Top 10 Argentina-Chile Border Crossings
With 5.150 kilometres (3.200 mi) Argentina and Chile share the longest international border in South America, and it is the third-longest in the world after the Canada-United States and Kazakhstan–Russia. Between the Andes and in the Island of Tierra del Fuego there are about 45 border crossings called “Pasos”. Not all of them are open and not all of them are available for the whole year.
Here we will show you our selection of the most important and beautiful Argentina-Chile border crossing that you can enjoy if you decide to do a road trip. The order of the crossings is from North to South.
1. Paso de Jama & Paso de Sico
This two Argentina-Chile border crossings offer a round circuit perfect for you to visit beautiful places like the City of Salta, Quebrada de Humahuaca with its Seven Colour Mountain, Salinas Grandes, and San Antonio de Los Cobres in Argentina. And in Chile San Pedro de Atacama, Chil’es largest Oasis, and the Flamingo National Park. To this round circuit, you can make an extension to Cafayate, Salta’s Wine Region, or the Pacific Coast of Chile.
2. Paso de San Francisco
Paso San Francisco connects Fiambalá, Catamarca province, Argentina with Copiapó, in Atacama Region, Chile. In the Chilean side, you can enjoy the breathtaking Nevado Tres Cruces National Park, visit Nevado Ojos del Salado and Copiapó Volcano, and you are very close to the Pacific In the Argentinian side you can enjoy the Thermal Pools, Sand Dunes in the middle of the Andes, and between Fiambalá and Tinogasta you can enjoy the Wine Region of Catamarca.
3. Paso de Agua Negra
Opened from December to April, the “Black Water” or “Blanc Waters” border crossing connects San Juan Province with the VI region in Chile. The name was given after the glacier that you can see from the road. In this region of Chile, you can visit the famous Coquimbo Port and La Serena, a beautiful seaside city. In Coquimbo, you can’t miss La Herradura beach and the nightlife of the English District. In the Argentinian side, in San Juan, you can’t miss Ischigualasto Provincial Park and the different Wine Routes that the province offers. If you didn’t know San Juan, with 21% of the vineyards of Argentina, is the second greater viticulture, after Mendoza with 70%.
4. Paso Los Libertadores
Is the most important and crowded Argentina-Chile border crossing. It connects Mendoza province, and it’s the capital city, with Santiago Chile, capital of Chile. Santiago de Chile is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city. Near Santiago, you can enjoy Wine Regions and Skii Resorts. Also, on the coast of this region, you can visit the gorgeous city of Valparaiso and the so-called “Garden City”, Viña del Mar. In Mendoza, Argentina, you can enjoy trekking in Aconcagua Park and also visit numerous Wine Regions. Many other outdoor activities are available too.
5. Paso Tromen or Mamuil Malal
On the Argentinian side, San Martin de Los Andes is, after Bariloche, the most important town of The Seven Lakes Route. Lago Lacar beaches and Chapelco Skii Resorts are musts on this area. To access this Argentina-Chile border crossing you will enjoy a beautiful view of Lanin Volcano and the National Park called by the same name.
In Chile, Villarrica and Pucón await with breathtaking views of lakes, active volcanos and forests. You can’t miss the geothermal hot springs with 20 natural pools that go from 30°C and 45°C (86° to 113° F).
6. Paso Cardenal Samoré
this Argentina-Chile border crossing connects the cities of Villa La Angostura, Argentina, with Osorno, Chile. Between the border and Osorno, The Puyehue National Park and its sophisticated hot springs invite you to unwind. From here you can explore its Coihue forests, be amazed by the over one hundred bird species that live here and trek on the sides on the Puyehue Volcano. Its amazing rapids and glacial lagoons will charm you.
In Villa La Angostura you will enjoy one of the most exclusive towns in Patagonia. You can enjoy the outdoors like the lake region combined with golf, squash, tennis and other sports.
7. Paso Rio Futaleufú
Trevelin and Esquel in Argentina, and Futaleufu and Chiloé Island in Chile are connected by this border crossing. On the Argentinian side, you can’t miss staying at least 2 nights in Los Alerces National Park. Also in October, you can enjoy the beautiful city of Trevelin coloured by their Tulip plantations.
In the Chilean side, the Natural Reserve Futaleufu will amaze you with its landscapes. From Chaiten you can get to Chiloé, a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions. From the moment you first set foot on this extraordinary island, its singular identity will take you by surprise. Also is the start of Carretera Austral.
8. Paso Rio Jeinimeni
Have you heard of the incredible Marble Chapel Nature Sanctuary in Chile? This Argentina-Chile border crossing connects the town of Chile-Chico, Chile, and Los Antiguos, Argentina. This border is delimited by Jeinimeni River, which flows to General Carrera Lake, as it is known in Chile, or Buenos Aires Lake, as it is known in Argentina.
From Chile Chico, you can visit the network of caves, especially the famous ‘Chapel’ and ‘Cathedral’ caverns. Get ready to kayak through the many tunnels whose unique colours, textures and volumes make for an amazing photographic record.
In Los Antiguos, you can visit Cueva de las Manos (Exact translation: Hand’s Cave). Is an ancient cave where you will find rock paintings are everywhere, and by foot, you can reach Río Pinturas
9. Paso Don Guillermo Cancha Carrera
This must be one of the most famous Argentina-Chile border crossings. It connects both countries Trekking Capitals. Have you heard about Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy? And, what about Torres del Paine?
The main city on the Argentinian side is El Calafate. In one hour you can reach Los Glaciares National Park where Perito Moreno Glaciar is. You can do kayak in front of the glacier, or even walk on it. At four or five hours El Chalten awaits. This town is Argentina’s National Trekking Capital, and home of Mount Fits Roy and Mount Torre.
On the Chilean side, Torres del Paine National Park offers also a great variety of day hikes or trekking routes, like the “W Trek” and the “O Trek”. This is why it is considered Chile’s National Trekking Capital.
10. Paso de Integración Austral & Paso San Sebastián
This is the southernmost Argentina-Chile border crossing and from here you will access to Tierra del Fuego Island (translated as Land of Fire).
If you are driving from Torres del Paine you will pass through the city of Puerto Natales. Before reaching Punta Delgada, to take the ferry to cross Estrecho de Magallanes, you can make a stop in Punta Arenas, and visit Magdalena Island to see Penguins.
If you are driving from Rio Gallegos, Argentina, you will first pass through Paso de Integración Austral on the continent. After you will reach Punta Delgada, Chile.
Tierra del Fuego is divided in half by Chile and Argentina. The main city of the island is the famous Ushuaia that is waiting to amaze you.
By Morena Domsch – Beyond BA LATAM team
Important: not all the Pasos are opened during the whole year, before travelling you should look into the detailed information of each Paso. Remember to have your passport, visa, car license and car permit to cross international borders
Now that you know a little more about the 10 Argentina-Chile Border Crossings, you’ll probably want to get down to booking your road trip. Beyond BA LATAM offers tours and experiences for different travel styles, where we stand out in tailor-made vacations, designed around your interests and travel style. Contact us, and let’s plan your next beautiful journey together!0