Camping, Propane Sites, Border Crossings,

Shopping Locations, and Fuel Prices in

South America

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina & Uruguay

Updated June 2009

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General Information:       

(All costs are shown in local currency and the equivalent US Dollars at the time of our visit)

The following information is intended to be an addition to the existing literature on places to camp, shop and locate propane in South America.  It is by no means all-inclusive, but lists the places we used during our journey that we feel we can recommend, as well as some places we did not use but saw and thought would work well.  Some of the places listed here are also listed on the sites below, as are many others.  Note, when overnighting or getting water at fuel stations we always buy some fuel.

Our listings are chronological unless otherwise noted.

We’ve also included fuel costs during our journey and anecdotal border crossing information.  It is highly recommended that anyone wishing to travel in this area also investigate the following useful websites:

  1. www.dare2go.com

  2. www.questconnect.org

  3. www.hackneys.com/travel

  4. www.xor.org.uk/silkroute/index.html

  5. www.landcruising.nl/lc_en/index.html

  6. www.levoyagedejulesetjim.com

A note on GPS readings.  We are not truly GPS literate.  We use our unit as a compass and altimeter much more than as a locating device.  However, we have made every effort to include readings with each listing.

Propane locations: 

RVs (like ours) with chassis mounted propane tanks often must go to a different location than those with removable tanks. There are more locations that can service removable tanks, but so far we have always been able to get our tanks filled when needed.  Needless to say, we try not to let the propane level get too low before filling. 

Important: before you leave home, you should acquire an adapter that will connect to the inlet on your propane tank and terminates in a pipe thread (of any common size) so that another fitting can be connected to the adapter.  Then, you should be able to acquire a fitting that is used in a particular country once you are in that country and connect it to the fitting that fits your tank.  For an excellent article discussing propane availability and connection options click here: Propane Article

Border Crossings:

We have included here the border crossings we used; the information is based on our experience only and not meant to imply that these are the only crossings.  Crossings in South America are universally reported to be simpler and easier than in Central America and that has certainly been true for us.  Each of our crossings has been straight forward and no expense has been involved.

Fuel Prices:

In most Latin American countries fuel is priced by the liter.  We show the price per liter in local currency as well as the converted price per gallon in US dollars at the time of our visit.   We have a diesel engine; the diesel prices are actual.  We have included the estimated prices for regular unleaded gasoline.



Currency: Colombian Peso, about 1,700 to the Us dollar during our visit.

Fuel prices: (June/July 2008) fuel is priced in gallons:  Diesel - 5,800 to 6,200 pesos per gallon ($3.50 per gallon; gasoline about 20 cents per gallon higher)

Border Crossings: We entered Colombia by air and ship from Panama, so no road border crossing was involved. For our account of the shipping experience, click here.

Propane: In Colombia, we were told that it is currently (June/July 2008) illegal to fill fixed tanks permanently mounted on your vehicle.  Removable tanks are not a problem.  We were able to obtain propane only with the assistance of a local resident (at Hacienda Bambusa, see the camping listing below).  Since we solved our problem there, we did not need to look further.  Be sure to fill your tank before entering Colombia.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

Cartagena        Motel        Hotel Da Pietro        hotel@pietro.com

Can walk to groceries and ATM; taxi to old town.  Great place to hang out during shipping process. (6/08)

Cartagena        Camping        19,000 pesos ($11) for 24 hours

Public parking lot for convention center.  Water available.  Very secure.  Good location for visiting insurance agencies or walking to old town.  Separate fee for overnight and daytime. (6/08)

Cartagena        Insurance        $41 for three months coverage

Insurance from Victor Bedford at Previsora, Calle De Arsenal #10-25, Cartagena.  We were told this was necessary in Colombia, and were asked to show the proof of insurance at two security checkpoints on the highway leaving Cartagena. (6/08)

Valdivia        Camping        Free        N07 09 608; W75 26.672

Truck stop called El Rancho Estadero. Along the road to Medellin, partway up the mountain road on the west side; neither quiet nor level, but secure. (6/08)

Yarumal        Camping        Free        (observed, we did not stay here)

At the top of the grade; could overnight at the top; many flat areas.  Would have the company of the truckers, of course. (6/08)

Santa Rosa de Osos        Camping        Free        N06 39.828 W75 27.787

Truck stop at Terpel Fuel Station; Estadero Brisas Del Norte.  Very large and they found a quiet spot for us.  Good overnight at 8400 feet.   Low water pressure. (6/08)

Medellin        Camping        Free        N06 09.487 W75 37.254

Along Autopista Sur, Texaco station toward the south end of town; 2nd one you will pass; also will pass a Mobil station.  Small, newer station; level, if not too quiet; friendly staff.  We stayed three different nights.  Further south, shortly after making the turn onto the highway to Cali, we saw a couple of gas stations on the right; one was new and had a large parking area that should be suitable. (6/08)

