Argentina. Ushuaia

Population: 45 million (2019 estimate)
Capital city: Buenos Aires
People: 85% European descent, 15% mestizo, native and other minorities
Language: American Spanish, plus 17 native languages
Religion: 93% Roman Catholic, 2.5% protestant, 2% Jewish, 1.5% Ukrainian catholic, 1% Armenian orthodox

Passports: anyone entering Argentina should have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry, and ideally past the date the passport holder leaves the country.

Visas: nationals of Canada, most Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Argentina. Upon arrival, most visitors get a 90-day stamp in their passport. Canadians must pay a ‘reciprocity fee’ before arriving. Ideally it will be reminded when buying the airplane ticket: this fee is equal to what Argentines are charged for visas to visit those countries. The fee is paid online and with a credit card.

Customs Regulations: electronic items (laptops, cameras and mobile phones) can be brought into the country duty free, provided they are not intended for resale. If you have a lot of equipment, it is recommended to take an item list with the serial numbers and preferably the purchase receipts.

Electricity: Argentina’s electric current operates on 220V; 50Hz; plugs are C/I type. Adapters are readily available from almost any ferretería (hardware store). Most electronic equipment (such as cameras, telephones and computers) are dual/multi-voltage, but some equipment may require a voltage converter or you might short out your device.

Internet Access: Wi-Fi is available at most hotels, cafes, restaurants and airports, and it’s generally good and free. In remote spots like El Chaltén and other parts of Patagonia Wi-Fi service may be usually poor.

Mobile Phones: it’s best to bring your own unlocked tri- or quad-band GSM cell phone to Argentina, then buy an inexpensive SIM chip (you’ll get a local number) and credits (or carga virtual) as needed. All SIM Cards now must be registered to users before they can be activated. In theory, a foreigner can activate a SIM card with identification. Both SIM chips and credits can be bought at many kiosks or “locutorios”.

Money: ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants. ATMs can also be used for cash advances on major credit cards (not all foreign cards work in ATMs). They’re the best way to get money, and nearly all have instructions in English. Limits on withdrawal can be very low, though the withdrawal fee can be relatively high. Banelco ATMs tend to allow larger withdrawals. In some spots in Patagonia (El Calafate and El Chaltén, e.g.) and most touristic destinations they quickly run out of cash in high season.

Cash: the Argentine unit of currency is the peso (AR$). Notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos. One peso equals 100 “centavos”; coins come in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 centavos, as well as 1, 2 and 5 pesos. Currently, US dollars are accepted by many companies dedicated to tourism, but it is always recommended to carry some pesos.

Credit Cards: many (but not all!) tourist services, larger stores, hotels and restaurants – especially in the bigger cities – take credit cards. The most widely accepted are Visa and MasterCard, though American Express and a few others are valid in some establishments. Important: many places will give a small discount if you pay in cash rather than use a credit card.

Money Changers: US dollars are by far the preferred foreign currency, although Chilean and Uruguayan pesos can be readily exchanged at the borders. Cash dollars and Euros can be changed at banks and “casas de cambios” (exchange houses) in larger cities, but other currencies can be difficult to change outside Buenos Aires. Passport is needed to change money; we strongly suggest avoiding any sort of street-tout money changer.

Tipping: restaurants and cafes: it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Spa: 15% of the bill. Hotel staff, delivery people, hotel and bus porters and taxi drivers: give a few bills.

Opening Hours:
Banks 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday.
Bars 7 pm / 9 pm to 4 am / 6 am nightly.
Cafes 6 am to midnight or much later; open daily.
Clubs 1 am / 2 am to 6 am / 8 am Friday and Saturday.
Office business hours 9 am to 6 pm.
Restaurants Noon to 3:30 pm and 8 pm to midnight or 1am (later on weekends).
Shops 9 am / 10 am to 8 pm / 9 pm Monday to Saturday.


