Infinite Patagonia – Self-drive

Infinite Patagonia – Self-drive

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  • Enjoy the best self-drive tours to Patagonia and explore this secluded corner of the globe assisted by our local experts.
  • Drive through Argentina and Chile, visit glaciers and go hiking in the most famous trails. 
  • Best time to travel: From October to April

Enjoy a 13-day self-drive travel experience and explore the incredible national parks of Argentine and Chilean Patagonia. Drive from El Calafate to Ushuaia in the southernmost corner of Argentina, and cross the border to Chile to visit the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. 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!


Welcome to your Patagonia self-drive trip


  • Meet our local guide and pick up your car 

Upon arrival in El Calafate, you’ll meet our local guide who will brief and share all the information you need for your trip. Then you’ll pick up your car and start your Patagonia self-drive experience driving to the famous village of El Chaltén. 


  • 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 200 km of paved road and for 3 hours. 


Day at leisure in El Chaltén


  • Day at leisure – Self-guided hikes

Today, you should be prepared for an exciting journey into the wild. El Chaltén offers a wide range of hiking paths with varied difficulty. You can choose where and when to go, since paths are self-guided and very well marked and maintained. Before starting any hiking trail, it’s important to stop by the National Park Visitors’ Center to check the conditions of each hiking path.

 From the main door of your hotel, you can go for an easy 2-mile walk to Cerro Torre viewpoint — it will only take you around 1 hour. Enjoy the sounds of Rio de las Vueltas, take in some amazing views of the lenga forest, and be prepared to see all kinds of birds—this is the best woodpecker-spotting opportunity in your trip through Patagonia!

For true hiking lovers, continue all the way to Base Torre or go for a medium-difficulty, 9-hour hike to the most impressive view of Mount Fitz Roy and the emerald waters of Laguna de los Tres. And here’s a little secret: you can also reach Laguna Sucia from Laguna de los Tres… it’s only a 5-minute walk from there. Though this hike increases in intensity during the last bit, it’s totally worth it. This is one of the best day-hikes in the world!  


Optional self-drive to Lago del Desierto
El Chaltén


  • 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).


Drive from El Chaltén to El Calafate


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.


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 city. 


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


Optional self-drive to Glaciers National Park


  • Optional self-drive 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).  


Drive from El Calafate to Torre del Paine


  • Self-drive from El Calafate to Torres del Paine

Leave Argentina and continue your Patagonia self-drive trip crossing to Chile, Torres del Paine is waiting for you! Discover the famous granite Paine Towers and the magnificent Paine Horns, all while enjoying breathtaking vegetation and wildlife. Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful protected regions of South America and the best way to explore it is at your own pace.


Directions for today:

  • Take NR 11 for 31 km.
  • Then take NR 40 and drive until reaching Estancia Cancha Carreras. Here you will cross borders and leave Argentina. 
  • Continue to Cerro Castillo in Chile, and then follow the NR towards the entrance of Torres del Parque National Park. 


The self-drive tour of today will take you travel along 226 km of paved road and 104 km of unpaved road, for about 7 hours (depending on the waiting time at the border crossing). 

Once inside the park, due to strong winds, the topography of the road, and especially for the presence of wildlife, the speed limit is 60 km/h. Please, respect this speed limit for your safety. 


Optional hikes and self-drive trails
Torres del Paine


  • Optional hikes and self-drive trails

If you like hiking and nature, our recommendation for today is to take a hike to Base las Torres. This is the most famous hike in the park since it takes you to the base of the Cuernos del Paine (8500 f.o.s.l.); a challenge for climbers all over the world. Inside this National park, there are many other hiking trails available. The hike to Valle Francés and to Lago Grey are two of the many hikes you can not skip either! If you like kayaking, ice trekking, or horseback riding into the wild, you will be able to enjoy any of these activities too inside the park. 

Today’s route: Inside the park most of the trails available for cars are unpaved.



Day at leisure
Torres del Paine


  • Day at leisure

Day at leisure to explore Torres del Paine National Park on your own with the rental car, and go hiking in different areas of the park. You will spend the night at the same hotel as the night before.


