- Amazing adventures while driving a rugged 4x4 as you cross the Andes Mountains in the northern parts of Patagonia
- The "Adventure Capital of Chile" the town of Pucón, right at the base of the active Volcano Villarrica
- Ruta 40, the continuous highway that covers Argentina
- Ferry rides from Caleta Conzalo to Hornopiren through the beautiful fjords and inlets of Chile
- Parque Pumalin, Parque Nacional Los Alerces (tallest trees in South America) Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi & much more
- Carretera Austral, the famous "Highway to the South!"
- Panamerican Highway, in appropriate sections needed
- 8 active volcanoes, crossing the Andes mountains
- 48 breathtaking lakes & 10 National Parks and Reserves in Northern Patagonia
- Rest day Options: Your choice on a self-guided tour! Either stay in Bariloche for the big city, ski-resort town feel, or continue onward to Futaleufú, Chile for whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, hiking & exploring!
- David Wood from Oregon in the U.S. set out on a solo motorcycle trip through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego all the way to Ushuaia at "The End of the World!" Thanks for commenting that our Patagonia motorcycle rentals performed well for you, and that you enjoyed your trip, David!
"A much belated review, our trip to Chile was in January 2020, just under the Covid wire. Eric and Christine were instrumental in having the bike portion of our adventure become a success. We were grateful to Christine for suggesting we include the Ruta de los Siete Lagos in Argentina in our agenda, and it was absolutely spectacular. Thanks to our contact in Pucon, all border crossings were seamless and we felt very supported with the route we had planned, our personal safety and the safety of the bike. We feel very fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience, especially in light of what happened worldwide shortly after our trip. Thanks to all, and here's hoping more adventures will follow!"
-Andrea and Scott not only had a successful adventure ride on a BMW F800GS with our Patagonia Motorcycle Rentals, but they got an article about the trip published in the Canadian magazine, "Inside Motorcycles" (see the Feb/March 2021 issue.)
- Antoine de Braquilanges from France conquered Patagonia in early 2020 Self-Guided, and using one of our BMW F750GS Motorcycle Rentals in Patagonia. Folks, whether you're part of one of our groups, or taking on the challenge of Patagonia alone or with a few friends, ya just gotta see this place!
Ulli was exceptionally helpful whether with route suggestions, changing panniers, supplying pannier bags, new maps [and exceptionally fairly not charging me for a bracket which broke supporting one of the panniers when i returned the bike as he could see it was not due to a fall] as well as some very well received cold drinks on his porch when picking up and dropping off bikes!
-Barrett, Ireland, March 2017"
- Barrett and his friends are making us stand tall and proud with huge smiles after trip reports like this! Please remember though, Patagonia motorcycle rentals should be reserved 8-12+ months in advance, as the season sell out early. Barrett, we're glad you guys planned well ahead, and enjoyed your adventure ride: )
- Moments and photos like this one from Bastian Guenther are a treasured part of any "Self-Guided Fly & Ride The Patagonia Experience" trip on our BMW GS rentals. We're just glad you finished this tough ride safely, Bastian. Knew very well that Patagonia would make the trip an excellent one for you.
"If you’re considering to rent through RIDE Adventures – do it! We rented an F700GS in Chile back in November and had the best experience from beginning to end – everyone we talked to was so helpful and answered to our questions in a very short time. Before our trip Eric was very helpful with every question we had and made us feel really great about everything. When we got to the rental place outside Pucon we were met by Ulli, who took his time to get us started with the bike and gave us all the necessary information about both the bike, the different route options, border crossing and so on. The bike was great for our 2-up ride and worked perfectly without any problems. Ulli had even considered giving us a bike that was a bit better geared for riding 2-up – a more comfy back seat and larger side cases, which we really appreciated. All in all, it was an excellent experience renting through the RIDE Adventures :)"
- Casper and Sarah from Denmark set up a Self-Guided "Fly & RIDE The Best of Northern Patagonia!" adventure with us, and apparently enjoyed what they discovered. Glad for it, Casper, so come on back for more riding in the Andes sometime : )
- David and Marina Belton enjoyed the variety of riding in Patagonia, from the tight, valley-lined roads to the wide open spaces on our "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" Self-Guided Motorcycle Trip Package. Come again, and thanks for sharing!
