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The idea for this trip is to combine two famous areas of Argentina through a non-conventional way, out of the beaten track. This trip, which is flexible and can be adapted to your preferences, starts in Mendoza and ends in Bariloche. It can be done as a self-drive tour or with a private driver. The landscapes on the way will let you see and feel the transition between the arid landscapes of Mendoza and the lush vegetation of green-northern Patagonia. High mountains with and without forests. Flats. Volcanos of different shapes, ages, and activity. Wine. Lakes, rivers, canyons, salt-fields, deserts, and green areas. Hidden pearls off the beaten path.
Embark on a breathtaking journey from Mendoza to Bariloche. Traverse Argentina’s scenic landscapes, from the arid beauty of Mendoza’s vineyards to the majestic snow-capped peaks of Bariloche’s Andean range. Witness nature’s artistry unfold as you pass crystal-clear lakes, verdant forests, and charming alpine villages.
Arrival at the airport in Mendoza (you can get flights from Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, and other cities), and private transfer to the hotel. Depending on your schedule, we can organize activities in the area. This itinerary can be self-drive or with a private driver. In case of a self-drive tour, today will be the pickup of the vehicle (a traditional car, a 4×4, or something intermediate). Accommodation in your preferred lodge, adapted to your travel style. Suggestion: one of the boutique hotels located at “Chacras de Coria” neighborhood.
Today, we’ll head toward the high mountains circuit. This consists in a scenic road (Routa 7) that lies across the Andes Range, starting from the flats of Mendoza and ending in high altitude, surrounded by the highest mountains of the American Continent. The idea is to pass by Potrerillos, Uspallata, Puente del Inca, and the Provincial Park Aconcagua. From the distance, we’ll be able to appreciate the Aconcagua Mount, highest in the American continent (almost 7000 meters above the sea level). We’ll return through the same road, and stay in “Potrerillos” for the night. In total, today we’ll transit about 260 km (mostly paved road), and the activity will take us a full day.
We’ll leave the mountain circuit behind, and head toward the Uco Valley, which is the most wine-trendy region of Mendoza. The idea is to have some wine tastings and enjoy the views of the beautiful vineyards distributed around the valley. If you self-drive, we can organize the itinerary in a way that you avoid driving & drinking (for instance staying in a wine lodge for the night, or hiring a private tour). After our wine tour, we’ll continue south to San Rafael city, where we will stay this night. We’ll transit about 250 km, combining paved with gravel road, depending on the road/s we take. Full day.
Leaving Payunia and Mendoza behind, we’ll continue driving down south until entering Patagonian territory, through the province of Neuquén. The idea is to drive for about 5 hours (340 km of paved road), until reaching the small village called Chos Malal, where we’ll stay for the night.
Today, we’ll return to Argentina, through a border passing that lies right next to the impressive Lanín Volcano (Argentina). We’ll make a short stop over at the area of the Lanin (northern face), and continue then to San Martín de los Andes, a picturesque city in Argentinian Patagonia, at the shores of the lake Lacar.
The distance between Pucón and San Martín de los Andes is about 184 km (approx.. half a day, depending on the time at the border and the scenic stops you want to do). Once in San Martín, enjoy tea and cake by the lake!
Optional: just in case you want to have it as an alternative, there are 2 lakes in the southern area of Lanin National Park, which are called “Paimún” and “Huechulafquen”. These lakes are surrounded by Patagonian forest, mountains, and beautiful landscapes. You’d have to add 1 more day to your itinerary, and stay the night in a city between Pucón and San Martín, called Junín de los Andes.
Take advantage of the day to visit a little bit of San Martín’s surroundings, and drive then to Villa La Angostura through the 7 Lakes road. This is a road of 110 km along the mytical Ruta 40, through pristine lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, and incredible views. If you want to enjoy the views and stops, we suggest you to do it slowly and start early.
Overnight in Villa La Angostura.
We suggest you to enjoy the morning visiting the surroundings of Villa La Angostura, including places such as the “Arrayanes” forest or the “Santa Ana and Dora” cascades. Continue then to Bariloche (80 km), which will be the base for the next days.
Enjoy the capital of the lake district in Patagonia Argentina. Among the activities you may like, you can find:
End of the road trip from Mendoza to Bariloche!
In case you have more days and want to keep exploring the Patagonian lake district, you could cross to Puerto Varas (Chile) by doing the “Lakes Crossing” navigation. This consists in crossing the Andean range through lakes and forests, combining a little bit of land transportation with different catamarans. Then, once in Chile, you can make base in Puerto Varas and visit Volcan Osorno, Frutillar, Puerto Octay, Chiloé, and other beautiful attractions!
We invite you to see our Argentina Tours, where you can experience the true Argentine culture.
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