National Route No. 40 originates in Cabo Vírgenes (Virgins Cape), Santa Cruz, and travels more than 3,200 miles of a mystic way, surrounded by ancient inca roads, until it gets to La Quiaca in Jujuy province.
This route goes across some of the most important tourist destinations in the country, and gives a quick access to them. It offers you the possibility to get to 14 National Parks and 26 Reserves and Provincial Parks.
It connects you with 41 International Crossings, traverses 11 provinces, 5 “heritage of humanity” sites, 13 ski centres, 18 significant rivers, and countless secondary rivers. This important tour turns it into the longest road in the country that travels parallel to the Andes Mountain Range, backbone of the Argentine Republic.
Route 40 traverses all the province of Neuquén in a north-south direction, joining the north of Neuquén (Barrancas, Buta Ranquil, Chos Malal), with the centre of the province (Las Lajas and Zapala), and ending its journey in the south. At this point, you can have access to Villa La Angostura following the crossroads with National Road No. 231. Continuing your way south of Patagonia, you arrive in Bariloche, in the neighbour province of Río Negro.
Laguna Blanca National Park near the town of Zapala
The rest of the way possesses a special magic, which comes into reality once you finish travelling it, going up from the sea level until crossing the Abra del Acay, 3,000 miles above sea level, which turns it into the highest national road in América.
It tours a large part of the most beautiful regions of Argentina, crossing Patagonia, Cuyo, the North of Argentina and the Puna area, in which camping, trekking, fly fishing, big game hunting, rafting, cycle touring, kayaking, climbing, skiing and speleology are all synonyms of adventure tourism.
Route 40 is still not paved in all its extension, so it includes four different types of road in its way. The weather changes its aspect, and in some of its sections, loneliness is the only companion for travellers, since they will probably travel many miles without crossing other vehicles.
This is to mention only one contrast out of the thousands it has, since in some lonely settlements, the warmth of the people will captivate you to the extreme. The people that go through its beautiful landscapes can get close to the dinosaurs land, to unique pictographic caves over 9,000 years old, to majestic glaciers, or underground caverns of amazing beauty and incredible colours.
More information www.rutanacional40.com