Medellin        Propane

Reported spot to fill portable tanks.  Gases de Antioqia.  On Autopista Medellin-Bogota,  4kms from Medellin, on the right hand side.  Get in the right hand lane ahead of time; very hard to see as you approach.  If you miss, go on about 5 km to retorno and try again.  Here is where we were told it is illegal in Colombia to fill fixed tanks. (6/08)

Medellin        Shopping

There are several Exitos and Carrefours; some are along the Autopista Sur.  Watch for signs and be prepared to jump quickly to an exit.  Very difficult to describe; sorry.  There is a large Exito at the north end of town as you enter the Bello area, in the same area as the metro station.  We also found excellent free wi-fi at the Mayorca Center at the south end of town; the entire building is wired.  There is also a Panamericana bookstore in this complex, which has a good supply of maps.  There is also a larger Panamericana on Av. Las Vegas (go east from the autopista), and that one has a parking garage (height limit: 3.2 meters). (6/08)

Supia        Camping        3,000 pesos ($1.65)       N05 27.079 W75 39.077

Heading south from Medellin, we ended up spending the night here having made a wrong turn and coming upon a downed bridge.  A charming town in a lovely valley.  Police station sent us across the street to a parking lot behind the fire station which was secure. (6/08)

Armenia      Camping      Hacienda Bambusa      20,000 pesos ($11.75)        N04 25.30 W75 45.68

Southwest of town near the airport; detailed instructions available on the web site.  Former overlander welcomes fellow travelers to stay at his hacienda.  Electricity, water, pool, restaurant, gorgeous grounds, use of washing machine; no dump.  Absolutely beautiful spot in coffee country; truly a highlight of our time in Colombia.  See website for directions: www.HaciendaBambusa.com; e-mail in advance to establish contact with owner, Santiago Montoya, and to insure availability. (6/08)

Armenia        Propane

With help from owner of Hacienda Bambusa, we filled here twice. (6/08)

Llanadas        Camping        Free        N05 22.257 W75 32.281

High in the mountains between La Merced and Salamina.  We stopped to ask where we might stay the night, and were invited to park in front of the local tienda.  The entire town welcomed us; it was delightful and safe. (6/08)

La Pintada        Camping        26,800 pesos ($16)        N05 44.516 W75 36.411

Balneario/Camping Farallones.  Parking on level grass.  Swimming, showers (cold), water available.  Lovely gardens; quiet at night, despite being near the highway.   Just south of the bridge if coming from north. (6/08)

Tarso        Camping        5,000 pesos tip ($3)        N05 56.148 W75 51.306

Approximately 1 mile south, along highway between La Pintada and Santa Fe; in gravel pit/highway maintenance area.  We tipped the guard.  He even brought us coffee.  Quiet at night but they start work early in the morning. (6/08)

Porce        Camping        Free        N06 33.03 W75 12.65

On the road from Medellin to Puerto Barrio.  Estadero Punta Aparte, approximately halfway between Barbosa and Cisneros.  Truck stop but very quiet; cool breezes.  Further east, at San Jose del Nus there is Estadero Puerto Nus, just east of the  bridge; very large and probably good O/N.  If traveling east on this road, try to O/N before you reach the mountains as the road becomes tight and windy with no good places to stop.  We stayed at a fuel station in Lebrija, but it was not a good choice so we do not show the listing. (6/08)

Chicamocha National Park        Camping        Free        N06 47.395 W73 00.236

Going south from Bucamaranga, at the top of the grade; large parking lot; stayed O/N for free.  Lots going on during day but very quiet and cool at night.  Friendly guards. (6/08)

Barbosa        Camping        Free       sorry, no gps

There is little available for O/N below Chicamocha NP, until you get to this town.  Just north of town there is a nice fuel station on the left just before the road splits, with the left going to Tunja and the right directly to Bogota. (7/08)

Tunja        Shopping        N05 32.810 W73 20.830

Carrefour in a Unicentro Mall.  Av. Universitaria con Calle 41.  Free wi-fi throughout the large shopping complex.  Approaching Tunja from the west, keep on the main road into town; shortly after the first large roundabout there will be a small sign overhead heading off to Universitaria to the right.  Follow it.  It curves around to the left finally.  Mall is not on a main road and is hard to find in an area that is being developed but is not well connected to the rest of town.  A good situation to ask for directions. (7/08)

Villa de Leyva       Camping        16,000 pesos ($9)        N05 38.922 W73 23.240

West of Tunja.  Camping San Jorge.  Very nice campground just north of town, off the Circonvolar, with hot showers, water, electricity (very long cord); quiet; camping on grass; little shade, but breezy and cool; walk to town. (7/08)

Villa Pinzon        Camping        Free        N05 13.203 W73 35.468

Terpel station on the highway between Tunja and Bogota, on the east side of the road at approximately km 73.  Busy and kind of rough appearing, but quiet overnight. (7/08)

Bogota        Camping        (observed, we did not stay here)

Secure parking, perhaps for overnight, at funicular parking lot at Monserratte.  Can walk or take cab to La Candelaria area.  Roughly $3.00/hour.  We stayed during the day, did not inquire about overnight. (7/08)

