Ushuaia, the Southernmost City on earth. It is the capital of Tierra del Fuego Province, which displays, through its typical architecture and town planning, a past marked by European seamen, indian hunters and a prison with a gloomy reputation; all of which offer visitors different ways of learning about its history. The attractive landscape of the island shows unique natural sights, such as the sea, forests, glaciers and mountains.
This combination allows tourists to enjoy varied activities, ranging from fascinating boat excursions in the fuegian channels to Antarctic cruises. Undoubtedly, Ushuaia is one of the favourite destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.
By plane, from Buenos Aires (Argentina), Río Gallegos (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile). There are no regular buses connecting the Argentine provinces of Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. The trip, however, can be made by car. A ferry service is offered to cross the Straits of Magellan at its narrowest point, which is located 150 km before leaving the Chilean territory to enter the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego.
The aboriginal population was formed by Onas or Selknam and Yaganes or Yamanas and only at the end of the XIX century, European sailors started raising cattle in the area.
The Yámanas or Yaganes lived on both sides of the Beagle Channel and the adjacent channels up to Cape Horn, near the sea. They hunted sea wolves, one of their main food sources. Their body was long and wide in contrast to their inferior limbs. During the incursions of European sailors in the XIX century, The Yamanas were taken by surprise by the brigantine Beagle, after which the channel was later called. Thus were initiated the first contacts with white men.
Pioneers arrived attracted by commentaries on the existence of gold in the area. But the central government was interested in permanent residents, and so took as an example the policy of countries like France and Britain to build a prison in the archipielago. It was first built in States Island, and then in Bahía Golondrina, near Ushuaia, in 1902. It marked the characteristics of the city during the first half of the century.
In 1947 the central government closed the prison, and the building was acquired by the Ministery Of Marine to create in 1950 the Base Naval Ushuaia Almirante Berisso. The seventies marked another moment in the history of the city. Law 19.640 of industrial promotion was passed and many Argentinians from different provinces were attracted by the possibility of working and saving. Since then, Ushuaia´s population has been constantly increasing.