Cerro Guanaco: Best Day Hike in Ushuaia (Practical Tips)

Cerro Guanaco is probably the most beautiful day hike in Ushuaia. The trail doesn't belong to the easiest ones, as you need to climb nearly 1 kilometer of altitude, but the effort is totally worth it. Once you stand on the top, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the mountains, lakes, Ushuaia, and the Beagle channel.

Let's have a look at all the important information regarding the Cerro Guanaco hike:

Cerro Guanaco Trail Parameters

  • Time: 5 – 7 hours (it took us about 4 hours to the summit and less than 3 hours on the way back – including a lunch break and many photo stops)
  • Distance: 12 km / 7 miles there and back from the trailhead at the parking lot
  • Elevation gain: 938 meters / 3077 feet
  • Difficulty: hard
  • Marking of the trail: The trail is very well marked.
  • Route: GPX of the Cerro Guanaco trail
  • Registration: Note that it's not recommended to start the trail after 12 o'clock. Officially, you are supposed to register at the visitor center front desk (for safety reasons).
  • Altitude profile:
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Cerro Guanaco Hike Description

The trail starts by the Lago Roca and follows its coast for about 900 meters. After that, you will come to the crossroad of the Cerro Guanaco and Hito XXIV trail, which follows the lake coast up to Chilean borders. Here, you need to turn right. From there the trail goes into the steep uphill terrain.

At about 400 meters above sea level, the forest opens a bit, offering the first nice viewpoint at Tierra del Fuego National Pak. From now on the trial is a bit flatter and more comfortable. The trail then continues a bit longer through the forest entering the meadow area. This part is actually a little bit swampy, so it might be harder to find the dry way to the rocky area.

The first kilometer on the rocky slope is quite nice, with a slight climb, later its getting steeper until you reach the area before the final meters leading to the top of the Cerro Guanaco.

The panoramic view from the top is mesmerizing. You can see everything from there – the lakes in the national park, the Beagle Channel with mountains in the background, as well as some parts of Ushuaia. If the weather is nice, it's a perfect spot for lunch.

Overall, the trail to the top of Cerro Guanaco is a challenging but rewarding hike and in our opinion, it is the best day hike you can make in Ushuaia. Especially when the weather is good.

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What to pack for the hike?

Packing some extra layers is always a good idea as the weather can be unpredictable. In general, we can recommend:

  • Hiking poles
  • Good hiking boots
  • Layers of sports clothing
  • Rainproof jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Outdoor offline maps (app)
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Entrance fee to Tierra del Fuego

There is an entrance fee to the Tierra Fuego National Park – you can check the up-to-date prices at the National Park website. It was about $15 in the blue exchange rate (in 2023).

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Camping in Tierra del Fuego

Once you pay the entrance fee to the National Park, you are allowed to stay at any of the park campsites for 48 hours. There are basically 3 options:

  • Laguna Verde – this was our favorite one, where we stayed both nights. It's a big campground for many vehicles, and there is also a beautiful peninsula with a lot of spaces for tents. It's a nice calm campground with short trails in close proximity. There are regularly maintained dry toilets with running water for handwashing.
  • Puerto Guarani – this is a campground directly by the famous small post office. This place is very busy during the day. The parking spot is not in a flat area, so it can be challenging to park your vehicle accurately for sleeping. There are dry toilets and picnic tables. The view of the Beagle Channel is stunning.
  • Rio Pipo – a nice calm campground in the valley by the river. There is the trailhead to Cascada Rio Pipo and it's also near the train track. There are also dry toilets.

I recommend checking the latest comments about campsites in the iOverlander app.

Another option is to camp out of the park (near the park entrance) by the “End of the World” Train station, where the municipal camping is. There are nice toilets at the train station, the only problem is that they close the station for the night. 

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How to get to Tierra del Fuego by bus from Ushuaia

Getting to Tierra del Fuego by bus from Ushuaia is quite easy. Head to the city center to find a shuttle terminal at the bus terminal at Avenida Maipu and Juana Genoveva Fadul Sur. There are several companies going to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. You can purchase a ticket in a small hut/stall. Buses leave every one to two hours.

The shuttle bus is going to stop at the park entrance so that you can buy the ticket to the national park. You need to get off the bus at the Alakush Visitor Center stop. From there it is about 1 km to the trailhead.

Another option is to take a taxi.

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Weather in Ushuaia in the upcoming days

The weather is really unpredictable due to strong winds. It might change suddenly from a completely sunny day to a snow storm. So be prepared for everything.

You can check the weather for upcoming days here:

USHUAIA WEATHER

Where to stay in Ushuaia?

Accommodation

Accommodation in Ushuaia is pretty expensive. If you want to save money, you can go camping for free. Otherwise, choose these:

Budget: Casa de Familia – the cheapest good option. Very nice and clean accommodation. The disadvantage is that it's not directly in the city center. It's 20 minute walk or 10 minutes by bus.

Midrange: Rosa de Los Vientos: close to the city center and all the popular museums

Luxury: Cilene del Faro Suites & Spa – there is no better feeling than having a spa after a long hike or cruise. It's also directly in the city center.

Camping

There are two free municipal campings.

  • Municipal camping at Valle de Andorra

This is a nice campsite by the river Arroyo Grande with quite a lot of space for camping. There are nice dry toilets and water from the river is potable. This campsite is closer to the city center and bus stops.

  • Municipal camping by the “Fin del Mundo” train station

The other campsite is a big flat area by the river Río Pipo. It is right in front of the “Fin del Mundo” Train station, and I would recommend staying there in case you plan to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. The only problem is that the toilets are in the train station, which is closed during the night. There are also dry toilets, but it seems that nobody is taking care of them.

Read about more hikes in Ushuaia

More photos from the trail:

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More tips for your travels:

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1) Where to book accommodation?

2) How to find cheap flights?

3) How to rent a car?

  • We recommend a comparison portal RentalCars.com to compare the best offers of all available rental companies.

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Cerro Guanaco

Cerro Guanaco Trail Parameters

Cerro Guanaco Hike Description

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