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Southern Ruta 40
Esquel south to El Chalten and El Calafate

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Intro by: Michele Shelburne, President, LADATCO TOURS

Without a doubt, Ruta 40 is one of the world's great roads. It spans 4900 km from north to south, passing through 11 provinces and three different regions: the North, Cuyo and Patagonia. It crosses 236 bridges and 18 main rivers, touches 13 big lakes and salt flats, givrs access to 20 national parks and reserves and connects 27 mountain passes.

In Patagonia, it is the main road of the Argentine Patagonia, paved for several hundred kilometers south of of Esquel and then "all weather" gravel road.

From Esquel in the north to El Calafate-Lago Argentino in the south is a minimum of a three day drive. Unfortunately there is no scheduled bus service. If you rent a car in Bariloche and drop it in El Calafate, you'll be in for sticker shock for sure when it comes time to pay the rental costs. And to add more challenges, most cars in Argentina are manual shift, most Americans are not use to driving on gravel roads and gas stations are few and far between.

So there is no short easy way to do this trip. So why do it?

It is the experience of the drive along the main highway of the Argentine Patagonia which also happens to be one of the least traveled roads of the country. It is equally a chance to visit the estancias reached from this historic road and to get to visit the Parque Nacional Perito Moreno, the northern part of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and El Chalten and Fitz Roy.

For for the ultimate in Ruta 40 and estancias, check out our Ruta 40 Explorer..

The Ruta 40 Explorer is easily custom designed to include even more estancias and allow even more time to explore the area.

If you like the still untrampled and undiscovered, explore Ruta 40. You'll be enchanted.

Click here to explore the Estancias of the Argentine Patagonia