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Self-Guided 4x4 Tour: "Fly & Drive The Best Of Northern Patagonia" Package

Self-Guided "Fly & Drive The Best Of Northern Patagonia" 4x4 Adventure Travel

Self-Guided "Fly & Drive The Best Of Northern Patagonia" 4x4 Adventure Travel

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"Fly & Drive The Best of Northern Patagonia" means you just show up with your adventurous spirit and personal documentation, and your 4x4 rental and hotels are already waiting for you!

The BEST OF NORTHERN PATAGONIA driving route is one we developed recently after realizing that many spouses and adventurers who don't RIDE would love to accompany their families or experience this amazing journey on four wheels instead of two. Such incredible scenery on the routes in northern Patagonia needs to be experienced by everyone, not just riders!

This 4x4 driving adventure is basically the same as our Guided Group and Self-Guided motorcycle tour packages of the same name. Prepare to be amazed as you journey along 8 active volcanoes, through astonishing scenery across the Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina, via routes along 48 pristine lakes and visit 10 National Parks and Reserves, all adding up to a camera-filling 4x4 journey that is not to be missed.

In addition to experiencing all of this, the famous RUTA 40, the Carretera Austral and the Panamerican Highway all make for an adventure travel experience in Patagonia that will have most travelers wondering, "Why did I wait so long to do this?!"


Day 1- Arrive in Santiago, Chile then Pucón

Welcome to Chile and the Andes Mountains! Whether you’re taking extra time to explore the capital city of Santiago or just flying through, travelers need to arrive in Pucón on or before this date, as you’ll be departing early the next morning. (Package can be adjusted if you want more time in Pucón.) Your intra-Chile flights can be booked through www.latam.com or www.skyairline.cl - Flight should be Santiago (SCL) to Temuco (ZCO.)

After a one-hour shuttle ride from Temuco, you’ll reach Pucón, a charming mountain town nestled at the foot of Volcano Villarrica in the breathtaking Chilean Lakes District. Your hotel is included with this "Fly & Drive " package, so get checked in to your room, and make sure you're in contact with our Fleet Manager about getting set up with your 4x4 either today or first thing the next morning.

Day 2- Pucón, Chile to Curacautin, Chile - 270km

Once you're set up on your 4x4 rental and all questions have been answered, it's time to head out into Patagonia! Leaving the active Volcano Villarrica and National Park Villarrica to the right, the climb into the Andes Mountains begins along the border of Chile/Argentina.

Later, driving right through National Park Huerquehue to Playa Negra, your camera should be ready to go at this point. Enjoy Lago Caburgua in front, Volcano Villarica in the background, and all the gorgeous forestry around. After lunch in Conco, enter National Park Conquillo where 3 beautiful lagoons await.

Driving along old lava flows of Volcano Llaima and through forests that are home to 1000 year old Araucanía Trees, this is a fantastic first day of traveling on challenging gravel roads with many photo stops. Settling into the night near Curacautin, the hotel and dinner options await.

Day 3 – Curacautin, Chile to Lago Alumine, Argentina - 180km

Yesterday was a fantastic day of challenging driving and stunning landscape, but today it gets even better.

The drive goes up along the base of the active Volcano Lonquimay and Crater Navidad where we’ll follow its latest lava flow from 1988. As if the black-lava landscape isn’t surreal enough, crossing the Cordillera Lonquimay produces more incredible views. Along the Sierra Nevada, follow three beautiful lagunas, and reach Paso Icalma for crossing from Chile into Argentina!

A short drive then leads to the destination of Villa Pehuenia at the shore of Lago Alumine, hopefully in time to catch a beautiful sunset over the lake.

Day 4 – Lago Aluminé to Bariloche, Argentina - 350km

Leaving Lago Aluminé, the scenery changes dramatically on the drive to the Swiss style town of San Martin de los Andes. Now you’ll get a feel for the vast emptiness of the Argentina pampas region seeing see Volcano Lanín (3728m) from a distance and probably deal with some of the typically forceful winds on the Argentine side of the Andes Mountains.

After lunch, enjoy the famous “Seven Lakes Route“ through National Park Nahuel Huapi, and many photo stops later we reach the ski resort town of Bariloche for the night and the first chance for an Argentine “asado” (barbeque) in this lively town.

Day 5 – REST DAY in Bariloche, Argentina or go ahead to Futaleufú, Chile for whitewater rafting or fly fishing!

