Good for quick stays in the city of Mendoza!
Since I went with my sister, brother-in-law, and their baby, I stayed at a pretty nice place this time (when traveling with a baby, you need more comfort).
This place is nice and clean, but really nothing special. The location is creat though, and it is good for quick stays in the city of Mendoza (they where also very accomondating regarding things for the baby).
Btw 130-207pesos/night. Free internet.
Right next to the downtown plaza.
Journey Plan to Ushuaia
This will be our way to USHUAIA. Although is good to have an idea of my trip, it will be soon replaced by a more detailed map.
"Stage 9: Across The Patagonian Desert"
We will try to depart early from Estancia Suyai as this will probably be the toughest day of the journey. Our first stage: the "CUEVA DE LAS MANOS" (hand's cave)located in the PINTURAS river canyon, far 135 Km. from Suyai (all gravel roads). In this cave we will find thousands of hand prints and some pictographs of native animals stenciled by indigenous hunters and gatherers known as the Tehuelches between 10,000 and 1,000 years ago (picture).
We will have to drive for 240 Km more in the loneliness of the desert, with the very high chance to deal with very strong crossed winds, to reach our final stage for this day: "ESTANCIA LA ANGOSTURA".
We will spend the night in this strategically located estancia, hoping to enjoy a nice hot dinner, hot showers,comfortable beds and fuel to fill the tank !...
"Stage 10: El Chalten"
We will depart from Estancia La Angostura following the RN 40 for 150 Km, taking the Provincial Road 23 to the West. After 89 Km we will reach El Chalten, an almost new small town founded in 1985 to reinforce Argentina posessions in the region, located at the very begining of the Andes Mountains. Beautiful FITZ ROY (picture)and CERRO TORRE mountains can be seen from almost everywhere. We will stay overnight at CABAÑAS CERRO TORRE.
"Stage 11: Meeting Perito Moreno Glacier"
After driving back 89 Km, we will be again on the RN 40. Taking to the right to follow the way south for 94 Km. we will intersect Provincial Road 11. At this point we will turn to the right to reach EL CALAFATE after 32 Km. of pavement. This will be our base town for two days to discover one of the most beautiful places in the world: The PERITO MORENO GLACIER (photo). We will stay at the AUTOMOVIL CLUB ARGENTINO (A.C.A.) Hotel.
"Stage 12: Torres del Paine return us to Chile"
We will ride over pavement for the first 94 Km. as we depart from EL CALAFATE. Our destination: TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK in Chile. At the time we reach HOTEL CERRITO the RN40 will turn to gravel again. We will drive for 80 Km. more to reach the border. After entering in Chile for the second time in the trip, we will pass through the town of CERRO CASTILLO and 59 Km. after we will be reaching PORTERÍA SARMIENTO, one of the main entrances of the park. Created in 1959, TORRES DEL PAINE has been declared by the UNESCO as World Reserve for the Biosphere in 1978, and it is considered one of the most beautiful parks of Chile. We will stay in this outstanding place for two days in the LAGO GREY HOTEL, just beside the GREY glacier.
"Stage 13: Estancia Rio Penitente"
In our way south to Ushuaia after visiting TORRES DEL PAINE, we will drive for 169 Km. over gravel to reach the town of PUERTO NATALES. From there, we will ride for 98 Km. over paved road 9, to reach HOSTERÍA ESTANCIA RIO PENITENTE. We will stay in this beautiful estancia for the night. As we are planinng to arrive early in the afternoon, we will try to fish some brown trouts in the Penitente river, which crosses the estancia.
"Stage 14: Crossing The Strait of Magellan"
After enjoying our breakfast, we will set our course to Punta Delgada, the port for the ferry terminal, distant 220 Km. from Rio Penitente. Fortunately, we will ride all this part over paved roads 9 and 255. You can choose between two points to cross the Strait: Punta Arenas and Punta Delgada. The first one takes about 2.5 hours due to the wideness of the strait at this point. Only three ferrys per day are available and you must make reservations on high season. We have selected Punta delgada because the crossing there takes about 20 minutes and the ferrys are continously operating, so you don't need reservations. After entering the island we will drive for 151 Km. (returning to gravel) to reach the argentinian border. Once back in Argentina, we will stop at the AUTOMOVIL CLUB ARGENTINO HOTEL in BAHIA SAN SEBASTIAN,16 Km. far from the border.
"Stage 15: Ushuaia, the final goal"
We will depart from Bahia San Sebastian taking the RN3, the national road that links Buenos Aires with Ushuaia.In our final stage we will pass through Rio Grande (#2 city in argentine section of Tierra del Fuego Island), Fagnano and Escondido lakes, Hosteria Kaiken, Paso Garibaldi and numerous valleys where you can practice snow sports in winter. After driving for 308 km. (190 km. paved and gravel the rest)in a section described as the best itinerary on the island, we will reach finally Ushuaia, the southest city in the world. Surrounded by hills and the Beagle channel this beautiful city is a strategic port for trips to Antartica and for courageous sailors that pretend to round the mystic Cape Horn. We will spend three days at the magnificent LAS HAYAS RESORT (www.lashayas.com).
OUR WAY BACK ?...THAT WILL BE ANOTHER ARGENTINA PAGE !!!
"Stage I: Buenos Aires / Colonia 25 de Mayo"
Jan 2: We will leave our home at Buenos Aires at 9 A.M. (I hope) in the morning, planning to drive 1000 km. over paved roads, to reach COLONIA 25 DE MAYO (LA PAMPA). We will stay overnight at the AUTOMOVIL CLUB ARGENTINO (www.aca.org.ar) motel. It is very nice and has a fine restaurant. This motel is just beside the RIO COLORADO (picture shown), natural limit between LA PAMPA and RIO NEGRO and is a good stop in the way to Bariloche or San Martín de los Andes.
