Stayed here for 2 nights. Very lovely and welcoming owner. We paid 5,000 Chilean pesos per person per night. Space for 2 or 3 vehicles (depending on size) in secure, grassy parking. A great location to walk to town or to go up to Mirador Torre de Agua. Good WiFi in the comunal indoor area, hot showers during the night hours, and clean facilities. There was a fire going at night which was nice and kept us warm. We recommend it!
|Trailhead To Mirador Torre de Agua||
This is the start of the short trail to get to the Mirador. You can just walk to this starting point from the town and see Laguna Espejo on the way (very beautiful and you'll see it again from the top). It involves stairs and a short, steep climb, about 30-45 minutes up and a bit shorter to get down. Free, and really beautiful views of Laguna Espejo and Futaleufú. You can bring snacks or lunch to eat in front of this gorgeous landscape.
DID NOT WORK FOR OUR VISA CARD. We tried 3 different times and had no luck. It cancelled the transaction each time. Try to come with cash as a lot of the activities and establishments are cash only, at least it was the case for us.
If you need a welding job for your vehicle, this is the only place we found to do it in this area. This mechanic had a quiet personality but seemed knowledgeable, did the work we needed within 24 hours. Fair price. He can do oxy-fuel welding as well.
|Administration Reserva Nacional Futaleufú||
Natural reserve with three trails to different Miradores, and for free. We arrived around 3:30pm and decided to only go to Mirador Piedra Ventosa because they close at 5:30pm in the summer (earlier in the winter). We did it with our rain jackets and hiking boots due to the rain. By the time we made it to the top, the bright sun came out and it all cleared out. Absolutely gorgeous landscapes and scenic views. Highly recommended.
I have updated the coordinates. It is on the southeast corner by the main plaza. We stopped by around 6:00pm and the gentleman there gave us information about the hikes nearby, mirador, and rafting agencies. We also got a map of the area.
|Los Lagos Sendero||
We absolutely loved this national park. The drive here from Villarica was gorgeous as well. The entrance fee is still 7,000 Chilean pesos per person. So we decided to hike all the way to Laguna Verde from the Information Center, which took us about 4.5 hours round-trip (3.0 up and 1.5 down) stopping by 2 waterfalls and 2 miradores along the way. This was a moderate hike: a steady uphill climb to the Lagos, then mostly downhill to return. The weather this time of year was lovely and the scenic views throughout the trails gorgeous! A lot of people in the park today, we really recommend a visit if you're in the area or want a pleasant detour.
|Big Parking Lot by Boat Docks||
We arrived late and just parked next to the entrance to this grassy spot (Plaza Embarcadero). Nobody bothered us. It is next to the road but got quieter from 11:00pm until 7:00am. We slept well and would recommend for one night. No facilities.
|Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja||
The entrance to this park was 4,000 Chilean pesos per person for extranjeros. They take your name and give you a map of the park (English or Spanish). I've included pictures of it. The road from Antuco to the entrance was paved except the last 10 kilometers. Everything inside the park is unpaved but in good condition. We drove with our 2WD without a problem (a couple of times in first gear but very briefly).
The hiking options are as follows:
•Sendero Sierra Velluda- 4.6 kilometers, difficult.
You can easily spend one day here. It is beautiful. We drove up to the laguna and then came back to the trailhead for Sendero Las Chilcas, which was really stunning. All the trailheads are well marked throughout the park so easy to find, the map helps if needed. This time of year is perfect for a visit, we recommend it. They have a ski resort in here as well for the winter season.
We stopped by after our day of hiking. The other spots marked in iOverlander were too windy for us. The staff who welcomed us at the camping reception was really friendly and let us stay for 5,000 Chilean pesos (for 2 people and our van). He drove us to our marked parking spot with access to water, electricity and a picnic table right next to us. The bathroom was nearby and very clean, with toilet paper, a small sink, and a spacious shower (started hot but then got cold, not a problem for us this time of the year). We had a peaceful and quiet night here. We definitely recommend it.
We did not see this checkpoint here today at 12:00pm. Could be lunch hour? No search for us.
|Parque Nacional Siete Tazas||
PARK HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR A MONTH DUE TO FIRES.
We drove here without knowing that and the drive was fine. The unpaved roads are in good condition and very doable with our 2WD. They are working on the roads and making progress so pretty soon they'll be mostly paved.
They said the park would be opening again soon but nobody knew when. So just check before you make the drive. Since we were already there around 3:30pm, we brought our chairs to Parque Inglés and jumped in the crystal clear water for a couple of fun afternoon hours (by the bridge). It was really pretty and we used the opportunity to bathe here. I've included some pictures of the river.
After swimming, we drove to the entrance of Radal 7 Tazas (3 kilometers) and there was not anyone around so we had total privacy. We didn't pay anything so that was a bonus as well. We'll have to come back one day to see the national park and trails.
The checkpoint is still here but nobody stopped us. It's Sunday and the area seems very relaxed. Little traffic and no issues.
|Paso Los Libertadores, Santiago, Chile to Paso Los Libertadores, Mendoza, Argentina||
THIS IS A TOURIST ATTRACTION, not a customs or immigration checkpoint.
