What to Do
Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina

Pira Tours to the Penguins

Patagonia is big on eco-tourism. You should be too! As it keeps sapiens from destroying the local wildlife’s habitats.  Make sure you book this tour at least 6 months in advance, you will be turned down if you don’t have a booking unless there is a cancelation.    It is well worth it!  You travel about an hour by bus through the beautiful countryside of Ushuaia to the oldest ranch in the region where you are refueled then put on a boat to Isla Martillo, the penguin colony.  Walking around with these wonderful creatures – watching them nest their fuzzy little young chicks was the most incredible experience.  A few followed us around barking at us, others ran away into their nests.

Quite the magical time for my boyfriend to propose!


Take a tour via Canoe through Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego National Park is where to hike in Ushuaia. You have the option to take specialized guides around the park to maximize your trek, seeing everything you want.  If you decide to take a tour we suggest Get Your Guide

This tour itinerary is:

Depart from the hotel by minibus to Ushuaia National Park, where you will enjoy beautiful views of the Beagle Channel and start trekking through the coastal path. The 7 kilometers of travel allows you to meet the diverse flora and avifauna of the channel, and the traces of ancient settlement yámanas. After the 3 hour walk, you’ll get to access the Lago Roca where you’ll get a hot lunch. Then you will start with the canoe ride down the River Lapataia. This river brings you to the Lapataia bay in the Beagle Channel, precisely where the Panamerican Route and Nacional Route No. 3 culminates. Return to Ushuaia in a minibus. On this tour, you walk through the woods and row through lakes and rivers, all within the park that preserves the farthest forests in the south of Argentina.

Laguna Esmeralda

Have you ever seen a lake this green?  Laguna Esmeralda is a must do for the Patagonia explorer. Navigating the fairytale forest of lenga trees with their shallow roots, swampy bogs, and beaver dams is a task.  You will see entire trees uprooted and on their sides, roots in the air. This is because you are standing in the last of the ice age.  Everything else warmed up on earth 10,000 years before Ushuaia, so the trees are young and haven’t developed strong roots.  You will also most likely meet a Beaver.

The pristine waters of the lagoon are surrounded by magnificent glaciers, mountains and forest. The lake’s icy waters may not be enticing for many, but it’s possible to swim here.

Things to know when visiting Laguna Esmeralda

Whether you are planning a leisurely stroll or a tough hike, there are some things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Laguna Esmeralda.

  • It’s slippy. Don’t underestimate that muddy hiking environment, especially if it has rained recently. Bring proper footwear at the very least.
  • It’s windy. Seriously, it can get very windy up there. Dress accordingly.
  • Check in before you start your hike. The trek starts at Valle de Lobos, and it’s vital that you register before your hike. This way they can track who makes it back – and who doesn’t.
  • Timing is everything. Allow two hours to get from Valle de Lobos to Laguna Esmeralda, and another two hours to get back. Keeping an eye on the time is crucial, as many bus and van services operate strict timetables and you might find yourself stranded.