Ushuaia seen from the Beagle Channel
Ushuaia seen from the Beagle Channel

Panorama

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The road out of Ushuaia
The road out of Ushuaia

This road heads south, toward the true "end of the world," where a handful of tiny villages are all that remains of the continent.

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Ushuaia harbor at dusk
Ushuaia harbor at dusk
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Skyline
Skyline
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The Andes looming over town
The Andes looming over town

A ramshackle city marches up the flanks of the mountains.

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Grafiti
Grafiti

Grafitti is everywhere, often humorous, sometimes grotesque, always colorful.

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View of port through fence
View of port through fence
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Horse overlooking town
Horse overlooking town

An aging nag out to pasture on a hillside overlooking town.

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Abandoned tower outside Ushuaia
Abandoned tower outside Ushuaia

This oddly dramatic structure, standing alone in a field outside down, seemed to have no clear purpose.

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Ushuaia in Argentina is the southernmost port in the world and lies at the extreme end of the American Continent where the Pan American Highway terminates. It is jammed into a small bay surrounded by the towering southern tip of the Andes. It is, as some call it, el fin del mundo, or the end of the world. 

 

This remote outpost,  first settled by English missionaries, was established as a prison colony by the Argentines in the late 19th century in order to secure a toe-hold in a land contested with Chile. Today's arbitrary zig-zag borders mean Ushuaia is all but cut off from land contact with Argentina. 

But Ushuaia is hardly desolate. It is a bustling port where dozens of cruises and expeditions to Antarctica embark. It is the home of a number of domestic and international tech companies. And it is the seat of the Argentine navy. It has all the hallmarks of a bustling frontier boomtown: a burgeoning population, rampant;  unplanned construction; tumble-down shacks next to modern apartments, all set against the towering Andes and an ominous Austral sky. 

El Fin dul Mundo