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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 2:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Sirs!

My name is Alexander Sominsky. I live in Moscow, Russia. Next (2009) January I plan to travel around Argentina by car. The approximate schedule of the travel is following:

Day 1 BA - Necochea
Day 2 Necochea
Day 3 Necochea - Viedma
Day 4 Viedma - Puerto Piramides
Day 5 Peninsula Valdes
Day 6 Puerto Piramides - Comodoro Rivadavia
Day 7 Comodoro Rivadavia - Rio Gallegos
Day 8 Rio Gallegos - Ushuaia
Day 9 Ushuaia
Day 10 Ushuaia - Rio Gallegos
Day 11 Rio Gallegos - El Calafate
Day 12 El Calafate
Day 13 El Calafate - Las Horquetas
Day 14 Las Horquetas - Perito Moreno
Day 15 Perito Moreno - Gobernador Costa
Day 16 Gobernador Costa - Bariloche
Day 17 Bariloche
Day 18 Bariloche - Chos Malal
Day 19 Chos Malal - Mendosa
Day 20 Mendoza
Day 21 Mendoza - La Rioja
Day 22 La Rioja - Quimili
Day 23 Quimili – Corrientes
Day 24 Corrientes - Puerto Iguazu
Day 25 Iguazu
Day 26 Puerto Iguazu - Santo Tome
Day 27 Santo Tome - Concepcion del Uruguay
Day 28 Concepcion del Uruguay - Buenos Aires
Day 29 Buenos Aires
Day 30 Buenos Aires
Day 31 Reserve
Day 32 Reserve

I’ll quite obliged for any opignion, comment, advice or criticism.

Really I have a lot of questions. The first one is: how to rent a car cheaper? I found the prices for car rent in Argentina very high…
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Richard Graham
New member
Username: Richg

Post Number: 14
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 9:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alexander,

You have set yourself a very tough challenge here. I have just finished a 6000 km trip over about 20 days and it was tiring!

My initial thoughts are:

The time you will spend driving will take up a significant portion of your trip.
You will need a tough car for the southern part of Patagonia, probably 4x4, well equipped.
Renting a car I believe would not be economical, especially if you consider the type of car you need.
You may have to find a 2nd hand car.
Buying a car as a foreigner will make crossing into Chile and Uruguay an issue.

What is the reason for this trip? Are you looking for a driving challenge or just interested in seeing a lot?

There is a spectacular trip taking Ruta 40 from El Calafate almost to Bolivia. You could fly to Iguassu and Peninsula Valdes from BA (which are the real highlights of the rest of your trip).

You could again fly to Ushuaia, maybe arrange to buy a car from another similarly minded traveller in El Calafate (however buying and selling a car isn't an easy process)and drive it up to just past Salta where you could sell it (Passing Perito Moreno, Bariloche, Mendoza etc).

BUT any trip like this will not be easy.I would strongly suggest if you are planning anything like schedule you have planned to double the time you have allocated.

Cheers

Rich
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 2
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 2:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Richard!

Many thanks for the detailed reply. I just begin to plan so early to have an opportunity to reconsider everything.

Really I know what's driving. June 2007 I drove 10 500 km through the western part of US in 21 days.(http://www.touswest.com/roadmaps.htm - site in Russian, but map is picture)

But, anyway, great thanks for your ideas and info.

Yours

Alex
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Richard Graham
New member
Username: Richg

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 7:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alex

The problem we had was with accomodation, our plan was changed on the road so we had to spend too much time looking for accomodation. The US is different as you know because there are motels everwhere, accomodation is slightly more difficult to organise. Especially if you plan to travel in January which is peak season.

Also roads certainly differ from the US. Certainly in the south of Patagonia, where you will encounter miles and miles of unpaved road. miles and miles and miles...............!!!!

