Campsite Listing – South America

Campsites are listed in chronological order North to South.  Lat/Long is typically taken from the campsite, not the entrance. To access electricity we had 75 feet of cord at our disposal.

We are driving a pop-up truck camper with a 3-way fridge.  When we’re in town we like to meet up with other overlanders and thus pick popular spots where we can plug-in.  When we’re countryside, we like to be well hidden from the road and love a mountain setting or sunset over the plains.  You won’t find gas station camping or urban boondocking on this list.

We try and list all available services.  If we don’t list wifi or electricity in the description, it wasn’t there when we visited.

High Plains Bush Camp

Colombia

Cartagena – Navy Museum Parking lot

Salento – La Serrana (Hostel)

  • N04 37.824 W75 34.968
  • $10k/person including breakfast
  • wifi / electricity / hot shower / restaurant / English spoken

South of Buga – Regional Park

  • N03 50.094 W76 17.880
  • $10k/night
  • electricity / cold shower / water

Between Popayan and Pasto were lush green rolling hills at high altitude.  A  beautiful and relatively unexplored area by overlanders.  We spotted a few signs offering camping along the PanAm, but feel the area offers great potential and ample camping spots to anybody looking to do some exploration.

Bush camping by the river in Zumba Ecuador

Ecuador

Otavalo – La Luna Hostel

  • N00 11.78 W78 17.194
  • $4/person
  • No wifi / electricity / hot shower / restaurant with fireplace / english spoken

On the road to La Luna we passed two other places offering camping including Rincon del Viajero

Banos – Monte Selva Hostseria

  • S01 24.063 W78 17.194
  • $5/night
  • wifi in lobby / bathrooms / no shower / electricity / pool
  • Tents not allowed

Hosteria Duran also allows camping

Cuenca – Cabanas Yanuncay

  • S02 54.343 W79 01.691
  • $15/night
  • wifi / hot shower in a room / electricity / water / english spoken / close to town

Caja National Park – Laguna Toreadora Parking Lot

  • S02 47.010 W79 13.340 13,000 feet
  • $10/night
  • Bathrooms / near hiking and climbing
  • There are other camping areas at lower entrance into park

Vilcabamba – Hosteria Izhcayluma

  • S04 16.688 W 079 13.440
  • $5/person
  • wifi / hot shower / electricity / water / english / great restaurant & bar / 2km out of town
  • Owners have built an overlander specific parking lot

Zumba river camp (en route to La Balsa crossing)

  • S04 53.59 W79 07.65
  • Free
  • no facilities / slightly hidden from passing traffic
  • Right turn off road

Camping outisde Huaraz Peru

Peru

Mapping: Note that the OSM GPS map is not good for Peru.  Perut is what you need.

Rough idea of our route through Northern Peru

San Ignacio – Hostal Faical

  • S05 08.715 W79 00.435
  • s/3 per night
  • wifi in lobby / cold showers

Chachapoyas – municipal parking lot

  • S06 13.842 W77 52.348
  • s/3 per day
  • Parking only

Kuelap Ruins – parking and camping

  • S06 25.614 W77 55.605
  • Free with entrance to ruins
  • No facilities / bathrooms are a 2km hike up / grass lot with amazing views

Cajamarca – Hacienda San Vicente

  • S07 09.788 W78 31.728
  • S/10 per person
  • Wifi / cold showers / low overhead
  • Hard to find without Perut GPS, ask locals once you reach Avenida Peru

Puerto Chicama – Hostal Los Delfines Chicama

  • S07 42.236 W79 26.609
  • s/20 per night
  • Beach side / parking in back lot / hot shower with room key
  • Plenty of hostels on the beach

Huanchaco – Huanchaco Gardens RV Park

  • S08 04.379 W79 07.105
  • s/15 per person
  • One block from beach / pool / wifi / elec / water / laundry/ hot shower with room key
  • Good overlander meetup locations

Canyon del Pato – Bush camp

  • S08 47.346 W77 53.056
  • Free
  • No facilities / 50 ft off road (right) / well hidden

Caraz – Los Pinos Lodge

  • S09 02.906 W77 48.768
  • s/35 per night
  • Wifi / elec / water / hot shower
  • Nice spot, patio w/ mountain views

Laguna Paron – National park camping

  • S09 00.014 W77 41.095 (4200m)
  • s/10 per night
  • 2.5 hours from Caraz / lake view / porta-potty

East of Yungay – Llanganuco Lodge

  • S09 05.751 W77 41.969 (3625m)
  • s/15 per person
  • Restaurant / hot shower / English owned and spoken

Lake Llanganuco  – Meadow

  • S09 03.168 W077 37.085
  • Camping free with entrance fee (s/6 per person)
  • Did not stay, just spotted

Barranca – Hostal los Delfines

  • S10 45.44 W77 45.937
  • s/80 per night ocean view room low season
  • secure parking (we took a room, camping may be possible)
  • hot water / no internet

Lima – Hitchhikers Hostel

  • S12 07.344 W77 02.169
  • s/15 per person
  • Wifi / water / elec / hot shower

Rough idea of our route through Southern Peru

Cusco – Camping Quinta Lala

  • S13 30.336 W71 59.110
  • s/38 per night
  • Wifi / water / elec / hot shower / laundry / fire pit
  • 20 minute walk downhill to town center
  • Great spot to meet other overlanders
  • Rumored to be closing 2012 or 2013

Cusco Llamagas – Propane for US and European cylinders

  • S13 33.495 W71 51.076
  • Notorious for not filling cylinders full

Ollantaytambo – Ollantaytambo Lodge

  • S13 15.610 W72 15.710
  • s/35 per night
  • Wifi / water / elec / hot shower with room key

Pisac – Royal Inka Club

  • S13 25.363 W71 50.487
  • s/20 per person
  • Secure parking in back parking lot (over bridge)
  • water / elec / hot shower access to pool and athletic facilities
  • Great for tent campers
  • We were not allowed to camp at the Pisac ruins without purchasing admission

Manu road – Bush Camp #1

  • S13 06.046 W71 34.127
  • Free / no amenities / okay cover from road (best we saw)

Manu road – Tres Cruces View Point

  • S13 07.257 W71 36.694 3667m
  • S/10 per person to access s/10 per person to camp
  • Only amenities are pit toilets

Manu road – Bush Camp #2

  • S13 12.261 W71 37.575
  • Free / on large pullout / no cover
  • Buggy and beautiful

Arequipa Road – Bush Camp #1

  • S14 46.908 W71 23.720 4000m
  • Free / on hill overlooking town / good views / no cover
  • Better cover 12km before this on a turn-out

Arequipa Road / Colca Canyon – Bush Camp #2

  • S15 58.952 W71 23.030 4250m
  • Free / pretty / very well hidden

Colca Canyon – Mirador del Cruz Parking Lot

  • S15 36.747 W71 54.246
  • s/ 35 per person to access canyon, camping free
  • Bathrooms only open in the AM

Arequipa – Hotel Las Mercedes

  • S16 24.020 W71 32.540 2310m
  • s/22 per person
  • water / hot showers / elec / wifi in lobby / central location
  • Park by the gate if you want wifi in your camper
  • Big Plaza Vea with wifi and a good car wash 1 block away