Cota area        Camping     N04 45.988 W74 04.811    (observed, we did not stay here)

North of Bogota, off the main roads.  As you approach Bogota on the Medellin highway, signs will point to Cota at the roundabout.  Head toward Cota.  After 5.3 miles go right at the sign for Chia Suba; at 1.1 miles turn right again; go 2.7 miles.  You will pass a big soccer field on the left, then come to a large, quiet Texaco station and bus parking area on the right which should make a good O/N.  Then the next day you can begin your assault on Bogota! (7/08)

Fresno        Camping        Free        N5 09.261 W75 02.951

A few miles up the mountain, above town, a large parking lot for restaurant and hotel (no name).  Quiet O/N. (7/08)

La Paila        Camping        Free        N04 21.792 W75 58.584

Along Highway 40 between Armenia and Cali, about 7 miles northeast of the La Paila junction but before you reach Corozal headed north; a large Petrobras station on the east side of the road; level, quiet overnight, with plenty of room. (7/08)

Cali        Shopping

Off Carrera 100 at the south end of town; Jardin Plaza, with lots of shopping, including a Carrefour and a big hardware store.  Free wi-fi with plugs in outdoor court. (7/08)

Monteria        Shopping

Large Exito on right as enter town from the north; go past the first (older) one; second one is larger and within a mile beyond.  North of Cali (7/08)

Buga        Camping        (observed, we did not stay here)

About 10 Km north of town; heading north on the east side is a very large fuel station.  It is a divided road here; there is also a Texaco going south, but it is not as large.  Better to find a retorno and go back to the larger one. (7/08)

Villa Rica        Camping        (observed, we did not stay here)       N03 07.650 W76 27.870

Terpel station on west side of road with restaurant/hotel; very wide and deep.  Just south of the piaje below Villa Rica; roughly 10 miles south of town.  If going north, should be able to turn around just below the piaje. (7/08)

Mondomo        Camping        Free        N02 57.924 W76 31.471

About 5 miles north of town, as you start the climb towards Popayan.  Very large Esso station on west side, at 3550 ft; very pretty and quiet.  Going south, you will cross the Rio Mandiwa, pass an older Esso station, then this is at about Km marker 65. (7/08)

Popayan        Shopping

Large Carrefour on west side as you come into town; just south of junction with the road from San Agustin.  A short distance further south on same road (Panamerican) is a Carulla; it is also on the west side of the road. (7/08)

Tunia        Camping     (observed, we did not stay here)     N02 42.456 W76 32.363

Large, new station just north of the piaje at Tunia.  There are also several large truck parking areas on the south side in the same area. (7/08)

El Bordo        Camping        Free        N02 10.108 W76 54.31

North of town about 6 miles.  Going south, between the piaje and El Bordo, there is a large flat grassy area on the west side of the road at the Villa Colombia gas station (also the El Camionera Restaurant); even some shade; at 3765 ft; very quiet O/N (7/08)

Pasto        Camping     (observed, we did not stay here)     N01 26.175 W77 16.826

North of town (about 30 K) Esso station/Restaurant Oro Negro at about Km marker 36 near Cano.  There is also a Texaco station at north end of Cano. (7/08)

Pasto        Shopping

Exito along the Panamerican on the east side of the road toward the south end of town. (7/08)

Ipiales        Shopping

Brand new Exito on west side of road as drive through town. Near border (7/08)



Currency: Us dollar

Fuel prices: (August 2008):  Ecuador, like Venezuela, is fuel heaven.  Prices are constant throughout the country and are very low.  Ecuador uses the US dollar for their currency and fuel is priced by the gallon.  Diesel - $1.03; gasoline - $1.48.

Border Crossings: Colombia/Ecuador border crossing between Ipiales and Tulcan was very easy and did not involve any costs.  It took a little time only because I was in line behind a large tour bus group.

Propane: Propane is available at propane plants, but if you have a fixed tank you must coordinate with their truck.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

El Angel        Camping        Free        N00 36.985 W77 56.517 (check that 00)

Quiet night at P&S gas station as you enter town. (7/08)

Pifo        Camping        Free        S00 14.141 W78 20.118

Halfway around on eastern Quito bypass.  Petroworld as you head east from Pifo toward Baeza.  Large lot, lots of trucks into evening, but quiet O/N.  Friendly staff; excellent water pressure; 8680 feet. (7/08)

Cuenca        Camping        Cabanas Yanuncay        $10          S02 54.345 W79 01.691

Lovely spot in a neighborhood about 1/2 hour walk into old town (or take taxi if rig too large to drive).  Water, sewer, electric (very long cord); showers available; laundry tubs and line; some problems with noisy dogs, but the rest of the menagerie - llama, horses, chickens - is fine.  Hard to find the first time, but great location once you find it.  Come south on Av. Las Americas.  Pass sign to turn west to Las Cajas NP; shortly you will see Continental Tire/General Tire/Tebasa sign on left; go past, turn around, and then turn east at that corner; the street is Calle Canton Gualaceo #21-49.  (8/08)

