Driving has certainly become for travelers one of the most popular ways of moving around Argentina. Being a country with great land extensions, Argentina boasts a wealth of routes that go through the most outstanding tourist destinations, mainly those located along the Andes Mountain range (in the west) and those along the Atlantic Ocean coast (in the east).
enting a car enables travelers to greatly reduce costs and carry a more “unlimited” number of baggage items. Most importantly, travelers are spared from long lines and daunting amounts of paperwork and formalities. That being said, the major advantage of car rental happens to be the chance of improvisation and the freedom of choice when it comes to trip routes.
The traveler will get to choose what time of day to visit a tourist site, when to embark on a long journey on the road, and when or where to make a stopover, all of which make the experience unique.
Argentina features renowned international as well as smaller-sized national rent-a-car companies. Even when there is not a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, the traveler is bound to find a car that will suit both their travel type (family, adventure, etc) and their budget.
The most popular routes are those close to the mountains, such as the ones in the Argentine Northwest region (Salta, Jujuy and Tucuman), or in Bariloche and the Lake District in Northern Patagonia. In the latter, a greater level of alertness and driving skills will be required, making the 4×4 pick-up truck the best suited kind of vehicle to rent (For instance: Nissan Frontier and Toyota Hilux).
Further south in Patagonia, the roads go through the vast and solitary steppe, a lowland plain that makes the ride both driver-friendly and enjoyable. The type of vehicle recommended for this area is one in the intermediate category (For example: Chevrolet Prisma).
In order to give travelers a clearer picture of routes in our country, we should mention the fact that drivers sit on the left side of the car and that it is not commonplace to find highways, but two-lane roads instead. More often than not, travelers may be taken aback by the presence of native animals standing by the road (or even ON it, so you’d better watch out!), such as guanacos, llamas, hares, birds, among others.
Another real fact about Argentina is the overwhelming length of travel distances. In some provinces (mostly in the southernmost Patagonia area) there may be more than 300 km in between one town and the next. In other areas, the number of kilometers may be smaller but – given the geographic features of the place and the fact that in many cases roads are unpaved or made of gravel – the duration of the trip is likely to be longer.
The state of the roads is usually affected by extreme weather conditions (depending on the area) and by the clear lack of maintenance. For all these reasons, travelers are advised to drive cautiously and sensibly.
Both enough fuel in the tank and tires in a good state will be crucial to avoid any hassle on the road, where travelers are likely to get the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.
Moving around Argentina by car is a nowadays a highly recommendable way of travelling since it opens the way for travelers to:
- Design totally original and independent trips.
- Avoid big crowds of tourists in each of the points of interest, since they may be visited at times different from the ones scheduled by regular tours.
- Have a closer encounter with nature and the culture of each destination.
- Contribute to the regional economies of those places that are not reached by mass tourism.
- Become pioneers and reach out-of-the-circuit sceneries: get to know places that are practically unknown for traditional travelers and where the access is totally free of charge!
There is no denying Argentine roads are an attraction in their own right. When travelling by car, surrounded by the vastness and beauty of the landscapes, and – if the wind allows it – with the car windows down, travelers are bound to live an experience that will forever remain in their memories and hearts.