Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip; Driving along Patagonia, Argentina

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Ruta 40 listed as RN40 is the longest highway of Argentina and one of the longest highways in the world. National Route 40 stretches in over 3000 miles (5,070+ km). Starting from La Quiaca which is close to the Bolivian border, this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip will take you to point B which is in Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Along with being the longest highway, Ruta 40 goes through 20 National Parks, 18 Major Rivers, and 27 passes in the Andes. This road trip is a pure adventure and one of the most adventurous road trips around the globe. Route 40 is going to take a lot of time in doing the trip of over 5,070 km from one side. Viewing the UNESCO ancient caves, the World’s most famous glaciers, hiking the Argentinian capital of trekking, and much more. Get ready for the true adventure with this breathtaking Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip.

We’ve arranged all you need to know about the National Route 40 road trip. You’ll find the duration of the road trip, the best time to do this road trip, what will be the cost of the trip, what are the places you can visit during the road trip, what are the best hotels for stay, and what are the best food places on the route.

What is the Best time for Ruta 40 Road Trip?

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Ruta 40
Ruta 40 | Picture: Geodyssey

As the winter stikes in June and stays till August, it becomes hard to drive on Ruta 40 due to bad weather conditions. You’ll see snow on roads and that’s why driving a vehicle becomes hard for anyone. The best season for doing Ruta 40 Argentina road trip will be November to March, these are the months when the weather stays sunny and warm suitable for travel. Hotels and food places are also very less open in winter months so it’ll be hard to do the road trip. Also, you’ll not be getting other facilities like mechanics on your way if you in case need it.

Note: All the calculation are done in “Kilometers” unit on traveleronwheels.com

How Much does the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip Cost?

You may be starting the trip from different cities like Salta, Buenos Aries, Santiago, etc., But for a common understanding, we are taking the starting point as La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina for calculating the cost. So, when you start the trip, please also include the cost of fuel for reaching La Quiaca. The cost which we have mentioned here will be very close to the actual cost. Exact cost obviously cannot be mentioned because everyone has a different consumption and spending pattern and preference. Although, we’ve included all the essential things which you’ll be spending money on during the road trip. Let’s have a look at how much it is going to cost you. One more thing, whether you are doing it by bike or car, we’ve got you covered.

Note: Price is mentioned in $ (USD).

Note 2: Most of the restaurants, petrol pumps, and other places doesn’t accept card or any other digital payment method. So, please make sure to bring cash with you.

Cost of the Trip by Bike (Cost for 2)

  • Fuel – On the average of 25 kilometers per liter, bike will be consuming 450 Liters of fuel (La Quiaca >> Santa Cruz >> La Quiaca) which will cost you $405.
  • Food – Food will cost you about $40 per day for two people. So, the approximate cost of food will be $600 approximately as this is a long road trip and will take a lot of days.
  • Accomodation – You’ll easily get decent hotel stay at $80-$150 per night, So the cost of stays will be approximately $500 to $900. Also, we’ll be mentioning hotels below in this article so you can calculate cost accordingly because different types of accomodations charges a different price.
  • Miscellenous – For other expenses like tickets, toll taxes, repairs, etc., you can count $500 extra.
  • Total – Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip by bike will cost you approximately about $2000 to $2500 for two people.

Cost of Trip by Car (Cost for 4)

  • Fuel (Petrol) – On the average of 14 kilometers per liter, car will be consuming 730 Liters of fuel (La Quiaca >> Santa Cruz >> La Quiaca) which will cost you $660.
  • Food – Food will cost you about $80 per day for four people. So, the approximate cost of food will be $1200 approximately as this is a long road trip and will take a lot of days.
  • Accomodation – You’ll easily get decent hotel stay at $100-$108 per night, So the cost of stays will be approximately $600 to $1200
  • Miscellenous – For other expenses like tickets, toll taxes, repairs, etc., you can count $800 extra.
  • Total – Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip by Car will cost you approximately about $3400 to $4200 for four people.

Questions: From where to rent a Car for the road trip?

Best Route for Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip

This is not the Road Trip Route
This is not the Road Trip Route

If you just go and search for La Quiaca to Santa Cruz, Argentina then Google Maps will route you via different highways for a shorter route which goes through many highways including NR9, NH68, NR157, NR36, and more. The purpose of this trip is to explore Ruta 40, not to reach the destination quickly which is Santa Cruz. So, don’t do the mistake of following the route suggested by Google Maps. We are mentioning the road map which you need to follow to reach Santa Cruz along with exploring all the things which come in your way during Ruta 40 Argentina road trip.

We’ve marked all the locations on Google Map for your help. You can save it and access during the road trip. This map which we’ve created has all the major places to visit and the route of the road trip marked on it.