Mention Argentina, and people think about solitary gauchos or maybe tango dancers. It is country blessed with abundant natural resources and a highly educated population. The country boasts a wide variety of cultural attractions, but for many travelers, its natural wonders are the primary draw. From the northern deserts down to the southern Andean Cordillera, from the Iguazú Falls to the magnificent desolation of Patagonia, Argentina's geography is varied and stunning. For cosmopolitan types, there's the elegant capital, Buenos Aires. This fabulous city is renowned for its sophistication, although travelers expecting a more 'South American' experience are sometimes disappointed with its European touch.

It's a large country - the eighth largest in the world, and the second largest on the South American continent. It borders Chile to the west (separated by the Andean Cordilleras range) and Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia to the north and east (separated by rivers). It also shares the offshore island territory of Tierra del Fuego with Chile, and continues claiming the possession of the Malvinas Islands (Falkland Islands) and the Antarctic territory, where Argentina has installed several scientific bases, including the most famous: Marambio.

Argentina's topography is affected by both latitude and altitude, and is accordingly varied. The country can be divided into four major physiographic provinces: the Andes to the west (with arid basins, grape-filled foothills, glacial mountains and the Lake District), the fertile lowland north (with subtropical rainforests), the central Pampas (a flat mixture of humid and dry expanses) and Patagonia (a combination of pastoral steppes and glacial regions).


BETWEEN SEA AND MOUNTAINS (WITH SNOW SHOES)

Conquering the southernmost city of the world, right next to the Beagle Chanel its Martial Glacier. From the top, breathtaking panoramic views of Ushuaia Bay are a must for those who visit the city during winter. This half day tour allow us to get to know one of the most magical and symbolic spots of Ushuaia. During the climb with snowshoes the path takes the visitor to landscapes of sea and snow even more and more amazing at every step. At the glacial valley you'll enjoy a hot drink while the guide explains how the surrounding areas were eroded by the glaciers that covered this area. Descending down the ski run we’ll enter the woods where we’ll ride the zip line, a completely different way to enjoy the nature in this latitude: sledding downhill and overflying the stream with all the security measures required. On the other side of the stream lunch will be waiting for us inside our dome in the middle of the woods. The tour ends with a hike to the foothills of Martial Glacier. Meals: toasts, lentil stew, dessert. Mineral water, soft drink, Patagonia wine. Medium difficulty Trekking: around 2 / 2:30 hs. Height gain: 750 ft. Distance covered: 2,8 miles. Minimum recommended equipment: suitable footwear for trekking, waterproof jacket, warm clothes, sunglasses, backpack, sunscreen, gloves, and hat. **All descriptions and itineraries are for illustration purposes: the timing of the activities and their order may vary, and this applies also to the attractions, as the actual development of the tour depends on the guide’s decisions based on the group’s specific conformation and the evaluation of the conditions for the tour.

GABLE ISLAND & PENGUIN ROOKERY WITH CANOEING

This full-day excursion takes passengers for a ride, to navigate, to walk and to make discoveries in one of the roughest and most beautiful places in Beagle Channel. Once we arrive to Lasiphashaj river, and wearing rubber boots, overpants and life-jackets provided by us, the group starts a canoeing adventure down the river that leads into the sea. Once canoeing on the Beagle Channel, we set course to the ranch. Along the way we may encounter wildlife: lots of different sea birds. Also, it is not unusual to find sea lions sunbathing in little islands in our way to Harberton port. After 2 hours on the rafts and a short stop on mainland, we leave on a motor boat towards Martillo Island, where we will have the chance to see penguins in their breeding lair. Then the motor boat take us to our main atraccion at Gable Island, where we have some snacks, good wine and a delicious meal. After a nice cup of cofee were go for a hike to know more of this gorgeous island, crossing over beaver damms and through the forest to reach the Beagle Channel shore where we will take the boat to start our return to Ushuaia. 8:00/8:30 Pick up from the hotel. 10:15 Arrival to the Lashifashaj river, paddling technique and safety briefing & canoe prompting. 12:15 End of canoeing. Arrival to Harberton Ranch. 12:30 Navigation bound towards the penguin rookery at Martillo Island and Gable Island. 12:50 Penguin watching. 13:10 departure to Gable Island. 13:30 Arrival an disembark on Gable Island. 13:45 Lunch. 15:00 Hike around the Island. 17:00 Sailing back to Harberton Ranch and ride back to Ushuaia. 18:30 Arrival to Ushuaia.

