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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 8 Nov 2010
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santiago to Ushuaia, which ruta would you take?

Hi hubbers,

Ok looking to go south from Santiago to Ushuaia. Leaving once i get my bike. Now its very very tempting to cross to mendoza in argentina and take the famous Ruta 40 all the way south. Its a road ive dreamt of heading down but the thing that is stopping me is if i do this all the way then ill see hardly anything of chile.

So whats Ruta 5 like heading south through chile? Which is the better more picturesque parts of Ruta 40? are there any other routes worth taking.

Id ideally like to see the lake district area of either chile / argentina - do people have a preference which is better / more photogenic??

Also are there some good roads around Aconcagua mountain? Wouldnt mind seeing this bad boy of a mountain and thought if i did mendoza route then it would be rude not to journey north to see it.


Me and my suzuki EN125 will be travelling 20'000km through South America - who said life was dull!!!!!
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Old 9 Nov 2010
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In 97 did the 'basic trip', down to Lakes, to Chiloe, to Coihaique, picked up 40 and on to Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas, and Ushuaia. Came back 3, on the Argentina coast to Comodoro Rivadavia, Bariloche, and over Portillo pass alongside Aconqagua from Mendoza. Can honestly say Ruta 40 was the reward of the trip. We road it 2-up with no issues, on an Elefant (Ducati)! I also hear of constant paving, so soon that magical gravel road will be no more.
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Old 9 Nov 2010
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I suspect Ruta 40 is more scenic that Ruta 5 as it looks less developed from the maps (didn't do Ruta 5 though). Ruta 40 is nice and remote (v windy though), just watch your speed on the ripio as sudden deep ruts tend to appear in the gravel (ie its very possible to get your bike performing acrobatics if you're not too careful)

But you should also do the Carretera Austral in Chile, a lot of very nice scenery to be had.

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Old 9 Nov 2010
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I didn't ride that section of Ruta 5 because I came through just after the earthquake. However, you can't do everything. The route over to Mendoza is nice, and Ruta 40 south from there will give you a good taste; you can cross back and forth between Argentina and Chile at will all the way south, and each crossing has a different flavor (and degree of difficulty).

You can also ride all or most of the Carraterra Austral and still hit enough of Ruta 40 to satisfy anyone not prone to intense masochism. I thought the Carraterra was far more scenic, more interesting, and more fun than any of the Argentine roads.

People complain about the paving.....but if you don't like pavement there are lots of ripio roads everywhere you look. Stay flexible and make it up as you go along.

Hope that helps.

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Old 9 Nov 2010
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Some Ideas - right now in Esquel, Argentina!

Just some ideas:

Go to Mendoza, down South. I did a nice Canyon close to the Dunes of Nihuil - very nice! Unpaved along a river - good rafting!

Paso Pino Hachado into Chile - very nice! Stay at Hernans place, very close to the pass on the left side, just before the pass. (in Argentina) He runs horsetrekking in summer and dog sleighs in winter - nice guy

his website:

Later gravel to Villarica, Lago Villarica - then Pucon - great area!

Back over the pass into Argentina - Ruta de siete lagos to Valle Traful - a dream! Then Bariloche area!

Down to El Bolson - through Los Alerces Nationalpark - to Esquel, tahs what I did today - incredible!!!!!

One of my best rides ever - the last 3 days!!!

Good luck - I am going down to Ushuaia as well...

Stay safe - Jens
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Old 9 Nov 2010
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tomorrow back to Chile...

Tomorrow back to Chile to Coyhaique, then Argentina again...

See you - Jens
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