Argentina & Chile
- The Andes Mountains, the longest mountain range on Earth
- Parque Nacional Los Alerces, home of the tallest trees in South America
- Ruta 40, which stretches the length of Argentina through mountains & "pampas"
- Futaleufú River, home to world-class whitewater rafting & kayaking
- The Carretera Austral, the stunning "Highway to the South!"
- Lago General Carrera, the bright blue, the 12th deepest lake in the world
- Optional Rest Day drive into the famous "Patagonia Park"
- Perito Moreno Glacier, one of only 3 known glaciers to still be growing
- Torres del Paine National Park, home of Los Cuernos, Las Torres & many guanacos!
- 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 : )
- 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!
- Even when plans changed, Henry Van Klaveren and his cousin Gertjan were still able to enjoy a "Self-Guided Fly & Ride The Patagonia Experience" trip! Glad you finished safely and with smiles, guys.
"Fly & Drive The Patagonia Experience" 4x4 Adventure Tour - 14 Days
"The Patagonia Experience" route takes adventurers through the Patagonia highlights in just 14 days (including your arrival and departure days.) Torres del Paine National Park, the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Carretera Austral, incredible Andes Mountain driving and more are all packed into one amazing journey! We're all pressed for time these days, and the Patagonia Experience tour ensures that you're able to fit in as much of this gorgeous landscape as possible. Still, it's an itinerary that most travelers can keep up with and enjoy quite comfortably.
Please note that you can run this route from either the north or the south. Which is better? The answer is: "Both!" With no real advantage to riding either direction, this trip will seem to be more amazing every day, and as Rider Magazine declared in August 2013, "I feel I’ve seen the best of Patagonia."
Day 1 – Arrive in Santiago, Chile and then Pucón in northern Patagonia!
Whether you’re taking extra time to explore the capital city of Santiago or just flying through, adventure travelers need to arrive in Pucón on or before this date, as the itinerary shows a 1st driving day to follow. Your intra-Chile flights can be booked through www.latam.com or www.skyairline.cl. Flights are Santiago (SCL) to Temuco (ZCO) and then back north from Puerto Natales (PNT) to Santiago at the end of the trip. These package options can be sold out 9+ months in advance, as Patagonia is a very popular place for our rental vehicles, so book well in advance!
Day 2 – Pucón, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina – 374km
It’s time to start driving into the heart of Patagonia!
After getting you settled with your 4x4 rental and making sure you're comfortable with the Road Book and everything, the excitement for the trip ahead starts to build even more. At some point on this day though, what might have been months of waiting will finally come to an end, as your DRIVE into Patagonia begins!
Due to the wild series of inlets and land formations that make up the coast of southern Chile, this trip heads east up into the Andes Mountains before going further south into Patagonia. Your trip beginning in Pucón starts with the famous "7 Lakes Route" (Ruta de 7 Lagos) going through San Martin de Los Andes. Settling down into the ski-resort town of Bariloche for the night and perhaps your first Argentine asado (barbeque) in this lively town sets you up for even greater adventures ahead.
Day 3 – Bariloche to Trevelin, Chile – 308km
Before leaving Bariloche, be sure to drive the "Circuito Chico" through Llao Llao just to the west! Then, as most of the trucks and traffic will take the obvious Route 40 south, but you might want to follow the Road Book and enjoy a detour through Parque Nacional Los Alerces just to the west. Sweeping sandy turns through the “Fitzroy” trees (cousin to the Redwoods found in California and the tallest trees in all of South America,) beautiful lakes and mountains guide us through the national park. Positioned to cross back into Chile the next day, how did you do in the gravel? We hope well, because there's more ahead.
Day 4 – Trevelin to Puyuhaupi, Chile – 246km
Today marks the start of the trip down the Austral (Highway to the South) and what many folks will agree is some of the best traveling in the world! First crossing the Futaleufú River, you’ll also be passing near Parque National Corcovado, one of very few privately owned land preserves in the world (owned by the late Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face clothing company.)
Heading further south on the Carretera, rain is likely before arriving in the town of Puyuhaupi, and this area is an absolute highlight for travelers experiencing Patagonia for the first time. Glaciers to the left, waterfalls all around, and rainforest excursions make this a truly unforgettable place.
Day 5 - Puyuhuapi to Coihaique, Chile - 224km
If you're going to get rain on this trip, it'll likely be here in the Queulat Rainforest in this stunning valley full of switchbacks and incredible scenery. Even the most "reserved" personalities tend to burst a bit in this section, as every turn reveals a new view of the precious Patagonia we've grown to love. Waterfalls that cascade down from a few hundred meters high and all the bright green forestry of Patagonia await you.
Day 6 – Coihaique to Puerto Tranquilo area of Chile – 225km
The enormous Nalca plants will line your drive through Parque Nacional Queulat, and likely some rain today. The plant life and rain makes for an amazing atmosphere though with snow-capped mountains, rivers and waterfalls, and in the right season, salmon spawning in the River Cisnes.
After Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo and its sharp mountain peaks, you’ll get your first glimpses of Lago General Carrera, and if the sun is out, another site never to be forgotten. Glacier fed waters reflect blue light, and combined with more snow-capped mountains in the background, this is one fantastic 4x4 travel experience into Puerto Tranquilo. If you arrived early enough, opportunities for fishing, boat tours of the nearby Marble Caves, and canopy tours are possible.
Day 7 – REST DAY in Puerto Tranquilo (area), Chile
The rest day in Puerto Tranquilo is chosen for a couple of reasons. First, Patagonia makes for some tough traveling and everyone has a need to rest up, and second, because you probably won’t want to leave the Puerto Tranquilo area! We will be far off “the beaten path” at this point and varying emotions about seclusion and our normal lives are bound to set in. With activities like boat tours, fly-fishing, horseback riding, canopy tours, and river rafting on the Rio Baker, this is barely a relaxing rest day. On the other hand, if you really feel you want to adventure out a little on this day, the fabulous "Patagonia Park," one of Doug Tompkin's conservation efforts is right near by with plenty of guanacos bouncing around the lodge Valle Chacabuco.
Day 8 - Puerto Tranquilo to Los Antiguos, Argentina – 175km
Leaving this spot about only about 50m/80km from the Pacific Ocean, the drive takes you along the shores of Lago General Carrera with its blue beauty guiding us along rock walls and fantastic scenery on the way back into Argentina. Now get ready for the wind! As Pacific air rolls across the Andes, it typically rushes down the eastern side of the mountains in quite a hurry, so this can be a challenging day of travel.
Day 9– Los Antiguos to near Gobernador Gregores, Argentina – 414km
Just grip down and get through what could definitely be more pounding winds today, as this is part of why Ruta 40 is so famous! Extremely remote territories, very few fueling points, and the wide-open “pampas” region of Argentina again add to the variety in this adventure. Guanacos (like a small llama, indigenous to South America and this region in particular) will be dancing around the road before us, so we take extra caution on days like this.
Day 10 – Gobernador Gregores to El Calafate, Argentina - 330km
Still out in the Argentine wild, just tilt back to the west with the Andes in site today. Passing Lago Cardiel and Lago Viedma, the piercing peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and the town of El Chaltén can be seen in the distance. Passing Lago Argentino and nearing the town of El Calafate, a fun town with great shopping, dining, and relaxation potential sets travelers up for one of the greatest highlights in all of Patagonia the next day.
Day 11 – REST DAY in El Calafate (optional visit to Glacier: 160km)
It's important to rest once again, and there might be no better town to do so in. Just a short morning trip starts with a visit to yet another incredible site in Patagonia: The Perito Moreno Glacier! One of only 3 known glaciers in the world that is still actually growing, huge chunks of ice will fall off before your eyes, crashing into the bay before you. As if this awesome sight isn’t enough, the rumbling sounds of ice cracking throughout the ice field will remain a definite part of your Patagonia memories. Enjoy the remainder of the day around the town of El Calafate where shopping, crafts, culture and restaurants all await you.
Day 12 – El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park – 379km
Circling back through the wide-open “pampas” of Argentina one more time, the goal is yet another stunning site on the Chilean side. Crossing the border at Paso Rio Don Guillermo, it might not appear that there’s anything in site; however, when approaching the middle of Torres del Paine National Park, travelers will understand why this is a special place in Patagonia.
The famous Torres (towers) and Cuernos (horns) of Torres del Paine National Park beg you to take a rest day and either hike or ride around the area to enjoy the beauty. From the south side of “Los Cuernos”(The Horns,) travelers can be found waiting to photograph that perfect sunrise where orange and pink hues radiate across this unforgettable mountain formation. Designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 by UNESCO, photos might not even be necessary as the images will remain clear in travelers' minds forever.
Day 13 – Torres del Paine N.P. to Puerto Natales, Chile – 320km
Finally, the Province and Island of Tierra del Fuego! Originally given that name by Ferdinand Magellan (meaning “Land of Fire”) because of the Indian fires he saw blazing before him, he might have better named it “Land of Wind,” because you’re likely be inundated by it most of the day. Although you might not actually touch Tierra del Fuego, you'll be just about 1 kilometer from it across the Straight of Magellan, and definitely have the sensation of what it's like to be out there. Now just imagine all the photos you have to start organizing as the driving part of your trip is over! Enjoy your stay in this thriving coastal city of Puerto Natales, with lots of shopping and dining options to choose from.
Day 14 - Breakfast and departure
If you're like most travelers, you'll want to turn around and experience this route all over again, or at least continue onward up the Argentine coast to see even more of what this region has to offer. All is possible (confirmed with us ahead of time) but congratulations either way on having completed this journey succesfully! We hope you enjoyed, and will share photos and favorite moments with us.
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