- Dominic Ginder and his father, Bob, made excellent use of 16 days of riding time with their Motorcycle Rentals in Patagonia. Dominic, you're correct as well about future plans for Croatia. So much to explore by motorcycle!
"FYI, I got back to Uvalde Texas yesterday afternoon. It was a great trip, I would sum it up as successful. The hotels, restaurants, and bike you choose were the best. The route and scenery was unbelievable. The weather was a bigger obstacle than I expected as were some of the roads. Nothing really difficult but 2700 miles was a challenge. Did I tell you that I celebrated my 70th birthday during the ride? Also I met lots of interesting people. I’m headed to Colorado to ski in ten days. And then???
- Congratulations to Ed Carnes from Texas for celebrating his 70th year with a successful solo Self-Guided "Fly & RIDE Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia" trip! We sometimes wonder if some riders have read too much about the drama of Patagonia's conditions and are turned away as a result. Yes, winds and conditions can be tough sometimes, but Ed just showed us all how to do it: Be patient, keep at it, ride smart without showing off for your friends, and most careful, experienced dual sport riders can enjoy some of the world's best riding safely. This photo taken and recognized as the spot where RIDE Adventures was born by the simple thought "more people need to experience this." Ed had a few clouds that day, but when that sun cracks and the waters turn bright blue ... oh what a site.
La moto gs 1200 lc estaba en perfecto estado, casi nueva y con el neumatico trasero nuevo.
Gracias por vuestro buen trabajo"
- For those who haven't practiced their Spanish since high school, Victor Vivaracho (from Spain) is very happy with how his Patagonia Motorcycle Rental experience with RIDE Adventures went. (Approx: "The trip was perfect. The BMW R1200GS LC was in perfect condition, almost new and with a new rear tire. Thanks for your good work.") Glad you enjoyed, Victor!
-The epitome of adventure riding, Fabricio and Quel from Brazil flew into the face of the Coronavirus situation, and made the best out of their Self-Guided Fly & RIDE The Best of Northern Patagonia package. What an amazing time in our world history to carry out such a trip, congrats, Fabricio!
Everything went smooth, thank you for the guide notes and the maps you have provided, which led us to some of the most amazing places we’ve ever seen, and also kept us safe! We had absolutely no problem whatsoever, bike, staff everything was great."
- Flaviu Dan from Romania was inspired enough by his customized Self-Guided "Fly & RIDE The Patagonia Experience" on a BMW F700GS that he just reached out about a year later to share. With a photo and words that summarize the trip, we are SO glad you enjoyed, Flaviu! That feeling of freedom and exploration of the beautiful Patagonia region puts a huge smile on lots of Riders' faces :)
- Nothing puts a bigger smile on our faces than comments like these from George Mulligan, on the heels of his "Self-Guided, Truck Supported Full Patagonia Adventure." Thanks again, George!
"We just returned last night from Rio de Janeiro where we spent the last week of our vacation. Our motorcycle trip was an incredible adventure. I have learned that riding on gravel can have many different meanings. Just when I thought I was getting really good at that, I had an intimate experience with an Argentinian ripio !
- Hal and Natasa from Canada booked well in advance for their motorcycle rental on a Self-Guided journey through Patagonia. Even a simple flat tire becomes a story and fond memory on these adventures, and we raise a glass of Chilean Carménère to you both!
Self-Guided "Fly & Drive The Best Of Northern Patagonia" 4x4 Adventure Travel
"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!
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.
Upgrade to a Nissan Navara so you can explore the rugged terrain of South America in style!
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.