Driving is often a joy here, you will certainly have fun doing it.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1479
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Without sleep you could also do Iguazu - Ushuaia in 3 full days but as Richard guessed that is probably not the point. I'd say, you will have to rebuild your entire *behind* if you want to visit so many smaller destinations in such short period. My guess is that this is anywhere from 11,000 km to 13,000 km since you are also crossing Argentina east-west two times. Can't compare US highways with argentine ones. And Richard mentioned something that to many goes unnoticed. Some of the areas you want to touch have penguins as their sole habitants, if not llamas. Better to have a good travel plan, up to date maps, the best cellphone, a great car and conceivable plans b, c and d.
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 10:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Richard!

Your last message is quite valuable. I'll try to book hotel in advance everywhere I plan to spend a night. What about gas stations? What about car services? What about cell telephone coverage?
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 11:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Roberto!

I'm very pride to be noticed by admin. I understand, of course, US roads and Argentinian roads are different. I may to open a secret: Russian roads also difers of US ones. In Russia movement speed 1000 km/day is thought to be normal for touristic trip.

You said, that some areas at my way are completely unpopulated. That's very important. What areas? Obviously, the special preparations are required to traverse these areas.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1485
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alexander, I can see how coming from such large country as yours 1000 km/day is just normal. In general, any areas that are in the deeper south will be less developed with less population. Rio Gallegos - Ushuaia - Calafate are areas you need to study carefully. You will be using a ferry to cross the Strait of Magellan. Half of this route may be pebble roads. Calafate - las Horquetas - Perito Moreno is another section that may slow you down and parts may be in bad condition approaching Gobernador Costa. I think once you cross Esquel everything tends to get better.

If possible, see if you can find updated YPF guides which publish all gas stations and stops along the way, as well as very detailed information on the state of the roads.
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How to get (where to buy) the most updated YPF guides? Is it possible to buy them in airport, car-rental station or gas station? May be it's worth to order them in advance?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1489
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, you can get them at gas stations. Check their site Guias YPF
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Raymond White
New member
Username: Patos

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 9:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Greeting;
In about 10 days we are going to be driving from Santiago to Mendoza and then from Mendoza to San Martin de los Andes and probably spending about two nights along the way from Mendoza to San Martin de los Andes.
It appears that the main paved road turns east at about Pareditas and becomes Rt. 143 and then after San Rafael it becomes Rt 144 and heads back west toward Malarque where we plan to spend the 1st night. It also appear that their is a much straighter route that is probably not paved and may be the future continuation of Rt.40. Is it better and faster to take the paved road to San Rafael and then Rt 144 back toward Malargue or take the straight route. We drove the gravel road a few years ago from San Martin de los Andes to Villa Angostura and it was OK but I know I was glad to get back to the pavement. I think we were going about 25 kph on the washboard surface.
Thanks for any information. Ray
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1491
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I can't answer with precision as I am not sure how up to date my maps are. If you want to sleep one night in Malargue my maps indicate the first choice, the detour towards San Rafael and later back west to Malargue. However, if you do not want to spend time in Malargue there is a more straightforward way of reaching San Martin de los Andes by taking

RN 7 to Las Catitas
RP 141 Monte Coman
RN 188 Gral Alvear
RN 143 Algarrobo del Aguila
RN 151 Neuquen
RN 237 until JCT RN 40
RN 40 until JCT RN 234
RN 234 San Martin de los Andes
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WTMendoza.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 128
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2008 - 6:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes route 40 becomes unpaved after San Carlos/La Consulta heading south out of upper Mendoza, hence that "detour" through San Rafael...if you do go down unpaved 40, you can see Mount and Lake Diamonte, but I reccomend a car/truck that will make that unpaved road much for comfortable, I would never take my Kangoo down it unless yes I was ging 25...good luck!
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Richard Graham
New member
Username: Richg

Post Number: 16
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2008 - 8:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I opted to take the more direct route, the other way, from San Martin de Los Andes via Zapala and Malargue via ruta 40. Then on past San Rafael to Mendoza.

Ruta 40 is a very enjoyable drive the whole way through Neuquen state, but as soon as you reach Mendoza state it's unpaved until you reach the outskirts of Malargue.

San Martin to Malargue took 9 hours, the unpaved section is about 300km. You can average about 60/70. It's not horrendously uncomfortable and the scenery for me made it worthwhile. Also there was almost no traffic from Junin to Malargue.
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WTMendoza.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 129
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2008 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Also as you exit Malargue heading north, Route 40 becomes unpaved again until San Carlos / La Consulat area
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 6
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2008 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What about Routa 40 from Rio Mayo and Gob. Costa? Do it really exists?

