It’s official… I made it to the end of the earth! Ushuaia (pronounced oo-shwhy-ah) is a charming little town where travellers from all over jump off on trips to Antarctica. Its name means “bay that comes from the west.”
It’s a city of about 70,000, but not that long ago in the 1940s it was a town of about 1,500! It has grown due to government and military work, as well as tourism of course. And, that’s why I am here!
Our great G Adventures Chief Experience Officer Kris arranged a four hour boat ride on a catamaran to try and get a glimpse of penguins. Were we surprised when we realized he arranged a spot for us in the “VIP” section up top (covered) where all my tour mates could relax and have fun together. It was a great and comfortable trip.
We started our journey of the Beagle Channel and within about a half hour, we saw Cormorants – really pretty birds that look a lot like penguins (but they fly).
This channel is interesting because in places Argentina is on one side, and Chile is on the other – and we passed Puerto Williams, the world’s southern most town (Ushuaia lays claim to being the world’s southern most city). We also pass the “Lighthouse at the end of the earth.”
After another short ride, we ran into a group of sea lions. For me personally, these animals were the ones I was most excited to see. They really smell however. A lot. They were making a lot of noise as we circled the big rocks and it was really interesting for me to see them up close.
After about another hour, we arrived at our destination – to see the penguins! They just arrived for the summer from Antarctica two weeks ago, so we are very lucky to see some. We started by seeing the Magellanic penguin (all black).
Then, we found some Gentu penguins (have orange on their beaks).
These were all really cute little guys, waddling around as we watched them. This is also where I became a human tripod for taller people behind me on the boat. Thanks to Kris, everyone in my group always got early cues to head outside and position ourselves for great photos. People behind us were pretty pushy indeed!
The two hour boat ride included a champagne toast, and just general happiness about our day in Ushuaia… and our trip so far. Yet another perfect weather day – very little wind. Amazing!