Cuenca        Camping        Free         S02 51.570 W78 55.719

Another option, which we highly recommend.  In town, find Av. Gonzalez Suarez; follow it about 5 miles east from center of town, to a quiet barrio.  You will start seeing signs for El Descanso.  The barrio is called Capiluspamba.  Turn right at P&S gas station (about ½ km after military barracks on right).  Follow road down to T-intersection; turn left.  At the end are vacant lots opposite a park; we and others stayed many nights and the neighbors were very friendly.  Quiet at night; motocross can be active in late afternoon.  No services.  P&S Station has water faucet in entry landscaping. (8/08)

Cuenca        Camping        See text for cost        Turnoff is at S02 50.487 W79 07.404

Las Cajas National Park.  Follow road sign to west off Av. Las Americas near Cabanas Yanuncay.  Between Km markers 13 and 14 sharp look for small sign, left turn drops steeply downhill.  Follow to camping area shortly beyond park entrance.  Fee for entry: $10/person; camping: $4/person per night.   Very quiet and lovely for overnight.  Llamas on hand, also lake fishing.  Open only between 8-4:30.  Great respite from the city. (8/08)

Cuenca        Propane        S02 50.438 W78 53.652

Continue for 2.8 miles beyond the street camping in barrio listed above, Austrogas location.  Filled both bottles and fixed tanks.  Turn west off road and go up hill; good signage.  This is the road to Azogues, not the eastern periferico.  We filled here twice and both times the staff was slow but persistent in taking care of us. (8/08)

Cuenca        Shopping

Large shopping mall, Mall del Rio, on east side of town as you come down the Autopista eastern bypass; easy entrance with no overhead barrier.  Good shopping at Carol; also many other stores, Burger King (!), and free wi-fi access in food court area.  Better wi-fi in downtown area; wander around and pull up your laptop -- Sunday is best day of the week.  Another mall, Milennium Plaza, had more reliable wi-fi, upstairs in the food court; the teenagers arrive about 3 pm, however.  Cuenca is a wired city, but access and speed can be spotty.  Many, many internet cafes all over town provide faster access. (8/08)

Cuenca        Shopping

There are several Supermaxi’s in town.  Check at visitor center downtown for a map of the area, and ask for locations.  An excellent one is on Avenida de las Americas just north of the intersection with Gran Colombia; this is near Cabanas Yunancay.  Also a nice one near the airport. (8/08)

Cuenca        Shopping

True Value Hardware (called El Hierro); two locations: on Av Las Americas; and out by the airport.  Good for stuff you haven’t been able to find.  Both locations are near the Supermaxis listed above. (8/08)

Cuenca        Shopping

Martin at CRQ, the electronics store at the corner of Sucre y Tomas Ordonez was very helpful with transformers and other issues; speaks good English. (8/08)

Cuenca        Laundry

Best laundry we’ve found anywhere. Located near the Cabanas Yanuncay Campground.  It is located on Diez de Agosto, just west of the Unidad National roundabout. (8/08)

Mendez        Camping        Free        S02 42.658 W78 20.731

About 25 miles west of Mendez on south side of the road is a small, abandoned quarry which was a quiet O/N in a nice, jungle setting at 1800 feet. . The town of Mendez looked very quiet and safe for an O/N on the square.  By the way, the road east from Cuenca to Mendez is rough but spectacular. (8/08)

Puyo        Camping        Free        S01 37.080 W77 50.610

About 14 miles south of Puyo is a mirador on the east side of the road which made a great overnight, with cool breezes (3367 feet); getup early for sunrise over the Amazon basin. (8/08)

Quito        Camping        $6.50/24 hrs        S00 12.009 W78 29.208

Parqueadero on Diego de Almargo, between Orellano and Colon.  Enter off Colon, as it is a one-way street at this point; it is on the right; water, electricity, and a place to dump.  Washed our car for additional fee.  Not much to look at, but friendly, secure and an excellent location while visiting city.  Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, services and wi-fi. (8/08)

Quito        Shopping

Bakery and bagel shop (separate establishments).  Worth tracking down.  On Portugal, a block or so east of 6th of December, are Cyrano’s Bakery and Mr. Bagel.  Best around.  Attached to Cyrano’s is Corfu Heladeria, also yummy.  The Cyrano/Corfu combo can be found in shopping malls, too. (8/08)

Quito        Wi-Fi

Best broadband internet we found in the city was in New Town in the area along Calama Street.  Be sure to check out Uncle Ho’s Asian Food; excellent food to go with the free wi-fi.  Also many internet cafes in the New Town area. (8/08)

Otavalo        Camping        $3        N00 13.86 W78 15.69

Excellent location parqueadero one block from market area; on Quito between 31st de Octobre and Jaramillo.  (8/08)