Here is how the National Route 40 goes: La Quiaca >> Timon Cruz >> Coranzuli >> Huancar >> Munano >> La Poma >> Cachi >> San Carlos >> Loro Huasi >> Hualfin >> Salicas >> Nonogasta >> Miranda >> Los Tambillos >> Santa Clara >> Niquivil >> Matagusanos >> Carpinteria >> Jocoli >> Agrelo >> El Sosneado >> Malargue >> Bardas Blancas >> Ranquil del Nte. >> Barrancas >> Chos Malal >> Las Lajas >> Estancia La Negra >> Estancia San Ignacio >> Junin de Los Andes >> San Martin de Los Andes >> Villa La Angostura >> Villa Lago Gutierrez >> Rio Villegas >> El Bolson >> El Hoyo >> Costa del Lepa >> Tecka >> Gobernador Costa >> Las Tamariscos >> Rio Mayo >> Perito Moreno >> Estancia La Criolla >> Tamel Aike >> Gobernador Gregores >> Estancia La Lucia >> Tres Lagos >> La Leona >> Charles Fuhr >> Cancha Carrera >> El Turbio >> Bella Vista >> Rio Gallegos >> Punta Loyola, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Places to Visit on Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip

Ruta 40 Argtentina Road Trip
Ruta 40 Argtentina Road Trip | Picture: Sesinando (Pexels)

On a 5000+ of Km long stretch like Ruta 40, you’ll find numerous interesting places to visit. As we told previously, Ruta 40 passes through 20 National Parks, 18 Major River, and 27 passes. There are a lot of places to visit on this road trip. We’ve written down all the places here. Have a look at the places you can visit and then we’ll move on to the day-by-day itinerary of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip.

Note: This is the list of places that you can visit on National Route 40. We’ll be covering them in the Itinerary where the entire day plans will be mentioned. So, if you need a plan for the trip you’ll get that else you can use the list of these places and other things which we have mentioned on this page to create a plan by yourself.

Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip Itinerary

Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip Complete Itinerary
Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip Complete Itinerary

Starting this 10,000+ km long road trip from La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina, we’ll be going all the way to the bottom of the continent to Punta Loyola, Santa Cruz, Argentina. Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip will easily take about 17 to 24 days to complete and get back from where you started. In the itinerary, we’ve tried to plan everything at best so that you can enjoy within budget and best time period. If you want to do the trip according to your own plan then you can use the other information mentioned on this page as it’ll help you in planning the trip accurately. Otherwise, we’ve already planned everything for you. Have a look at Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip Itinerary here.

Day 1: La Quiaca to Susques Department (325 Km)

Starting off the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, on the day 1, you’ll be driving through dusty roads between rock mountains. We’ll suggest you to start the journey early in the morning so you can cover maximum distance and places of interest in a day. Starting the drive from La Quiaca, your first stop will be Complejo Volcanico De Santa Ana in Jujuy which is 153 Km from La Quiaca. Santa Ana Volcano is the main volcano of the complex. Park your car aside and take a break here. Also, if you like hiking then the hike to the peak of this volcano can be fun for you.

Untill you reach Susques Department, there are no decent or good hotels available for stay so we are making a plan to cover La Quiaca to Susques Department in a day. Once you reach Susques Department, you’ll be checking into a hotel and spending your night there. We’ve mentioned the list of best hotels for stay in Susques Department below.

Santa Ana Volcano
Santa Ana Volcano | Picture: Tripadvisor
Laguna Seca, Jujuy
Laguna Seca, Jujuy | Picture: Google Maps

Just 2.9 Km ahead of Santa Ana Volcano, you’ll arrive at Laguna Seca which is a decent place for clicking some pictures with giant plateaus in the background, though we do not recommend stopping here if you are already running late. Get back to the car and drive all the way straight to to reach Susques Department which is the stop for day 1.

Food Places between La Quiaca – Susques Department

  1. Cusi – Cusi Departamento Santa Catalina Jujuy – Located 4.7 Km away from National Route 40, this is a popular restaurant in Santa Catalina. You can enjoy a meal here during the Ruta 40 Argentina road trip.
  2. Comedor Don Hugo, Susques Department – Located in Susques Department, It is a reasonably priced quality food restaurant. You can have your meal here at night.

Best Accomodation for Stay in Susques Department

Complejo Turístico Pastos Chicos, Susques Department

Ratings: 7.4/10
Price: US $58 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Bar, TVs, Mountain Views, Wooden Furniture, Small Library, Game Room, Common Lounge, Restaurant, Breakfast Included, Hair Dryer, Heating, Wardrobe, Wake-up Service.

 Hotel Complejo Turístico Pastos Chicos
Hotel Complejo Turístico Pastos Chicos

Petrol Pumps between La Quiaca – Susques Department

  1. ACA La quiaca – Unidad servicial N° 102
  2. Lubricentro, La Quiaca, Jujuy
  3. YPF, España Sur y Bolívar, Y4650 La Quiaca, Jujuy
  4. Posto de Combustível, Casa Quemada, Jujuy

Day 2: Susques Department to Cachi (272 Km)

On day 2 of the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, our 1st stop will be Cerro Tuzgle which is about 82.9 Km far from Susques Department. We’ll suggest you leave early from Susques Department so you can enjoy most of your day on the trip instead of a hotel. It’ll be a 1.5-hour drive to Cerro Tuzgle. Cerro Tuzgle is a dormant stratovolcano at the elevation level of 5486 meters.

Cerro Tuzgle
Cerro Tuzgle | Picture: Wikipedia

If you’ve decided to climb to the top then make sure to leave early in the morning around 4 AM so that you can witness this amazing view under a starry roof. Cerro Tuzgle peak is covered with snow if you visit it just after the winters. hiking to the peak will take almost half of your day so plan accordingly.

Moving from Cerro Tuzgle, the next stop will be Viaduct Polvorilla (Viaducto la Polvorilla) which is a railway bridge. The train Tren a las Nubes that passes from here is known as the train to the clouds. Ticket of Tren a las Nubes is US$80 and the train can be boarded from Salta Province ending the journey at Viaduct Polrovilla.