GREAT ADVENTURE 4X4

Adventure, emotion and the best sights of one of the most beautiful places in Tierra del Fuego awaits North of Ushuaia. The Great 4x4 Adventure is the best way to know Fagnano Lake, the fifth in size in Argentina, while travelling challenging off road circuits with specially designed vehicles prepared to overcome almost any obstacle which might crop up while exploring alluring forests and the coast of the lake. Leaving Ushuaia and heading towards the Garibaldi Pass across the Andes, enjoy a great lookout of the Escondido Lake, a small marvel hidden at the end of a valley. Here starts a tour running old unused roads, passing by Fagnano and Escondido Lakes. On board powerful 4x4 vehicles, the guides drive the passengers to discover the forest by impossible mud roads, roads that become paths ending at the Lake coast. The landscape opens during the longest and more intense 4x4 tour in Tierra del Fuego. The skills of both vehicles and drivers can overcome all types of difficulties to get to an exclusive refuge in the centre of a natural environment, far away from the noise of modern life. Once in the forest close to Fagnano Lake there are free time to walk and explore while the guide prepares a typical Argentine barbecue, to be enjoyed with a Malbec wine from Patagonia to be shared with the group in a relaxed environment. Itinerary: 8:30/90 am Pick-Up from the hotel. 10:30 am Garibaldi Pass across the Andes. 11 am Escondido Lake. 11:30 am Off-Roading 12:30 pm Snack 1 pm More Off-Roading. 2 pm Fagnano Lake. Arrival to the refuge. Lunch 4 pm Return to Ushuaia. 6 pm Arrival. Meals: Choripan (grilled Argentine sausage sandwich, Argentine prime beefsteaks & salad, dessert. Drinks Included: Red Wine, soft-drinks, bottled water. Vegetarian menu available, please tell us in advance. Capacity: Agrale Marrua (7 passengers + 1 guide/driver) OR Land Rover Defender (8 passengers + 1 guide/driver)

LAKES OFF ROAD

Lakes Off-Road is our amusing, intense and friendly way to discover the secrets hidden behind the Southern Andes Range. Far away from the routine of the conventional excursions, it is just the right thing to do for any kind of traveler. Have a relaxing day, traveling and having fun in a trip with some serious off-road experiences! From above the Andes, we’ll get a view of Lago Escondido (Hidden Lake), a little wonder that hides at the bottom of a valley. Afterwards, the enormous Lake Fagnano, impressive and great, we’ll be the main attraction. Fun and enjoyment never depend on the weather: in our 4x4 vehicle we will go through the forest and across rivers defying muddy tracks, and by the shore of lake with unique views. Once arrived to our refuge; the guide’s congeniality, the barbecue and the Argentine Malbec shared with travelers from all over the world certainly will be worthy to be remembered. This adventure is accessible to anyone who whishes to have fun and break free from all limitations by getting to know in deep a forest beyond words. Itinerary: 8:30/9:00 Pick-Up from the hotel. 10:30 Garibaldi Pass across the Andes. 11:00 Escondido Lake. 12:00 Off-Roading -1 hour- 13:00 Fagnano Lake. Arrival to the refuge. 13:30 Lunch. 15:30 Return to Ushuaia. 17:00 Arrival Meals: choripan (grilled Argentine sausage sandwich, Argentine prime beefsteaks & salad, dessert. Drinks included: red Wine, soft-drinks, bottled water. Vegetarian menu available, please tell us in advance. Vehicle: Toyota SW4 (6 passengers + 1 guide per vehicle)

