Day 1: Arrival at Buenos Aires International airport (Ezeiza) and shuttle to a nearby traditional ranch in the Pampas, where the motorhomes will be parked. The ranch is a good place to relax from the long flight, adjust to jet lag, distribute and get familiar with the motorhomes, and just enjoy nature and the typical gaucho (Argentinean cowboy) activities, including a traditional asado (open pit bbq), horse riding. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 2: Enjoy the ranch, get familiar with the motorhomes. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Saladillo - Sierra de la Ventana: 375 km (234 miles). We hit the road! Drive to Sierra de la Ventana area, in southern Province of Buenos Aires. We will see the typical Pampas, flat and fertile land where much of the country’s wealth comes from, including the world famous beef and cereals. First camping night at Sierra de la Ventana (one of the few hilly regions within the Pampas). Overnight: campground.
Day 4: Sierra de la Ventana - Las Grutas: 571 km (356 miles). Overnight: campground.
Day 5: Las Grutas - Puerto Piramide (Peninsula de Valdes): 293 km (183 miles). Southern right whales, sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, penguins, Orcas. Overnight: campground.
Day 6: Stationary. Spend day around Peninsula Valdes. Overnight: campground.
Day 7: Puerto Piramide - Trelew: 127 km (80 miles). Trelew and nearby Gaiman are towns funded by Welsh immigrants. Visit the traditional teahouses. Night stay: municipal campground.
Day 8: Gaiman - Esquel: 575 km (360 miles). Overnight: campground or hotel in Esquel.
Day 9: Spend these two days driving around Los Alerces National Park. Los Alerces NP is a beautiful park with lakes, rivers, forested mountains. Great hiking and fishing area. Ovenright: Park’s campground.
Day 10: Spend these two days driving around Los Alerces National Park. Los Alerces NP is a beautiful park with lakes, rivers, forested mountains. Great hiking and fishing area. Overnight: Park’s campground.
Day 11: Los Alerces National Park - Lago Puelo national park: 119 km (74 miles), 3/4 of them on gravel road. Lake Puelo is a pleasant clear water lake surrounded by big pine trees and mountains. Again, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and other activities are possible. Overnight: Park’s campground.
Day 12: Lago Puelo NP - Lago Mascardi/Tronador: 132 km (82 miles), including 30 km (19 miles) on gravel road. Mascardi is a turquoise water lake, its water come from the glaciers in nearby Tronador Mountain. Tronador means “thunderer”, for the noise created by the big chunks of falling ice. Overnight: campground.
Day 13: Stationary. Tronador area: hiking, fishing.
Day 14: Tronador - Villa La Angostura-Villa Traful: 191 km (120 miles). Traful is a small community right next to a beautiful lake. Overnight: municipal campground.
Day 15: Stationary (walk around Villa Traful and the lake’s shore). Overnight: municipal campground.
Day 16: Villa Traful Seven Lagos - San Martin de los Andes: 103 km (64 miles). Seven Lagos is a very nice road connecting 7 lakes in the region. San Martin de los Andes is a nice community, big ski and fishing center. Overnight: municipal campground.
Day 17: San Martin de los Andes - Volcan Lanin: 102 km (63 miles). Lanin volcano is gorgeous; its cap is snowed during most of the year. Overnight: campground.
Day 18: Stationary (Volcan Lanin NP). Hiking, fishing, boating, or just relaxing with a great view.
Day 19: Lanin - Chos Malal: 420 km (262 miles). Overnight: municipal campground.
Day 20: Chos Malal - Malargue: 336 km (210 miles). Malargue is a nice area right next to the highest section of the Andes range. Overnight: Hotel or campground options.
Day 21: Stationary (visit Malargue and surroundings). Hiking, fishing.
Day 22: Malargue - Tupungato: 400 km (250 miles).
Day 23: Tupungato - Las Cuevas - Uspallata: 314 km (196 miles). This is a drive to the border with Chile located in a mountain road next to the highest mountains in the continent, including the Aconcagua.
Day 24: Extra day to adjust for any delays so far.
Day 25: Uspallata - San Agustin del Valle Fertil: 532 km (332 miles).
Day 26: San Agustin del Valle Fertil - Valle de la Luna Nat’l Monument: 65 km (40 miles). Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) is called like that because of the similarity of the rocky landscape with the one on the surface of our planet’s satellite. Overnight: campground.
Day 27: Valle de la Luna - Talampaya NP: 60 km (37 miles). Talampaya is an impressive group of huge vertical rock walls, similar to Smith Rock in eastern Oregon. Overnight: At National Park’s campground.
Day 28: Talampaya - Chilecito (via Cuesta de Miranda): 180 km (112 miles). Night stay: One of the 6 campgrounds available, or at the Automovil Club Argentino’s hostel if preferred.
Day 29: Chilecito - Belen: 224 km (140 miles). Belen is the national capital of the poncho. Beautiful hand woven ponchos are sold. Overnight: municipal campground or hotel in town.