Arequipa Propane – Pesca gas (Llama gas next door)

  • S16 20.000 W71 35.553
  • Did not fill, just spotted

Sillustani – near Puno – Ruins parking lot

  • S15 43.450 W70 09.051
  • Free, s/1 for use of bathrooms (no showers)
  • others have camped on the futbol field or lakeside

One of our more scenic bush camps

Boliva

A rough idea of our route

Copacabana – Hotel Gloria

  • S16 10.036 W69 05.320 3855m
  • B/30 per night
  • Water / use of bathrooms (no shower) / dial-up wifi in lobby
  • Hotel Chasqui del Sol was B/70 with hot showers but no internet

Copacabana – Lakeside Bush Camp

  • S16 10.427 W69 05.675
  • Free and beautiful / 1km out of town
  • Hostel nearby advertising camping was not open

Hinchaca – On road to Isla del Sol

  • S16 06.886 W69 05.033
  • Free, No facilities, short hike to beach for tent campers, wood for campfire

Sorata – Altai Oasis

  • S15 46.175 W68 39.295
  • B/30 per person & 30 per car
  • Water / elec / english / hot shower / restaurant / no internet
  • Beautiful place, ugly ugly road (high clearance only) for the last 15km
  • Hike to the San Pedro cave if you have a free day

La Paz, Mallasa – Hotel Oberland

  • S16 34.103 W68 05.363 3290m
  • B/50 per person, 20 for elec
  • Water / elec / english / wifi / resturant / hot showers
  • B/20 taxi to downtown, take the southern bypass road to avoid driving through downtown

La Paz – Volks Auto Shop Mr Ernesto Hug

  • S16 30.923 W68 08.143
  • Camping free with vehicle service
  • Services: Bathroom / elec
  • Good mechanic, speaks English and German

Cochabamba – Casa Campestre

  • Didn’t actually go as they charge B/80 per person to park in a dirt lot

Sajama National Park – Thermal Baths

  • S18 05.584 W68 58.738 4300m
  • Camping free with NP entry fee: B/30 per person
  • Use of thermal baths: B/30 per person, B/2 for use of bathroom
  • No services in park but you can drive and camp anywhere surrounded by absolute serenity.  Only downside is the temp: it will freeze most nights

Sajama National Park – Laguna Huanakuta

  • S18 02.834 W68 56.106 4353m
  • Camping free with NP entry fee: B/30 per person
  • No facilities

Road to Potosi – Bush Camp #1

  • S17 58.406 W66 46.890 3722m
  • No facilities / Decent Cover / Not much to look at

Road to Potosi – Lakeside Bush Camp #2

  • S18 49.875 W66 43.900
  • No facilities / much prettier than Bush Camp #1
  • There are a few turn-offs in this area with decent cover, coordinates only approximate

Road to Potosi – Picnic Overlook Bush Camp #3

  • S19 13.504 W66 05.476 4072m
  • No facilities / Nice views over the red rock valley / Good cover from road

North of Potosi – Ojo del Inca (Crater Lake)

  • S19 28.031 W65 47.683 3405m
  • B/35 per person
  • Bathrooms / 30* C Thermal Baths / Laundry Area
  • Tranquil setting, wonderful swim, not to be missed

Potosi – Hotel Tarija

  • S19 35.069 W65 45.347
  • B/50 per night
  • Hot Shower / Bathrooms / Low Overhead
  • Paved courtyard parking
  • Residential Copacabana down the street has parking and charges B/30 per night
  • Koala Candelaria Cafe is the only wifi in town, free with a meal

Sucre – Alberto & Felicidad (no sign, look for brown door)

  • S19 02.580 W65 15.303
  • B/60 per night
  • Slow cellular wifi / hot showers / water / lavernderia / elec
  • Nice grassy yard with a shared communal room
  • Easy walk to the square
  • Need to check in at 416 Arcento Arce around the corner

Routing Advice: we heard many people complain about the back-road from Cochabamba to Sucre (Highway 7 and Route 5) and avoided it.  “Uninspiring bad roads with poor views.”

Road to Uyuni – Canyon Steam Bush Camp

  • S19 47.972 W66 03.638 3800m
  • No facilities / poor cover / beautiful setting
  • Plenty of bush camping in the area, not much cover

See our Overland guide to Bolivia’s Southwestern Circuit for much more info such as additional campsites, propane plant, gas stations, bathrooms, ticket control, etc.

Uyuni – Hostel Marith’s parking lot

  • S20 27.941 W66 49.602
  • B/25 per person
  • not much to look at but had electricity (for an extra B/10, plug in at the workshop), water and nice hot showers
  • Many overlanders camp near Minutemen Pizza or near the square

Salar de Uyuni – Island Incahuasi

  • S20 14.458 W67 37.657
  • B/30 entrance fee per person gives you access to the island which has services such as bathrooms, a water faucet, restaurant, trash cans, and hiking trails
  • You can camp anywhere on the Salar.  The sunsets are gorgeous

Road to the Lagunas Route – Altiplano Camps near a stream

  • S21 16.847 W67 16.977 (approximate):
  • Past San Cristobel you will be on the sparsely-populated altiplano.  You can camp anywhere in this area, but there is little to no cover from the road.

Lagunas Route Bush Camp – Boulder Strewn Area for Camping

  • S21 24.306 W67 45.770 (approximate)
  • Much better place to camp as there are numerous large boulders to block the wind and view from the road.  Several great places to turn off and camp several miles before and after the given coordinates.

Laguna Chulluncani Camp

  • S21 32.414 W67 52.609 4462m
  • The first flamingo lake you will come across.  No facilities, just flamingos and snow capped peaks.

Laguna Hedionda Camp

  • S21.023 W68 03.116 4157m
  • Overlooking the lake on a turnoff, great spot

Great spots to camp out can be found all around Lagunas Chulluncani, Hedionda, Chiar Kkota, and Honda.  After these lakes you will pass through a beautiful altiplano with 360 degree views of snow capped mountains.  Camping here also great but a little higher in elevation compared to the lakes.

Laguna Colorada Camp

  • S22 12.767 W67 47.948 4317m
  • Campsite overlooking the red lagoon.  Nice spot but an even better spot may be before the registration and check point: S22 09.885 W67 47.915.  Camping here buys you an extra day in the park.

Hot Springs Camp beside Laguna Chalviri

  • S22 32.071 W67 38.940 4393m
  • Excellent spot next to 29C hot springs.  The geography gives you a bit of a break from the wind.  The hot springs are crowded during breakfast and lunch time but wait an hour and you will have them to enjoy in solitude.  Hot springs are free to use, bathrooms cost B/3, there are trash cans and snacks for sale across the road.

Laguna Verde Camp

  • S22 48.188 W67 49.732 4369m
  • Overlooking the lake and famous Volcan Licancabur (5960m).  If the wind is low this would be a better spot overlooking the lake: S22 47.180 W67 49.051.  The guidebook suggests you can find a guide “hanging around Laguna Verde” if you’d like to climb Licancabur.  We sure didn’t see anybody hanging around.  Arrange in advance or from San Pedro if you plan to climb anything.

