It is pretty difficult to explore the whole country during a single vacation but in Argentina there is a way to do it. I recommend taking the longest route in the country that goes all the way from sunny Mendoza to Jujuy province in the cold southern part of the country.
The Route 40 was constructed in 1935 and further extended by Argentinian government in order to attract tourists. In 2000s the road was divided into 2 parts: “Norde” (Northern) and “Sur” (Southern). The southern part starts at the picturesque Mendoza, meets zero km and ends at a great Argentinean resort Bariloche. The northern part starts all the way at the Bolivian boarder, goes through most visited national parks in Argentina and ends at the footsteps of the giant Andes Mountains.
This route is not only a great way to explore the country but an exciting place to find adventures. The southern part is said to be the most extreme, after 124 km of the Ruta Sur it turns into a real challenge as some of its parts can hardly be driven. If you dare to continue the journey you should get ready to some “interesting” parts like 50 km of unpaved roads, some parts of which can only be ridden not driven. You will get to little towns like Tres Lagos where Indian tribes live. The population of this city is only 50 people but they are quite used to travelers so don’t hesitate when you need help, the last thing you need is to get cold or suffer from an animal attack.
In order not to scare you away I will tell you more about fascinating sights that you will meet during your journey: glaciers parks with giant glaciers surrounding crystal clear lakes, Cave de los Manos with hand prints of real Cave people, breathtaking Iguassu waterfall and its incredible wildlife, student city La-Plata and crazy parties, the “end of the world” Ushuaia with whales and cute penguins and many-many more.
Ruta 40 is a real adventure, there is no doubt that once you drive it, live it and feel it you will always want to come back to the glorious and probably the best country in the world Argentina.
(Photo via jacintaadam.wordpress.com, edited)