Day 30: Belen - Quilmes archeological site via hwy. 40: 212 km (132 miles), mostly gravel. The Quilmes was one of the last indigenous groups to surrender to the Spanish conquistadors, and were part of a tragic story once they finally were dominated. Overnight: possible stay at the site’s hotel (recommended). Unique architecture that blends with the surroundings and the ruins.
Day 31: Stationary (Quilmes ruins/Amaicha museum, both recommended). Good hiking area.
Day 32: Quilmes - Molinos: 216 km (135 miles), picturesque gravel road. Visit the wine country around Cafayate (stop at one of the wineries, see traditional tapestries being weaved, and visit a traditional pottery factory). There are other interesting communities along the way to Molinos, always driving next to the Calchaqui River. This area is supposed to have 360 sunny days/year.
Night stay: possible stay at the historic Posada del Gobernador (recommended $ 40 for a double room, with breakfast). This was the house of the last Spanish governor in Argentina, beautiful architecture and setting, and 4-star service.
Day 33: Molinos - Cachi: 45 km (28 miles), all gravel road. Keep driving next to the Calchaqui River, seeing interesting rock formations and small villages. Walk the streets of colonial Cachi, visit its 16th century cathedral, archeological museum, see the mountain scenery (with year round snow cap). Overnight: possible stay at “El Cortijo” hotel or at the Automovil Club Argentino's hostel (both recommended).
Day 34: Extra day to adjust for any delays, or to spend in the Cachi area.
Day 35: Cachi - Cuesta del Obispo-Santa Rosa de Tastil: 197 km (123 miles).We will visit the Los Cardones NP (cardones means cacti), then drive down to the valley through the spectacular Cuesta del Obispo. We avoid Salta city, heading NW and up to Santa Rosa de Tastil. This road follows the famous “tren de las nubes” (cloud train) through some amazing Andean landscapes. We will be at high altitudes tonight and tomorrow (9,000 to 11,100 feet above sea level). Please let me know if this might be an issue. Overnight: municipal campground or hotel in town.
Day 36: Santa Rosa de Tastil - San Antonio de los Cobres - Purmamarca: 173 km (108 miles), all gravel road. We will visit the mining town of S.A. de los Cobres, then start descending towards the Humahuaca valley, driving right next to the amazing Salinas Grandes (big salt flats), and finally arriving to the small and charming town of Purmamarca. Overnight: municipal camping or “Manantial de los Silencios” hotel (recommended). We could also split, depending on individual preferences.
Day 37: Purmamarca - Tilcara: 22 km (14 miles). Drive the picturesque Humahuaca valley, with colorful mountain views. Arrive to Tilcara, another nice town. Visit the pucara (indigenous fortress). Overnight: auto camping “El Jardin”.
Day 38: Tilcara - Cafayate: 298 km (186 miles). We head south, bypass Salta city, and get into the Lerma valley, driving next to the Cabra Corral reservoir and through spectacular mountain scenery later on. Overnight: Campground in Cafayate, or Automovil Club Argentino’s hotel, if preferred.
Day 39: Cafayate - Tafi del Valle - El Portezuelo: 345 km (215 miles). We avoid Tucuman city. Nice mountain views at Totoral. Down to beautiful jungle after Tafi del Valle, nice views. Overnight: Portezuelo’s municipal camping.
Day 40: El Portezuelo - San Marcos Sierra: 386 km (241 miles), includes 90 km (56 miles) of gravel. More nice views leaving Portezuelo, drive bordering the Salinas Grandes (Big Salt Flats), arriving at the small community of San Marcos Sierra, with clear water streams and nice beaches along them. Overnight: campground.
Day 41: Rest day at San Marcos Sierra. Overnight: campground.
Day 42: San Marcos Sierra - Nono via hwy 15: 157 km (98 miles). Overnight: campground
Day 43: Nono - Villa General Belgrano: 193 km (120 miles). Typical sierras of Cordoba roads; arriving at Villa G. Belgrano, a town colonized by the survivors of The Second World War Graf Spee German battleship. Nowadays, the town is a picturesque village with heavy German architectural and culinary influence. Overnight: plenty of nice campgrounds to choose from.
Day 44: Villa General Belgrano - Arrecifes: 559 km (350 miles). Lots of driving today, mostly on hwy 8. We go down to the Pampas and enter Buenos Aires province, seeing the most fertile agricultural areas in the country. Overnight: municipal campground in Arrecifes.
Day 45: Arrecifes - Saladillo: 202 km (126 miles). More Pampas driving, arriving at the ranch, our starting point. Overnight: Camp at the ranch. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 46: Saladillo - Buenos Aires: 220 km (137 miles), by shuttle. In the morning, delivery and inspection of the motorhomes. After lunch we will take a shuttle to either Buenos Aires city or the international Airport (in the way), depending on guests’ preferences. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Also see tour packages in:
South America Argentina Local Culture Self Drive
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