[Picture]

Chile and Argentina

For GPS maps of Chile and Argentina Proyetcto Mapear v9.40 is boss.  But ConoSur GeoRed is best for Chilean Patagonia.

Like most overlanders we crossed between Chile and Argentina a few times while winding our way down to Ushuaia.  We’ve combined the two country for the purposes of this campsite listing.  The campsites below are in chronological order.

Additionally you will be shocked by the camping options in these two countries.  Nearly every town has a campsite and the destination towns often have multiple camping options.  Many other campsite lists just include bush camps or favorite camps for this reason.  We have included each we visited and evaluated them.

Quick index for Argentina and Chile campsites.
We evaluate them based on their amenities, price, and quality on a 0-5 rating scale. Hint: This is a great way to keep track of campsites on your GPS because of the character limit.

1st Number: Amenities

5 – wifi and the works (4.5 is usually slow wifi)
4 – electricity and everything included in 1-3
3 – hot showers (2.5 usually translates to lukewarm showers)
2 – showers, water
1 – bathrooms
0 – No facilities

2nd Number: Cost Per Night

5 – 101+ AR / Ch 14,001+ (US$26+)
4 – 71 – 100 AR / CH 10,001 – 14,000 (US$ 18 – 26)
3 – 41- 70 AR / CH 5,601 – 10,000 (US$10 – 18)
2 – 21 – 40 AR / CH 2,800 – 5,600 (US$ 5 – 10)
1 – 1-20 AR / CH 1 – 2,800 (US$ 1 – 5)
0 – Gratis!

3rd number: Campsite Quality.  Evaluating qualities such as the campground condition, cleanliness, size of the campsites, scenic views, location, etc.

5 – Nirvana
4 – You’ll want to stay for a while
3 – Better than average
2 – Average
1 – Suitable for one night
0 – No bueno, only stop if in a pinch

Our route through Northern Argentina

San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) – Los Perales, rating:(4,4,2)

  • S22 54.793 W68 12.0402440m
  • Amenities: 4 / price: 4 / our rating: 2
  • C:4,000/per person; 2,000 for elec; 2,000 to fill water tank
  • Over $20US for two people elec and water
  • Elec / solar showers / climbing wall / dirt lot
  • Free wifi on town square
  • We learned later that Hotel Takha Takha has water, elec, and wifi

- Crossed into Argentina –

Easy border crossing but they searched the camper and took most food products they found.

Purmancara – Riverbed Bush Camp (0,0,3)

  • S23 44.390 W65 30.424
  • Amenities: 0 / price: 0 / our rating: 3
  • Beautiful treed riverbed for bush camping and popular as we saw others bush camping too.  These coordinates are only for one rocky road that will take you down to the river.  Pick any road in 10 mile zone north of town.

Salta – Carlos Xamena Municipal (4,2,2)

  • S24 48.763 W65 25.152 1175m
  • Amenities: 4 / price: 2 / our rating: 2
  • A/31 per night
  • Dirt lot / dispersed sites / some grills and tables
  • Not much to look at when the pool’s drained (9 months out of the year).  But it is cheap and the only camping option in Salta.
  • There is a Chango Mas (big box grocery) just across the river.
  • There is wifi and tables at the Refinor gas station on Av. Paraguay.
  • The 3B bus will take you from the campground to the square (A/1.75 per person, change only).

Gas Adaptor Shop –

  • S24 47.644 W65 25.234
  • We purchased a propane adaptor here for use in Argentina.  You will need to take them your tank so they can fit an adaptor to it.  We weren’t sure if we needed an adaptor to fill our propane tank in Chile and Argentina but we went ahead and got it anyway for AR$20.  This store also sells the necessary reflective stickers for campers/RVs.  We were told we only needed a speed sticker (110 since we are a camioneta, other campers different) and red tape on the back.  Longer rigs will need white or yellow on their sides.

Salta Propane #2 – Sergio Gas/YPF

  • S24 46.284 W65 24.640
  • The only plant in town that sells propane and not butane according to the gas adapter shop salesmen.  Though you’d probably be fine with butane (see other gps listing above).  You’ll need the adapter here.  Also note that butane is often referred to as propano throughout Latin America.

Cachi – Camping Municipal (4,1,3)

  • S25 07.281 W66 09.991
  • Amenities: 4 / price: 1 / our rating: 3
  • A/15 per night for nighttime only elec
  • A/20 per night for the nicer auto camping spots up above with 24 hour elec
  • To access the auto spots continue down the street and take the next left
  • Grassy area / shaded / laundry area
  • Man comes around at sunset to register campers
  • Oliver’s Cafe has wifi

Routing: between Cachi and Cafayate is stunning desert scenery with eroded sandstone Quebradas. Beautiful drive with ample bush camping opportunities.

Cafayate – Camping Luz y Fuerza (4.5,2,3)

  • S26 04.827 W65 58.622
  • Amenities: 4.5 / price: 2 / our rating: 3
  • AR$ 10 per adult, 10 per car
  • There are 6 campgrounds in town! This was the only one with campers when we pulled in.
  • Laundry area / snack shop / dirt lot / grills / shade / walk to centro
  • Slow wifi available in campsites near the snack shop
  • Good potable water (for the first time since the US).

Desert Bush Camp (0,0,3)

  • S26 28.034 W66 01.962
  • Amenities: 0 / price: 0 / our rating: 3
  • Just before Quilmes ruins entrance.
  • Nice spot for the desert lovers, a dry 95 degrees when we pulled in.

Belen – Camping Municipal El Dique (3.5,0,3)

  • S27 37.053 W67 02.093
  • Bathrooms / elec / grills / river views
  • We read on a few camping lists it is free
  • Stopped for lunch, didn’t stay the night.

Londres – Camping Molinos (3.5,1,3)

  • S27 41.958 W67 09.993
  • We were told AR$10 per night, but we are unsure of the actual cost as nobody came by to collect in the two nights we stayed!
  • Plug-ins but only cold showers (hence the 3.5) / pool / dirt lot / snack shop / ample shade
  • Great facilities (except for the bathrooms), well outside of town.  Channeled river system runs throughout the campground.

Fruit only checkpoint – S28 19.236 W67 03.246

  • Our guard was too hangover to give a care.  We showed him a bag of food and he just waved us on.

