USHUAIA - TIERRA DEL FUEGO
HARBERTON RANCH (including Almanza)
Ninety kilometers east of Ushuaia, on National Route Nº3, may be found Tierra del Fuego's oldest ranch: Estancia Harberton. The lands it is built on were a gift from President Roca's government to Rev. Thomas Bridges, for his contributions in exploring the area and in establishing a harmonious relationship with the native population
On leaving Ushuaia, you drive along the slopes of Monte Olivia, a mountain that is extremely imposing at close quarters. You continue along the Carbajal Valley, where you find the greatest peat bog on the island, as well as the winter sports centers of Altos del Valle, Valle de Los Huskies, Refugio Nunatak, Tierra Mayor, Las Cotorras and the Cerro Castor Complex, until you get to the foot of the Rancho Hambre, where you find the access to the Route J.
Then you go eastward along a valley, past peat bogs, rivers and lakes, surrounded by lush vegetation. The track is narrow, with a succession of curves and steep climbs; Thirty kilometers of this driving will take you to Puerto Almanza.
When you get there, a magical coastal landscape will unfold before your eyes with a deep-blue Beagle Channel whose south coast displays the town of Puerto Williams (Chile) located on Navarino island.
You proceed along the road, and at the next fork you take the east branch. The lush green valley becomes an undulating grassy plain, with small patches of "árboles bandera" (flag-trees), so-called due to their horizontally directed growth pattern, the result of the predominant and permanently blowing west wind.
After you have made your way through all these delights, you will arrive at Estancia Harberton.
The main ranch house is located in a protected bay. Its original building, carefully preserved, is wooden with an exterior lining of iron sheeting. The beautiful gardens containing most of the local flora species are well worth a visit.
The traveler will be invited to stroll through the ranch, and will be informed on its past and current activities. Then he will be invited to have a delicious tea with home-made cookies, after which he will return to the city.
At kilometer 115, after crossing the bridge of the same name, you enter Estancia Moat. This is another area populated by the descendants of another Anglican pastor, Rev. Lawrence, one of Ushuaia's pioneers. From this ranch you can see the Beagle Channel and Picton Island, in Chile.
Five kilometers from the city center, it has a perfect system of ski-run signaling and has been specially prepared for competitive skiing according to International Ski Federation standards.
There are five circuits, of different difficulty levels, suitable for all degrees of skiing expertise. It is an excellent vantage point for beautiful scenery, commanding views of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia Bay, the Bridges islands, etc.
The ski lodge is open to the public. It offers a buffet and rental of skiing equipment. Due to its closeness to the ocean, temperatures are not very low, with the presence of dry or powdered snow 60 centimeters deep in the months of June and July.
Altos del Valle
Seventeen kilometers from the city, along National Route Nº3, this center offers lodging in cabins, private parking, a bar, regular transport and a skiing school. It also has the first school for child sled team drivers and Siberian Husky breeding establishments.
Solar del Bosque
Eighteen kilometers from the city, along National Route Nº3, this is a tourist complex with a ski lodge for 18 people, a dining room seating 25, and a fully equipped campsite. It offers snow cat rides, skiing and snowshoe excursions and rental of equipment. There are also skiing instructors. It has different circuits for speed skiing. Some of them are laid down in the immediate area, and other connect with the winter sports centers of Altos del Valle and Valle de los Huskies.
Valle de los Huskies
Nineteen kilometers from Ushuaia, along National Route Nº3, it has a restaurant, a tea shop and a bar. There is rental and sales of skiing equipment, rental of sleds, dog sled rides, snow cats, illuminated runs, "flexmobile" excursions and a skiing school. There is a 1,000 meter high-speed ski run.
Valle de Tierra Mayor
Twenty one kilometers from the city, along National Route Nº3, it has a restaurant, bar, day care center, regular transport, sales of clothing and skiing equipment, a skiing school, illuminated skating rinks, "windskiing" and excursions on "snowcats". There are also tours lasting several days using the mountain lodges of Mt Bonete and Nunatak to overnight. It has a restaurant-bar.
Twenty kilometers from the city, along National Route Nº3, it offers snowboarding, sledding, visits to beaver dams with long-distance skis, a Kassbohrer (special machine for preparing high speed ski runs), a restaurant, a bar, regular transport, rental of skiing equipment, a skating rink, tours in the "flexmobile", a skiing school, rental of rubber rafts and children's sleds.
Thirty six kilometers from the city, along National Route Nº3, it provides skiing services, rental of speed skiing equipment, a skating rink, snowshoe excursions, horse riding, regular transport, a bar, a restaurant and lodging in mountain lodges. You can enjoy rides in troikas or sleighs, and walking on snowshoes.
On the banks of Turbio river, 2 kilometers from Tolhuín and 110 from Ushuaia, we will find Kawi Shiken. It offers lodging, a snack-room/bar seating 45 and a sitting room. Here you can practice speed skiing, children can practice sledding and there is a Siberian Husky breeding station. Visits to beaver dams are organized.
Club Andino Ushuaia
This is two kilometers from the city on the Martial range. It has an 850 meter-long run. There is a ski-lift, and the skiing capacity is 42,500 square meters, with a 190-meter altitude difference. There is a lodge at the base with snack-room/bar, a skiing school and rental of equipment. Depth of the snow varies between 0.70 and 2 meters. It is usable from mid-June to September.
Sixty kilometers from the city, along National Route N°3, across the Fueguian Cordillera and on the shores of Lake Escondido you will find this ski run around 450 meters long, accessible by a ski-lift. It has a restaurant, lodging, bar and rental of 4-wheel motorcycles and skiing equipment.
This is 21 kilometers from the city. It is at the center of the natural and landscape reserve of Tierra Mayor Valley. Starting here, one can do a walking tour to the Alvear mountain range, permitting a view of nature in all her splendor. You can also carry out dog sled excursions.
This is 24 ½ kilometers from the city. It is an area 100% dedicated to eco-tourism. You can practice speed skiing and walking on snowshoes. There is a tea house and a restaurant offering a wide variety of local dishes, such as mutton or trout.