Riding in Patagonia

Even the most conditioned adventure travelers need to rest now and then, so it’s important to have some down time. For those who still want to remain active though, the charming ski resort town of Bariloche offers plenty of local culture, shopping and restaurants with great views of Llao Llao and Lago Nahuel Huapi.

Anyone wishing to take a short drive can enjoy the “Circuito Chico,” a one-hour loop through the famous Llao Llao Resort with many great viewpoints. Or, look ahead to the town of Futaleufú if you prefer to enjoy your Rest Day in a town that's world famous for whitewater rafting and fly fishing, if you wish! (Tell us at the time of booking where you want your rest day to be.)

Day 6 - Bariloche, Argentina to Futaleufú, Chile - 360km 

Leaving Bariloche, first follow the legendary Ruta 40 as winding roads take you through rural Argentina. Later, enjoy a detour through “Parque National los Alerces” where sweeping sandy turns through “Fitzroya” trees (cousin to the Redwoods found in California) make for more scenic driving. Beautiful lakes and mountains show the path through the National Park, then through the Andes again, we cross the border back into Chile for the night in the famous whitewater-rafting, kayaking, and fly fishing town of Futaleufú.

Day 7 – Futaleufú to Hornopiren, Chile - 270km - (with 2 ferries)

Today the gravel road follows the whitewaters of Rio Futaleufu and the Sierra la Ventana. Just past Lago Yelcho, you’ll reach the world famous “Carretera Austral,” and some of the most picturesque scenery in the world.

Driving through Parque Pumalin, owned and preserved by the late Doug Tompkins, founder of the North Face clothing company, more interesting history and status of Patagonia will be revealed. After stopping in Chaiten, the town that was destroyed in the 2008 volcano eruption, take the ferry to Hornopiren where suddenly you’re on the seawater of the Pacific Ocean! Two scenic ferry rides will take us through the Reñihué and Coman Leprepu Fjords, a major center point of Chilean salmon farming.

Day 8 – Hornopiren to Puerto Varas, Chile - 260km 

Today's drive passes through National Park Hornopiren and follows the shoreline of these Pacific inlets to start things out. Across the fjord can be seen Parque Nacional Alerces/Andino near the Cochamo Valley, which many people call it the “Yosemite Valley” of Chile. Pressing on to Ensenada on Lago Llanquihue on your way to Lago Todos los Santos, stop at Petrohue waterfalls and then a fantastic asphalt road takes you up Volcano Osorno.

At the base of the ski resort there, you can enjoy a beautiful view over Lago Llanquihue before descending to the touristy town of Puerto Varas on the lake shore of Lago Llanquihue for the night.

Day 9 – Puerto Varas to Pucón, Chile - 360km 

Wake up with a fantastic view of Volcano Osorno across Lago Llanquihue! Following the lake through Frutillar (where many Germans settled in the late 1800's) and Puerto Octay, finally some moments can be spent on the Panamerican Highway.

On your way back to Pucón, follow the shoreline of Lago Panguipulli, Lago Neptune, Lago Calafquen and Lago Villarrica, where the Chilean Lake District holds such a simple and pleasant beauty. The drive down into Pucón might bring on a case of mixed emotions as you look back at the amazing trip through Northern Patagonia. Just think: there's still more of Patagonia to be uncovered!

Day 10 - Breakfast, airport transfer, flight home

If you absolutely must leave, we do understand you’ll be fighting the temptation to skip the flight. Chile has so much more to offer and we have so much more to help show you, so we hope you enjoyed your adventure and will return for other Patagonia trips because there's still plenty more to experience!

Minimum Essential Gear for RIDE Training

If you're planning to jump on a guided tour or training with RIDE Adventures, it's essential that you have the right gear. This helps to ensure your safety and the safety of others while on the road.

Not being properly prepared can lead to injuires that could have been avoided. Our guides have created a Minimum Essential Gear Guide if you plan to book a RIDE Adventures. If you don't come minimally prepared there is a chance our guides will prevent you from hopping on a bike. Make sure you're prepared for the adventure. 

4x4's Available

Nissan Navara

Nissan Navara


Upgrade to a Nissan Navara so you can explore the rugged terrain of South America in style!



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Toyota HiLux Pickup

Toyota HiLux Pickup


The Toyota HiLux provides all the safety, comfort, and rugged experience that you'll need on your 4x4 adventure travel in South America. 



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