Argentina Scenic Ruta 41 - Los Antiguos to Lago Posadas

Scenic Ruta 41 is a new and relatively unexplored road between Los Antiguos and Lago Posadas in the Santa Cruz Province in Patagonia. It offers a welcome break from its famous brother Ruta 40, which in this part of the country runs through the extremally flat pampa. If you need a break from sand, rocks, and nothingness, head over to Los Antiguos and explore this much more diverse route while heading north or south. 

The highlights

Ruta 41 passes through majestic landscapes and offers incredible views of the steppe, colorful rock formations, southern beech forests, lagoons, and of course the unbeatable view of the snow covered Andes mountains. It's also possible to observe lots of different animals along this route. We saw several condors, armadillos, and nandus.  

We got to Los Antiguos from Chile Chico by crossing over the Jeinemeni boarder. This was our stunning camping spot on the Mirador (viewpoint) overlooking Lake General Carrera in Chile Chico where we spent the night before crossing the boarder into Argentina

 The starting point of Ruta 41 is right after the Argentinian boarder office close to Los Antiguos

This is the amazing view we had right at the beginning of Ruta 41. It was a huge change after all the glacier covered mountain peaks surrounded by forest which we saw in Chile driving along the Carretera Austral. 

This colorful canyon is the first suggested stop listed on the map we got from the tourist office. It’s famous for fishing and well worth the shot detour (probably around 500m off the main road) just for its beautiful views. 

Stop number five does supposedly look like a castle. We would have given it a different name but I guess you can’t argue with people’s imagination.

The landscape got almost desert like but some small bushes were blooming in November and turned the area yellow and white. 

The complete road was gravel but most parts were in very good condition. 

It leads over many hills but without any super steep parts. The highest point of the road was at around 1.500 meters above sea level.

The landscape kept on changing and never seized to amaze us. It changed from views over blooming bushes with high snow covered mountain peeks in the background… 

… to desert like areas …

… with fascinating stone formations …

… accompanied by colorful spiky peaks. 

We also drove through several huge estancias which are gracing farms for sheep and cows. 

Here you can see some of the highlights of Ruta 41.

You can also download a Spanish audio guide which tells you more about the different stops along this route. It's accessible here.  

Road conditions

The 115km of  Ruta 41 are unpaved but we easily managed to drive this road with our van Mitis, a 2-wheel drive Mitsubishi L300. However, I have heard that some stretches of the road might be difficult to pass during the winter or when it's been raining a lot. It's advisable to ask about the road's current condition at the helpful Tourist Information Offices in Los Antiguos or Lago Posadas. 

Also, make sure to stock up on petrol, food, and water in town as this area is very remote and there are no shops nor restaurants. 

Camping spots

A lot of the land Ruta 41 runs through is private property so it can be tricky to find a wild camping spots. However we saw one area where it's allowed to set up camp. It's a beautiful spot next to a clear stream with a few fire pits. 

We wanted to drive a bit further and found a different spot to spend the night much closer to the village Lago Posada. 

It was a beautiful and peaceful spot a bit hidden from the main road but, as so often in this area, crazy windy. 

Where to next? 

It's possible to continue driving on Ruta 41 from Lago Posadas to the stunning and remote Perito Moreno National Park. A quick heads-up, this is not where you can see the famous Perito Moreno glacier which is confusingly located further south in the Los Glaciares National Park.

Unfortunately, we were told at the tourist information center that this part of Ruta 41 was currently closed. So instead, we explored the area around Lago Posadas for a few days and then headed over to Ruta 40 to drive further south.  


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