So you want to visit the southernmost city in the world and you’re wondering how to get to Ushuaia, Argentina?
We’re going to tell you exactly how to get there and what your best options are.
Ushuaia is a city located on Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, an island that’s shared by both Argentina and Chile. The eastern part of the island belongs to Argentina and forms part of Tierra del Fuego Province, while the western part belongs to Chile and is part of the Magallanes Region.
That means reaching Ushuaia involves flying, or if you’re travelling overland by bus or by car, it involves crossing over by ferry.
So which option should you choose?
Maybe your travel time is limited so you need to get to Ushuaia efficiently to make the most of your time there, or maybe you’re on an open-ended trip and you have all the time in the world to meander to your destination.
Whatever your travel needs, in this guide we’re going to navigate the various ways you can get to Ushuaia complete with travel times, distances, and airlines and bus companies that will get you there.
How to get to Ushuaia
Getting to Ushuaia by plane
The easiest and most efficient way to get to Ushuaia is by flying into Ushuaia International Airport, locally known as Aeropuerto Internacional Malvinas Argentinas (USH). The airport receives flights from several major cities in Argentina including multiple flights a day from the capital of Buenos Aires.
Flight times to Ushuaia
- Buenos Aires (EZE) to Ushuaia (USH) – 3 hours 35 minutes
- Buenos Aires (AER) to Ushuaia (USH) – 3 hours 40 minutes
- El Calafate (FTE) to Ushuaia (USH) – 1 hour 15 minutes
- Cordoba (COR) to Ushuaia (USH) – 3 hours 50 minutes
- Rio Gallegos (RGL) to Ushuaia (USH) – 1 hour 10 minutes
TIP: If you are flying into Ushuaia to catch your cruise to Antarctica, be sure to arrive at least 1-2 days early in case of inclement weather which could cause delays or cancellations. You wouldn’t want to miss your once-in-a-lifetime trip!
Airlines that fly to Ushuaia
Some of the airlines that currently operate flight routes to Ushuaia include:
- Aerolineas Argentina
- LADE – this is a state-owned airline operated by the Argentine Air Force
- DAP – this is a Chilean airline that operates charter and scheduled flights from its base in Punta Arenas, Chile
TIP: Keep in mind that flight frequency varies between high season and low season, so not all routes may be available year-round.
Most travellers will likely be getting to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires as that’s the main hub for international flights and offers several daily flights from both Aeroparque (airport in Buenos Aires) and Ezeiza (airport in the outskirts of Buenos Aires).
Once you arrive at the Ushuaia Airport, you can rent a car if you need one for your trip. You’ll find Hertz, Avis Rent a Car, Europcar, and Localiza.
You can also find taxis and remises (private taxi).
Getting to Ushuaia by bus
Travelling to Ushuaia by bus is certainly possible, though you should be prepared for some very long, multi-day journeys depending on where you’re travelling from.
Ideally, you’d want to break up the bus journey making stops in various destinations along the way.
Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Bus Route
If you want to travel from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia by bus, one possible route would be:
- Buenos Aires to Bahia Blanca – 636 km / 395 mi
- Bahia Blanca to Puerto Madryn – 666 km / 413 mi
- Puerto Madryn to Comodoro Rivadavia – 439 km / 272 mi
- Comodoro Rivadavia to Rio Gallegos – 778 km / 483 mi
- Rio Gallegos to Ushuaia (ferry crossing via Chile) – 579 km / 359 mi
As you can see, it’s quite the journey with 5 solid days of bus travel, but it’s a great way to see the Argentine coast.
You may enjoy our Coastal Patagonia itinerary if you’re looking to travel a similar route.
What bus companies go to Ushuaia
- Buses from Buenos Aires to Bahia Blanca – Via TAC, Via Bariloche, Plus Mar, Condor Estrella, Tramat, Ñandú del Sur
- Buses from Bahia Blanca to Puerto Madryn – Via TAC, Via Bariloche, Plus Mar, Condor Estrella, Tramat, El Rapido
- Buses from Puerto Madryn to Comodoro Rivadavia – Via TAC, Via Bariloche
- Buses from Comodoro Rivadavia to Rio Gallegos – Via TAC
- Buses from Rio Gallegos to Ushuaia (ferry crossing via Chile) – Marga Taqsa
TIP: The further south you travel in Patagonia, the more remote it gets. This often means less bus frequency between destinations. Because departures aren’t daily, you’ll want to book your transportation before you book your accommodations!
Getting to Ushuaia by car
How many kilometres from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia?
It is a 3,076 km or 1,911 mi journey to drive from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
Whichever route you choose to drive across Argentina – be it along the Atlantic Coast or the Andes Mountains – there will come a point in the road where you have to cross into Chile in order to reach Isla Grande, the island in Tierra del Fuego where Ushuaia is located.
Since you are reaching an island, this also involves a Chilean ferry in order to make it across the Strait of Magellan.
Crossing the border via Rio Gallegos
Leaving Rio Gallegos, you will head south on RN3 until you reach Paso Internacional Integración Austral. Here you’ll go through customs and immigration, scan your bags and get your passport stamped.
You will then continue south on Ruta 255 and then turn off on Ruta 257 heading in the direction of Cruce Punta Delgada.
Crossing the border via El Calafate
If you’re travelling in El Calafate and you want to explore Chilean Patagonia, you’ll likely cross over to Chile to visit Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas.
This route involves driving south on RN40 and turning off towards Paso Río Don Guillermo, which is the international border crossing into Chile.
After going through customs and immigration, you will continue south on Ruta 9, catch the 255 heading east, and the 257 heading south until you reach Cruce Punta Delgada to catch the ferry.
TIP: Whichever crossing you choose, you will want to allow ample time at immigration as it can take time depending on the number of buses and vehicles crossing at the same time.
Ferry Crossing to Tierra del Fuego
The ferry crosses from Punta Delgada (on the continent) to Bahia Azul (on the island) at the narrowest part of the Strait of Magellan in what is known as the Primera Angostura Crossing.
The island of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego is shared between Argentina and Chile. You will first be crossing into the Chilean side.
Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) service is offered by Transbordadora Austral Broom via its three vessels: Ferry Fueguino, Ferry Patagonia, and Ferry Crux Australis.
The ferry terminal operates every day from 08:30 a.m. (on the continent) to 01:00 a.m. (on the island). You can view the crossing schedule here.
Reservations for this ferry crossing are not required, you simply arrive during the hours of operation and it’s first come first serve.
Once you’ve crossed on the ferry, you continue driving south on Ruta 257 until you reach Paso Fronterizo San Sebastian and cross over from Chile back into Argentina.
You then follow RN3 all the way south until you reach Ushuaia.
TIP: You can take RN3 all the way to the ‘End of the Road Sign’ in Bahía Lapataia in Tierra del Fuego National Park. That’s where this epic road officially ends. There’s nothing to do here but to turn back around and drive up to Alaska!
Read our Ushuaia articles to start planning your trip: