Two countries united by their natural wonders. Take a look at the different tours you may go on while visiting this continent.

Puerto Varas – Chile

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Argentina on the go

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Destinations

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Oct 06th, 2021

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C hile and Argentina share 5,308 km of their border, which makes it one of the longest borders in the world. The Andes Mountains magically ornament the close relationship between these two fascinating nations. According to data provided by the Argentine National Gendarmerie and Chile´s Carabineros, the border features up to 42 crossings. However, this time we will focus on 6 of them, while combining destinations from each country.

Source: By the author, based on Google Earth and Chile´s National Institute of Statistics´ cartographic data, INE (2007) for the Magellan’s Region.

This blog introduces readers to some of the most amazing sites in Chile and Argentina and the possibility to combine them in one single journey. No matter what the starting or culmination point of the tour is, you will always discover a captivating and astonishing scenery on each end. All this along with a distinctive feature: the transition between landscapes and the message from nature, which reminds us that she has the power to break through any geographical or political division.

Atacama and Salta

In the Northern or Atacama region the border has been shared with Bolivia in the Puna de Atacama since the Pacific War. Nowadays it can be crossed from Eje Capricornio or the Paso de Jama. Featuring a high-altitude topography this site may reach heights that range from 3,878 to 4,740 meters above sea level.

Departing from San Pedro de Atacama, Route 27 will lead the way in this memorable journey. In Los Flamencos National Reserve in San Pedro visitors will enjoy breathtaking sceneries and be able to perpetuate them in spectacular pictures. After crossing, once in Argentine territory, our next destination will be San Antonio de los Cobres. On the way there, the colors of northern Argentina will tell a story of versatility and dream landscapes. From here travelers will be offered two equally attractive options: take either Route 40 or Route 51, the latter leading to the city of Salta. Where would you like to write your story?

Big cities are far from the road (e.g. Susques, in Argentina, and San Pedro de Atacama, in Chile, are separated by 270 km), which means that the journey may be rather desolate and challenging at times. For this and other reasons we do recommend you take the appropriate precautions and book with an agency that will see to any problem that may arise during the trip.

Salar Carcote – Chile

Provincia de Salta – Argentina

Santiago de Chile – Mendoza

The second combined package tour features the Chilean capital city and one of the most outstanding cities in Argentina, Mendoza. The road that links these two destinations is framed by the majesty of Cerro Aconcagua- which is the main highlight on the way across the Andes Mountains. The characteristics of the terrain in both areas have turned them into international leaders in the production of wine. What with the numerous vineyards and the many nuances between these two enchanting cities, travelers should expect to be surprised at every step on this tour.

This area not only represents the main link between the two urban areas, but it is also the main corridor of integration between the two countries, given the great number of settlements along it. Here you may reach up to 4,300 meters above sea level and –among other things – get to see the Puente del Inca, Las Cuevas or San Felipe. The staggering mountains, the snow and some challenging but breathtaking stretches of the road will be worth every kilometer ahead.

Mendoza – Argentina

Santiago de Chile

Puerto Varas – Bariloche

Here water steals the limelight, while it also hinders the delineation of boundary lines. Norpatagonia, as this region is known, is home to medium-size cities on the Chilean side and to larger cities like Neuquén and Bariloche in Argentine territory. The Andes are crossed by sailing the Andean Lakes. The average altitude here ranges from 1,800 and 2,500 meters above sea level.

One of the most fascinating options is the Andean Crossing: a circuit that connects Bariloche (Argentina) and Puerto Varas (Chile), during which travelers not only sail three stunning lakes but are also taken on overland tours of places like the charming village of Peulla and the breathtaking Petrohue Waterfalls.

Puerto Varas – Chile

Bariloche – Argentina

Paso Rodolfo Roballos

We are suddenly “abandoned” by the road, which, in a mysterious way, shows us how unmerciful and powerful this place can be. Like the rest of the roads mentioned on this blog, the Andes Mountains are there to boast their power and strength. The absolute silence in this spot may evoke feelings of fear and deep awe as you move forward on the route. This is a trip that will surely be engraved in your heart and memory.

Once we have plucked up courage we set off on a journey that invites travelers to branch off the main road and marvel at the diverse attractions. The Carretera Austral (Chile) stretches along most of the country. The must see stops along this section on the way to Argentina are the Marble Cathedral, Valle Chacabuco and eventually Cueva de las Manos in Argentina.

Sailing along the edge of a vast lake, known as General Carrera in Chile and Buenos Aires in Argentina, and shared by the two countries, travelers will be stunned by the immense beauty of the scenery throughout the voyage. Once in Argentine territory, Los Antiguos becomes the ideal place to stop for a rest and thus culminate the trip in Perito Moreno (town), which is an ideal base to explore many other natural landmarks in the area.

Catedral de Marmol – Chile

Cueva de las manos – Argentina

Puerto Natales – Calafate – El Chaltén

Paso Dorotea is the official crossing point to traverse this area in both territories. However, it is the emblematic Torres del Paine or Mount Fitz Roy that steal the limelight here: two of the places that millions of people dream of visiting and many others long to see again.

Among other attractions on the route lie Laguna Ameghino and Laguna Esperanza. The awe-inspiring scenery all around, in combination with the feeling you get while traveling around this inhospitable area, will make you feel like turning up the volume on your favorite song and enjoy all along.

Patagonia at its best. The culmination from Chile will take place in El Calafate, the perfect base to visit Perito Moreno Glacier and the ideal starting point to explore El Chalten, considered the national capital of trekking, and be able to take in some of the most striking landscapes in the country.

Mirador Base Las Torres – Chile

Perito Moreno Glacier – El Calafate

Punta Arenas – Ushuaia

Our list of the most fantastic crossings between Chile and Argentina comes to an end with the region known as Patagonia Austral. A mythical area where explorers like Magellan, Darwin, Fitz Roy, among others, plotted the routes that today are explored by new adventurers.

A journey that takes a little more than 8 hours connects Punta Arenas (Chile) with Ushuaia (Argentina) on an adventure both by land and sea. A combination of overland stretches and a crossing through the legendary Magellan Straight takes us on a journey into the very heart of the exceptional Tierra del Fuego.

If you wish to link the two cities you may also embark on voyage along one of the most fascinating sea routes in the planet. A sailing trip through the fjords on Australis cruise ship. A unique expedition itinerary to travel the most pristine landscapes in our Patagonia, which, among other things, will lead our way to the southernmost end of the American continent and the world, Cape Horn.

Punta Arenas – Chile

Ushuaia – Argentina