Self-drive Trip to Classic Patagonia

Self-drive Trip to Classic Patagonia


El Calafate - El Chaltén


El Calafate - El Chaltén

days 6
  • Enjoy the best self-drive tours to Patagonia and explore its classic destinations like the Perito Moreno Glacier.
  • Drive through the Argentinean steppe and reach the mountaineering village of El Chaltén, a hikers paradise.  
  • Best time to travel: From October to April
  Enjoy a 6-day self-drive travel experience in Patagonia and explore El Calafate, the Argentine capital of glaciers. Drive through Glaciers National Park to reach the boardwalks facing the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier and enjoy some quality hiking time in El Chaltén.  This is not just a self-drive trip, we’ll share with you our insider tips to discover Patagonia and you’ll receive 24/7 assistance from our local experts!
Day 1

Welcome to Your Patagonia Self-Drive Trip

view of Perito Moreno Glacier


  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in El Calafate

Upon arrival at El Calafate, we’ll meet and drive you to your hotel. El Calafate is located in the Patagonian steppe, dry and dramatic. It is on the border of Lago Argentino (Argentina’s biggest lake) and is considered the capital of the glaciers. It is the gateway to visit the world-renowned Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the only glaciers in the world that is still advancing.


  • Meet our local guide and pick up your car 

At the appropriate time, you’ll meet our local guide who will brief and share all the information you need for your self-drive trip in Patagonia. Then you’ll pick up your car at the car rental’s downtown office. 


  • Optional self-drive to the Glaciarium Interpretation Center

For your first day in El Calafate, we recommend that you visit the Glaciarium, a glacier’s interpretation center. It is a modern center where you learn about the Patagonian Ice and its glaciers. It’s one of the few glaciological interpretation centers in the world!


To reach the Glaciarium:

  • Take PR11 and drive along km 6 until reaching the Glaciarium

This optional self-drive trip will take you to travel along 6 km of paved road for 30 min (plus the time spent on-site). 

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view of Perito Moreno Glacier
Day 2

Optional Self-Drive Trip to Glaciers National Park

Beautiful view at Perito Moreno Glacier


  • Optional self-drive trip to Glaciers National Park

If you decide to take this Patagonia self-drive optional tour, drive west on Avenida Libertador General San Martin / Provincial Route 11 towards Los Glaciares National Park.

Glaciers National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and is home to about 200 glaciers, including the famous Perito Moreno!

Half of this park is occupied by the campo de Hielo Patagónico (Patagonian ice field), the largest ice field after Antarctica. Once inside the park, explore the different viewpoints. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a piece of ice calving into the lake! 

Today’s self-drive adventure will take you to travel 75 km of paved road for 4 hours (plus the time spent on-site).  

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Beautiful view at Perito Moreno Glacier
Day 3

Drive from El Calafate to El Chaltén

El Chalten mountain with hiking trails


  • Drive to El Chaltén

You will travel along the famous Route 40 from El Calafate to El Chaltén, surrounded by the Patagonian steppe, pass through La Leona River, which connects Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma and stands La Leona Roadhouse where the famous thieves Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid hid for a while. We recommend that you make a stop in La Leona so you can enjoy the bar and see the historical center.


Directions for today:

  • Take Provincial Route 11 from the airport and continue along this Provincial Route up to the intersection with National Route 40. 
  • Turn left onto National Route 40 towards El Chaltén.
  • Drive north along NR 40 for about 95 km.
  • Turn right onto Provincial Route 23 towards El Chaltén (about 80 km).

This road adventure will take you to travel along 215 km of paved road and for 3 hours. 

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El Chalten mountain with hiking trails
Day 4

Self-Guided Hike to Laguna Torre - El Chaltén

women looking at cerro torre in el chalten


  • Self-guided hike to Laguna Torre

Today, our recommendation for truly hiking lovers: make all the way to Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre, one of the most famous hiking trails in the area. Walk into the wild for about 8 hours and 20 km, this is a moderate-difficulty hike so you don’t need to have previous experience!

Start at that gorgeous wooden sign with the Laguna Torre and the woodpecker and from there continue through a multi-colored landscape of snow-capped mountains and native forest of lengas and ñires.

You will pass by the De Agostini campsite and continue until the front moraine…you can hit the summit in 15 minutes! From here you can descend to the lagoon and see a floating iceberg passing by or continue to the Mascardi viewpoint.

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women looking at cerro torre in el chalten
Day 5

Optional Self-Drive to Lago del Desierto - El Chaltén

group of people in el chalten


  • Optional self-drive to Lago del Desierto

For your second day in El Chaltén, we recommend that you enjoy a hike in Lago del Desierto. Drive from the town all along Provincial Route 23 towards Lago del Desierto.

The road adventure of today will take you to travel along  37 km of unpaved road to go, and 37 km to return on the same road, for 3 hours (plus the time spent on-site). 

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group of people in el chalten
Day 6

The End of Your Patagonia Self-Drive Trip

tree guys on the road with cerro fitz roy on the back


  • Self-drive from El Chaltén to El Calafate – Drop off your car

This is the end of your self-drive journey to classic Patagonia. We hope to see you hitting the road again! Today, you’ll drive from El chaltén to El Calafate airport where you’ll drop off your car.


Directions for today:

  • Drive south and take the RP 28 until reaching the intersection with RN40.
  • Turn right on RN40 and continue south for about 94 km. 
  • Turn right and take RP11, then continue driving towards El Calafate airport. 

Today’s self-drive trip will take you to travel 220 km of paved road for 3 hours. 

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tree guys on the road with cerro fitz roy on the back
Prices per person
Accomodation INN & B&B
Accomodation Comfort
Accomodation Superior
Accomodation Luxury
  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2025 (ask for prices at Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price but can be arranged on request.
  • 2-night accommodation in El Calafate
  • 3-night accommodation in El Chaltén
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Transfer as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Car rental vehicle as detailed in the itinerary
  • Days of rental: 6 days
  • GPS device
  • Roadmap 
  • Self-drive kit
  • Check the coverages and credit card hold here
  • Check the policies here
  • Bilingual English / Spanish speaking guide for self-drive briefing


not included
  • International or domestic flights or buses 
  • Any services or meals not detailed in this itinerary 
  • Optional tours 
  • Entrance fees to museums, natural reserves, national parks, etc. 
  • Tips and personal expenses 
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – Follow this link to get a free quote (only available for U.S. Travelers)
Flights needed for this itinerary

plane-icon No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts and finishes at El Calafate.

ESTIMATED COST FOR THE FLIGHTS ON THIS TRIP: Local flights cost from $150 per person per segment. We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

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This is a Carbon Neutral Trip

We deeply care about our planet, just like you do. When you book with us, you’re not only fulfilling your travel dreams but also leaving a positive impact on the destination you’re about to discover. We are proud to plant 10 trees in damaged zones of Patagonia for every traveler. It feels good to do it right. Let’s move beyond sustainable!

Self-drive Trip to Classic Patagonia
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