Chilecito – El Rio Camping (4,3,1)

  • S29 07.515 W6 34.269
  • AR$25 per person, overpriced
  • 8km from town / pool / grills / pleasant setting
  • We passed by 3 other campgrounds on this dirt road out of town but this was the only one being tended to.  This area would make for fine bush camping along the river further down the road but we wanted a hot shower (wood fired!).
  • Chilecito has free wifi on the town square

Fruit only checkpoint

  • S29 26.155 W67 54.581
  • Keep your fruits and veggies up front and they won’t search the camper
  • You’ll pass another further south but that seems to be for northbound only

Parque Ischigualasto (5,1,2)

  • S30 09.787 W67 50.539
  • AR$10 per person, great value
  • Dirt lot / nice views / no shade / cafe / no faucet for water fill up
  • Decent wifi, just on the slow side
  • Facilities are just average but it’s a nice spot to spend a couple days

La Cumbre – Camping El Paso (4.5,3,3)

  • S30 58.500 W64 29.028
  • AR$30 per person
  • 1.5km from centro / grassy lot / shaded / wood fired hot water / Small dirty pool
  • The bandwidth on the wifi was great but the connection was off and on (mostly off).  The friendly owner said the satellites were often down.  Recurring theme here; I had wrongly expected Argentina to have internet and hot water figured out.
  • According to our tourist map there are 2 other campsites west of town and just as close to the town square.

Routing: The drive from La Cumbre to Jesus Maria is a recommended drive through the central sierras.

Cordoba – Camping Municipal (4,2,1)

  • S31 21.663 W64 15.787
  • AR$34 per night
  • 13km from centro / only campground (we found) in town.  A couple better options further out of town in all directions
  • Too far from centro to be convenient too close to town to be tranquillo.  GPS is taken from the only electrical point in the campground.  The guard will call for a taxi if you ask ($AR50 to centro).

Parque Nacional Sierra de las Quijadas (1,0,4)

  • S32 29.745 W67 00.172 818m
  • Camping free if you show up only for the night, otherwise $AR25 per person to enter the park
  • Bathrooms but no showers / no potable water / grills / tables
  • Real camping (dispersed in the wilderness) at this beautiful and tranquillo spot between Cordoba and Mendoza.

Fruit & Fumigation

  • S32 13.237 W67 47.065
  • $AR5 for fumigation
  • Each stop we have put a bag of all of our fruits and veggies up front.  This has effectively prevented them from searching our car or camper.  So far they have only taken fruit.

Fruit Point 2 – just show your receipt from the first checkpoint

  • S32 13.691 W67 48.319

Fruit & Fumigation (RN40)

  • If you’re heading south down RN40 this is the location: S32 17.612 W68 31.519

Mendoza – Camping Pilmayken (5,4,2)

  • S32 53.416 W68 53.017 970m
  • AR$40 per tent or camper $80 for a large RV, $25 per person
  • 4km from centro / $$$ / broadband wifi near the admin building / grills / tables / faucet at every site / dirt lot with a little shade
  • Plenty of other campgrounds in town including Suizo, Mangrullo, Vina de Vieytes, & Luz y Ferza

Mendoza – Parque Suizo (4.5,3,3)

  • S32 51.300 W68 53.800 920m
  • AR$30 per person
  • Tranquil wooded setting / 24h hot water / clean pool / grills / tables
  • Cheaper than Pilmayken but further out of town and slower internet.  Advantage Suizo as their wifi is campground-wide and this is the place to meet other travelers.  20 minute bus ride to centro (Bus #3, $1.40 in change only).  Mangrullo is next door but had no campers and charges $40 per person

Between Mendoza and Aconcagua National Park (0,0,3)

  • S32 47.036 W69 36.707 2204m
  • Great views / 250m off the road / windy

Aconcagua National Park – would not let us camp in their parking lot.  After some back and forth they said we might be able to but needed to be fully self contained including bathrooms onboard.  All tent camping in the park must be reserved ahead of time.  Bummer.

Uspallata – Camping Juan Bautista (4,?,2)

  • S32 35.375 W69 20.883 1901m
  • Unsure of cost, according to other campers nobody had come to collect for days
  • This looked the best of the 4 campgrounds around town. It’s close to the center of town but still quiet.  Wood-fired hot water.  Hostel Uspallata 5km east had wifi, a café, and was close to good hiking trails but wouldn’t allow us to camp.  With some smooth talking you can probably camp and this would be a better spot.

Potereilllos – Camping ACA (4,3,2)

  • S32 57.309 W69 11.788 1390m
  • AR$59 per night
  • Wood-fired hot showers / near scenic lake / dirt lot / tables / grills
  • I’d say skip the campground as we spotted a few wonderfully scenic bush camps lakeside, 5-10km east of Potereillos

Rio Cuarto (South of Cordoba) – Camping Municipal (4,2,2)

  • S33 06.586 W64 20.875
  • AR$8 per adult, $15 per vehicle
  • We planned on bush camping near the river but were surprised to find no less than a thousand Argentines crawling all over the muddy banks!  We later found out it was a holiday.  We’re finding friendly people on this side of the country.

Rosario – Camping Municipal (4,3.5,2)

  • S32 50.737 W60 42.049
  • AR$10 per adult, $26 for a casa rodante
  • North of Rosario and next to the river.  Typical Argentine muni camping with a pool and friendly staff.  It would be worth asking if you could camp next to the riverside.  No plug-ins or showers on this side of the park but it’s quiet and breezy with a nice view of the river and city.

YPF Gas (propane plant)

  • S32 29.332 W58 18.510
  • Spotted

El Palmar National Park on the Uruguay River (4,5,3)

  • S31 51.876 W58 12.610
  • AR$40 per person for park entry, AR$70 per campsite
  • Grills / tables / restaurant / small store carries carne for grilling
  • Nice campground, great park with hiking trails, ruins and good animal watching but way too much dinero.

- Crossed into Uruguay -
Easy border crossing, you won‘t even need to leave your vehicle as it‘s a drive-thru with both Uruguay and Argentina border agents in the same booth! AR$25 toll to cross the international bridge.  Food products from ARG are not allowed in Uruguay but we were neither asked or searched.

Camping Termas de Guaviyu, Uruguay (5,3,4)

  • S31 50.548 W57 53.176
  • UR$280 per night (US$14)
  • Tables / grills / grassy / warm pools / restaurants / panaderia / riverside
  • The biggest campground we’ve laid eyes on with separate areas for youth and students.  Get the broadband wifi password from the small Super Dumbo grocery store for UR$150.  Great spot to whittle away a few days.

- Crossed back into Argentina -

Routing: The highways in the Entre Rios province are notorious for numerous police checkpoints and corruption, especially route 14. We had zero trouble but were stopped a few times and asked to show our papers, safety triangles and fire extinguisher. Don’t sweat it, just keep headlights on at all times and obey the speed limit.

Tigre (west of Buenos Aires) – Camping L’Hirondelle (4.5,3,4)

  • S34 23.729 W58 36.643
  • AR$60 per night, $AR20 to park
  • Amenities: 4.5, no hot water / cost: 3 / quality: 4
  • Nice riverside campground with plenty of shade. There’s a dock for fishing and/or sundowners. It is run by two friendly retired folks who get a lot of international overlanders. Only downside is the water which has salt and sediment and no hot water. The (wifi) internet connection is temperamental but the bandwidth is good. The grounds are far removed from everything but you can taxi to downtown Tigre (AR$30) and take the 50 minute commuter train to Buenos Aires for AR$1.35.
Routing: From Buenos Aires we are headed down the east-coast down RN3 to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia.  For specific information on our route please see our Google Map Route.
Bahia de Lobos – Nuevo Camping
  • S35 17.516 W59 08.132
  • Didn’t stop here but it was recommended to us by friends who said they allow long-term parking, have airport pick-up/drop-off, and good amenities including wifi

Tandil – Camping Pinar de la Sierra (5,3,3)

  • S37 21.528 W59 08.817
  • Amenities: 5 / cost: 3 / quality: 3
  • We accidentally camped next door at Camping Banco Provincia. After setting up camp we spotted Camp Pinar further down the road which looked nicer and appeared to have wifi. The oddly named Banco Provincia is really just for Argentine “camping” (afternoon BBQs). Coordinates are for Camp Pinar. There also appear to be some bush camping opportunities further down the road.

