Things to consider
Road tripping in Patagonia is to journey past awe-inspiring scenery, from national parks to mountains, glaciers to rivers, along some adventurous terrain and into the heart of Patagonia.
- It doesn't have to be just you and the open road. We can set you up with a driver and a guide, either privately or as part of a group trip.
- Go from A to B, or choose a loop (and avoid the drop off fee!)
- Bumpy gravel roads are there for the adrenaline seekers, but there are also flat plains and tarmac for cautious drivers
- It's not all about the destination. A road trip can get you to Patagonia's more hidden gems, so don't forget to plan in time to get out exploring by foot, bike or kayak too.
- Fit a two-day road trip into a wider itinerary, or set off on a two-month adventure. No matter how much time you have, there's a road trip for you.
What are the best road trips in Patagonia?
Argentinian Lake District
Where? Round trip from Bariloche
How long? 3-6 days
Why go? This route incorporates one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the lake district, the Route of the Seven Lakes. A beautiful scenic drive on a portion of Ruta 40, the famous lakes are surrounded by virgin forests, mountains and volcanoes, making for a breathtaking few days on the road. A relatively short, circuitous route, fit it into a longer itinerary in the lake district with some time hiking, sightseeing or relaxing at a lakeside lodge.
Conditions? Majority paved roads.
Chilean Lake District
Where? Pucon to Puerto Montt
How long? 6-10 days
Why go? Criss-cross the lake district under the watchful eyes of towering volcanoes. The hiking along this route is some of the best in the region: summit the still active Villarica Volcano, hike amongst monkey puzzle trees, under waterfalls and up to natural thermal pools, or along bright blue sparkling lakes.
Conditions? Mostly paved roads, with relatively short driving distances and plenty of possible stops on route for provisions.
Southern Carretera Austral
Where? Round trip from Coyhaique
How long? 10-14 days
Why go? Dramatic, verdant and wild, this region of Chile has big scenery. Drive through a landscape that has glaciers breaking through valleys, thick forests reaching the waterline and meandering fjords. Stop off en-route to visit the Northern Patagonian ice field, the glittering Marble Caves, and the enormous General Carrera Lake among much more.
Conditions? Adventurous. Distances can be long, roads are unpaved and bumpy and in the hours from village to village you'll experience truly remote Patagonia.
Where? Bariloche to El Calafate
How long? 12-18 days
Why go? A classic self-drive route down the infamous Ruta 40. Weave in and out of the Patagonian Steppe and the foothills of the Andes, exploring lesser-known national parks and pre-historic caves along the way. You'll finish in the Los Glaciares region, with its iconic mountains and 356 glaciers that tumble into icy lakes.
Conditions? Mostly paved.
Peninsula Valdes & the Atlantic Coast
Where? Round trip from Trelew
How long? 3-14 days
Why go? For wildlife lovers, Peninsula Valdes is an absolute must. Penguins bustle about on beaches, sea lions laze on the sand, and you can watch whales gathering with their young just metres from the shore. It's also one of the best areas to explore independently. There's plenty of activities to stop off for, including whale watching tours, kayaking, snorkeling and hiking.
Conditions? Bumpy, mostly unpaved. Roads criss-cross the peninsula, and it takes just a few hours to get from one side to the other.
Where? El Calafate to Ushuaia
How long? 18-21 days
Why go? Visit Patagonia's most famous national parks, Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares, the towering, tumbling Perito Moreno Glacier, and the King Penguins of Porvenir, before heading south to the very tip of South America. Here, the continent appears to crumble to its final point. Icy fjords wind between remote, forested islands, the scenery gets wild and remote, and it truly feels like the very end of the world.
Conditions? Mostly paved.
Self-drive road trips
A route deep in this remote region, featuring the show stopping highlights of the Southern highway - staggering glaciers, seemingly endless glacial lakes, and secluded hikes. Drive around Lago General Carerra on mainly gravel roads, make ferry crossings and take…
Private, guided road trips in Patagonia
Spend two days exploring the rarely visited region of Chubut in central Patagonia filled with dramatic volcanic landscapes, deserts, and the meandering Chubut river. Inch your way into deep canyons, admire ancient art, search for petrified forests, and see tortured…
Group tour road trips
Explore Patagonia by car
One of the longest highways in the world, travelling along the Ruta 40 is renowned as a classic road trip. Beginning at the Bolivian border, it runs parallel to the Andes straight …
Spanning the length of southern Chile, Pinochet designed this incredible highway to penetrate an otherwise impregnable natural fortress, defended by the Andean mountains, the …
The Lake Districts of Chile and Argentina
With stunning blue lakes, Andean peaks and volcanoes, the Lake District is no doubt one of the most beautiful areas in Patagonia. Take advantage of the plentiful birding …
The Valdes Peninsula is a unique land formation and global conservation site, home to an abundance of marine life as well as countless weird and wonderful land mammals and birds. …
Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.
Why not let us do the hard work for you? Our team of experts will work with you to design a 2–3 week adventure to your exact requirements, from hiking and horse-riding trips to wine-tasting tours and undiscovered lodges.
We’ll work around your budget and arrange flights, transfers and buses, to create your perfect trip.