Ride the Train at the End of the World

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and a place most people have never heard of. A three-hour flight from Buenos Aires, it’s easy and cheap to get to! The first time I heard of it was when we were planning our cruise to Antarctica. Its nickname is appropriate – “The end of the world” and that is used throughout the city for tourist attractions.  One of my favorite things to do in Ushuaia was riding the train at the End of the World.

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Dad and I getting ready to ride the train at the end of the world in Ushuaia, Argentina

Its official name is the Southern Fuegian Railway. In Spanish, it’s referred to as “El Tren del Fin del Mundo.” A round trip ticket is about $75 USD and an audio guide is included in the ticket price. 

Ushuaia was developed as a penal colony in the late 19th century, with prisoners arriving in the 1880s. In a few years, the prisoners built a proper prison for themselves under the supervision of the Argentinian government. While working, the prisoners created a railway to assist the transport of materials. They originally used oxen to carry the materials from the mountain down to the town. In 1909, the government upgraded the line since the railway was bringing wood for heating, cooking, and building, and it had to continually get longer since the forest would be depleted. The prison closed in 1947 and is now a naval base. 

Historical photos at the train station while waiting to ride the train at the end of the world.
While you’re waiting for the train, there are pictures and artifacts around the station.

The rail line was blocked by an earthquake in 1949 and was closed until 1994. It was rebuilt in luxury with champagne and dinner services available. Even if you’re not indulging in the luxurious aspects, enjoying the views of the Pico Valley. When you take a ride on the train at the end of the world, it’s a bit different than a traditional train ride.

Fun Fact: The train at the end of the world is only 7 km (4 miles) long!

The train departs from “The End of the World Station” and crosses the Cañadón del Toro over the Pipo River. The original bridge was burned and created the nickname “Burnt Bridge.” The remains of the original track are under the new track. The Pipo River runs from the mountains down to the Beagle Channel. 

The train at the end of the world stops at the La Macarena Station for about 20 minutes.

The stop at Cascada La Macarena Station is typically about 20 minutes long. It gives passengers time to ascend to a viewing point and waterfall in the mountains. You also get amazing views of the Valley of Pipo River, Cerro Guanaco, Cerro la Portada, and Monte Susana. Listen for the whistle of the guards which signals a return to the train and continues its journey. 

Wild horses were spotted on our ride on the train around the world.
Wild horses we saw on our train ride.
A waterfall spotted at La Macarena Station while riding the train at the end of the world.

Continuing on the journey through the National Park with great views of mountains and even wild horses! Eventually, you’ll pass the Cemetery of Trees where tree stumps remain from the early 1900s. This is where you can really appreciate the daily work of the prisoners. Nearby is the former sawmill, Lombardich, which is no longer in use since the area is protected. The National Park Station is the last stop. We did an excursion to continue to explore the national park with a guide. You can do this or return on the same train back to the Main station. 

The Train at the End of the World is a mixture of history and nature, making it a great destination to visit in Argentina. 

Me jumping in the National Park after our ride on the train at the end of the world. In the back are the mountains of Chile
Jumping photo in the National Park! The mountains in the back are Chile and the water flows into the Beagle Channel

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