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Crossing Into Chile

South of Río Gallegos are two border crossings between Argentina and Chile. These are necessary to go through if traveling along Argentina’s Ruta 3 from Río Gallegos to Ushuaia. Remember that Chile has strict controls on plant and animal products, and levies high fines if not declared. Searches can be quite thorough here, especially if coming north from Ushuaia.

· Monte Aymond, Argentina/Paso Integración Austral, Chile — On Chile Ruta 255, this pass is located amid Parque Nacional Pali Aike, 67 kilometers (40.2 miles) south of Río Gallegos, on Argentine Ruta Nacional 3. Chile Ruta 257 heads to Primera Angostura on the Magellan Strait, where a ferry connects Punta Delgada and Bahía Azul (several ferries daily between 8:30 a.m. and 11:45 p.m., passengers $3.20, those traveling in bus do not pay; car $27.80. For current schedule, consult the local newspapers or

· Paso San Sebastián—On the island of Tierra del Fuego, 143 kilometers (85.8 miles) east of Porvenir, Chile, on Ruta Y-71 and 127 kilometers (76.2 miles) south of Primera Angostura ferry crossing. On the Chilean side, a half-kilometer from the border post, is Hostelería La Frontera (hotel, camping, restaurant). From the Chilean post to the Argentine is 14 kilometers (8.4 miles), where is an ACA gas station with hotel and restaurant. It is then 80 kilometers (48 miles) to Río Grande, Argentina and 303 kilometers (182 miles) to Ushuaia. The road is hard-packed dirt as far as Tolhuin (daily 9 a.m.-10 p.m.).

Another frontier post, Paso Río Bellavista, exists in Tierra del Fuego, which connects Porvenir with Argentine Ruta 3 to Ushuaia. Chile Ruta Y-85 leads from Cameron to Pampa Guanaco, from where a rough road heads to the border post. After the border, the road becomes Argentina Ruta b, a dirt track to Río Grande. From there Ruta 3 heads South to Ushuaia (open November-April 15 only).

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

29 Nov 2010

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