Trip Planning for a Chile/Argentina loop

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by SpecialAgentNancy, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    This is very helpful. Sounds like doing the pass de jama both ways (RT) is a great idea, so beautiful you want to see it again. Taking the coastal road is twice as long.

    As for Ruta 40, the thought is we'd like to take it from the lakes region of Chile back up to Mendoza, I'm with you, living near Napa Valley, I see plenty of vineyards.

    I think you are saying that you can opt for paved ruta 40 on that stretch....wouldn't mind some more specifics. The other two riders have dirt bikes so they might want to venture on to unpaved versions of the 40 but I'd rather stay on paved.
    #81
  2. mrtuc

    mrtuc Adventurer

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    In the north of Argentina you have a lot of places to meet. Just after crossing the "Paso de Jama" you have to go to Purmamarca and Tilcara. After you can visit the city of Salta (179 km). From here you have two options (always talking about interest places for riding a bike and places to visit).
    a) 299 KM You can go to "San Antonio de los Cobres" where there is "El Viaducto la Polvorilla", then in a dirt road go to "Cachi", using the 40, crossing the "Abra del Ancay" that it is the national road higher up in the world (4895 mts) (A little complicated this road).
    b) 157 KM: You can go directly to cachi using the RP33, you will cross the "Cuesta del Obispo" (the only part of the road that is dirt, 25 Km) Very simple to do and "La Recta de Tin Tin.

    From here you can Go to Cafayate using the 40 that is dirt ( no so complicated to do, only 160 km 4 o 5 hours), you will cross the Quebrada de las Flechas" (162 KM) or you can go to cafayate using the 68 road that is paved, where you will cross the "quebrada de las conchas" (271 Km)
    4) Cafayate and Tolombon are know for the Torrontes wines.

    From this place to Mendoza the ruta 40 is paved and you can go to the south, some interest places are Las Ruinas de Quilmes, Amiacha del Valle, Santa Maria (near here is Tafi del Valle), Belen, Famatina, Chilecito In this place i recomend to abandon the 40 and visit "Parque Nacional Talampaya" and "Valle de la Luna", from this point you will be near San Juan and Mendoza.

    Please google the places I m telling you, because my english not allows to me to be so clear as I want for describe that very nice places, that i ' m sure you will appreciate.
    #82
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  3. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    the good news is most of all the places you recommended are on our route plan.
    I should make the time to publish it here publicly.
    #83
  4. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Everything/everyone on the water already? West Coast ports are backed up at this time. Hope your bikes made it out.
    #84
  5. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Had roughly a 3 week delay due to the nonsense in Oakland.

    They are halfway down the coast of Mexico....hopefully they will arrive on the new scheduled date.

    BTW I will NEVER container ship my bike again, NEVER. Airfreight from now on.
    #85
  6. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Dear Nancy,

    This time you got the unlucky time to ship form California. Los Angeles and Long Beach ports making a whole mess all along the West coast. They are extremely congested and living strikes at any other moment.
    This while mess started back in October 2014 at L.A. port and still running problems now. Ships have to be diverted or waiting days for docking.

    It is not container type of shipping fault . Something is going on everywhere i note U.S. with Ports, problem with unions , etc.. but the West Coast the worst at aloe levels including Custom processing , both ways, export and import.
    However you still are in time to do the whole loop and get a little fresh weather in Patagonia but blue skies This everyday. I did it myself last year and it was a wonderful experience, however I after getting into the beginning of deep Patagonia I decided to comeback North of Chile and enjoy the openness of the desert which I enjoyed much more than the south in many ways.

    This year will be back down there, this time doing part of the Dakar since we are transporting trucks from photographers and all the supports trucks for Robby Gordon/XSpeed at Dakar Rally. As we did for them this year back to the U.S. from Argentina and Chile.

    Try to explore much of Chile along the coast south along the Pacific ocean and then takes the route through national parks along the Andes down south until you reach a point to cross Argentina or meet the Carretera Austral by Pto.Montt . There is a lot to enjoy in the wilderness and being as far as possible from the main spots with national tourist on vacation.
    Most of the riders takes the main Chilena Route 5 down to Osorno and then crossing to Argentina , missing incredible landscape scenery in between.
    #86
  7. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Nancy, everything on track?


    I won't be making it down for work this season unfortunately, but my good friend is back home working in San Juan: if you go thru the area you should stop in, he is a wealth of knowledge about the area and Argentina in general.


    Let me know and I'll e-mail/pm you his info.


    Matt
    #87
  8. Lunatic

    Lunatic Dan Keyhoety

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    Leaving Santiago tomorrow. Headed for Ushusia :clap
    #88
  9. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    The shippers from Long Beach TTC packed the bikes well. They weren't even leaning when we opened the container. I stayed back and let the others be there when they opened the doors. But all was OK!

    The customs offices here in Val were very efficient and the container yard (about 30 mins from Val) was also somewhat expeditious. It took a total of 5 hours.

    Back in 2002/2003, the Oakland port went on strike and drove the company under where I worked and brought the West coast economy to a grinding halt.

