Ushuaia, the word itself along with its most famous accolade - world's most southern city - has an almost mythical ring to it. With the Beagle Channel on one side, the snowcapped Martial Range on the other and the nearby Antarctica intoxicating travellers with its guaranteed 'experience of a lifetime', you'd be forgiven for expecting a spiritual epiphany of some sort. Its colourful history reveals the brutal reality of colonialism.
In 1870, when the British-based South American Missionary Society set its sights on the Yaghan people, Ushuaia was its first outpost. Religious saviour was not all they brought with them. Six thousand years of isolation made the Yaghan vulnerable to foreign-brought illnesses and settlers. From the late 1880?s until 1947, Argentina turned the city into a penal colony. Interestingly, much of the town was built by the very prisoners who were held captive there.
Nowadays, Ushuaia is famed as the departure point for much anticipated trips to Antarctica. But when you reach the 'end of the road', it makes sense to stay a while, if only to ponder, 'where to now?' A less spiritual answer would be hiking, sailing, kayaking, skiing and scuba diving. A boat trip to gaze like a child at seals and penguins that live along the Beagle channel is easily done.
Wonder and adventure are never far in Ushuaia and Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa, located at the shore of Beagle Channel, gives travellers a rustic home amidst the stunning panorama of the Andes Mountains. Recover after a day of rowing or trekking in the forests, mountains and rivers of the National Park with a massage and a dip in the hydro-massage pool. Then complete the day with an indulgent culinary tour through the flavours of Patagonia in restaurant, Reinamora. The end of the world could just be the beginning.
For more information, please see www.loscauquenes.com or visit stand A124 at ILTM Asia 2012.