Viaduct Polrovilla
Viaduct Polrovilla | Picture: Photoshelter
Tren a las Nubes
Tren a las Nubes | Picture: Wikiwand

Leave from Cerro Tuzgle and drive for around 26.7 Km on National Route 40 to reach Viaducto la Polvorilla. You can stop here for 15 minutes. This will be a nice place for watching the train going over this huge railway bridge. If you decide to experience the train ride, you can additionally go to Salta and board the train from there. We’ve not included the train ride in the itinerary.

From Viaduct Polrovilla, You need to drive 60.3 Km on the Ruta 40 to reach Abra del Acay which is the highest point of Ruta 40 elevated at 4972 meters from the sea level.

Abgra Del Acay
Abgra Del Acay | Picture: Flickr

Take a small break here and enjoy the view of mountains and snow covered peaks from the highest point of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. Continue driving for coming 51 km and you’ll arrive at Puente Del Diablo which is cave-like place with water flowing between the rocks. It is one of the best places on this route to click amazing pictures. Leaving early from Susques Department is really important on Day 2 because you are going to see many interesting places on Day 2 before reaching Cachi.

Just 11.65 Km away from Puente Del Diablo, you’ll arrive at Graneros Incas which is a natural cave as well as a historical landmark. A natural cave which has a lot of nature made arrangements like rain protection, rodent traps, ventilation, and more.

Graneros Incas, La Poma | Picture: Tripadvisor
Graneros Incas, La Poma | Picture: Tripadvisor

Along with the National Ruta 40 driving towards Cachi, you’ll see the range of mountains which is called Nevado de Cachi located a bit far from the highway. It is a complex of mountains among which Cumbre Libertador being the highest elevated mountain peak at 6380 meters. Nevado de Cachi is a popular place for hiking, so if you are interested in hiking then this is a must-go place.

Intendencia Parque Nacional Los Cardones
Intendencia Parque Nacional Los Cardones | Picture: Alchetron
Nevado de Cachi
Nevado de Cachi | Picture: Culturademontania

Moving on with the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, our next and last places to visit for the day will be Intendencia Parque Nacional Los Cardones which is about 27 Km drive away from Graneros Incas. It is a national park where you can take your vehicle and drive between giant cactuses all around. Once you are done with all the places to visit for the day, it’s time to checck-in to hotel and rest until the next day drive starts. Drive all the way to Cachi which is just 12 km away from Intendencia Parque Nacional.

Food Places between Susques Department – Cachi

Best Accomodation for Stay in Cachi, Salta

El Corjito Hotel Boutique

Ratings: 8.7/10
Price: US $80 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Mountain View, Landmark View, Inner Courtyard View, Patio, Ensuite Bathroom, Barbeque, Free WiFi, Extra Long Beds, Free Barking, Breakfast, Bar.

Book Now at Booking.com
El Cortijo Hotel Boutique
El Cortijo Hotel Boutique

Casas en Cachi

Ratings: 9.5/10
Price: US $48 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Garden View, Patio, Private Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedset, Sofa, Private Entrance, Seating Area, Wardrobe, Free Parking, Free WiFi.

Book Now at Booking.com
Casas en Cachi
Casas en Cachi

Hosteria Villa Cardon

Ratings: 9.2/10
Price: US $77 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Garden View, Inner Courtyard View, Patio, Ensuite Bathroom, Free WiFi, Outdoor Dining Area, Wake-up Service, Mosquito Net, Marble Floor.

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Hosteria Villa Cardon
Hosteria Villa Cardon

Petrol Pumps between Susques Department – Cachi

  1. YPF, San Antonio de los Cobres
  2. Energy Resource- Estación Shell, San Antonio de los Cobres
  3. YPF ACA Cachi, Cachi

Day 3: Cachi to Belen (425 Km)

Today’s ride is going to be a little more tiring as we’ll be covering over 400 km on Day 3. We’ve covered 597 Km so far on this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. Cachi to Belen is 425 Km in the distance which goes through a lot of rough and dusty patches. Again I would say leaving early in the morning will work in your favor. Our first stop will be Mirador el Ventisquero which is about 92 km away from Cachi.

Mirador el Ventisquero
Mirador el Ventisquero | Picture: Eric Wijen, Google Maps

Mirador el Ventisquero is a gate like a point on this route where you’ll see spiky gigantic rocks on both sides of the road. Once you cross this section and if you look back to it, you’ll see it appears like a gate on the highway. This is one of the most interesting points on Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip you’ll be passing through. You can take a 5-10 minutes halt at Mirador el Ventisuqero.

The next stop will be Dique San Carlos where you can stop for a while and enjoy it. From Ventisuqero, Dique San Carlos is about 36 km. Dique San Carlos is a beautiful landscape with a water body, mountains in the background, and area for stopping you care just close to the water and enjoy the view. You can even do a small picnic if you are prepared for it.

Dique San Carlos
Dique San Carlos | Picture: Google

Cerro Galan is one of the most exposed Calderas in the world. Though it lies far away from the Ruta 40 so we’ve not included in the Itinerary of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. If you want to experience Cerro Galan, you can include 2 extra days to the schedule. After Dique San Carlos, we are going a bit off the Ruta 40 to experience two amazing places pretty close to it. Los Colorado and Shells’ Ravine are these two amazing places located on Ruta 60. We’ll be using RP44 because it is a shorter way to reach Los Colorado which is about 26 Km away and just next to it lies Shells’ Ravine.