Necochea/Quequen – Camping El Gringo (5,4,3)

  • S38 34.230 W58 41.878
  • Amenities: 5 / cost: 4 / quality: 3
  • AR$45 per person
  • We looked at 4 different campgrounds in town and this one was the cheapest and least crowded (on a holiday weekend) . Conveniently located 5 blocks from the beach with decent wifi near the admin building. The Italian owners are friendly and talkative (good opportunity to practice your Argentine Spanish). We came here for the surf which was billed as the best Argentina has to offer and in 4 days it never reached above our ankles.

West of Necochea – Bush Camping Heaven (0,0,4)

  • S38 36.260 W58 47.374 (approximate)
  • Anywhere around here is excellent. You can drive on the beach and if the wind picks up there is a eucalypts forest just off the shore for shelter and firewood!

Monte Hermoso – Camping Americano (5,5,4)

  • S38 59.210 W61 21.035
  • Amenities: 5 / cost: 5 / quality: 4
  • AR$65 per person, AR$30 for RV (discounts for longer stays)
  • Easily the most expensive campsite we’ve stayed at (outside of the US) but this place had it all. Campground size easily accommodates thousands and must employ every high school kid in the province. There are scheduled activities, a pool, bar, restaurant, grocery store, and when you check in a staff member takes you to look at different campsites based on your preferences. We had heard there was cheaper camping and even good bush camping further down in Pehuen Co, but curiosity landed us here for a few days.

Bahia Blanca – Camping Balneario Maldonado (3.5,3,2)

  • S38 44.006 W62 18.714
  • Amenities: 3.5 / cost: 3 / quality: 2
  • AR$ 25 per tent/car, $5 per person
  • The usual municipal camping affair with the added upside that the staff rarely collects camping fees. All along this southern coast seems to be great bush camping but our low propane level kept us from exploring its full potential.

Bahia Blanca Propane – Extra-Gas

  • S38 44.642 W62 17.924
  • We were thrilled to find this plant at random. It is an easy process here and they even asked us if we wanted propane or butane. We filled up at 2:00 so they must not take a siesta. We gave them our adaptor but we’re not sure if they used it.

RN 3 – Fruit Checkpoint

  • S38 44.492 W62 33.016
  • They are mainly looking for fruit here but also beef products (chicken and pork are okay). Patagonia is a fruit fly free region. They search the vehicle with dogs and fumigate for a fee of AR$12. You can ask for a checkpoint map which lists the checkpoints in Southern Argentina and restricted food products. The 3 RN3 checkpoints south of here are meat only (not concerned with fruit). This checkpoint and the meat checkpoints listed below apply to south or westbound traffic only.

RN 3 – Meat Checkpoint

  • S39 31.357 W62 40.563
  • Only looking for beef products here and fruits they may have missed at the previous checkpoint. Chicken and pork are okay.

Balneario El Condor – Camping UPCN (4,3,2)

  • S41 03.005 W62 49.764
  • Amenities: 4 / cost: 3 / quality: 2
  • AR$25 per person $15 per vehicle
  • El Condor prepaid wifi cards can be purchased at the Bus Terminal or Autoservicio in 2-8 hour increments. The cafe on the corner also offers wifi. There are 4 other campgrounds in town but all seem pretty much the same, this is the cheapest option. Proximity to a nightclub makes it not the best choice for weekends… or if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Routing: Take a break from RN3 and head down RP1 along the undisturbed coast. Plenty of places to bush camp here.

East of Ensenada – Beachside Bush Camp (0,0,3)

  • S41 09.232 W63 22.352
  • There’s a break in the cliffs here where you can camp along the shore. The conditions were just right and we were able to surf right in front of camp. The few places with wind protection or shade were being occupied by the locals. It was a restless night despite the tranquil setting; at midnight it was still 92 degrees (1/7/2012)!

Northernmost Subsidized Fuel Stop

  • S41 36.158 W65 21.296
  • From this point south, gas and diesel are subsidized (about a 25% discount). US$3.61 per gallon (grade: super, 87ish octane; January 2012) at YPF which is always cheaper than the other stations.

Meat Checkpoint

  • S41 59.747 W65 17.615
  • We were not stopped, appears to be for trucks only.

Playa Las Conteras – Beachside bush camp (0,0,3)

  • S42 38.614 W64 58.067
  • Great place to watch the whales in season. This area is a good spot for bush camping as some wind cover can be found. No facilities but a few trash cans. If you want facilities there is a muni camp in Puerto Piramides (S42 34.420 W64 16.747). We didn’t check it out but it is probably better than the ACA campground listed below.

Puerto Madryn – Camping ACA (4.5,4,1)

  • S42 46.857 W65 00.013
  • Amenities: 4.5 / cost: 4 / quality: 1
  • AR$75 per night
  • Cramped stalls without tables or grills, limited shade, a dusty windy lot, only some sites have elec, and 10 showers (open only for posted hours) for a campground that can take on 800. There is wifi only near the admin building but no tables or outlets in the vicinity to make use of it. We stayed the night here because we wanted a shower and ended up using our solar shower anyway.

Puerto Madryn – Propane Gas

  • There is a propane place in town that will fill US tanks called Oxigenco Patagonia.

Comodoro Rivadavia – Noname camping (4,3,2)

  • S45 46.933 W67 29.395
  • Amenities: 3 / cost: 3 / quality: 2
  • AR$20 per person, AR$10 per vehicle
  • At this latitude the wind starts blowing earnestly and consistently from the west/southwest. Finding a wind-block was necessary with our popup and this place had it right off RN3.
  • If you plan to stop in this area, go to Rada Tilly (below) instead, same price, better stuff.

Rada Tilly – Camping Municipal (5,3,4)

  • S45 55.044 W67 33.077
  • AR$15 per person, AR$20 per vehicle. Like most Argentine campgrounds the vehicle charge is only a one time charge.
  • Amenities: 5 / cost: 3 / quality: 4
  • Probably the best cared for municipal campsite in this part of Argentina. There is good wifi near the admin building that extends to a few campsites. The only downside are the showers and bathrooms which are too few and closed for the majority of the day. There are water restrictions in this part of the country.

Other camping opportunities: The coastline from Rada Tilly to Caleta Olivia is gorgeous. There are countless opportunities to bush camp right off RN3. We spotted many others camping here and regretted having to pass it up.

