Patagonia Route 40

A suggested 10-day, self-drive route along the Atlantic coast that gives you an immensely varied experience of Patagonia, taking in cultural, scenic and wildlife highlights, such as boat trips to a penguin colony, a visit to Los Glaciares National Park and stays in traditional estancias.

10 Days


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Patagonia Route 40 - 10 - $2,805

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Arrive in Comodoro Rivadavia and drive Puerto Deseado
  • Full day boat excursion to nearby penguin island
  • Continue along Route 40 through Perito Moreno town
  • Visit the ancient caves of Cuevas de las Manos 
  • Explore Perito Moreno National Park
  • Discover the Laceto Valley
  • Cross the Pampas
  • Explore the area around Estancia El Condor
  • Drive to El Calafate for your flight to Buenos Aires

Start from Buenos Aires and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Patagonia Route 40

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1:

Flight to Comodoro Rivadavia, reception of a hired car 4x4. Drive to the south along Ruta 3 to Puerto Deseado: during the first 80km the road leads you along the coast of San Jorge Gulf. Bays, gulfs, and cliffs make this a very scenic ride. Puerto Deseado is a real paradise for fauna lovers: thousands of penguins (three kinds), sea elephants, dolphins, and all kinds of sea birds can be observed in this area of an estuary. 2 nights accommodation at the Los Acantilados hotel.

Drive distance: 270 km paved road

In the afternoon, on board a Zodiac boat (semi-rigid) you will explore "Ria del Deseado". This area is a wildlife Reserve, where seals and dolphins can be seen very close to the coastline, as well as seabirds, like Imperial Cormorants, Magellan Penguins, Magellan oystercatchers and the rare Grey Cormorant.

Day 2:

Full day boat excursion to the penguin island nearby, where we can observe the Yellow Crested Penguin, which mate and nest every summer here.

Day 3:

The journey today leads you across Patagonia from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes. You can take a lunch at an authentic bar/restaurant "El Pluma", located nearby the great valley of Deseado river. After passing Perito Moreno town, you continue on the mythical Ruta 40, the longest road in the country (4600 km.). After 30 km you arrive at Telken Estancia where you will spend the night.

Drive distance: 560 km paved road

Day 4:

The adventure starts with a drive south along Route 40. Firstly you can visit the Cuevas de las Manos. A narrow path from the ranger's house parallel to the river allows access to the different shelters and caves. According to experts, the splendid cave paintings belong to at least three different periods of styles on this archeological site, from 7300 B.C. to 1000 A.C. After this, drive towards the Perito Moreno National Park, one of the remotest sites on Ruta 40 and a far less visited area. The National Park protects the fauna and flora as well as several lakes and rivers. Hundreds of guanacos (lama guanicoe) can be seen there. In the afternoon the trip continues to South and West, 3 overnight stays at Estancia Menelik 

Drive distance: 390 km (mostly on gravel road)

Day 5:

An exciting full day wildlife safari through the Park, getting deep into the park's wilderness. You can easily observe guanacos, choiques (rhea americana), red and grey foxes, Patagonian hares, flamingos, Magellan Geese, Condors, although puma (felis concolor) and huemuls (American deer) are very difficult to be seen. During the round trip you will see the Cordillera de los Andes and a complex lake system, which includes Belgrano Lake, Azara, Burmeister, and Nansen. Here you can do some walking along the beautiful Belgrano Peninsula, where you learn about Guanacos behavior. There are hundreds of them nesting on the hilly peninsula.

Day 6:

Today you follow the valley of Lacteo river, which brings glacier sediments from the huge San Lorenzo Mount (3740m). For trekkers, there's a lovely walking route called the Condorera trail.

Day 7:

Today is a long drive to Estancia El Condor. The journey crosses the Patagonian vastness, interrupted only by the lonely Lago Cardiel. The big sky and the infinitive horizon appear to be endless. Take a short stop at Estancia La Siberia to take a lunch. On the road, there are great opportunities to observe diverse land mammals like Guanacos, hares, red and grey foxes, armadillos and skunks as well as birds of prey like falcons or eagles. Estancia El Condor is located in the imposing Andes Range, on the shore of the turquoise waters of San Martin glacial lake. 3 overnights at the estancia.

Distance: 440 km gravel road

Day 8 & 9:

At the Estancia there are several opportunities for walks through woods of local species (Nothofagus subantartica), for horseback rides to the great natural viewpoints of San Martin Lake, the Peninsula Avellaneda and the ranch headquarters.

Day 10:

Drive along Ruta 40 passing estancia La Leona where you can stop to take a small break with coffee and cake, then continue on to El Calafate. Car returned at the airport and flight to Buenos Aires.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Price of USD $2,805 per person is based on a group of 2 people sharing accommodation. Discounts are available for larger groups.

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $2,805 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

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