How to Reach:
Cost: 440 (EL Calafate to Rio Gallegos) + 600 (Rio Gallegos to Ushuaia) + 10 (Terminal fee)
You buy both tickets at the same place. The bus stops in Rio Gallegos for an hour.
My friends from Buenos Aires had tried very hard to convince me not to go there, My another friend from France (He was sort of my travel guide) told me ‘it’s nothing special but go if you really want to’. I knew it wouldn’t be any better than the places that I’ve already been to or maybe was about to visit but it’s one of the few places that I really wanted to visit before I took that flight to Brazil.
So I did make it there somehow (Hitchhiked) and honestly felt very accomplished after reaching there. I went for a walk that evening and next day decided to go for the only hike that was free of cost – Glacier Marciel. There’s another hike that’s free of cost but the starting point is too far to walk.
Hike Glacier Marciel:
Time: 1 hour one way
Difficulty level: Difficult
I personally liked the route to the beginning of the trek much more than the view from the top or anything else. The hike was also good but the view from the top was just average. I was not blown away by it. I was much more excited about the snowfall. It was not heavy snowfall but it was my first one so it would remain special to me.
I did not have gloves at that point which made me believe that it was also my last snowfall. I was convinced that I was going to die of cold. All I could think of during my descent was what are my parents going to tell their neighbors about my death that I died of snow on a trek that’s not even a ‘dangerous’ one. My palms started turning red and after some time, I couldn’t use them. No seriously, I couldn’t use my hands. It was funny and frustrating at the same time. I couldn’t click pictures, couldn’t go to pee, couldn’t even make myself any sandwiches.
While returning, I ended up taking another route which was the best part of the hike for me. I did manage to unzip my pants to pee (This, of course, is not the reason why it was the best part of the hike) but it took almost an eternity to zip up again. It would have been one hell of sight had someone showed up there.
Later in the evening, I went to this pub ‘Dublin‘ which is popular among travelers there. Great place to meet fellow travelers, I would say. It was super crowded but had good vibes. I left soon as I was still that person back then who didn’t enjoy partying, drinking or crowd. I went for a walk and told myself again ‘You really are here, Manisha Singh’.
My overall opinion about the place: It may not be one of the best places you’ll visit but the journey to Ushuaia is one of the most beautiful routes in Argentina (purely my opinion, of course)
A fun thing to do:
Do not forget to get your passport stamped at the tourist information desk with this cool ‘Ushuaia, fin del Mundo’ stamp. They have four choices and two sizes for each stamp.
Traveling to Antarctica from Ushuaia:
Antarctica is 1000 km from Ushuaia and there are tons of companies offering a tour to Antarctica. Jumping on a tour last minute can save you a lot of money. There’s no paucity of tours.