Itinerary: Bariloche - Ruta 40 - Calafate
Duration: 9 nights / 10 days
Season: October – April
Total km: 2450 km. (960 km. gravel road, 1490 km. paved road)
Buenos Aires – Bariloche: by air
Day 1: BARILOCHE – EL BOLSON – ESQUEL
Bariloche is the gateway to the northern Patagonian Andes and world renowned, beautiful mountain resort. It is located in the most important National Park in Argentina: the Nahuel Huapi National Park, in the heart of the Patagonian Lake District.
Drive through the Lake District surrounded by forests, traversing the impressive Canadón de la Mosca and reaching El Bolson, a small town nestled at the foot of Mount Piltriquitrón, on the banks of the Quemquemtreu River. Many hippies settled down in this town in 1960. Lunch.
Continue south along the Cholila Valley to reach Esquel, visiting Estancia Leleque on the way and its Museum of Aborigines and first Welsh settlers.
Accommodation at the cozy hosteria Canela in Esquel.
Distance: 300 km. (paved road). Driving time: 4 hours
Day 2: ESQUEL – LOS ANTIGUOS
Drive from the Andean town of Esquel and on to take the mythical Route 40, the longest in the country (4600 km.) On this day you will experience the dramatic change in landscape and environment, from the woods and mountains of the Patagonian Andes to the windswept Patagonian bushy Steppe.
Scarce rainfall and strong winds dictate limit vegetable forms to severe bushes and grasses, which despite their apparent monotony conceal interesting surprises such as the Calafate bush and its sweet berries. Leaving behind the towns of Rio Mayo and Perito Moreno the road leads to the enormous wild Lake Buenos Aires. Lodging and dinner at Hosteria Antigua Patagonia in Los Antiguos.
Distance: 588 km. (538 km. paved road, 50 km. gravel road) Driving time: 7 hours
Day 3: LOS ANTIGUOS – RUTA 41 - LAGO POSADAS
Visit to one of the several cherry farms sheltered by Lombardy poplars. Today, the drive along Route 41 is somewhat adventurous. The passage to Lago Posadas and Monte Zeballos is desolate, rough and high. We will enjoy the wilderness and geology of the Austral Andes. The view of the lakes, Cordillera and San Lorenzo massif are overwhelming. Lodging and dinner at Hostería La Posada del Posadas, located at a narrow landstrip that scarcely separate the two different colored lakes: Posadas and Pueyrredon Lake.
Distance: 160 km. (gravel road) Driving time: 5 Hours
Day 4: LAGO POSADAS
Full day expedition visiting the Jurassic Coast of Posadas Lake, “The Arch” and the Isthmus. In the afternoon we explore the Puma cave, the “Laguna de los Colores” and the Gorge of Rio Oro, its white waters descending from Mt. San Lorenzo Mount (3706mts). Its snowy peaks can be seen from very far away because they are the highests in the southern Andes. Also a great challenge for the climbers of the world. Father Agostini was the first one to reach its peak in 1943. Lodge and dinner at La Posada del Posadas.
Distance: 80 km (gravel road)
Day 5: LAGO POSADAS – CAVE OF THE HANDS – PERITO MORENO NAT. PARK
Visit to the Cave of the Hands in the Pinturas River Canyon. (Northwest Santa Cruz Province). It is the most important natural collection of prehistoric art in Southamerica. The Cuevas de las Manos were a sacred site for the Tehuelches and their ancestors. The oldest painting is dated back 9000 years. Four different shelters show the paintings evolution; from dynamic hunting scenes to stylized, human figures and concentric circles.
The earmark of the caves are the multitude of hands outlined on the walls, there are also native animals like guanacos hunting and geometrical drawings. The red intense color was the most used, as well as, white, black and yellow.
After a nutritious box lunch drive towards the National Park Perito Moreno, one of the further places of Ruta 40 and less visited areas. The Park protects the fauna and flora patagonica as well as a chain of lakes and rivers. It is remarkable on the park, the quantity of guanacos (lama guanicoe). Lodge and dinner at Estancia La Oriental. Home cooked meals are shared with the owners and other guests.
Distance: 390 km. (350 km. gravel road, 40 km. paved road) Driving time: 7 Hours
Day 6: PERITO MORENO NATIONAL PARK
An exciting full day safari through the Park. We go deep into the park's wilderness where you can easily observe guanacos, choiques (rhea americana), red and gray fox, patagonian hare, flamingos, kaukenes, condors, though puma(felis concolor) and huemul (American deer) are very difficult to see. The sightseeing presents the Cordillera de los Andes and a complex lake system that includes Lake Belgrano, Azara, Burmeister, and Lake Nansen. Visit to the Belgrano Peninsula where there are hundreds of Guanacos hanging around the hilly peninsula. Optional: trekking to Monte Leon.
In the afternoon we drive up to Milky water River, the river that brings glacier sediments from Mount San Lorenzo (3740 m.). Lodge and Dinner at Estancia La Oriental.
Distance: 60 km (gravel road)
Day 7: PERITO MORENO NATIONAL PARK – EL CHALTEN
Today journey the road crosses the Patagonian vastness, interrupted by the lonely Lago Cardiel. Lunch at Estancia La Siberia. On the road there are great opportunities to observe diverse land mammals like Guanacos, hares, red and gray foxes, armadillos and skunks. Birds of prey like falcons, eagles or condors.
Arrival at El Chalten, a windswept town at the foot of the impressive Mt. Fitz Roy. You will enjoy magnificent vistas of the huge granite walls of the daring Mt Fitz Roy and some other important peaks.
Distance: 460 km. (200 km. paved road, 260 km. gravel road) Driving time: 8 Hs
Day 8: EL CHALTEN – EL CALAFATE
Drive to El Calafate along the coast of Lago Argentino. From the road you observe the great Viedma Lake and its Glacier originating in the continental snow fields. El Calafate is a charming small village with good facilities and the gateway to the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier and Los Glaciares National Park.
Distance: 220 km. (paved road) Driving time: 2 y ½ Hours
Day 9: EL CALAFATE
Visit to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier, an important river of ice, 3 km. wide and 50 m high. Because it is the only glacier in the world which is permanently advancing, it has been declared a world heritage by UNESCO. Optional: one hour Safari on Lago Argentino on board a catamaran.
Distance: 160 km. (paved road) Driving time 2 Hours
Day 10: El Calafate – Buenos Aires
Transfer to El Calafate Airport.
Distance: 30 km
■06 dinners without beverages / 08 box Lunch
■Tickets Cueva de las Manos Provintial Reserve
■Private Transportation according to itinerary
Mobil phone: 0054-9-294-4293463
Juramento 190 Floor 3º Of. 6 - CP. 8400 S.C. de Bariloche