Looking for the End of the World on Ruta J – An Alternative Experience to Ushuaia


I am sitting here, overlooking the Beagle Channel lined with trees and snow-covered mountains in the background. All I can hear is the sound of waves mixed with the cheerful chirping of birds. I am enjoying a delicious glass of Malbec while the sun is slowly setting behind the hills. I have arrived - I made it to the end of the world.

This is it, the perfect place for people who crave stillness surrounded by nature. The place for people who have mastered the art of being alone without feeling lonely.

Can't seem to get that special "End of the World" feeling in Ushuaia? You are not alone... 

The city Ushuaia is known as Fin del Mondo, meaning the End of the World, but I have head from many travelers that they did not really get that special feeling of having reached The End when finally getting there.

I can’t really blame Ushuaia. This city hosts several hundred thousand of tourists a year who all want to have that special experience. However, by creating more and more tourism infrastructure to cater to all their needs and wants, its loosing that special atmosphere and starts to look like any other tourist town.

Thankfully there is an alternative: Driving along Ruta J might bring you closer to that long-awaited bliss of having reached the End of the World.


What is Ruta J?

Ruta J is a 92km long gravel road leading towards the southernmost tip of Argentina. 

The turn-off to Ruta J from Ruta 3 is just 38km before Ushuaia. At first it runs along a river through a forest filled with small weekend huts until it reaches the Beagle channel. 

Here you can find the access road to Puerto Almanza, a tiny fishing village famous for its Centolla (King Crab). Ruta J makes a turn in the opposite direction and continues mostly along the beautiful Beagle channel. It passes the historic Estancia Harberton and ends at Estancia Moat. 

Puerto Almanza and Estancia Harberton might get quite busy with day-trippers, but few people continue driving past those places.

That's good for people like me who like to venture out further, as that is where the feeling of having reached the real End of the World might set it. There you will find yourself surrounded by nothing but nature with lots of beautiful spots to be still and enjoy.

My favorite spot to do just that was here on a simple pull-out from the road overlooking the Beagle channel. It felt almost magical being here, so close to the last settlements on this planet. Trying to describe and hold on to this moment, I wrote the lines which opened this blog post.

We spent the night in our campervan at this spot, but even if you don’t want to camp here, make sure to stop for a while, be still, take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. 



What else is there to do on Ruta J?

Eat the famous Centolla (King Crab) at one of the many little restaurants in the fishing village Puerto Almanza.                                                                                                                    Source: La Nacion

Visit the historic Estancia Harberton - travel back in time and learn more about the first Estancia build in Tierra del Fuego.                                                                                     Source: Estancia Harberton

Enjoy one of the many lonely beaches.
Source: Conocer Ushuaia

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