Los Colorado
Los Colorado | Picture: Google
Shells' Ravine
Shells’ Ravine | Picture: Google

Shells’ Ravine and Los Colorado are giant red rock mountains that offer a breathtaking view of rock formations and National Route 68 as well as Ruta 40. You can easily spend 2 hours at these places. Once you are done with exploring these places, get back to the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip and head to the next stop. The next stop on this trip is Cumbres Calchaquies which is about 104 Km from Shells’s Ravine. if the weather is hot, we wouldn’t suggest you go here. It is a landscape viewpoint, so if you are willing to hike it, you can but that’ll require 1 extra day which we didn’t count in this Itinerary.

Well, moving forwards, the next stop will be Cerro del Bolson which is again a mountain peak. You need to trek to it in order to experience it. We would suggest you to visit it as it offers an amazing view of cloud even lower than the elevation level of the mountain. Try how far you can take the car, rest you need to do on feets.

Cerro del Bolson
Cerro del Bolson | Picture: Google
Cambres Calchaquies
Cambres Calchaquies | Picture: Google

Moving ahead of Cerro del Bolson, the next stop is Pozo Verde Wildlife Park which is about 62 Km from this place. Pozo Verde is a beautiful wildlife park with an amazing view of red rock formed mountain walls. Along with that, a flowing water body compliments the wildlife park. You can click some cool pictures here.

Virgen de Belen
Virgen de Belen | Picture: Google
Pozo Verde
Pozo Verde | Picture: Google

Our last stop for the day is in the Belen city which is Virgen de Belen. After a long day, the last stop Virgen de Belen is just 59.2 Km away from Pozo Verde Wildlife park. Once you reach there, you can first check-in to the hotel and then visit Virgen de Belen as it is just close to the city and you’ll be staying in Belen for a night. So, we are done with first 1000 km of the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. Rest is going to be awesome as we’ll be changing to a green landscape in coming days pretty soon.

Food Places between Cachi – Belen

Best Accomodation for Stay in Belen

Villa San Ignacio

Ratings: 8.6/10
Price: US $24 Per Night, 3 Adults

Facilities: Free WiFi, Swimming Pool, Breakfast Included, Garden Area, Mountain View.

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Villa San Ignacio
Villa San Ignacio

Estacion 40 Hotel

Ratings: 7.8/10
Price: US $21 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Air Conditioning, Flat-Screen TV, Free WiFi, Heating, Wardrobe, Clothes Rack.

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Estancion 40 Hotel
Estancion 40 Hotel

Hotel Belen

Ratings: 8.1/10
Price: US $55 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Bar, Breakfast Included, Balcony, Garden View, Mountain View, City View, Air Conditioning, Spa Bath, Private Bathroom, Flat TV, Terrace.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hotel Belen
Hotel Belen

Petrol Pumps between Cachi – Belen

  1. Estacion de Servicios, Villa el Monte, Seclantás, Salta, Argentina.
  2. Centro de Servicios San Onofre, Libertad, Angastaco 97, A4427 Salta, Argentina.
  3. YPF, Güemes Y, Brachieri, A4427 Cafayate, Salta, Argentina.
  4. ACA Hualfin, RN40, Hualfin, Catamarca, Argentina.
  5. Refinor Service Station, Av Coronel Daza & Sarmiento, Belén, Catamarca, Argentina.

Day 4: Belen to San Juan Province (623 Km)

So far we’ve done 1002 Km of the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip which is about 20% of the trip. On Day 4, we’ll be covering 623 Km from Belen to San Juan Province. Day 4 is going to be more about driving and we’ll be changing to a new terrain which is green and you’ll love the roads here. So, starting the day leaving early at about 6 in the morning our first stop will be Sitio Arqueológico De Hualco (Hualco Archeological Site) which is 112 Km away from Belen. It’ll be a 1 hour 20 minutes drive.

Sitio Arqueológico De Hualco
Sitio Arqueológico De Hualco | Picture: Google

Sitio Arqueológico De Hualco is an archeological museum where you can offering you an amazing view of landscape and ruins. You can spend hours in the pond on the premises of Hualco Archeological Site. The place is really quiet and beautiful, you’ll love exploring it. Once you are done with exploring this place, we’ll be moving to the next stop on Day 4 of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. The next stop will be Cristo del Portezuelo in Chilecito which is again about 112 Km ahead of Hualco Archeological Site.

Cristo del Portezuelo
Cristo del Portezuelo | Picture: Pinterest
Inicio Cuesta de Miranda
Inicio Cuesta de Miranda | Picture: Google

Cristo del Portezuelo is a tall statue of Jesus that can easily be seen from the road. It has scenic surroundings and you’ll love spending some time here. You can click some cool pictures standing on the stairs under the statue of Jesus. Moving ahead, the next stop is going to be Inicio Cuesta de Miranda which is a viewpoint offering a beautiful view of red rocks and mountains with a river flowing in the middle. Inicio Cuesta de Miranda is about 37.1 Km ahead of Cristo del Portezuelo which will take around 40 minutes to reach there.

Bordo Atravesado
Bordo Atravesado | Picture: Textualdigital.com.ar

Just a few km ahead of Inicio Cuesta de Miranda lies Bordo Atravesado which is an amazing viewpoint of colorful mountains covered with green grass with a mix of beautiful red rock mountain formation. Just a 10-minute ride covering about 10.8 Km and you’ll reach Bordo Atravesado. Our next stop is going to be in San Juan Province which is about 358 Km from Bordo Atravesado. So, once you are done with visiting Bordo Atravesado, grab some snacks and start your long journey to San Juan Province.

