Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > South America
Reload this Page >

drive from Pucon to San Martin de los Andes and beyond

Notices

drive from Pucon to San Martin de los Andes and beyond

Old Mar 5th, 2018, 01:41 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 72
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
drive from Pucon to San Martin de los Andes and beyond

Thinking of renting a car in Tecumo -2 days in Pucon then driving to San Martin via the ferry on Lake Pirihueico.( I see that the ferry can be reserved ahead of time.)
1 night in San Martin and then driving south on the paved route (not the 7 lakes route) to Bariloche for 1 night then driving back into Chile to Pto Varas.
Is anyone familiar with these routes? Any tips? For car rental is it just a matter of some extra paperwork at car pickup? Are the roads good?
Heath is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2018, 12:48 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,348
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Both very scenic routes. If you want the ferry route that is Hua Hum and a different road than direct from Pucon. The one from Pucon, Mamuil Malal, to San Martin has a forest of monkey puzzle trees in between Chilean and Argentine customs. Then it gets very bare to Junin de los Andes. Quite a change from the wetter and more pastoral Chilean side. If you can, spend another night in San Martin. It is a nice town, walkable and right on Lake Lacar. If you take the Panguipulli ferry route, the road to San Martin is dramatic with a lot of rock formations. There is a small museum about the first settlers to the area just after you arrive in Argentina. Either route is fine.

From Bariloche you go through Villa la Angostura and through the Cardenal Samore pass. This is a much more travelled road with more traffic and likely to be much busier in summer. But it is national park on both sides of the border. Scenery always changes dramatically between Chile and Argentina at this latitude.
Huentetu is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2018, 11:11 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We went from Pucon to San Martin by bus ( never seen so many Monkey Puzzle trees!) we did look at renting a car from Chile to Argentina and VV but decided against it as it all got too complicated and expensive. It seemed like the paperwork was going to take forever and the one way fees were horrendous. That was ten years ago so things may well have changed.

In the end we rented a car in San Martin, drove the seven lakes route to Bariloche. Then it was mostly a gravel road but not too bad, even in the snow and rain we experienced. The one way fee wasn’t to bad as we met up with an Italian couple in the rental office and travelled with them for a while and shared the costs.

Agree with Huentutu’s comment re spending and extrA day in San Martin. A lovely little town. packed with Great Spit Roasted lamb restaurants and chocolate shops as I recall. Beautiful settinng on the lake.
crellston is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2018, 05:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,348
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
7 lakes road is now paved but not a fast road. You want to stop and look at the views anyway - after all, it is the 7 lakes road! Your car hire should be fine as you are returning to Chile though there will be a fee for dropping off in another location. I have done the different routes so many times that I have lost count. I have done it in my car and on buses. If you can manage the cost of the car then I would go for that. You really do want to stop and gaze. I prefer the road from Pucon direct through Junin de los Andes to San Martin de los Andes as I find it much more scenic than the ferry route and the contrast of scenery between the two countries more pronounced. If you stop and picnic in the auracaria forest I mentioned you can consume any fresh food before Argentine customs, although the Argentine controls are not as strict as Chile anyway.
Huentetu is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2018, 05:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,860
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I did this in reverse, but not by car. I took a two day bus and boat tour from Puerto Varas to Bariloche and loved it (can be done in one day) . Then I took a minibus tour to San Martin, skipping the return to Bariloche. I took a bus to Pucon.

I highly recommend the bus and boat tour, which can be done in either direction: https://www.cruceandino.com/cruce/EN/home/inicio#
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2018, 12:10 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 72
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply -- the info is really appreciated.
Leaning to do the route from Pucon to San Martin via Mamil Malal -then 2 nights in San Martin, then - since it sounds like the road is paved and quite good - do the 7 lakes route (thus avoiding backtracking to Junin de los Andes)

Our several trip adjustments (total 20 day trip) mean we will have only 2 nights in Pto Varas -and Chiloe is left out this trip---- but I think we will enjoy the Argentine leg more.
Heath is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
susan4207
South America
3
Mar 1st, 2019 09:05 PM
caseyhen
South America
4
Oct 27th, 2016 10:44 AM
Roadster
South America
1
Oct 24th, 2016 09:41 PM
traveilngts
South America
6
Jun 13th, 2013 08:54 AM
cobbs1
South America
9
Oct 28th, 2011 12:44 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information