Seeking routing suggestions from Santiago ==> Ushuaia

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by arooni, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. arooni

    arooni Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Hi everyone!

    I'm in Santiago, Chile planning my route south. I want to arrive the latest in Ushuaia that I can without experiencing snow or ice in order to maximize my time trekking in the amazing Lake and Patagonia districts. I'm thinking this should be March 15th.

    I posted awhile back on ADVRider here which gave me a great idea on what my route would be. I also posted about a the Cardenal Samore border crossing being closed for the next 15-30 days.

    In any case here's my idea of a route. Would love your feedback and thoughts:
    1) Santiago => Puco (I want to get down to the start of the lakes region ASAP). Check out Villarrica
    2) |BORDER CROSSING (Chile => Argentina)| at Paso Mamuil Malal for Parque Lanin and check that sucker out
    3) Stop at San Martin de los Andes
    4) Stop at Villa Traful
    5) Stop at Villa La Angostura
    6) Stop at Cerro Catedral
    7) Stop at Bariloche
    8) Try to climb Tronador (what a wicked sounding mountain) on Chilean side)
    9) |BORDER CROSSING (Argentina ==> Chile)| [If the Paso Cardenal Antonio Samoré is open] Cross for Chile
    [If it's not open] Paso Futaleufu; (WAY FARTHER SOUTH than I wanted to cross)
    10) Chalten
    11) Highway 7 in Chile until I run out of Chile
    12) |BORDER CROSSING (Argentina ==> Chile)| for Paso Rio Mayer Ribera Norte or Paso Rio Mosco (not sure which one is better)
    13) Hit up El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glacier
    14) |BORDER CROSSING (Argentina ==> Chile)| for Torres del Paine National Park and do some hiking
    15) Head for Punto Arenas
    16) Ushuaia

    Additional Questions:
    1) If I'm going to Buenos Aires afterwards, does it make sense to double back north along the same route; or go for route 3 along the coast of Argentina (which I've heard is incredibly boring).
    2) What is really the latest I can arrive without having *any* fear of snow/ice in Ushuaia or the road north from there? I don't mind cold but snow and ice scare the living Jesus out of me.

    Thanks so much in advance!
    Best,
    David

    PS: If you happen to be interested in riding parts of this with me or want to meet up on the road south; would love to hear from you!
    #1
  2. dirkdiggler

    dirkdiggler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
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    Hi
    I've just ridden down the ruta 40 from just north of Mendoza. A couple of places you mention are worth the stop. San Martin and El Chalten are two of them. I am in Punta Arenas now trying to sell the bike. I found the route to be mostly desert and not really what i was expecting. I found a couple of sections which were still unpaved which i enjoyed, the rest was pretty boring..
    #2
  3. moto-treks

    moto-treks Back Home

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    Hwy 7 (Carretera Austral) is excellent. Stay on that until at least the south end of Lago Buenos Aires or ride it all they way to Villa O'Higgins.

    For my return trip north from Ushuaia I decided to take the ferry from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt rather than ride Hwy 3. It's a nice 4 day break from riding and you miss all the long straights of Ruta 40 or 3.

    I arrived in Ushuaia in April. It was cold but I didn't have any snow or ice on the road. But, I talked to some riders that rode through snow 2 weeks earlier. In that area you just never know what might happen. The good news is that there is really only one pass you need to get over to ride into Ushuaia. If you get snowed in see about trucking your bike over the pass.
    #3
  4. Manolito

    Manolito Patagonia guide

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
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    You won't find ice until mid April.
    If you like to do trekking, you must go to El Chalten (222km from El Calafate).
    #4
  5. Acampao

    Acampao WInd Jammer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Patagonia
    Santiago-Villarrica is a long day but doable. Expect heat. Doing the Lago Pirihueico crossing from Puerto Fui to San Martin de los Andes is a good option. Very scenic if you are luchky with the weather. Years ago I did the Chile Chico - Los Antiguos crossing when you had to ford the river, quite an experience. I hear there is a bridge now. Still, you can take route 40 south from there, go through Calafate and get back to Chile to visit Torres del Paine. PM when you are near Punta Arenas.
    #5