The next stop is Viejo Puente de Albardón which is an old bridge. It is not operational now as it has got a new bridge just on the right side of the ridge. You can click some cool pictures here and enjoy the view of the land from over the bridge. You can even visit this place the next morning as this is just close to the place you are going to stay at.

Food Places between Belen to San Juan Province

Best Accomodation for Stay in San Juan Province

Del Bono Suites Art Hotel

Ratings: 8.4/10
Price: US $82 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Free WiFi, Pets Allowed, Breakfast Included, Hot Tub, Kitchen, Desk, TV, Refrigerator, Microwave, Heating, Hairdryer, Wake-up Service, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Del Bono Suites Art Hotel
Del Bono Suites Art Hotel

Hotel Casa Mia

Ratings: 7.8/10
Price: US $21 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Parking, Non-Smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, Pets Allowed, Family Rooms, Breakfast Included, Air Conditioning, Ensuite Bathroom, TV, Refirgerator, Tea/Coffee Maker, Wardrobe, Ground Floor.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hotel Casa Mia
Hotel Casa Mia

Hotel Vinas del Sol

Ratings: 8.7/10
Price: US $46 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Free Parking, Non-Smoking Rooms, Fitness Centre, Room Service, Bar, Breakfast Included, Air Conditioning, Free WiFi, Parking, Shower, TV, Wardrobe.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hotel Vinas del Sol
Hotel Vinas del Sol

Oasis Cordillerano Village

Ratings: 9.2/10
Price: US $72 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Garden View, Pool View, Air Conditioning, Patio, Private Bathroom, Flat Screen TV, Soundproofing, Free WiFi, TV, Refrigerator, Heating, Microwave, Kitchenware, Stovetop, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Oasis Cordillerano Village
Oasis Cordillerano Village

Petrol Pumps between Belen – San Juan Province

  1. YPF, Ruta Nacional 40 Km (Ex Prov. 11, F5327 Salicas, La Rioja, Argentina.
  2. YPF, Av. Eva Perón 772, F5360 Chilecito, La Rioja, Argentina.
  3. YPF, Ruta Nacional 40 Km Y 25 De Mayo, J5460, San Juan, Argentina.
  4. YPF, Villa General San Martín, San Juan Province, Argentina

Day 5: San Juan Province to Chos Malal (829 Km)

It’s day 5 of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, we’ve so far covered 1600+ Km on Ruta 40. Today we’ll be covering over 800 Km on this stretch. Day 5 is going to be more about riding as we have only 3 major places to visit on the route. First stop for the day will be Cuesta del Chihuido which is about 531 Km ahead of our starting point for the day.

Cuesta del Chihuido
Cuesta del Chihuido | Picture: Google

Cuesta del Chihuido is a mountain peak located just on the National Route 40 at the elevation of 1977 meters in Mendoza province. You can either take a halt on the highway or take the trek to the mountain peak. It offers amazing views of the surroundings and there is a waterfall between rocks. The waterfall can be a good experience for you at Cuesta del Chihuido and you can click some nice pictures here.

La Pasarela
La Pasarela | Picture: Google

Continuing from Cuesta del Chihuido, the next stop will be La Pasarela which is about 87 Km away. La Pasarela is a bridge crossing over the Rio Grande river. You can stop here and take enjoy a photography session in this section of the road. The next stop is Cerro Payun that is a Stratovolcano lying in the back-arc region of the Andean Volcanic Belt.

Cerro Payun
Cerro Payun | Picture: Google

We suggest you take a quick trek to Cerro Payun. You can take your car close to the mountain and cover the rest of the distance on feet. With patches of many colors, Cerro Payun looks tempting and if you are able to go just after winters, you’ll see some snow which makes it more beautiful. Now once you are done with the trek, we’ll be driving 188 Km all the way to Chos Malal and check-in to the hotel.

Food Places between San Juan Province – Chos Malal

Best Accomodation for Stay in Chos Malal, Neuquen

Hotel Terra Malal

Ratings: 9.0/10
Price: US $70 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Breakfast Included, Bathtub, Air Conditioning, Flat-Screen TV, Heating, Hairdryer, Shower.

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Hotel Terra Malal
Hotel Terra Malal

Hotel Picun Ruca

Ratings: 7.9/10
Price: US $80 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Bar, Breakfast Included, Balcony, City View, Air Conditioning, Patio, Flat-Screen TV, Terrace, Minibar, Free WiFi, Parking.

Book Now at Booking.com
Picun Ruca
Picun Ruca

Petrol Pumps between San Juan Province – Chos Malal

  1. YPF Service Station, Las Heras, Mendoza Province, Argentina.
  2. Shell, San Martín 1500, M5560 Tunuyán, Mendoza, Argentina.
  3. ESTACIÓN DE SERVICIO EL SOSNEADO, San Rafael, Mendoza Province, Argentina.
  4. Service Station AXION Malargüe, Ruta Nac. 40 Y Calle Publica, Malargüe, Mendoza, Argentina.
  5. ACA Chos Malal, 25 de Mayo 614, Q8353 Chos Malal, Neuquén, Argentina

Day 6 & 7: Chos Malal to San Martin de Los Andes (458 Km)

Well, we’ve covered 2454 Km of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip so far. This Ruta 40 Argentine Road Trip is going to be awesome as soon as we enter the San Martin de Los Andes as it has many beautiful landscapes for you. We’ll be reaching there on Day 1 and taking Day 2 to explore the entire place and getting back to the hotel in San Martin de Los Andes. You can’t just miss the beauty of this place.