LAKES OFF ROAD & CANOEING

North from to city of Ushuaia, 100 km long Lake Fagnano divides the island in two. On our way there, we take you first to know Lake Escondido, to experience it, and to row in its waters during this tour that joins adventure, physical activity and fun. After crossing the Andes Range, and some big glacial valleys and peat bogs, at Garibaldi Pass, we’ll get the first view of Lake Escondido. We’ll drive by the coast of this lake to later go on its waters in very safe and stable canoes. As soon as we finish the canoeing activity, we will get into the forest. Through impossible paths, we’ll defy mud, water, fallen trees, and pot-holes… Our guides are experts in off-road driving, and they’ll take us on a roller-coaster like ride through the forest until we reach the endless shore of Lake Fagnano, one of the most pristine areas in Tierra del Fuego, where we will find shelter in our refuge. The guide’s company and the meal we serve will certainly be remembered as one of the highest points as surely will be the Malbec, the argentine wine that is already famous worldwide. The after-lunch conversation will be the prelude to our return to the city. North from Ushuaia, excitement, beauty, unexpected views, physical adventure and discovery are waiting for you. Itinerary: This schedule is for illustration purposes. The definitive timetable and tour plan are due to be agreed with the passenger(s). - 8:30/9:00 pick up from the hotel. - 10:30 Garibaldi Pass. Crossing over the Andes. - 11:00 Canoeing on Lake Escondido. - 12:15 Off-Road - 13:15 Arrival to Canal's refuge. - 13:45 Lunch. - 16:00 Return to Ushuaia. - 17:30 Arrival to Ushuaia Meals: choripan (Argentine sausage sandwich), Argentine prime beefsteaks & salad, dessert. Drinks included: Red wine, soft-drinks, bottled water. Vegetarian menu available, please tell us in advance.

TREKKING IN THE VALLEY (WITH SNOW SHOES)

This half-day tour is an invitation to enjoy winter in the Tierra del Fuego Glacier Valleys, forests and snow-covered mountains in a direct and pleasant contact with Nature. It has been designed for visitors not used to activities in slow temperature places. We intend to let you discover and admire beauty in a panoramic and quiet place, very close to Ushuaia and far from big tourist groups. The tour starts at 9 AM from your hotel with a short 20 Km drive to the Natural Reserve in Tierra Mayor Valley, alongside the Alvear Mount, where winter snow creates alluring sights. This hike of moderate duration and difficulty will allow you to get in close contact with an absolutely unbelievable landscape in a short period of time enjoying the sights and the deep silence of the place. Itinerary is adapted to the weather conditions of the day and the physical characteristics of the group: it will be sufficient for passengers to dress adequately for this type of tour and that they have no mobility problems. After a short trek, we will get to a forest refuge where passengers will find the adequate equipment according to the weather conditions of the day. Should there be a lot of fresh snow they will be offered snow shoes, but if the snow is compact or if there is ice, crampons will be provided. In any case, this is an easy-to-use equipment to allow a pleasant trek; this activity does not requiring previous experience. You will walk across an old woodcutter’s path with snow poles to reach the valley, from where you will be able to spot the Alvear Mount. Trek continues Eastbound, bordering the forest to reach a viewpoint where the panoramic landscape can be observed: Lenga forest, river and the magic sight of Tierra Mayor covered by a white snow and ice mantle. A dome tent with a good fire will be there, with hot beverages and snacks. From that spot you will have a superb view of the Alvear Mount, the Beban Pass and the Bonete and Cara Blanca Hills. We will get to the first refuge through a different path, with incredible views of the West and North sectors of the frozen Valley. After leaving the trekking equipment in the refuge, we will be on our way back to Ushuaia, estimating arrival at 1:30 PM. Itinerary: 09:00/09:20 AM Hotel pick up 09:50 AM Path start 10:00 AM Refuge. Trekking equipment 10:15 AM Trekking start 11:30 PM Valley viewpoint 11:45 PM Snacks and hot beverages 12:15 PM Trekking 01:00 PM Refuge 01:30 PM Ushuaia **All descriptions and itineraries are for illustration purposes: the timing of the activities and their order may vary, and this applies also to the attractions, as the actual development of the tour depends on the guide’s decisions based on the group’s specific conformation and the evaluation of the conditions for the tour.

