Laguna Esmeralda is located a few kilometers from Ushuaia. You don’t need a guide or a tour. If you don’t have a rental car, you can take a bus or taxi to the start of the hike.
The hike is 4.8km one-way. So there and back a moderate length of about 10km. Altogether it is a relatively easy but muddy hike. The ascent to the lagoon is moderate. The scenery along the hike is also very beautiful.
At first it goes through a forest with moss-covered trees, along a stream and then up the forest. Once you left the forest, the mud bog awaits you. Getting through it mud-free was almost impossible. There were paths here and there where you could walk from stone to stone or branch to branch, but sooner or later you stood in the mud. Then the path leads along the creek to the Laguna Esmeralda.
The time for the way is given with 2h and that was very suitable with shorter photo stops but without a real break. I would recommend hiking boots. Sticks are not a must, but they make it more comfortable, as the mud here and there makes it a bit slippery and the sticks give additional grip.
When you are finished at the lagoon, you can go back the same way. There are other hiking trails starting at the same starting point.