra del Fuego National Park

A view of Terra del Fuego National Park. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

A lake view of Terra del Fuego National Park. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

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Traveling by bus, we arrived at The Southern Fuegian Railway or, as it’s also called, The Train of the End of the World. Originally built as a freight line to serve the prison of Ushuaia, it was designed to transport timber. The train now operates as a heritage railway into the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Hence, it is considered the southernmost functioning railway in the world.

Penal Colony

The story behind the railway construction is heartbreaking. In the late 19th century, Ushuaia on Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego developed as a penal colony with the first prisoners arriving in 1884. Treated poorly, prisoners suffered brutal weather conditions. The Cemetery of Trees is where prisoners chopped down the trees to build the tracks. In 1947 the governor closed the prison, replacing it with a naval base.

Here are photos from the train ride and The Train at the End of the World experience.

The Train at the End of the World. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

The Train at the End of the World. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

The End of the World Railway in Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

After we rode on The End of the World Railway, we went into town for a half-hour break. Here are photos of Ushuaia near the pier.

Ushuaia National Park. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Downtown Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

A double decker bus in Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Can you “feel” the cold!!

Ushuaia Airport, Ushuaia Argentina. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

More fun facts about Ushuaia

Ushuaia is one of the most incredible cities in the world, located at the very southernmost tip of Argentina – a place that we like to call the end of the world. The city boasts an intriguing past, having started out as a penal colony way back in 1884. Today, it’s a bustling hub of tourism and fishing.

Basically, the real showstopper of Ushuaia is breathtaking scenery. From snow-capped mountains to immense glaciers, you experience nature at its peak. And did you know that you can spot penguins walking around? Yes, those lovely fluffy creatures are the highlights of the city.

Southernmost Brewery

In addition to sightseeing, there are plenty of enjoyable activities. Hiking, skiing, and watching wildlife are just a few! And if you consider yourself to be a beer connoisseur, the “Cervecería Beagle” is a must-visit. It’s the southernmost brewery in the world known for its unique flavors and exotic blends of the city’s rich history and culture.

But wait, there’s more! If you are a history buff, you’ll be fascinated to know that the “Train at the End of the World” is a narrow-gauge railway that convicts used to take to work camps back in the day. Today, the railway line is open to the public, so you can experience history firsthand. What’s more, Lapataia Bay starts the world-famous Pan-American Highway – a journey that is nothing less than an adventure!

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of The Streets of Buenos AiresAntarctica in Its MajestyHello to Montevideo Uruguay, and A Walk with the Penguin

The World’s Southernmost City

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