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Argentina ruta 40 road canva

Great Road Trips: Patagonia's Ruta 40

The open roads, epic vistas and remote estancias of Argentina's southern Andes, with you behind the wheel, and the full weight of our local support behind you.

All your questions answered

Helping you find the right holiday for you is important to us, so here's a few common questions about this trip to help. If there's anything you'd like to know that's not covered here, send us over a message or you can also give us a call on +44 1273 676 712 and we'd be only too pleased to help.

When is the best time to go?


Any time between October and April is the time to catch Patagonia as it moves from late spring through summer and into autumn.

What will the weather be like?


We often say, the weather in Patagonia will be whatever it will be.

On paper, the weather here will be better in January than in October or April. In practice, the best weather we've ever had was in early October and very late April so don't sweat the weather in Patagonia, bring the right clothing and embrace it. This trip encompasses a variety of different ecosystems, from temperate rainforest to dry steppe to ocean glaciers. You will likely experience everything from rain to snow, wind to hot sunshine during this trip.

When is peak season?


January into February is when South Americans (notably Chileans and Argentinians) are on their long summer holidays so is really the only time when there are people on the Ruta 40 in anything like significant numbers. Even then, this is a region with lots of space and very few people.

How much carbon is produced on this trip and how is it mitigated?


Total carbon generated on this trip: 4,166kg per person
Carbon mitigated by us:
6,666kg per person

As Yvon Chouinard, of Patagonia, Inc. rightly declared: “To do good, you actually have to do something.”

Therefore, for every kilometre travelled by road, air and sea on your Pura Aventura holiday, we carbon balance it by a mile - i.e. by 160% of your trip's carbon, from your front door and back again, irrespective of whether we book your international travel or not.

This is one of the travel industry's most ambitious and innovative schemes and has recently been praised by Wanderlust, Condé Nast Traveller and The Independent.

How much driving is there on this trip?


This is not a holiday dedicated to driving, it is about your spending time out and about in the great outdoors. However, there are some substantial distances to travel where distances between overnight stays tend to be longer. On the plus side, Ruta 40 is all paved.

The total driving distance between the different overnight stops in Patagonia is around 1,200km. You stay two or three nights in all but one of your destinations before moving on. You can generally expect to be driving for three to four hours every second or third day, with the exception of two longer days.

Our Holiday Guide will always make suggestions for stops along the way, places you can head off for short walks or stop to appreciate particularly fine views. It is rare that a day would be dedicated to just driving, the norm would be that you set off in the morning and have the afternoon free to walk and explore.

What is it like to navigate?


It is very hard indeed to get lost on the Ruta 40, they are essentially the only roads going north-south. We provide you with the best available map, on which distances, road surfaces and petrol stations are all clearly marked.

In addition, we provide our own written instructions. We do not believe you need anything else.

What if something happens?


It is the culture of this remote area that you never pass a stopped vehicle without asking if things are OK and offering to help.

We ask you to do your driving earlier in the day so you don't have to worry about getting stranded in the dark.

The mobile phone coverage through Patagonia is surprisingly good because people in this region rely on mobile for their internet as well as calls.

Finally, we only use reputable, well maintained vehicles in order to minimise the chances of any mechanical failures.

What is the rental car like?


We always include a 4x4 vehicle with high clearance. The four wheel drive is rarely necessary but it does make for a more sure-footed driving experience. High clearance is really the most important thing. Engines tend to be of a generous size, no whirring and whining along.

How far ahead should I book?


This somewhat depends on when you want to travel but relatively small hotels and lodges in popular destinations mean that 12 months is sensible, assuming you want to travel on specific dates. This is compounded by the fact that we space out our departures to avoid your overlapping, in any significant way, with other clients.

Out of season, we have managed to put trips together with a month's notice but it's not our first choice! It's always worth asking us about space as we know which places represent the 'pinch points' so we can quickly tell if the holiday is going to be deliverable.

Is this trip suitable for solo travellers?


As a private trip, you are not joining a group. As such, this isn't the most obvious choice for a solo traveller. The fixed costs of the vehicle rental are high. Saying that, if you were happy with the extra investment, the experience would work well for a solo traveller who enjoys being on their own.

Is it suitable for families or friends?


Absolutely, yes.

For two couples or a family unit, the trip is perfect as it is, using one vehicle. The per person price naturally reduces.

How active is this trip?


As a tailor made holiday we can adjust things to suit you prior to your departure. There is also much of this trip where it is up to you to set the pace. There is plenty of opportunity to get out walking on this holiday but equally, if all you wanted to do is sit and stare at the landscapes, it would remain a great trip.

At various stages in the journey, you have private guides who adjust activities to suit.

Will altitude be a problem?


Not in Patagonia, no, you are at or around sea level.

How comfortable will I be?


This holiday is comfortable throughout. For specific hotels we use on this trip, please ask us for full details.

The hotels and lodges in this part of Patagonia represent a wonderful selection of very high quality small hotels for you to stay in. These are not luxury properties by any means but rather very clean and comfortable owner run places where the welcome is as warm as you’ll find anywhere in the world.

You should expect 3-4* standard, but given how remote all of these places are, that generally feels very comfortable indeed.

Will I meet the locals?


Absolutely but they probably won't speak English. You may find that communicating with your guides takes a little patience on both sides.

When eating out in restaurants you will likely have to rely on whatever Spanish you have, or on a translation app. When driving, you need to be careful because cows quite often wander into the road. Gauchos ride their horses along the road, usually with their dog behind.

All in all, this is Patagonia. It is unvarnished but for those of us who like our travels to ignite the exploring spirit in us – there can be few better places.

Can I make changes to this trip?


Absolutely. We can tailor your holiday in any number of ways, and will often have to play with the running order to find space for you, or to avoid your overlapping too much with other clients.

There is more of Patagonia to explore to the south, all the way to Torres del Paine if you keep driving.

You can also choose to loop back into Chile where you'll be entering the iconic Carretera Austral, or fly to another part of Latin America, from the Chile's Atacama desert to the Galapagos Islands or Peru's Machu Picchu, we can do wonderful things. Just drop us a line to start the conversation.

What is the payment process and is my money completely safe?


We take a 15% deposit to secure your holiday, with the remainder due eight weeks before your departure.

Your money is 100% protected through our ATOL licence if your trip includes a flight booked through us, or through our ABTOT bond if it does not. Either way, this protection provides a cast iron financial guarantee and helps you book with complete peace of mind. Because the contract between us exists here in the UK, you get this protection regardless of where you live

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