You can leave from Chos Mala at around 8 AM or 9 AM as there is not many places to visit on the route. Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip has been quite adventurous so far and now it is going to be soulful. So, tighten your seat belts and leave for San Martin de Los Andes. Start your car and drive for 394 Km to reach the first stop for Day 6 that is Observatorio De Cóndores.

Observatorio De Cóndores
Observatorio De Cóndores | Picture: Google

Observatorio De Cóndores is a viewpoint located just on Ruta 40. Park your car and experience this amazing view of mountains peaks covered with Snow. Continuing from here, the next stop will be Parque Via Christi. A drive of 23 Km which takes about 25 minutes will take you to Parque Via Christi from Observatorio de Condores.

Parque Via Christi
Parque Via Christi
Parque Via Christ is a beautiful park built on a mountain showcasing a different type of architectural representation. You’ll see statues related to Jesus and his life represented well in this park. You can easily spend 1 hour here exploring the park. Continuing from here, our next stop will be San Martin de Los Andes where you’ll be checking in to the hotel. San Martin de Los Andes is just 41 Km from here.

After having a little bit of rest and a meal so your body can regain the energy to go out and explore more, we’ll explore two amazing viewpoints in San Martin de Los Andes and you’ll love these places. Just a few minutes of hike will get you on to Mirador Bandurrais and La Islita.

Mirador Bandurrias
Mirador Bandurrias | Picture: Google
La Islita
La Islita | Picture: Google

You can drive your car to Mirador Banduarrias, it is just 7 Km away from the center of the town. Mirador Bandurrias offers you an amazing view of Lago Lacar surrounded by mountains for miles. The water of Lago Lacar is crystal clean and you’ll love sitting here for hours. Just about a kilomtere away, you can visit La Islita which is a viewpoint of Lago Lacar with a small piece of land in the middle of water. Both of the places shown in the image above are great for photography and sitting for hours. Now, let’s take a look at the best hotels where you can spend quality time in this beautiful town.

Best Accomodation for Stay in San Martin de Los Andes

Huinid Bustillo Hotel & Spa

Ratings: 8.8/10
Price: US $60 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Parking, Spa and Wellness Centre, Fitness Centre,Room Service, Bar, Breakfast Included, Flat Screen TV, Minibar, Free WiFi, Wardrobe, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Villa Huinid Spa Resort
Villa Huinid Spa Resort

Cabañas Villa Centauro

Ratings: 9.3/10
Price: US $30 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Non-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, BBQ Facilities, Garden View, Flat Screen TV, Kitchen.

Book Now at Booking.com
Cabañas Villa Centauro

Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa

Ratings: 9.5/10
Price: US $164 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Free Parking, Spa and Wellness Centre, Fitness Centre, Bar, Breakfast Included, Beachfront, Private Beach Area, Balcony, Mountain View, Garden View, Landmark View, Pool View, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa
Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa

Lirolay Suites

Ratings: 9.5/10
Price: US $79 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Swimming Pool, Free Parking, Spa and Wellness Centre, Fitness Centre, Bar, Breakfast Included, Beachfront, Private Beach Area, Balcony, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Lirolay Suites
Lirolay Suites

We’ve selected these hotels very carefully taking in mind about your comfort and leisure. We hope you’ll like your stay at any of these hotels during this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. Once you wake up on Day 7, we’ve planned everything and a beach is waiting for you. Let’s start day 7 of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip.

Get in your car and put navigation on Google Maps to Playa de Yuco. Playa de Yuco is a beachfront just 26 km away from the city. You need to follow RP48 to get there and it’ll take around 50 minutes for you to reach there. We suggest you to go to this place in the morning at about 5 AM or 6 AM. You’ll find it magical in the morning when sun is about to rise.

Ruta 40 Argetina Road Trip: Playa de Yuco
Ruta 40 Argetina Road Trip: Playa de Yuco | Picture: Google

Once you are done exploring this beach, get back to the hotel and leave from there to explore other places at around 12 PM. On Day 7 of the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip you’ll be exploring 4-5 places and getting back to the hotel. So, the first place will be Mirador Lago Machónico which is just a few km away from the city on Ruta 40. Connected to the Lago Hermoso, Lago Mochonico is a small pond of water among the mountains offering an amazing landscape.

Mirador Lago Machónico
Mirador Lago Machónico | Picture: Google
Mirador Lago Falkner
Mirador Lago Falkner | Picture: Google
Mirador Del Lago Villarino
Mirador Del Lago Villarino | Picture: Google
Mirador Lago Escondido
Mirador Lago Escondido | Picture: Google

All these for Lagos are located within 50 Km from San Martin de Los Andes on Ruta 40. Here are the names you can put on Google map and navigate to these places:

  1. Mirador Lago Machónico
  2. Mirador Lago Falkner
  3. Mirador Del Lago Villarino
  4. Mirador Lago Escondido
  5. Cascadas Nivinco (Waterfall)

Once you are done with exploring these places, get back to the hotel and the next morning we’ll be leaving to our next destination which will be El Hoyo.

Food Places between San Juan Province – San Martin de Los Andes

Petrol Pumps between Chos Malal – San Martin de Los Andes

  1. YPF, Ruta Nacional 22 Km Y Ruta Nac 40 S, Q8347 Las Lajas, Neuquén, Argentina.
  2. YPF, Padre Luis Monti Y Trannack, Q8340 Zapala, Neuquén, Argentina.
  3. YPF, Ruta Nacional 234 Km, Q8371 Junín de los Andes, Neuquén, Argentina.
  4. ACA Estación de Servicios, Koessler 2176, Ruta 40, Q8370FSU San Martin de los Andes, Neuquén, Argentina.