Parque Nacional Monte Leon (1,4,4)

  • S50 20.087 W68 53.079
  • AR$80 per night
  • Amenities: 1 / cost: 4 / quality: 4
  • Entrance is free but bush camping is no longer allowed in the park. The campground is breathtaking but the fee is heavy for the lack of amenities. The entrance gate says you must register down the road but you can register and pay for camping at the campground. There is a beautiful tea room you‘re free to use and “bloody good” English is spoken. This was easily our favorite spot on RN3.

Rio Gallegos – YPF (2,0,1)

  • S51 37.367 W69 15.658
  • Well we finally did it. To compliment our long haul driving days down RN3 we stayed with the truckers behind a gas station. Free bathroom and showers (+wifi in the sitting area), but Alabama cassette tapes, belt buckles, and trucker hats should be self furnished. This YPF also had the 5W-30 synthetic engine oil we had been seeking.

Rio Gallegos – Vehicle Liability Insurance

  • 54 Pellegrino (cross street San Martin)
  • We found a place that would give us liability insurance for a two month period for only AR$300. The agent was represented by Mapfre and Liberty. Be sure to ask for “seguro de responsibilidades” (liability only insurance). We also found out ACA does not insure nor provide liability insurance for foreigners or foreign plated vehicles.
- Crossed into Tierra del Fuego – 
The ferry crossing was $US33 and payable in Argentine or Chilean pesos.  Simply wait in queue, drive onto the boat and pay on board.  The San Sebastian border crossing out of Chile and into Argentina was easy with little wait time. Technically food products are not allowed into Argentina but we were not searched.

Tierra del Fuego Bush Camp (0,0,3)

  • S54 12.364 W67 13.192
  • Outstanding spot overlooking a meadow and Rio Ewan which is a public fishing river. The area has some tree cover but sadly there is trash scattered about.

Tolhuin – Camping Hain

  • S54 31.537 W67 13.934
  • Amenities: 4.5 / cost:3 / quality: 4
  • Great campground set on the scenic shores of Lago Fagnano.
  • Slow wifi from the neighboring cabanas business available in the fogon/cabin.
  • Many sites have windbreaks and the RV sites are on the shoreline. You can also bush camp along the lake shores further down the road if you don’t need services.

Ushuaia – Camping La Pista del Andino (4.5,4,3)

  • S54 48.777 W68 21.105
  • Amenities: 4.5 / cost: 4 / quality: 3
  • AR$35 per person, AR$10 for elec,
  • Nestled in a beautiful mountain setting 3km NW of town this camping area was formerly a ski resort. They have slow wifi in the admin building/bar. Most of the camping stalls are small and this place gets packed during the high season.
  • We met a family of Brazilians who had to buy a tent and camp here because there wasn’t a room available in town. Humorously, there was nothing we could say to convince them we had driven from California.

Ushuaia – Camping Rio Pipo

  • S54 49.668 W68 21.683
  • Family owned with the usual amenities including wifi. Not to be confused with the free Rio Pipo camp within the National Park. We didn’t stay

Ushuaia – Propane Gas

  • S54 47.446 W68 13.741
  • They can fill US bottles without an adaptor.

Around Ushuaia – Free Camping Areas

  • Scenic riverside camping with fire pits: S54 45.252 W68 11.841
  • Municipal camping: S54 49.984 W68 25.396

Mountain Valley Northeast of Ushuaia

  • Gorgeous valley with much hiking and peak bagging to be had.
  • Pay campground at a cross country ski lodge: S54 42.939 W68 05.072
  • Free campground with firepits: S54 43.816 W67 56.351

Tierra del Fuego National Park – Pay Campground

  • Camping Lago Roca, elec and showers: S54 49.967 W68 33.710

Tierra del Fuego National Park – Free Camping

  • There are a number of free campgrounds with toilets and fire pits throughout the park. They are marked on the park map. Free after forking over AR$85 per person for the park entry, of course.
  • We found Camp Rio Pipo to be the most scenic: S54 49.205 W68 28.043

End of the Road

  • S54 58.521 W66 44.676
  • Looking at a map we figured this to be the furthest south one can drive. We were here on January 22nd, 2012 after 18,300 miles, one year, two weeks, and four days.

Routing Note: from this point we head north through Torres del Paine, Route 40, the Carreterra Austral, and Argentina’s Lake District.  For more specifics on routing please see our Google Map Route.

End of the Road Bush Camps

  • Ocean views on a small peninsula, fire-pit on the shore (0,0,5): S54 56.516 W66 53.288
  • Estancia Harberton, several campgrounds but you must first get a free permit here: S54 52.467 W67 19.906
  • Plenty of other great spots all along this road with pullouts and fire-rings.

- Crossed into Chile via Radman/Bella Vista border crossing -
Easy crossing that only sees a few visitors per day. It is only open seasonally and a river must be forged to reach the Chilean immigration. Probably not passable in a car but 4×4 wasn’t needed when we crossed. Checking in and out was a cinch. On the Chile side they were looking only for uncooked fruits, vegetables and meats.

Lago Blanco – free camping area (0,0,4)

  • S54 04.035 W68 57.430
  • There is a wide camping area overlooking Lago Blanco.
  • Plenty of space and cover here.

Lago Deseado – bush camp (0,0,4)

  • S54 22.378 W68 45.841
  • Scenic camp spot we found when looking for the end of the road in Chile, but never reached it. We got our hands on a good Tierra del Fuego map and it looks like there is a lot of exploring to do in this neck of the woods. Gas range would be your only problem as the last towns to fill up are Rio Grande or Porvenir. Email us if you get out there, we‘d love to see the pictures; according to one map you can get as far as Bahia Yendegala near the Cordilerra Darwin.

– Ferry Crossing –
We crossed the Magellan Straight via the Austral Broom Ferry service, Porvenier to Punta Arenas. Ferry leaves once daily except Mondays. The cost was US$102 which you can pay in Chilean or Argentine pesos. Here you pay at the terminal before boarding. Also the Copec in town was the most expensive we‘ve seen, US$6.40/gallon, cash only. The only ATM in Provenier did not work with our international debit cards (Visa Plus) and the bank will not exchange Argentine pesos.

Punta Arenas – free camping area (0,0,3)

  • S52 59.240 W70 48.856
  • Scenic spot looking out over the strait. You can camp back in the trees or down by the shore. The only amenities are a trash bin and the only downside is the proximity to highway 9. We spent several relaxing nights here.

Punta Arenas – Propane Gas (GasCo)

  • S53 08.984 W70 54.852
  • Couldn’t be easier, no adaptor needed.

Punta Arenas – Hostel Independencia (5,4,2)

  • S53 09.798 W70 55.045
  • Central. This hostel is the owner’s house which he lives in with his parents. There is normally room for one camper in the driveway but it is currently occupied by a broken-down Honda. The owner doesn’t seem to have any plans to move it but graciously let us shower for free.

Puerto Natales – Camping Josmar 2 (5,4,3)

  • S51 43.712 W72 30.225
  • CH$4,500 per person, $2,000 for weak elec, “lights only”
  • Amenities: 4.5 / cost: 4 / quality: 3
  • Expensive but central. Slow wifi in the admin building sitting room. It is set up for tent campers but there is ample space for two overland rigs. Elec means plugging in only to run your lights, a hair dryer will blow the circuit.

