· Don’t miss the city of Río Gallegos, capital of the Santa Cruz province, located at the mouth of the Gallegos River. You can visit its museums, historic monuments, and take a sightseeing tour of the city. Nearby, you can visit the outstanding volcanic scenery of Laguna Azul as well as one of South America’s largest penguin rookeries, the Cabo Vírgenes Natural Reserve.
· Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, about 80 km from El Calafate, in southwest Argentina. Flowing down from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, its face is 5 km wide. Tourists can enjoy this natural spectacle.
How to get to Ruta 40
Route 40 is an Argentine highway which runs from Cabo Vírgenes to the border with Bolivia at the city of La Quiaca. The road runs for a length of nearly 5,224 km.
Navimag ferries sail from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales and from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, on a voyage passing through awe-inspiring Patagonian scenery. Once you reach Puerto Natales you can continue by road to the starting point (km 0) of Route 40 (in Cabo Vírgenes).
Departures from Puerto Montt are on Fridays and from Puerto Natales on Tuesdays throughout the year.
(Navimag only provides transport on the aforementioned ferry routes and does not provide a transport service between Puerto Montt and Route 40).
Flora and Fauna on Ruta 40
The flora of this area consists mainly of Patagonian steppe bunch grasses and low shrubs such as neneo, coirón, and mamuel choique. There are also lenga, cohiue, ñire, canelo, mañio forest as well as some introduced species.
Wildlife includes pumas, Patagonian maras, culpeo foxes, huemules, pudús and criollo cattle. Among the species of birds special mention must go to the condor while on the coast there are several species of penguins, sea lions, and elephant seals. The ocean is inhabited by toninas, orcas, and whales.
Climate of Ruta 40
In the southern sections of Route 40, the climate is arid with low temperatures almost all year round and with winds that blow from the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures vary greatly throughout the year and rainfall is low, generally falling in autumn and winter. Mean annual temperature is between 5 and 10° C, ranging in January from 12° to 20°C and in July from -15° to -7°C.
Where to eat on Ruta 40
El Patacón: Argentine cuisine. Regional products, beef, barbecues, Patagonian lamb, trout, a deep sea cod called “merluza negra”, and homemade pastas are some of the specialties. This restaurant is located on Av. Bustillo – Km. 7 , Bariloche, Argentina,
Don Bartolo Restaurante: Their specialties are grilled meats and pizzas. It is located at Sarmiento 125, Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
Where to stay on Ruta 40
Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km 2.5, San Carlos de Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
Tel.: (54 – 2944) 444-1312
Fagnano 54, Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina
Tel.: (54-2966) 444 969