Day 8: San Martin de Los Andes to El Hoyo (297 KM)

We’ve covered 2912 Km of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip so far. It’s been 8 days since you started this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip and we hope you are enjoying it. We suggest you to leave at 10 AM in the morning from San Martin de Los Andes after having a good breakfast.

Ruca Malen bridge over the river
Ruca Malen bridge over the river | Picture: Google

Our first stop of Day 8 will be Ruca Malen bridge over the river which his about 85 Km far from San Martin de Los Andes. Located on Ruta 40, this is a perfect Instaworthy place where you can click some amazing pictures and landscapes. The water is extremely clear and you’ll enjoy your time being here.

Color of water appears to be turquoise and emerald at many places which makes it a more beautiful place. People do spend time here being in the water and enjoying time with their fellow people.

Moving ahead, the next stop will be Mirador Inalco, and very close to it the second stop will be Punto Panoramico which is a perfect place to experience a panoramic view of the valley. Mirador Inalco is about 15.7 Km from Ruca Malen bridge which’ll take around 15 minutes to reach there. Mirador Inalco is a viewpoint of Nahuel Huapi Lake.

Mirador Inalco
Mirador Inalco | Picture: Google
Punta Panoramico
Punta Panoramico | Picture: Google

Just 2.5 Km ahead of Mirador Inalco, you’ll reach Punto Panoramico. You can take a quick break here and capture some cool panoramas. After Punto Panoramico, we’ll be visiting Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Nahuel Huapi National Park is the most visited tourist place on this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. You need to buy tickets for the national park which costs about US$40 for each person. You can consult with your Hotel about visiting Huapi National Park as it is a separate experience and takes a lot of time. So, do it on a separate day.

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi | Picture: Google

Our next stop will be Barlovento which is a halting place where people usually take a break sitting on the beach. You’ll enjoy sitting there for a hour on sand giving rest to your body. When you are done with taking a quick break, you can conitnue the drive to the next stop. Barlovento is about 12 km ahead of Punto Panoramico which will take around 15 hour of drive. After visiting Barlovento, you can also visit Cerro Catedral, A mountian peak in Rio Negro. This place is also popular for skying. Cerro Catedral is 93 Km ahead of Barlovento in Rio Negro.

Barlovento
Barlovento
Cerro Catedral
Cerro Catedral

There are two more places which we’ll be exploring on the route which are Cerro Amigo and El Bosque Tollado. These two are located very close to each other and just a few km before EL Hoyo. Cerro Amigo is a view point of El Bolson which offers a tempting view of town. Just a few km ahead of Cerro Amigo, you’ll see El Bosque Tollado which is a place where you can see wooden structures of humans and animals.

Cerro Amigo
Cerro Amigo | Picture: Google
El Bosque Tollado
El Bosque Tollado

So, we are done for today and now we’ll be moving to our final destination for today which is El Hoyo. El Hoyo is 142 Km ahead of Cerro Catedral. It’ll be 2 hours and 20 minutes drive on a beautiful road. Once you reach El Hoyo, check-in to the hotel and take rest and we’ll continue to our next destination on Day 9 of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip.

Once you reach El Hoyo, take a little rest and then you can visit Laberinto Patagonia which is just 5.3 km via Camino al Desemboque. Laberinto Patagonia is a recreation spot where you can play tart with your friends.

Food Places between San Martin de Los Andes – El Hoyo

Best Accomodation for Stay in El Hoyo

Hosteria El Hoyo

Ratings: 9.4/10
Price: US $59 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Bar, Breakfast Included, Garden View, Mountain View, Landmark View, Patio, Barbeque, Heating, Board Games, Books, DVDs for Kids, Private Entrance, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hosteria El Hoyo
Hosteria El Hoyo

Hostel Luz Clara

Ratings: 9.7/10
Price: US $50 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Garden View, Mountain View, Patio, Soundproof, Coffee Machine, Free WiFi, Mosquito Net, Microwave, Dining Area, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hostel Huz Clara
Hostel Huz Clara

Petrol Pumps between San Martin de Los Andes – El Hoyo

  1. ESTACION DE SERVICIO YPF NORTE, Chos Malal, Av. Siete Lagos y, Q8407 Villa La Angostura, Neuquén, Argentina.
  2. Estacion De Servicio Axion Dina Huapi, Los Notros 277, R8402 Dina Huapi, Río Negro, Argentina.
  3. ACA Villa Mascardi, RN40, Villa Mascardi, Río Negro, Argentina.
  4. YPF, El Bolsón, Río Negro, Argentina.
  5. YPF, El Hoyo, Chubut Province, Argentina.

Day 9: El Hoyo to El Calafate (1295 Km)

So, Day 9 of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip is going to be a driving day. You’ll be driving all the way to El Calafate which is just 500 Km away from our final destination of this Ruta 40 Road Trip. Our first and only place to visit for day 9 will be Mirador Lago Viedma which is about 1177 Km from El Hoyo. So, tighten your seat belts and put the destination on the Google map, and start driving. Enjoy various beautiful curves of the route through the car window. Take breaks at your convenience.

Mirador Lago Viedma
Mirador Lago Viedma | Picture: Google

Experience incredible view of snow covered mountains straight from the highway. From here, drive 118 km to El Calafate and there you’ll be spending the night. Tomorrow on Day 10 of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, we’ll continue to our final destination for the trip which is Punta Loyola.

