Ushuaia, Argentina

The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is the capital of Argentine Tierra del Fuego and an important naval base boasting a strategic as well as a picturesque location on the shores of Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel. This rustic coastal town is set among waterfalls, glaciers, snow-clad mountains and beech forests, and the nutrient-rich local waters abound with marine life. Though the houses here are painted warm, pastel colors, the weather is chilly year-round and winter sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing and skating are popular. Ushuaia's principal industries are raising sheep, logging, fishing and trapping. It became a boomtown with 30,000 residents in the late 1980's when the government sought to increase Argentina's presence near Antarctica by giving tax breaks to citizens who settled here.