Ushuaia: The Best Outdoor Experience for Penguins and Marine Museum Explorers
Ushuaia is the Gateway to Antarctica, the southernmost city in the world and a great start for exploring the scenic wildlife of Tierra del Fuego. The city offers some of the best outdoor activities, such as trekking to observe penguins in their natural habitat, navigating the Beagle Channel or visiting the “Maritime Museum in Ushuaia”. Whether you are planning to join a guided tour, take a boat excursion or enjoy a whale-watching tour, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience.
Walking with Penguins Experience in Ushuaia
Tired of the standard tours and attractions? Then it’s time to uncover a new wildlife wonder at its best. Musha Mallin is a secluded bay located on IslaMartillo, just 8 km north of Ushuaia. Visiting this national park is one of the most unique things to do in Patagonia.
What to Expect from the Walking with Penguins Tour?
Visiting this unique natural landscape is the perfect opportunity to spot Magellan penguins, one of the few penguin species in the world that you can observe near beaches and rocky shores. In addition, visitors can take a walk along the shores for stunning views of Ushuaia. The tour starts early in the morning in order to see penguins during their natural activities and ends at mid-morning. It lasts around two hours and is offered by several tour operators around Ushuaia.
Most tours will include transport from Ushuaia to Musha Mallin, a guided walk in search of penguins, continental breakfast with organic tea and coffee, as well as a DVD commemorative of your trip. Options are also offered for lunch BBQ from colonizers and fresh “algarrobina” dessert, which can be added for an extra fee.
What Else Can I Do at Musha Mallin?
This place was named a Natural Monument in 2003 due to its spectacular scenery, but it also has an archeological importance since it is home to the last former settlement of original inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego called Yamana. As part of their culture, they used to leave carved stone markers providing directions while kayaking. During the tour you’ll have a chance to explore this intriguing history as well.
This bay is a place with biological importance since it’s an important site for nesting birds and pupping seals, besides being an ideal place for spotting whales, orcas and dolphins. For this reason, it’s crucial for tourists to respect the rules of national parks and observe regulations such as not touching wildlife, standing at least 10 meters away from visible animals, not taking any souvenirs from nature and avoiding disturbing the tranquility of animals in any way.
Should you decide to take a different tour that does not include breakfast, you should bring some food and drinks with you since there are no snack stands nearby. Also, depending on the season, make sure to bring warm clothing and a hat since temperatures can drop below 0°C (32°F).
Ushuaia Maritime Museum (Museo Marítimo y del Presidio)
Located very close to Ushuaia’s historical site, this museum offers a journey through the past and the story of early European pioneering navigation around Tierra del Fuego. Founded in 1971 by famous Argentinean Armando Ordóñez, it was originally intended to convey the cultural heritage of the region. Now it has become one of the main local attractions and is known as the world’s southernmost museum.
What Can I See at Ushuaia Maritime Museum?
The exhibits of this museum are divided into three main galleries and presided over by the San Juan, a historic ship situated on the land outside of the facility. Inside these premises you can find a display of artifacts related to local seafaring heritage, including nautical maps and navigation instruments from ages past; models of local boats; photographs; rudder stocks; harpoons; documents and vessels’ flags.
The gallery dedicated to Tierra del Fuego will allow you to learn about Aboriginal customs, including tools used for fishing and hunting as well as Christian teachings from European colonization. Here you will find recreations of local dwellings with original tools and utensils exhibited and narrated by an audio guide which will provide you with additional information and tell you interesting stories about the customs of early inhabitants.
The entrance fee is relatively cheap if you compare with other tourist attractions around Ushuaia, especially taking into consideration all the audio guides, videos and additional supplementary material that are offered as part of your experience. You should also bear in mind that this is a small museum and while it allows groups up to 12 people maximum there is no cafeteria or restaurant on site.
For those who visit Ushuaia during winter months, except from bear fur hats (which almost everyone rocks here!) it may be wise to bring comfortable warm clothing since temperatures can go as low as -5°C (23°F).
Conclusion & Call to Action
Ushuaia offers some extraordinary opportunities for outdoor lovers who enjoy unique experiences of discovery, from spotting penguins on a beach exploring an offshore rock landmark at Isla Martillo to discovering maritime history at Ushuaia Maritime & Prison Museum. Ushuaia has something for everyone. So why not make it an adventure?
If planning a visit to Ushuaia, please make sure to book your outdoor adventure in advance through GetYourGuide, where you can find a great selection of different trips offered by certified partners that will make sure your trip is as safe as enjoyable.
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