The weather in Argentina isn’t especially predictable and if you plan on travelling through more than one region of the country, chances are you’ll experience completely different temperate zones. The further north you go, the hotter it will be and vice versa—the further south into Patagonia you head, the cooler it will be. Pack your thermals, dancing shoes and your jackets into your campervan hire and start your adventure through the always surprising, always enjoyable Argentina.
The Ruta 40 in Argentina is an uncrowded and well-maintained open-road trip for anyone with a campervan hire. It is a full 5,028km full of meandering roads, twisty turns and spectacular scenery that connects the high plains near the Bolivian border with the Straits of Magellan in the south of Argentina. A wide majority of the roads are paved, especially in the Cuvo province, but the farther north you travel, the more likely you are to come across more “exciting” roads.
As you wind you way through this route you’ll be treated to sights of tranquil lakes and rivers on one side and sky scraping, snow-capped mountains on the other. Unlike similar environments in other parts of the world, this stunning landscape is home to plenty of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for armadillos, ostrich, skunks and even condors circling in the skies above.
Whatever you do, if you pass a gas station, be sure you stop—no matter how full your gas tank is—because it may be the only spot for hours around and the last thing you want to do is get stranded on a quiet stretch of road kilometres long. You will eventually pass the Hotel La Leona where you can (and should!) stop for fresh empanadas, pastries and strong coffee.
Start this route at Salta and begin the 190km trip to Cafayate. Along this significantly shorter route there is an abundance of geological and historical spots and stops to take advantage of. If you are in to geology, be sure to stop at Quebrada de Cafayate where you’ll be met with incredible rock formations. The entire area is a bright red colour and is surrounded by cacti. It will feel like you’ve walked onto the set for an old-fashioned western film.
Try walking through the “Garganta Del Diablo” or the “Devil’s Throat” when you get to Cafayate. Extend your stay in this area by finding a spot to park and a bodega to relax at. You will likely be able to do a wine tasting at the bodegas in Cafayate and will have enough to see and do to stretch over two days. Once you are done exploring Cafayate, get back in your campervan and head to Cachi.
There is a gravel road that will take you most of the way in to Cachi, but you won’t be focused on the bumpy ride because your eyes are guaranteed to be glued to the windows. You’ll pass through quaint, untouched villages where cowboys spend their days rounding up cattle from horseback. Once you are in Cachi, take a few hours to walk around the small town full of colonial buildings and see how the mountains form an incredible backdrop for the little town.
On your way back to Salta, try taking the road that takes you through La Cuesta del Obispo where you’ll find a more adventurous route back home but be treated by wonderful panoramas of the region.
For adventurers who like to dream about where they can travel, a campervan holiday is the perfect way to visit those places you’ve dreamt of in supreme comfort. The roads and campsites are generally well-maintained throughout the country, so regardless of your travel itinerary, you are sure to find accommodations that are manageable. Pick and choose from your favourite places on the list we’ve made above, make a plan and make reservations.
Protect you financial investment for the campervan hire, your plane tickets and protect your health from any potential auto accidents with a comprehensive travel insurance plan from Cover-More that offers support and coverage from these commonly experienced hindrances to every policyholder.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Lucia Sanchez