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Southern Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Border Crossings

Near Puerto Natales are three pasos, or border crossings. Each gives access to Argentina’s Ruta 40:

  • Dorotea, Chile / Mina 1, Argentina — Located 31 kilometers (18.6 miles) north of Puerto Natales, four kilometers (2.4 miles) south of Río Turbio, Argentina. The turn-off for this crossing from Ruta 9, the Puerto Natales-Punta Arenas highway, is signposted. This is the only paved route, and is the one used by buses and other traffic. It is 1.5 kilometers (one mile) between the border posts. (November1-March 31 open 24 hours, April 1-October 31 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Casas Viejas, Chile / Laurita, Argentina — The turn-off is on Ruta 9, just past that for Paso Dorotea. It is 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the Argentine village 28 de Noviembre. This is an unpaved road (daily 8 a.m.-11 p.m.).
  • Río Don Guillermo, Chile / Cancha Carrera, Argentina — Situated 58 kilometers (34.8 miles) north of Puerto Natales on unpaved Ruta 250 and 45 kilometers (27 miles) south of Río Turbio, Argentina (daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.).

On the eastern side of Chile are two passes that are not only into Argentina, but are necessary to go through if traveling along Argentina’s Ruta 3 from Río Gallegos to Ushuaia.

  • Paso Integración Austral, Chile / Monte Aymond, Argentina — On Chile Ruta 255, this pass is located amid Parque Nacional Pali Aike, 67 kilometers (40.2 miles) south of Río Gallegos, Argentina on that country’s Ruta 3. Chile Ruta 257 heads to Primera Angostura, 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 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).

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego: Safety in Punta Arenas,

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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