Apuela        Camping        Free        sorry, no gps

This is approximate.  From Cotacachi, go out to Laguna Cuicocha.  Just left of the park entrance is a gravel road which leads to Apuela.  This is a rough but rewarding road.  Apuela is about 40 miles from Cotacachi.  We spent the night about a mile short of town, at an overlook of the town.  Not for everyone, but quite rewarding; the road loops back to Otavalo and is quite spectacular. (8/08)

San Juan de Inguncho        Camping        Free        N00 15.218 W78 24.393

The next night after Apuela, on the loop road coming back toward Otavalo, we stopped about 25 kms short of Otavalo and camped on the edge of the soccer field on the right just as you drop down into the village of San Juan.  If can find someone to ask, it would be nice. It was raining heavily when we arrived, but later a contingent of lovely townspeople, including the mayor, came to check us out.  Beautiful valley setting. (8/08)

Lago Quilotoa        Camping        $5 park entry            S00 52024 W78 54.967

We camped overnight at the crater.  Very cold at an elevation of 12,700 feet. (8/08)

Pilahuin        Camping        Free        S01 20.201 W78 45.460

On Highway 50 between Ambato and Guaranda, about 5 miles above Pilahuin, is a small pullout on the south side at 12,000 feet; for one small vehicle only. (8/08)

Bilovan        Camping        Free        S01 48.306 W79 06.293

On Highway 50 between San Pablo and Balzapamba.  Turn north off highway at sign for Hotel Camino Real and Historic Parroquia de Bilovan; there will be a bue-clad soldier on top of the sign.  Go up through the village and continue on up the road; it ends at a road closure because of a slide.  Turn around and find a good spot; view is quite remarkable; quiet overnight.  Beautiful drive.  Got permission from a passerby; 8500 feet. (8/08)

Loja        Camping        Free if no event         S03 58.488 W79 12.107 

Municipal park and swimming pool.  Coming from the north, turn left at the second roundabout that you see after the turn to Machala; there will be a swimming sign (blue) on the left side of the road; take the bridge over the river and then an immediate left turn; go straight ahead to the piscine. (9/08)

Valladolid        Camping        Free        S04 29.893 W79 08.084

South of Yungana and about 6.5 miles north of Valladolid, pull off to a small open shelter and level area on the west side of the road; great views when clear; 8300 feet.  Another option would be the town square in Valladolid.  Saw it in the morning; looked quiet and nice (9/08)

Zumba        Camping        Free        S04 53.59 W79 07.65

River south of town, half way or so to the border. Parked on the west side of road; others have forded the river and stayed on the east side. (9/08)



Currency: Nuevo Soles, about 3 per US dollar during our visit

Fuel prices: (Sept/Oct 2008):  Prices vary. Diesel - 11.3 to 12.5 soles per liter ($3.65 to $4.20 per gallon; regular gasoline (84 octane) about thirty cents more per gallon; 90 octane, which might be required for mountain driving by most gas RVs, another fifty cents more per gallon).

Border Crossings: We crossed from Ecuador at a small military post on the Rio Blanco in mountainous southern Ecuador.  Of the three crossings you will see on your map, this is the farthest east and by far the least used.

Propane is available at many service stations, but you must have the proper fitting adapted to your tank.  See Our Vehicle page for a brief discussion of this issue.

Note: From Peru on south, electricity is at 220 volts, 60 cycles in Peru, 50 cycles in Chile & Argentina. See Our Vehicle page for a brief discussion of this issue.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

San Ignacio        Camping        Free        S05 13.176 W78.53.486

Gravel quarry 20 miles south of town on west side of road.  (9/08)

Pedro Ruiz        Camping        Free        S05 56.990   W77 58.737

At south end of town, on the road to Chachapoyas, there is a small plaza on the east side of the road; folks said we’d be fine there overnight; parked in front of the small church, at 4260 feet. (9/08)

Chachapoyas        Camping        Free        S06 13.742 W77 52.351

Along the town square.  Noisy but delightful; spent two nights; 7685 feet. (9/08)

Leymebamba        Camping        Free         S06 43.003 W777 48.019

Spent the night on the soccer field between the town and the museum.  Delightful.  Museum wouldn’t let us stay there, but suggested the field; 7500 feet.  Do not miss this museum; absolutely spectacular. (9/08)

Celendin        Camping        Free         S06 52.345 W78 08.571

Tried to camp beside road about 5 miles above town, but police said we wouldn’t be safe and directed us to the police station.  As you enter town from the east, turn south two blocks before the circle with a fountain; then it will be on your left; it’s a large parking lot; this turn is the circle road that goes around the south side of town. (9/08)

Chileta        Camping        Free        S07 13.667 W78 49.762

There’s a gas station in town where we stayed; noisy but sufficient.  Slightly below town there were several broad flat areas where they were staging road work, which might do okay. (9/08)

Huanchaco        Camping        30 pesos ($10.50)       S0 04.380 W79 07.105

Huanchaco Gardens Hostel. Worked very well.  Showers, laundry, wifi, electricity, swimming pool. .  At the north end of town; ring bell and they will open gates for you.  Room for 3 rigs, probably.  Just north of Trujillo. (9/08)

Chuquicara        Camping        Free        S08 39.821 W78 03.118

Along Highway 12 between Chuquicara and Yuracmarca plenty of places to pull off; very quiet overnight. (9/08)

Caraz        Camping        20 pesos ($7)        S09 02.915 W77 48.845.

