In Yamana language “Ushuaia” means “bay overlooking the West”. It is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, surrounded by forest, mountains, sea, and glaciers. The city is surrounded on the west by Mount Martial and on the east by Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos.
The first settlers of this land came on foot, more than eleven thousand years ago. They were hunters and gatherers from the North, ready to survive from the natural resources of an area that was still connected to continental Patagonia. From these groups, emerged from the mainland the selk’nam and haush peoples; from the western islands of Patagonia came another wave of settlers, nomads of the sea,along with the kaweskar and yámanas peoples.
In 1869 an Anglican mission was established, forming the first non-native settlement in the area, very close to where the city is today.
Ushuaia was founded on the day the Commodore Lasserre, on October 12, 1884, created the sub-prefecture on the shores of the Beagle Channel in order to reaffirm the sovereignty of Argentina after the 1881 treaty with Chile. The people of the Anglican mission recognized the sovereignty of Argentina.
As the white man advanced on the territory, Aboriginal life suffered serious disruption in Ushuaia and other places, since bands of mercenaries hired by ranchers, with the acquiescence of the authorities in charge of exterminating the native population, by 1930 made the natives disappear almost completely.
In early twentieth century, it was built in the neighbourhoods the famous prison, which was in service between 1902 and 1947. Later, it was passed to Argentina Navy and after a period of neglect, it is now the Maritime Museum and Prison of Ushuaia.
In Ushuaia, you can practice trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and sailing through the Beagle Channel and Bay Lapataia in Tierra del Fuego National Park.