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Patagonian Steppe Route

Chubut, La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa Cruz

Travel this route and traverse endless roads surrounded by guanacos and lesser rheas, discover dinosaur tracks and prehistoric forests, feel the constant force of the wind and enjoy the charm of landscapes, towns and national parks all to yourself. 

Travel this route and traverse endless roads surrounded by guanacos and lesser rheas, discover dinosaur tracks and prehistoric forests, feel the constant force of the wind and enjoy the charm of landscapes, towns and national parks all to yourself. 

Discover

You can travel this route by connecting the cities on the coast with those on the mountain range via roads that cross this region, stopping at various cities and towns along the way, or starting your trip in cities such as Santa Rosa, Bahía Blanca, Neuquén or General Roca and set out to discover its must-see destinations.

Santa Rosa (La Pampa). It has an airport and is the northern gateway to the Patagonian Steppe Route. As it lies in the centre of the country, it is connected with different roads towards the 4 cardinal points. About 227 kilometres away, you will find Lihué Calel National Park, in the heart of the province. In a landscape of plains, you will be able to walk through hill ranges of volcanic origin with peaks 600 metres high.

Neuquén Capital City. It has good air and land route connectivity, and is the starting point for you to discover the Neuquén Dinosaur Route, Laguna Blanca National Park and the winery circuit of Alto Valle.

Viedma and Bariloche (Río Negro). Great places to set out on your trip across the steppe. These cities have airports and are connected via National Route 23. If you want to enjoy a different experience, the Patagonian Train connects these cities. Both the road and the train will border the Somuncurá Plateau, amidst solitary and wild landscapes that invite visitors to discover the lesser-known side of Patagonia.

Puerto Madryn, Trelew and Esquel (Chubut). These cities have airports and are connected by National Route 25, a road that crosses the region. You can reach must-see places such as the monumental reddish outcrops of Los Altares and Piedra Parada, a solitary totem rising in the steppe.

Comodoro Rivadavia (Chubut). This city also has an airport. From here to the west, you will pass by the petrified forests of Sarmiento and the Musters Lake, two of the must-see attractions along this route. To the south, Bosques Petrificados de Jaramillo National Park invites you to discover the most outstanding fossil plant deposits in Argentina and the largest petrified trees in the world.

Río Gallegos and El Calafate (Santa Cruz). Both cities have an airport and will allow you to discover the south of Patagonia via the shortest way and to connect the sea to the glaciers. 

How to get there and move around

Except for Santa Rosa and Neuquén Capital City, the cities with an airport are located on the borders of the steppe: to the east, near the coast, Viedma, Comodoro Rivadavia, Río Gallegos; and to the west, adjoining the mountain range, Bariloche, Esquel, El Calafate.

The best way to explore the steppe is by car (there are car rental companies at the airports and main cities). In addition, there are bus and coach services that connect the main cities in each province.

Bear in mind that the distances in the region are usually long. In many cases, it is necessary to drive several hours to reach an attraction, and not all roads are paved. It is recommended to take a tour to visit some must-see attractions.  

 

Where to stay and eat

The main cities along this route have good infrastructure and accommodation options, which include farms, estates and family homes offering cabins, dorms or camping space.

When to go

Although you can travel this route throughout the year, it is recommended that you go in spring and summer. Many roads are not paved and in winter, the rain, snow and frost can make travel difficult. In summer, you can practise water sports in the area's water bodies.

Remember

Given the current health context, it is recommended that you find out the entry requirements of the province you are visiting in advance. Some attractions may have capacity limits and require prior reservation.

If you are travelling by car, always observe maximum speeds, especially within protected areas, in order to avoid accidents, disturbing wildlife and damaging your vehicle on gravel roads.

Distances are long and there are few service stations. Refuel before hitting the road.

In many places there is no cell phone or WiFi signal, grocery shops or potable water. It is essential that you always carry something to eat and drink with you.

Check on the roads; some are unpaved or in poor condition. Drive carefully, and if you are planning to travel in winter, carry snow chains.

It is important to wear comfortable shoes and a cap or a hat, and take a sunscreen as there is no shade in many places.

Navigate the route