Los Pinos Hotel, on Parque San Martin, 4 blocks off the plaza.  Go west off the plaza on Daniel Villar to San Francisco; turn north for one-half block; the hotel is on the left.  Excellent wi-fi, showers, water, dump with difficulty.  Very pleasant, but a tight fit for two vehicles.  www.lospinoslodge.com.  (9/08)

Chaucayan        Camping        Free        S10 11.274 W77 33.358

At approximately Km 65.  Turn into town across the bridge; immediately turn left and drive down to the soccer field; 4382 feet. (9/08)

Lima        Camping        30 pesos ($10)        S12 07.344 W77 02.169

Hitchhikers B&B Hostel.  Outstanding spot.  Tight courtyard, two vehicles at most, but secure parking.  Friendly staff.  Water, showers, electricity, wi-fi.  Laundry nearby, on Berlin, and groceries 3 blocks away, up Bolognesi.  In Miraflores section of town, on Av. Bolognesi 400.  When arriving on Panamerican Highway, suggest taking Benevides exit and driving to Miraflores area that way; leave same way if possible. (9/08)

Lima        Hardware Stores 

The Sodimac stores are major Home Depot like stores in Peru.  Large and well stocked.  Several locations in Lima:  San Miguel, Mega Plaza Norte, on Javier Prado, check telephone directory for addresses; a taxi knows them.  Also locations in Chiclayo, Trujillo and one under construction in Ica. (9/08)

Lima/Callao        Propane          S12 03.077 W77 05.204

Acogas.  Cannot obtain propane here, but they will sell you the fitting to make it possible to get propane in Peru, where it is available at many service stations.  Cost us about $50, and it works!  Located at Av Colonial 5443 (Colonial recently renamed Benevides).  www.acogas.com.pe/(9/08)

Paracas        Camping        Free        S13 50.088 W76 15.107

Paracas Yacht Club.  Drive through town, the turn will be toward the water just past a roundabout most of the way through town.  Nice place to park for the night.  Didn’t ask for services.  Quiet overnight, although tour busses show up about 7:30 am.  There is also camping available at the National Park further out this penninsula. (10/08)

Reserva Pampa Galeras        Camping        Free        S14 40.030 W74 24.235

On the road from Nazca to Cuzco.  Large open area across from reserve buildings at km 89; 13,000 feet elevation. (10/08)

Chalhuanca        Camping        Free        S14 15.278 W73 18.025

At about Km 349, just east of Chalhuanca, along the river.  Altitude 9220 feet. .  Lovely and quiet.  There are many places to O/N along this river, at 9000 feet or lower.  If you are looking for security, try stopping at Hotel Tampumayu, also east of Chalhuanca.  They advertise camping and seemed to have lots of room; we didn’t stop, but looked like a good possibility www.hoteltampumayu.com. (10/08)

Cusco        Camping       30 pesos ($10)        S13 30.336 W71 59.110

The Quinta Lala is the only place in town, and fortunately it is absolutely perfect.  Access from Plaza de Armas:  enter Plateros and its continuation Saphi.  At the end of the wider road you turn sharply right and follow the steep ascending road.  After 1.9 km, at the huge blue sign of the Sacsaywaman ruins turn to the left, into the little cobbled road to the private hacienda.  The first gate (blue) on the right is Quinta Lala.  Water, electricity, limited dump facility (cassette toilets only), showers, wi-fi; awesome; all overlanders seem to stay here.    Walk downhill into town; take a taxi back.  Leave rig here to go to ruins. http://home.hccnet.nl/helmie.paulissen/ (10/08)

Cusco        Shopping

Grocery store shopping is pretty lousy.  There is a Mega store 4-5 kms out Colonia avenue, but it isn’t worth the bother.  Around the central Plaza and next to the tourist office are smaller stores, with some things.  But be prepared to do without. (10/08)

Huyro    Camping        Free        S13 00.279 W72 33.077

On the back road to Santa Teresa, about 7 miles before you get to Santa Maria.  Planned to stay on the square, but the local police guided us to an enclosed soccer field nearby; very quiet night at 5125 ft.  (10/08)

Santa Teresa        Camping        10 pesos ($3)           S13 07.923 W72 35.781

We left our rig at Inkatour Hospedaje for the night, when we took the train from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Caliente.  Our fee of 10 soles included access to a room for a shower.  You could also take a room, or tent camp.  5100 feet elevation. (10/08)

Yauri (aka Espinar)        Camping        Free        S14 46.893 W71 23.792

This is on Highway 28, the back road between Sicuani and Arequipa.  We camped just north of town at a broad, flat pullout on the west side of the road, at 12,900 ft.  Quiet overnight. (11/08) 