Food Places between San Martin de Los Andes – El Hoyo

Best Accomodation for Stay in El Calafate

Hotel Rochester Calafate

Ratings: 8.2/10
Price: US $80 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Family Rooms, Restaurant, Room Service, Free WiFi, Bar, Breakfast Included, Minibar, Bathtub, Flat Screen TV, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Rochester Calafate
Rochester Calafate

Tierra Tehuelche Hostería y Aparts

Ratings: 8.7/10
Price: US $43 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Family Rooms, Room Service, WiFi, Breakfast, Lake View, Bathtub, Minibar, Patio, Mountain View, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Tierra Tehuelche Hostería y Aparts
Tierra Tehuelche Hostería y Aparts

Petrol Pumps between El Hoyo – El Calafate

  1. YPF, Soldado Austin Y Güemes S/N°, U9201 Tecka, Chubut, Argentina.
  2. YPF, Julio Argentino Roca Y 28 De Febrero, U9223 Gdor. Costa, Chubut, Argentina.
  3. YPF Service Station, Río Mayo, Chubut Province, Argentina.
  4. YPF Service Station, Rivadavia, 9 de Julio &, Perito Moreno, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
  5. YPF El Alamo, Antártida Argentina S/N°, Z9311 Gdor. Gregores, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
  6. Petrobras, Av. del Libertador 1780, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Day 10: El Calafate to Rio Gallegos (489 Km)

This is the last day of driving fro one city to another covering 100s of kilometers. On Day 10 of the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip, we’ll be driving from El Calafate to Rio Gallegos covering 489 Km of stretch on Ruta 40. Leaving early from El Calafate, our first stop will be Mirador Cuesta De Miguez located on Ruta 40 about 54 Km ahead of El Calafate. Mirador Cuesta De Miguez is a viewpoint where you can look at an amazing view of mountains covered with snow and if you are lucky you’ll be able to see fox over here.

Mirador Cuesta De Miguez
Mirador Cuesta De Miguez | Picture: Google
Puente Blanco
Puente Blanco

The next stop on Day 10 of Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip is Puente Blanco which is about 249 Km from Mirador Cuesta De Miguez. Puente Blanco is also a viewpoint located on Ruta 40 where you can take a quick break and click some pictures. Third and the last place to visit on Day 10 is Guer Aike that is the entry point of Rio Gallegos. From Puente Blanco, it’ll be a 162 Km ride to Guer Aike. From Guer Aike, jut 28 Km of the ride and you’ll arrive at the last city of this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. We suggest you spend at least 2 days here with your fellow travelers. Explore the city and visit Punta Loyola which is the endpoint of National Route 40.

Food Places between El Calafate – Rio Gallegos

Best Accomodation for Stay in Rio Gallegos

Hotel Aire de Patagonia

Ratings: 8.6/10
Price: US $42 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Ensuite Bathroom, Free WiFi, Flat Screen TV, Hairdryer, Wardrobe, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Hotel Aire de Patagonia
Hotel Aire de Patagonia

Hotel Comercio

Ratings: 8.3/10
Price: US $46 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Free WiFi, Breakfast, Bar, Flat Screen TV, Soundproofing, Bathtub, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
Comercio
Comercio

EL PATAGON viviendas

Ratings: 8.0/10
Price: US $35 Per Night, 2 Adults

Facilities: Free Parking, Free WiFi, Inner Courtyard View, Patio, Breakfast, Kitchen, Flat Screen TV, and more.

Book Now at Booking.com
EL PATAGON viviendas
EL PATAGON viviendas

Petrol Pumps between El Calafate – Rio Gallegos

  1. Tapi Aike, Santa Cruz Province, Chile.
  2. AXION, Segundo Villagra Nº 22, Río Turbio, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
  3. Estacion de Servicio Ypf de Alma Sa, Antártida Argentinay Rn 40, 28 de Noviembre, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
  4. YPF, A J Barck Y Ruta Nacional 3, Z9400 Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Getting Back to Your City, Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip is Done Now!

Well, it has been a long trip, we finally did it. We hope you like the itinerary, places to visit, food places recommendations, and hotel recommendations. We suggest you to use Google Maps to navigate back to your home city as it’ll give you a shorter way and you’ll be able to explore a new route. If you have any question or message then please use the comment section given below and let us know.

Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip FAQs

Ruta 40 is one of the longest road trips in the world with stretch of 5000+ kilometers from one side. During the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip you passes through 20 National Parks, 18 Major Rivers, and 27 Passes. People from around the globe come to do it.

You’ll be passing over 50 small towns and cities during the Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip. The major cities and towns lying on the route are La Quiaca, Susques Department, Cachi, Belen, San Juan Province, Chos Malal, San Martin de Los Andes, El Hoyo, El Calafate, and Rio Gallegos.

Well, for some obvious reasons like length, it is one of the most expensive road trips. For two people doing it on bike, it’ll at least cost $2000 and if $3400 for 4 people doing the road trip by Car. Still, you can save cost on hotels and food places if you manage it well.

Yes, Most of the restaurants, hotels, petrol pumps, and tourist attractions don’t accept digital payment and card payment methods so we strongly suggest you to take a healthy amount of cash with you.

Well, covering 5,000 Km of stretch from one side is itself a hard task. As per our itinerary it’ll take 10 days for you to reach Rio Gallegos from La Quiaca exploring all the places coming between and halting at major cities at night. Adding to 10 days, it’ll take around 3-4 days for you to get back to your city. So, approximately it’ll be taking 15 days to complete this Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip.

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