VINCIGUERRA GLACIER TREKKING

A full day hike starts in a valley bogs and through the woods to reach a glacier and a lake thaw. The tour will start in the morning. The transfer will start from the hotel to the Valley of Andorra, where it has settled one of the developments that characterize spontaneous Ushuaia. After leaving the vehicle, the walk starts along a river melt water its path forms a meander and runs the mob. This wet and slippery ground will be present in much of the walk and the climb; so it is very important wear appropriate footwear. Once in the forest, the ascent is constant and intense at the beginning and less inclined later. Once past the limit of vegetation, and above 600 meters, we find that above the treetops be seen the mountain range that frames the valley behind us and its rugged peaks. A walk along the watercourse and a final climb up the front moraine that the glacier left the retreat, take the group to the most special moment of the tour. Once on the edge of the moraine Lagoon Icebergs discovered and behind him the huge and imposing glacier downs the southern slope of the hill Vinciguerra: the second highest of the Argentina part of Tierra del Fuego. Itinerary: 9:00 Pick Up by hotel 9:30 Start of trekking: moderately difficult to difficult 11:30 Arrival at the limit of vegetation 12:30 Arrival and exploration Lagoon Vinciguerra Glacier and Icebergs 13:30 Lunch at the foot of the glacier 14:30 begins the descent 17:00 Arrival to the vehicle 17:30 Arrive at hotel

WALKING WITH PENGUINS (ISLA MARTILLO) FULL DAY

This active experience takes us on a journey by sea and land, sailing the Beagle Channel and walking to discover one of the most wild and beautiful places of Tierra del Fuego. Departure from Touristic Pier towards Paso Chico to get into the majestic and mystic Beagle Channel and Rocky Island, home of several birds' species and sea mammals. Minutes later, the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse will show up in front of us. We will go on sailing through the centre of the Beagle Channel from where we will be able to see the City of Puerto Williams (Chile). We reach Estancia Harberton and embark on a semi-rigid boat to Isla Martillo (15 minutes sail). On the island, we take a guided walk along Papúa and Magellanic penguins. We can also see several birds’ colonies, such as Albatros, Petreles, Skuas, Cormoranes, Jotes, Gaviotines sudamericanos. After this 1-hour-experience we return to Harberton (the first farm on the island, founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges) and will have some free time to visit the building, before returning to Ushuaia by minibus. Itinerary • 08:30am Check-in at tourist dock • 09:00am Sail on board the boat "Les Eclaireurs" • 10:00am Arrival at Isla de Pájaros, wolves and Faro Les Eclaireurs • 11:30am Arrival at Harberton • 12:00pm 1st group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 2nd group: Lunch at Estancia (by passengers) • 01:30pm 2nd group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 1st group: Lunch at Estancia (by passengers) • 02:45pm Visit to the Acatushun Museum • 03:30pm Climb the bus back to Ushuaia with stops at scenic points along the way • 05:00pm Arrival in Ushuaia

WALKING WITH PENGUINS (ISLA MARTILLO) HALF DAY

Departure from the tourist dock in Ushuaia by modern minibuses towards northeast along National Route N° 3 and “J” route to get Estancia Harberton (90 km away from Ushuaia and 1.30 h drive approx.) We reach Estancia Harberton Ranch and embark on a semi-rigid boat to Isla Martillo (15 minutes sail). On the island, we take a guided walk along Papúa and Magellanic penguins. We can also see several birds’ colonies, such as Albatros, Petreles, Skuas, Cormoranes, Jotes, Gaviotines sudamericanos. After this 1-hour-experience we return to Harberton (the first farm on the island, founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges) and will have some free time to visit the building, before returning to Ushuaia by minibus. AM Itinerary • 07:45am Check-in at tourist dock • 08:00am Departure by BUS to Estancia Harberton with stops at panoramic points • 09:45am Arrival at Harberton • 10:00am 1st group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 2nd group: Visit to the Acatushun Museum • 11:00am 2nd group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 1st group: Visit to the Acatushun Museum • 12:30pm Return by BUS to the tourist port • 02:00pm Arrival in Ushuaia PM Itinerary • 02:15pm Check-in at tourist dock • 02:30pm Departure by BUS to Estancia Harberton with stops at panoramic points • 03:45pm Arrival at Harberton • 04:00pm 1st group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 2nd group: Visit to the Acatushun Museum • 05:00pm 2nd group: Crossing to Isla Martillo | 1st group: Visit to the Acatushun Museum • 06:30pm Return by BUS to the tourist port • 08:30pm Arrival in Ushuaia