Puerto Natales – Propane gas

  • S51 43.726 W72 29.871
  • Spotted, didn’t use

Torres del Paine – Camping Rio Sorreno

  • S51 13.684 W72 58.257
  • Camping with electrical hook-ups at the southernmost park entry. We didn’t stay.

Torres del Paine – Glacier Bay parking/bush camp (1,0,1)

  • S51 07.463 W73 07.750
  • Not much to see but good wind cover. You can also camp in the nearby Hotel Grey parking lot and pick up their wifi signal.

Torres del Paine – Camping Lago Pehoe (3,5,4)

  • S51 06.478 W72 59.280
  • CH$8,000 per person
  • Amenities: 3 / cost: 5 / quality: 4
  • Recently remodeled and expensive. There are fire pits (with grills), picnic tables and wind shelters. But you’ve got to buy overpriced firewood from admin for your fire. Basically what you’re looking at here is an $18 hot shower with an outstanding view. Camp at the spots across the road for views that will make you forget about the price. Restaurant (parilla) on site.

Torres del Paine – Torres bush camp (0,0,3)

  • S50 57.895 W72 52.019
  • Torres trailhead parking. A more scenic bush camp opportunity with cover. Also a starting spot for hiking or backpacking. There is a formal campground nearby with showers and bathrooms.

Torres del Paine – Lago Azul campsite (3,0,4)

  • S50 52.360 W72 44.361
  • Free campground with hot showers and flush toilets(!?). To top it off the view is wonderful, looking out on the lake and towers in the distance. Not many other campers in this corner of the park. Fires were not allowed. One short uphill hiking trail takes you to a few viewpoints.

–Crossed into Argentina at the Cerro Castillo/Cancha Carrera crossing–
Easy crossing at this small outpost. There was no search for foodstuffs crossing into Argentina.

Routa 40 – south to north

El Calafate – Camping El Nigiguao (5,3,3)

  • S50 20.020 W72 15.517
  • AR$25 per person
  • Amenities: 5 / cost: 3 / quality: 3
  • There are at least 3 campgrounds in the center and this one was the best deal. It’s an easy 10 minute walk to the center of town.
  • As a nice bonus, the shower and bathroom block is heated.
  • Decent wifi is only around the admin building.
  • Camping El Ovejero down the street is AR$50 per person and their RV area is just a dirt parking lot further down the road.

El Calafate – bush camping

  • North of town around Laguna Nimez

El Calafate – Shopping (La Anonima)

  • S50 20.723 W72 16.175
  • This is the biggest grocery store in town, which is just okay. You need to stock up here if you’re headed north.

P.N. Los Glaciares – Camping Libre El Huala (0,0,3)

  • S50 31.712 W72 47.381
  • No facilities. Fires are allowed but you must bring wood from off site. We were the only ones here on a weekday. You can hike up Cerro Cristal south of the campground. The trail starts down the road. We stayed here in place of the Perito Moreno Glacier parking lot as we hear they no longer allow campers.

Cerro de los Cristales – hiking/peak bagging

  • Summit (4,205ft): S50 34.008 W72 46.855
  • Trailhead (700ft): S50 32.351 W72 48.021
  • 4 hours round trip

P.N. Los Glaciares – Camping Lago Roca (4,4,3)

  • S50 32.599 W72 49.120
  • AR$44 per person.
  • Pay campground 2 miles down the road from the free area with elec and the usual amenities. We had heard it was a good campground, but we went for the budget camping.

El Chalten – Camping El Relincho (4,4,2)

  • S49 19.520 W72 53.351
  • AR$35 per person, AR$10 for car/elec
  • A beautiful Patagonian town but lacks a good overland camping spot. The free campgrounds “Campamento Confluencia” and “Camping Libre Madsen” no longer allow overnight campers. We looked at 3 private campgrounds in town, all were pretty much the same and exposed. Relincho was central, had electricity and a spacious common room. Other’s have stayed at the trailhead parking lot north of town, but it is even more exposed than the campsites.
  • We ended up sleeping in our two person tent. At 4AM one tent pole snapped and ripped through our rain cover. Even if you think you’re wind-proof, you’ll sleep like a sailor on rough seas.

PN Los Glaciares – Camping Bonanza (4,4,3)

  • S49 14.595 W72 53.561 – 10km north of El Chalten
  • AR$30 per person, AR$30 for vehicle (vehicle charge only for the first night)
  • 10 kilometers north of town lies this beautifully situated riverside campground. There is good wind protection as the campground is set in a tall old-growth forest.
  • New fences and gates have gone up on this northern road in recent years. There were very few bush camping opportunities.

El Chalten – Apartment rental

  • S49 19.830 W72 53.141
  • AR$200 per night (cheaper than a hostel double room)
  • There are two apartments above the Panaderia for rent. They were well equipped and cheaper than any double room in town. There is wifi but like all connections in El Chalten, it is very slow and temperamental. They have off street parking. Inquire at the Panaderia.

El Chalten – Gasoline

  • S49 19.999 W72 53.019
  • AR$7.00/L (US$6.17/gal)
  • Top off in El Calafate or Gobernador Gregores for cheap gas.

Lago Cardiel – bush camping

  • If you’re not in an RTT or pop-up there are bush camping trout fishing opportunities galore at this undeveloped lake.

Gobernador Gregores – Muni camp (1,0,1)

  • S48 45.266 W70 14.605
  • Amenities: elec but the bathrooms were locked / price: free / quality: 1
  • This town is out of the way no matter where you‘re headed, but the most reliable source of gas (YPF station) in the area. When Tres Lagos and Bajo Caracoles actually have fuel, it is expensive.
  • There is a La Anonima in town. This small campground looks abandoned but there is good wind cover. Like most of RN40 here it’s a rough 60km into town but is being paved. I believe RN40 will be rerouted through town when it’s finished.

Routing: Many people suggested we cross over into Chile via Chile Chico on Lago Buenos Aires/General Carrera. The road to Cerro Castillo will rattle you to death but has fine views. We didn’t head south once we hit route 7 which goes through Cochrane to Villa O’Higgins. If we had more time we would have gone down to Cochrane which we hear is beautiful.

Los Antiguos – Camping Municipal (4,2,3)

  • S46 32.701 W71 36.535
  • Amenities: 4 / price: 2 / quality: 3
  • AR$5 per person, AR$20 per vehicle (vehicle charge only for the first night)
  • Our guidebook describes this campground as “outstanding.” I wouldn’t go that far but it is an excellent value if you’re staying for more than one night. 24 hour hot water with grills and tables at each site. Slow wifi at the YPF in town.

- Crossed into Chile via the Chile Chico / Los Antiguos (paso Rio Jeinemeni) -
The same easy process as every other Argentina/Chile crossing accompanied by an extremely thorough search on the Chilean side. Every drawer was opened and every large bag or box was removed and put through their scanner. But, they only took fresh fruits, veggies, meat and oddly our popcorn. Not the crossing to try and sneak anything across. There are a few small supermarkets along the main street in Chile Chico.

