Patagonia highway
flickr image by Ken Lund

Patagonia highway


This region of these two countries is considered to be some of the most untouched, unspoiled, and purest that still exist today, and is often known as the “place at the end of the world” as well; this region also contains a number of extreme and varying types of climates and terrains, and sites along this route range from penguin and whale watching to lush meadows and lakes as well as volcanoes, fjords, ancient Indian towns, European villages, hot springs, and much more.

Patagonia

flickr image by JCKole

The Patagonia region is divided into such regions including the dry plains of southern Argentina, the high regions of the Andes mountains, the Lake districts, the mild Paciific coast, and the frigid and barren Chilean region. The Patagonia region, one of the wildest, exotic, and deserted regions on earth, is one of the regions that must be seen by car to fully experience its wild beauty.

Seven Lakes Drive

flickr image by bozer★

Starting in the city of Bariloche, one will embark on the first leg of the trip known as the Road of the Seven Lakes (named Ruta Nacional 234); this region is characterized by snow capped peaks, crystal pure lakes, and green valleys, all combined to produce scenes evocative of Swan Lake. This part of the route is considered to have non-stop picturesque views around every turn and to be a panoramic diagram of scenic beauty.

Nahuel Huapi lake

flickr image by Ricardo N. Cabral

The first lake which you will come across will be the giant Nahuel Huapi lake, with the town of Villa La Angostura, a beautiful fishing village, surrounding it; this is a good stopping point, as this town offers not only tours of the lake but also rental boats. As you continue along this road you will see other pristine lakes surrounded by dramatic mountains and peaks, encounter the sight-seeing wonder of Valle Encantado (the Enchanted Valley) with its awesome rock formations, and finally end with the last lake of Lago Lacar in the town of San Martin, which is known for its fly-fishing; other famous sites here include the volcano of Volcan Lanin, which towers at 3776 feet over the other mountains as well. At this point you will have covered the northern Patagonian region and the first half of this road trip.

Valle Encantado

flickr image by ramtyns

As you transfer to Highway 5, otherwise known as the Pan American Highway, you will embark on the most well-paved and efficient roads of the trip; heading southwest towards the Pacific Ocean and the Chilean region of the Patagonia, you will pass the shores of Lago Villarica (not a part of the Seven Lakes above) and the surrounding town of Villarica before embarking on more rugged, harsher and desolate terrain. As you journey along this part of the route, the climate will also change dramatically as well, becoming much more colder and arctic as you travel further south, and it is at this stage that you will encounter numerous fjords, the Patagonia Ice Fields, the Northern and Southern Continental Ice Cap, and the Perito Moreno Glacier (the only one in the world showing closure and rupture process).

Perito Moreno Glacier

flickr image by Doug Scortegagna

Further along you may wish to visit Puyehue National Park, and, further south, Torres del Paine National Park, before reaching the final destination of the trip at Magellanes, home to the Magellan Strait, Cape Horn, and Tierra del Fuego, known as the city at the end of the world. This dramatic trip, taking the traveler across widely varying terrains, ruggedness, and vastness and desertedness unseen anywhere else in the world (especially as one approaches the Arctic region), will be both awe-inspiring as well as breathtaking, and will give the traveler an idea of the spirit and beauty of this South American region; overall, many travelers have considered this to be one of the best trips in South America that one can undertake.

Date posted: 12th April, 2016

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