Santa Maria area        Camping        Free        Roughly S15 14.022 W71 37864

This is south of Yauri; we never found Santa Maria, but the map (ITMB) said it was there.  About 8 miles after Hwy 28 joins the larger road (as you go south) there is an area of wetlands where parking is feasible; we stayed along the road; at about km 198 should work well.  About 13,900 feet. (11/08)

Vizcachani area        Camping        Free        S15 58.937 W71 23.027

Between Arequipa and Chivay - Colca Canyon.  About 6 miles north of this junction with the Panamerican, south of Chivay, there is a large, secluded from the road, dirt-gravel area on the west side of the road.   We stayed here twice, and really liked it; some salutes from the trucks and busses were the only interruptions to the quiet night at 13,900 feet (11/08)

Arequipa        Camping        30 pesos ($10)        S16 24.050 W71 32.546

Hostel Las Mercedes is a great spot; there is room for 2-3 vehicles in a secure area behind the hotel; on a busy street.  Water, showers, electricity, free wi-fi, possible dump; 7650 feet.  If coming from Puno, the highway will bring you onto Ejercito, and then curve over the river and turn southwest on La Marina; the hotel is at 1001 La Marina, but the street is divided at this point.  Go further southwest until you can turn around.  The vehicle opening is a large blue door; ring bell for entry.  Close to town and Plaza Vea shopping center, which is 2 blocks up the street on the same side as the hotel. (11/08)



Currency: Pesos, about 600 per US dollar during our visit.

Fuel prices: (Nov ‘08 - April ‘09):  Prices have varied considerably during the time we have been in Chile, with prices dropping along with worldwide price changes. Diesel has ranged from around 600 pesos per liter ($3.60 US per gallon) in the north last November to around 400 pesos per liter ($2.40 US per gallon) in the south in March ; regular gasoline has ranged from 10 cents per gallon less up to 40 cents per gallon more.  Before we arrived, most folks had told us that Chile is very expensive, but coming from Peru, fuel was less.  Compared to Argentina, prices are a bit higher, but not as much as we had been led to expect.  Fuel prices got lower as we moved further south.  Groceries and other costs seemed about the same as bordering countries.

Propane appears to be readily available at separate propane filling stations or large plant facilities.  Several companies are active, including Lipigas and Gasco.  Availability along the Panamericana is frequent, at least between Santiago and Puerto Montt.  Actual locations we used are listed according to town, but the following is a list of GasCo plants taken from their information: Copiapó, Vallenar, La Serena, Coquimbo, Ovalle, Quilpué, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, San Antonio, Santiago, El Bosque, La Reina, Maipù, Quilicura, Buin, Paine,Requinoa, Talca, Chillán, Talcahuano, Concepción, Los Angeles, Temuco, Villarrica, Osorno, La Unión, Puerto Montt.  In the area around Santiago, we learned that the actual Gasco or Lipigas locations were only set up to exchange tanks, not to fill.  We were directed to a separate facility that services the taxis and were able to fill our fixed tank there.

Border Crossing from Peru.  We crossed just above Arica, and this involved a very thorough search of the vehicle.  Others have suggested hiding foodstuffs that you did not want confiscated, but I would not suggest you make the attempt.  First they brought a dog in, presumably to sniff for drugs.  Then the inspector opened every cabinet, cupboard, and drawer.  We were required to fill out a declaration form that asked about both fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products, spices and herbs.  They were taking all fresh fruits and vegetables as well as dried ones (including raisins), eggs, and honey.  They were not interested in our cheese at this stop, nor our fresh milk, but at another crossing coming from Argentina, they did take most of our cheese.  We were told there were penalties for violations of the declaration requirement.  He was pleasant but efficient.

Border Crossings from Argentina.  We crossed into Chile from Argentina  five times.  Each time the vehicle was searched; fruit, vegetables, eggs and non-Chilean honey would be confiscated.  At one stop they also took almost all my cheese; suspect was anything not sealed, not in original wrapper, and not pasteurized.  (3/09)

Fuel Stations with Wi-Fi.  The only Copec stations with wi-fi are the newer “Pronto” stations along the Panamericana, Ruta 5.  Stations from other companies such as Shell, Esso and Terpel that are newer and are set up for truckers may also have wifi.  The best signal we found at any station along Ruta 5 was a new Terpel station northbound at km 789.  A list of Copec stations between Osorno and Santiago is as follows: (Note: it is often not possible to cross over the highway to a south bound location if you are going north or to north if traveling south)  Going north: north of Osorno at Km 915; Mariquina area, km 785; south of Victoria, at km 608 (very small and not suitable for overnight); north of Los Angeles at km 488; Chillán area (not sure it is a pronto) at km 410; San Carlos, at km 383; north of Talca at km 238; romeral at km 184; San Francisco de Mostazal at km 67.  Going south from Santiago: north of Romeral at km 26 (too small for overnight); San Francisco de Mostazal, at km 66; Reqinoa, at km 95; I think there is one in the Curicó area but couldn’t pin it down; south of Maule at km 265; Parral at km 338; Chillán at km 409; Los Angeles at km 519; Lautero at km 646.

