Most visitors who stay in and around Río Grande, on the Isla Grande’s blustery Atlantic shoreline, do so for the fishing. For the rest, this once-desolate city is more a place to change buses, but thanks to smoothly paved streets, the huge dust clouds that once blew through this wool and oil burg have subsided. There are limits to beautification, though—all the trees planted in Plaza Almirante Brown are stiffly wind-flagged.
Bus schedules used to dictate that travelers spend the night here, but recent improvements mean quicker overland connections to Ushuaia. Still, services have improved, and there’s enough to do that an afternoon spent here need not be a wasted one.
On the north bank of its namesake river, Río Grande (pop. 52,786) is 79 kilometers southeast of the Chilean border post at San Sebastián and 190 kilometers northeast of Ushuaia  via RN 3, which is now completely paved (though some deteriorating segments south toward Tolhuin will soon need repaving).
Aerolíneas Argentinas (San Martín 607, tel. 02964/42-2748) flies daily to Río Gallegos  and Buenos Aires . LADE (Lasserre 429, tel. 02964/42-2968) flies with some frequency to Río Gallegos, less often to Comodoro Rivadavia .
The Terminal Fueguina (Obligado and Finocchio) is Río Grande’s new bus terminal, but companies also retain their old offices, some of them more central. Lider (Perito Moreno 635, tel. 02964/42-0003, www.lidertdf.com.ar ) and Transportes Montiel (25 de Mayo 712, tel. 02964/42-0997) have multiple departures to Tolhuin (US$10) and Ushuaia  (US$17). At the new terminal, Buses Pacheco (tel. 02964/15-40-8717, www.busespacheco.com ) goes to Punta Arenas, Chile  (8 hours, US$33), at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and has summer connections to Puerto Natales, Chile .
Tecni-Austral (Moyano 516, tel. 02964/43-0610) goes to Punta Arenas at 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, to Río Gallegos (8 hours, US$34) via Chile at 8:30 a.m. Monday–Saturday, and to Ushuaia (4 hours, US$17) at 4 p.m. daily.