Carratera Austral – south to north

Puerto Guadal, Chile – Dockside bush camp (0,0,2)

  • S46 50.404 W72 42.102
  • It is a tranquil parking lot for the towns small fishing dock on Lago General Carrera. There were a few people wondering around until after sunset. We got the spot from Nessie. No facilities. There are plenty of other scenic bush camping opportunities between here and the border. We also passed a few camping signs, one near town here, if you’re in the mood for plug-ins.

Cerro Castillo National Park – Organized camping (3,2,3)

  • CH$2,000 per adult
  • S45 59.211 W71 52.879
  • Each campsite has a shelter, picnic table and firewood provided.
  • The shower’s hot water is wood-fired.

Coyhaique – Propane gas (Lipigas)

  • S45 37.216 W72 06.138
  • They fill US tanks here but had “una problema” and couldn’t fill our tank. We assumed they were just out of propane. We pulled into town midst some strikes and no fuel was available for a 5 day period.
  • Abastible (orange) down the road will only fill their branded tanks.

Coyhaique – Unimarc (Large supermarket)

  • S45 34.571 W72 04.359
  • This is probably the best place to stock up on groceries before heading north.

Coyhaique – Camping Alborada (4,3,3)

  • S45 33.101 W72 03.980
  • CH$3,500 per person
  • Shelters, lights, water, and plug-ins at each site. They have makeshift fire rings, but only charcoal allowed. Walk in and check out a site first; it is difficult to navigate with a camper. The water from the faucet was murky and contained sediment.
  • Only 1 mile north of town.
  • Use an ATM in town which is the only reliable source along the Carratera Austral
  • Café Ricer was the only place with decent wifi.

Coyhaique – Busy street parking camping (0,0,0)

  • S45 34.545 W72 04.477
  • We waited for 15 hours in line for gas after a 5 day shortage due to protests. The line was over a mile and a half long. According to the locals this is a common occurrence. At 11:00PM we vacated to the outskirts of town as the protest turned violent and were warned to leave. As we left town the next day the roadblocks and downed transistors were still smoldering.

- Entered Argentina via Coyhaique Alto -
Chaotic crossing at this small post because of the mass exodus from Coyhaique once the roadblocks were cleared and the rationed gas distributed. There was no search for foodstuffs coming into Argentina.

Routing: after only getting 6 gallons of gas we abandoned our planned route up the Carretera Austral and headed to RN 40 in Argentina. We’ve heard from others over the years that the Carretera Austral has proven tricky.  However, anybody that makes it through the 1,200km gives it raving reviews. We’ll give it another go on a dual-sport in the coming years.

Rio Mayo, Argentina – Riverside bush camp (0,0,2)

  • S45 40.904 W70 15.884
  • Large open area by the river north of town. Some small trees for cover. The campground in town was long since closed. The YPF in town has slow wifi.

Esquel – Camping Nahuel Pan (4,4,3)

  • S42 54.556 W71 17.314
  • AR$30 per person, AR$25 for RV
  • Well maintained campground with grassy stalls and the only place around town for RV’s/car campers. They advertise wifi but have none. We enjoyed a sunny late February afternoon here.
  • If you’re headed south, this is probably your last chance for sunshine and summer weather.

Esquel – Propane gas (Cambagaz)

  • S42 54.730 W71 19.075
  • Our Argentine adapter was needed.
  • Previously our method of finding a propane filling opportunity involved circling the industrial area of town looking for a plant. It was always hit or miss. This time we asked at the tourism information office and they knew right away what we needed and were to send us. On our last propane fill we finally figured out the best search method.

Parque Nacional Los Alerces – Free camping area (0,0,4)

  • S42 52.958 W71 35.750
  • Entrance fee: AR$50 per person. Campsite free.
  •  This campsites overlooks Lago Futalaufquen and the mountains flanking it’s western shore. There are a few tables and fire-rings scattered about.
  • There are 20 camping areas in the park both pay sites and free. Each of them appeared outstanding.  The park is gorgeous and the weather agreeable.

El Bolson – Camping Cervezaria El Bolson (5,3,4)

  • S41 56.553 W71 32.207
  • AR$35 per person
  • There are probably 15 campgrounds around town. This one takes the cake as it is a large organized campground behind a microbrewery and restaurant.
  • Free use of washing machines
  • The wifi extends to the campground but the bandwidth can barely handle voice-only skype.
  • They brew 18 varieties on-site and each one we tried was superb.
  • 2km north of centro

El Bolson – Gasoline

  • S41 56.859 W71 32.196
  • Last chance (or first) to buy fuel at the subsidized price

Bariloche – Camping El Yeti (5,4,3)

  • S41 07.439 W71 22.305
  • AR$40 per person
  • 6.5km west of centro
  • The wifi extends to most of the campsites; the bandwidth is good
  • Camping Selva Nega, closer to town, appeared to be closed for good

Bariloche – Camping Petunia (5,4,3)

  • S41 05.755 W71 26.829
  • AR$40 per person, AR$10 for a vehicle
  • 13.5km west of centro
  • The campground is beachside with a resto-bar on site
  • The wifi bandwidth is good but only available at the admin building and a couple close campsites
  • Coin operated washing machines

Routing: North of Bariloche, the route from Villa la Angostura to San Martin de Los Andes is called the seven lakes drive. The road is scenic and camping abundant. You’re only allowed to camp in designated spots but nearly all 7 lakes have nice free camping areas on their shore.

Lago Espejo – Free camping area (0,0,4)

  • S40 38.804 W71 42.151
  • Nice beach for swimming
  • Can get crowded during the day.

Lago Traful – Camping Pichi Traful (1,0,4)

  • S40 30.044 W71 35.042
  • Free camping area with a porti-potti and fire rings.
  • Because the shore is east facing, you’ll seldom have wind here
  • This beautiful lake is a good fishing spot, also good for swimming

Lago Villarino – Free camping area (0,0,4)

  • S40 26.782 W71 32.739
  • Beautiful grassy spot along the lake shore
  • Fires are allowed

Lago Falkner – Camping Falkner (3,3,3)

  • S40 26.304 W71 31.991
  • Organized camping just north of the free spot above
  • Would be a nice place to go if it’s windy or you want services

Lago Lacar/San Martin de Los Andes – Camping Catrite (3,4,3)

  • S40 10.442 W71 24.170
  • AR$40 per person
  • Plenty of organized campsites along the southern shore here. If you go further west there are free sites.
  • We were the only ones camping here on a weeknight (March 7th, 2012). We took a pleasant spot between a stream and the shore and had ourselves a campfire. Overnight low dipped under 40F; summer seems all but over.

San Martin de Los Andes

  • Beautiful town
  • There was an ACA campground in town that looked above par
  • We think both El Bolson and San Martin de Los Andes are > Bariloche

Lago Lolog – Bush Camp (0,0,5)

  • S40 01.275 W71 21.687
  • Beautiful spot on the shore. This is the end of the road for us.
  • Good fishing right at camp
  • There’s an organized campground a few kms further down the road but their best spot is half as good as this free campsite.

The End.