    Question 1. Is there a pass from Puerto Montt into Argentina that is paved? Is that the Carretera? I'd like to ride back North to Mendoza a different route than the Ruta 5 (horrible) and possibly take Ruta 40 unless it too is gravel. I don't mind 50-100 miles of dirt/gravel but not 1000km of it. How much of it is paved?

    Question 2. The coastal road of Chile. How twisty is it? Again, if the pass from Puerto Montt into Argentina is not paved or the Ruta 40 is also dirt then the only other option back towards Santiago is the Ruta 5 or coastal road. We did take some main roads off the interstate that are pretty but want to see something new. Highway 1 for example in California is so twisty you only cover 20 miles in an hour. We don't have that kind of time.
    #89
  10. BobinBahia

    BobinBahia Lifelong M.I.A.

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    Puerto Montt thru Chile Chico to Perito Moreno is long and not paved. You can take ferry 1-2X daily, 2 hours from Puerto Gen Ibañez to Chile Chico (all paved or in lake). Missing, of course, the rock formations in the lake going unpaved around it. Don't miss the hippy trippy side by side buses/restaurant just before hitting unpaved going South. (Worth a side trip even if doubling back a few clicks to cross the lake). At Cerro Castillo.

    Several roads I avoided: Panamericana almost entirely, except for the minimum 100 kms necessary South of Trujillo, Peru to access the bottom of Cañon del Pato. The other I avoided as much as possible is Ruta 40- bleak barren violent sidewinds in Patagonia. Stretches of construction, gravel, mud after rain are just part of the deal: No problem. But the Wind and barren 1000's of km's, no thanks. I also could care less about the 'traditional' way South.

    Maximize the Andes and Carretera Austral (and, yes, I'd skip Chiloé Island, too.).

    "The 'adventure' whose outcome is known is NO adventure". The corollary, meticulous trip planning, sucks the spirit right out of the unknown. The thrill of real adventure is defeated. OCD planned 'journeys' ARE better than packaged tours, of course.

    But not by much!

    Just returned to Bahia, Brazil from 5 months Ecuador to Ushuaia, then back up to Natales/Torres del Peine. The travel KLR 650 bought from 5000 miles away in Santa Barbara, CA, I sold near ride's end at Punta Arenas (what I bought it for).

    My opinion, for what it's worth? Back off trying to 'know everything' before departure....Just GO!
    #90
  11. ChileGS

    ChileGS ChileGSer

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    There isn't a coastal road in Chile as such. There are areas that have a road along the coast or near the coast and there are places where the Panamericana is along the coast.

    But essentially the road along the coast is intermittent, back and forth from paved to gravel, and with missing sections where you have to head in inland.

    If you have the time it's good.

    I have done Valparaiso to Valdivia trying to maximize the time on the coast. Takes about 5 times as long as Hwy 5,
    Hwy 5 is super boring though and usually alternates can be found.

    I disagree about Chiloe, I really enjoyed it.
    #91
  12. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    I found the ride from Santiago to Mendoza sweet. Up to Los Andes over to Mendoza, north to Los Flores, Argentina and over Paso del Negro to La Serena, Chile and back south to Santiago. I found Ruta 5 fun and fast from La Serena to Santiago, after a days of twisties and gravel. I also had the time to return north to ride from La Serena inland, Orvalle, Illapel and Cabildo and again south to Santiago.
    North of Chanaral is Pa de Azucar, into the park and you can have a great lunch and hire a panga to take you out to see penguins.
    South of Chanaral is nice along Ruta 5 but alot of construction to Caldera. Then head to the coast to Bahia Ingeles, but this time of year busy, south to Huasco along the coast. Great hard packed gravel and salt road rides, but if it rains can be slippery.
    #92
  13. BobinBahia

    BobinBahia Lifelong M.I.A.

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    Clarifying, I didn't mean to say Chiloé is worth missing. If you're riding a closed loop, you can go down one way, ferry across and return the other way. (Or vice versa).

    But if going on from either end of this N/S area, I think there is really no choice: You can miss Chiloé, if you have to. But not the Carretera Austral. :wink:
    #93
  14. BobinBahia

    BobinBahia Lifelong M.I.A.

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    I agree about Hwy 5. A very good highway. Straight and boring, worthwhile if necessary to meet a schedule but that's about it. (Has a McDonald's, "Oh boy!"...?)

    * Similar to the grim and grimy Panamericana Ecuador/Peru/Chile: I was glad to avoid, except for 100kms Trujuillo (Huanchaco) to get to the turn off on the gravel road for the bottom of Cañon del Pato.

    * Similar to the often violently wind blown, cold Ruta 40 South of Perito Moreno which I also tried to avoid. Very hard, though.

    The Andes is where it's at. The coast, too if not a highway.

    I found the Coast south of Constitucion, lovely, pastoral, real. Could have been anywhere beautiful and rural in New Zealand, Oz, North America. Starting the day after New Years, a little busy, but by transmitting a few tourist target villages a highlight going South.
    #94
  15. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    So the epic 45 days of riding about 10,000 km across Chile, Argentina and Uruguay has come to an end.

    Look for my RR in a few weeks.

    Thanks for everyone's input and ideas.
    #95