I heard (read) the following advice:

to Facundo with 22
to Nueva Lubecka with 20 and further up to cross with 40
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 7
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2008 - 5:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Correction.

The first question in previous message should be:

What about Routa 40 from Rio Mayo to Gob. Costa?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1494
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2008 - 12:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What I see on the maps is the following:

You depart from Rio Mayo on RP22 (ruta provincial) until you reach JCT (intersection) RN26. Then, get on RP20 until you reach the intersection with RP40. That last section seems to be in bad conditions, although paved. This may mean big batches.
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Under the havy pressure of public opignion I decided to think about the following changes in my plan.

1) To go to Ushuaia and back to BA by air
2) The "car" part of travel looks like following

Day 1 BA - Necochea
Day2 Necochea
Day 3 Necochea - Viedma
Day 4 Viedma - Puerto Madrin
Day 5 Peninsula Valdes
Day 6 Puerto Madrin - Esquel
Day 7 Esquel - Bariloche
Day 8 Bariloche
Day 9 Bariloche - Chos Malal
Day 10 Chos Malal - Mendosa
Day 11 Mendoza
Day 12 Mendoza - La Rioja
Day 13 La Rioja - Tucuman
Day 14 Tucuman - Salta
Day 15 Salta
Day 16 Salta - Corrientes
Day 17 Corrientes - Puerto Iguazu
Day 18 Iguazu
Day 19 Puerto Iguazu - Santo Tome
Day 20 Santo Tome - Concepcion del Uruguay
Day 21 Concepcion del Uruguay - Buenos Aires
Day 22 Buenos Aires
Day 23 Buenos Aires
Day 24 Reserve
Day 25 Reserve

What is your opignion?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1496
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is a nice trip that will possibly make your life easier.

A few areas may slow you down a bit, like when getting closer to Esquel. On your way south to Viedma make sure to stop at Las Grutas, the only warm water beach in Argentina. A point to bear in mind... if you are going as north as Salta it will be a shame to miss the Jujuy area. You are just a hair away. Consider adding a short roundtrip to visit Iruya or some of the smaller pre-hispanic settlements. Difficult roads at times but worth the effort, in my view. The area of Tucuman/Salta will also slow you down. Not because of the state of the roads but because they can be winding and treacherous at times, like if you were to visit Tafi Viejo. Finally, make sure to cross the middle section of Misiones on your way south to Concepcion del Uruguay and visit the "esteros".
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 9
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Roberto!

Thank you very much for your advices!
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Richard Graham
New member
Username: Richg

Post Number: 19
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 6:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That sounds much more like a holiday plan Alex,

I agree with Roberto, the beaches at Las Grutas are very nice but will be crowed in January. Playa Doradas is also a lovely uncrowed beach 2 hours south of Las Grutas, and an hour from Sierra Grande.

If you are interested in penguins (500,000 of them!) then Punta Tombo is well worth a trip.

Ruta 25 to Esquel is a good drive all the way, no problems.

I would try and just stop at Chos Malal for fuel and make your way to San Rafael from Bariloche, a very long drive but there is very little to see or do in Chos Malal.

I agree with Roberto, Jujuy and the quebrada de Humuhuaca is a great trip. The drive from Cafayate to Salta on Ruta 40 through Valle de Calchaques is stunning but will be hard on the car, and often single track. Ruta 68 is faster, and also spectacular. You could spend 3 or 4 days easily around Salta.

Ok I'll stop now! Enjoy!
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 15
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 - 1:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello, freids!

Glad to be back. I've been forced to delay the trip because of crisis, but now I've returned to the idea and plan to visit Argentina next December-January
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1859
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 - 1:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Don't forget to post your reviews/pictures/comments after the trip!
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Alexander E. Sominsky
New member
Username: Sominsky

Post Number: 16
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 - 3:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Undoubtely. But now i'm trying to find a rent car for a reasonable price.

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