Adventure Vacation Guide 2012: Ushuaia, Argentina

Just a few miles out of Ushuaia you can stand at the end of the Panamerican Highway and imagine the long line that connects you to Alaska. Wild nature surrounds you, face one direction and you’ll see sharp granite peaks. Turn the other direction and you’ll see the Beagle Channel, that relatively placid waterway that leads to the Drake Passage, and then, Antarctica.

Antarctica exploration hit a milestone last year, Roald Amundsen was the first man to reach the South Pole in December 1911. With 100 years of exploration behind us, it’s now surprisingly easy to board a ship from Ushuaia and head out to that last place.

You can book an Antarctic trip from the comfort of home, but if you’ve got time to spare, head to Ushuaia during cruise season (typically January to March) and visit the travel agents that line San Martin. A last minute bookings can save you up to fifty percent.

Ushuaia vibrates with anticipation and exhilaration. The combination of Antarctica travelers both outbound and returning, cyclists (motor and pedal) who have completed the Panamerican Highway, and back country adventurers surfacing from the wilds of Patagonia make for a city where nearly everyone you meet is on an epic, once in a life time adventure.

[flickr image via]