Drive from Torre del Paine to Punta Arenas


Continue your Patagonia self-drive trip, and leave the National Park driving south towards Punta Arenas. 

On your way, you will pass through Puerto Natales, where you can visit Cuevas del Milodon, which is more than 11,000 years old. This is also a good stop for lunch! Discover the charm, the cultural heritage, and traditions of this southern city, founded on the coast of the mythic Strait of Magellan.


 Directions for today:

  • Take NR 9 all the way. After 2 hours you will arrive in Puerto Natales. 
  • Continue to the south for 3 more hours until reaching Punta Arenas. 


Today’s self-drive adventure will take you to travel 52 km of unpaved road, 302 km of paved road for 5 hours (plus the time spent on-site). 


Drive from Punta Arenas to Rio Grande


  • Self-drive trip to Río Grande

Today you will cross borders to Argentina and reach the city of Río Grande in the province of Tierra del Fuego. 

This journey includes a 20-minute ferry crossing with your car, thus, you’ll sail the Strait of Magellan! There are two boarding spots, Porvenir or Punta Delgada (both in Chile). We recommend that you board the ferry in Punta Delgada since there are more departure times available.


Directions for today:

  • Drive from Punta Arenas by taking the NR 9 until reaching Gobernador Fillipi.
  • Then take NR 255 until reaching NR 257. Take this NR and continue to Punta Delgada (Chile).
  • 20-minute ferry crossing.
  • Once back to land, take the NR 257 and drive for 3 hours towards San Sebastian in the Argentine border.
  • Then, take the NR 3 until reaching Río Grande.


Today’s self-drive trip will take you to travel 300 km of paved road, 100 km of unpaved road, and enjoy a ferry crossing. You’ll be traveling for around 7 hours.


Drive from Rio Grande to Ushuaia


  • Self-drive trip from Río Grande to Ushuaia

Today you will head to Ushuaia, the famous end-of-the-world city! Drive through NR 3 until reaching the city of Ushuaia.

On your way, you’ll pass through different “estancias” (ranches), we recommend that you make a stop to visit one of these beautiful places to learn about the traditions of Tierra del Fuego, taste local dishes, and enjoy a day in a true production farm. Discover the secrets of sheep breeding and enjoy the stories of the pioneers, told by their descendants.

Today’s self-drive adventure will take you to travel 220 km of paved road for 3 hours (plus the time spent on sites). 


Patagonia optional self-drive tours in Ushuaia


Today, we recommend that you explore Ushuaia and its natural wonders at your own pace. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, and enjoy trekking and paddling into the wild. You can also choose to embark on a Beagle Channel navigation or make a once-in-a-lifetime walk among penguins! If you prefer to explore the city, you can learn about the region’s rich history at the Prisoners’ Museum, or visit the Galleria of Fuegian History (it has a lovely restaurant as well!). Please, don’t forget the local gastronomy! Ushuaia has the best seafood in Argentina.


The end of your self-drive journey


  • Self-drive from Ushuaia to the airport – Drop off the car

This is the end of your Patagonian self-drive tours. Today you will drive from your hotel for about 6 km through Roque Sanchez Galdeano St towards Ushuaia Airport, where you will drop off your vehicle and continue your journey. We hope to see you hitting the road again soon!


Today’s route will take you along 6,6 km. of paved road for 15 minutes. 


If this trip doesn’t meet your expectations we can tailor it to your needs and budget.

Prices per person


  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2023 (ask for prices in 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.
  • We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America.


We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America. It feels good to do it right. Learn more about our actions against climate change here.


  • 2-night accommodation in El Calafate
  • 3-night accommodation in El Chaltén
  • 1-night accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • 1-night accommodation in Río Grande
  • 3-night accommodation in Torres del Paine
  • 2-night accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Transfer as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Car rental vehicle as detailed in the itinerary
  • Days of rental: 13 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




  • 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



No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts in El Calafate and finishes at Ushuaia.


No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts in El Calafate and finishes at Ushuaia.