"Stage 2: San Martin de los Andes"
Jan 3: After crossing the Rio Colorado as soon as we depart, we will enter the Provincia de Rio Negro, leaving the flatness of the "pampas" behind. Soon we will see the first mountains looking into the SW direction, and after a while the road will begin to "copy" the hills up and down. Once we will pass the Embalse Collon Cura (see photo: lake created for hydroelectric energy) we will drive downhill to Junin de los Andes and after 40 Km. of an almost flat road, we will reach San Martin de los Andes.
We will stay in this enchanted town for 4 days at CABAÑAS LOS ALAMOS, whose owners are very close friends of mine.
"Stage 3: Seven Lake Road to Bariloche"
We will leave our friends at San Martin de los Andes heading south to Bariloche taking the Seven Lake Road (Ruta de Los Siete Lagos), actually 70% paved. This road (a "patagonian classic") runs inside the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi national parks, bordering seven lakes. Absolutely a no-miss road.We plan to have lunch at the BOLICHE VIEJO, a very old restaurant near Bariloche as good as its age. After driving for 188 Km. we will arrive to San Carlos de Bariloche, planning to stay at the TUNQUELEN HOTEL, a very nice hotel offering an outstanding view of the Nahuel Huapi lake (picture). We will relax in this magnificent place for two days.
"Stage 4: Bariloche - Trevelin"
We will depart from Bariloche, taking RN258 to the south, crossing lakes Gutierrez, Mascardi and Guillelmo, planning to stop at El Bolson, a beatiful town located in the NUEVO valley surrounded by hills. You can find many fruit-farms where excellent mermelades and jellys are made. You can´t miss the local beer, too! (just water for me...I must drive !). Back on the road, after 49 Km. we will live the comfortable paved RN258 to take the gravel RP71 entering in the LOS ALERCES national park. We will border lakes Rivadavia, Menendez and Futalaufquen. This is one of the nicest national parks in Argentina an we are planning to have lunch someplace there.
A short drive once outside the park will take us to the lovely town of TREVELIN located in a valley (shown)near the border. We will stay at the HOSTAL CASA VERDE.
"Stage 5: Entering Chile to Puyuhuapi"
After having breakfast in HOSTAL CASA VERDE (TREVELIN), we will take the gravel road to cross the border and enter in Chile, finding FUTALEUFU town 10 Km. after. We will drive the next 47 Km. paralell to the Futaelufu River, one of the hardest in the world for rafting, hoping to watch some of these crazy guys!!...
In 31 Km more, we will reach the Carretera Austral, taking to the left (way south) and for 75 Km. we will border the Frio (cold) River. Then the river will separate from the road, bending to the right to meet the ocean. After 45 Km. from this point , we will arrive to Puerto Puyuhuapi, a nice small town beside a lake. Well, it´s not really a lake..it´s a section of the Pacific Ocean called Seno Ventisquero. We will let our 4x4 in a special parking lot, take our belongings and get aboard the cat´ that will take us to the TERMAS DE PUYUHUAPI RESORT, as this is the ONLY way to get there (see picture). We will relax in this paradise for two days.
"Stage 6: Puyuhuapi to Coyhaique"
At 9:00 AM in the morning, the cat´ will take us back to the parking lot. After a 2-day pause we will be on the Carretera Austral again bordering for the last time the Pacific Ocean (Puyuhuapi Channel). After driving for 67 Km. we will find the "hanging glacier" (Photo) inside the Queulat National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in Chile. This is also one of the most exciting sections of the Carretera Austral where the road runs inside a giant forest.
After driving for 367 km. from Puyuhuapi, we will arrive to Coyhaique, a nice town founded in 1926 to give support to the pioneers in the region.
We will stay a the HOSTAL BELISARIO JARA lodge.
"Stage 7: Coyhaique to Puerto Guadal"
After having breakfast at the Belisario Jara Lodge, we will head south to the General Carrera Lake, enjoying pavement for 18 Km, where the gravel will start again. We will cross and ride beside numerous rivers in this section. Being born in the General Carrera Lake, Ibañez and Murta rivers are the most important, and (as practically all the rivers in this region) are excellent for trouts and salmon fishing. At 198 Km. far from Coyhaique, we will get to Puerto Murta. From there, all the remaining 86 Km. to Puerto Guadal we will border the General Carrera Lake (Picture). We will stop at TERRA LUNA Lodge, hosted by my e-mail-friend Philippe Reuter. I have e-mailed Philippe at the time of lodging reservations. He has a lot of experience in traveling the Carretera Austral and the Ruta 40, and gave me important tips in planning my journey.
"Stage 8: Re-entering Argentina Through Paso Roball"
After saying good-bye to Philippe, we will take the Carretera Austral bordering the famous Baker River (fisherman´s paradise) for 53 Km. We will then take to the left reaching after 61 Km the argentinian border at Paso Roballos. It is a secondary road over which 4WD vehicles are preferred as it crosses several rivers. Once in Argentina, we will drive for about 100 Km. to our next stop: Estancia Suyai, just beside Lago Pueyrredón (picture). "Estancia" is the spanish word for ranch. There are lots of ranches in this part of the country (Santa Cruz province)used to be owned by inmigrants coming mainly from Scotland and Wales. In the past,the sheep cattle was the central activity for these "estancias". Due to the decrease in the wool´s price and the eruption of the chilean Hudson volcano in 1995 killing thousands of animals, many of the estancias became tourist resorts, offering many guided activities (fishing, horse riding, trekking, etc.) in order to survive. And they did !...