We drove from Argentina side to Chile and it was absolutely gorgeous. So incredible, really. No snow this time of the year but we had to pull out our jackets because it was chilly and windy. From Argentina to the Cristo Monument it was steep and windy but doable in our 2WD. From the Cristo Monument to Chile side it was downhill and much tighter turns. We did it on a Sunday late afternoon and we saw only 1 other vehicle the entire way. If you can take this detour, definitely do it! PS, the road is not paved but in very good condition, no issues with that.
|Chilean SOAPEX Insurance||
Inside the large hanger where all inbound traffic to Chile is processed, there is a small kiosk in the back left corner just before the exit tunnel that sells SOAPEX insurance and changes money. We paid 8,500 Chilean Pesos for 30 days on 8 March 2020 for our USA plated vehicle. Be warned, they only take Chilean cash and gave us a ridiculously bad rate for our Argentine pesos. He did not accept cards, just cash. The posted sign says open from 0800 to 2400, and we were there around 1930. Also of note, we made it through the border crossing without being asked for insurance so take that anecdotal evidence for what you will.
We arrived at 9:00pm after crossing into Chile from Argentina. Friendly manager who let us park and use the bathroom for free. We had a lovely night's sleep here. Recommended.
The checkpoint waved us off without stopping us or checking any of our documents. We are going west to Chile. Little traffic today, mostly big trucks.
|Argentina - Chile Border Crossing||
From Argentina to Chile:
I've updated the coordinates to reflect the location of the new building. You will see the old buildings to your left; continue and follow the signs until you go up the ramp to the new location (where you will do everything). Be very patient though; we were there almost 2 hours because they didn't seem to know what to do with us.
1. You must fill out white form with your personal information for immigration; a white form for Coronavirus; and the BLUE form for your foreign vehicle. You may have to go to a different table to find the blue form, just remember that the white form is only for Argentinian/Chilean vehicles.
2. Be sure you cancel your Argentinian TIP at the window for Argentinian aduana. Do not leave without completing this step. Keep asking until someone knows where you're supposed to go. This step alone took us a long time because they kept saying we were "fine" and didn't "have to". We cancelled our TIP and took a picture of it with our cellphone.
3. You will NOT get an exit stamp for leaving Argentina. They now have an integrated system between Argentina and Chile so the computer will show you have left (but not your passport). You will only get a stamp entering Chile and a paper from PDI that you will need to keep.
4. They did a very thorough inspection of our van. They went inside with a flashlight to check everything. They kept our onion, tomato and lettuce.
The process itself is supposed to be easy. We unfortunately were there around 7:30pm and nobody knew what to do so it took us a lot longer than it should have.
|Gendarmerie Argentina Checkpoint||
Asked us to stop and made small talk about being from Texas. We were going in the direction of Chile. They let us pass without checking any documents. Very easy.
Free museum (very small) and a site that has importance in terms of Argentinian history. I wouldn't detour to come here but if you're nearby, it's a nice little stop.
|Laur Aceite de Oliva y Aceitoso Balsámico||
We went as part of a day tour and really liked it here. It was our first ever olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour and our guide was funny and knowledgeable. The tour included a visit to the old factory were these products were made, and then the new machinery they use today. At the end, there was a generous tasting. Recommended!
We ended up not needing suspension services but Lorenzo was very nice, did a free inspection and diagnostic, and recommended to us the shop that could do the work we needed.
120 pesos for fumigation fee for our van. We were going south bound. Very friendly staff. Bananas and onions were okay but we had to eat our apples before continuing.
|Chasis and Leaf-Spring Mechanic||
Sergio was knowledgeable and reinforced our leaf springs, which badly needed to be adjusted (heavy in the back). He did the work within 24 hours, and helped us replace our shock absorbers also. We paid him in cash but he also accepts card (there will be a fee for that). He let us sleep in his shop and gave us his number in case we needed anything else. If you're in need of this work, we highly recommend Sergio's shop. I've included a picture with his contact information.
A small little tiendita with drinks, cookies, chips, and other little candies. That's it. Nothing else was open around this area today at 3:00pm.
|Camping ATE (Open for Everyone)||
500 pesos for 2 people plus our van. Plenty of green spaces and shade from the trees, grills, small picnic tables, and clean toilets/showers. All amenities were very basic. No WiFi. Lots of friendly doggies and horses nearby. A quiet night here.
|Ischigualasto Provincial Park||
Same as the previous comment explained. We did the 600 per person tour with 5 stops at 8:00am. It lasted 3.5 hours and we really enjoyed this beauty. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and made the experience greater. The landscapes are stunning and the history here interesting, especially as it relates to dinosaurs. It's a yes from us!
|Talampaya National Park Visitor Centre||
Stayed here 1 night and it was lovely. A little windy but otherwise good. Hot showers from 4:00pm to 10:00pm. Toilets clean and open all day. Picnic tables and electricity available. Friendly and courteous guard that remains on site 24 hours. The restaurant open until 10:00pm and opens again at 8:00am. We paid 180 pesos per person.
|Ischigualasto Paking Lot||
We asked if we could stay the night. Because we are not self-sufficient, they said no and offered the camping site. Very friendly and courteous staff.
We passed by and did not get stopped by the officers there.