Note that travelers inevitably cross back and forth between Chile and Argentina several times.  This makes it more difficult to follow anyone’s camping listings.  Our listings are shown chronologically and we have indicated when we crossed a border.  We traveled the Santiago to Osorno corridor twice.  Listings for this region will be found in two places.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

Arica        Camping        Free        S18 24.206 W70 19.86l

We camped for several nights at Playa Las Machas north of town.  Coming towards Arica from the north, we followed the signs to Villa Fontana; at the beach, we turned back north a short distance until we reached the end of the pavement, then proceeded slightly further.  Very light traffic from the military installation further up the road.  Quiet and lovely, with good breezes and nice views of the lights of town at night. (11/08)

Arica        Shopping

Several good stores available.  As you head into town from the north, the Panamericana turns into Santa Maria.  You will find a Sodimac (home repair center) on the west side of the highway, shortly followed by a large Santa Isabel supermarket, also on your right.  A second, larger store is the Hiper Liber (a pseudo-Safeway), not too far from downtown.  To reach it, go east on Av. Diego Portales to Tucapel.  It will be a left turn shortly after you go under the underpass. (11/08)

Arica        Daytime parking

Free street parking not far from the tourist office and major sights.  On Av. San Martin, at the base of the Morro; on the east side of the street.  There is great ice cream at Dimango on Av. 21st of May; McDonalds (if you want a fix) is at the corner of 21st of May and Arturo Prat. (11/08)

Poconchile        Camping        Free

Probably good overnights.  All along Highway 11 between Arica and Poconchile, there are plenty of good pullouts.  We stopped for lunch at about Km 51, at an altitude of 4700 feet. (11/08)

Lago Chungara        Camping        Free        S18 14.175 W69 10.938

In Parque National Lauca, there is an unmanned ranger station very close to here, and you can overnight on site.  But we pulled off down to the lake; better sheltered from the wind.  There are lots of birds and camelids; it was fabulous and quiet; ‘though the altitude is 15,000 feet and it was very cold. (11/08)

Zapahuira       Camping        Free        S18 20.224 W69 34.955

There is a gravel/dirt road that heads straight up into the altiplano; it leaves from the large parking area on the right; the blue sign at the highway (Route 11) says Chapiquina.  If you go up that road half a mile you will see a nice, secluded pull-off on your right; very quiet overnight; altitude 11,200 feet.  If you are up for it, this is an incredible road into the high country; awesome.  (11/08)

Cuyo        Camping        Free        S19 11.749 W70 16.020

Just south of the police check point, turn onto good dirt road toward coast for 6-7 miles until reach beach.  Really great spot for quiet overnight. (11/08)

Iquique area        Services

Free wi-fi at Copec station above town as heading south (only one we found with wi-fi between Arica and La Serena).  In town, along Concepcion (the Panam heading south) you will pass a Sodimac, a Hiper Lider, and a Santa Isabel supermercado, all on the ocean side of the road, with a McDonald’s across the street.  (11/08)

Tocopilla        Camping        Free        S21 47.765 W70 08.665

North of this city, just north of Caleta Huaman, in the vicinity of Km 220, on the beach; quiet overnight.  (11/08)

Tal Tal        Camping        Free        S25 22.989 W70 27.277

Just north of town there is a semi-developed area along the beach, right above the water; great angle for sunset over the rocks.  Quiet overnight. (11/08)

Copiapo        Services

Going south, the Panamerica goes through town part way, then veers off to the west.  At that junction, there is a Hiper Lider on your left.  Also, keep going straight, and after a couple of miles you will come to a Jumbo and a Sodimac.  Coming from the south, as the Panam enters town, go right instead of turning left and following the signs to go north. (11/08)

Estancia Chanar area        Camping        Free        S29 07.299 W70 54.955

About one mile north of the paved turnoff for the La Silla Observatory, turn east on dirt road (signed) to “Observatory.”  Wide open spaces for quiet overnight.  No highway noise; tons of stars!  Altitude:  3680 feet.  (11/08)

Vicuna        Camping        Free        S30 00.860 W70 41.187

At east end of town, take the turn off for the Mamalluca observatory.  We tried first to stay at the observatory, but they would not allow it; we came back down the hill and found a nice spot; hard to get level.  Altitude: 2582 ft.  (11/08)

Algarrobo area        Camping        Free        S30 29.449 W71 05.021

Between Ovalle and Samo Alto on Elbalse Recoleta (15 kms to Ovalle).  Informal pulloff on lake side of road; no shade but good breeze.  Just east of the dam.  About 2 kms closer to Ovalle, shortly after the turnoff for Algarrobo, there is a small sign for La Serena off to the north; there is plenty of open space here for O/N (but no lake).  Altitude: 1300 feet. (11/08)

Tilama        Camping        Free        S32 05.198 W71 10.043

On the south edge of town there is a little water tower; parked across the road and down the street aways.  Altitude: 1631 feet.  Most areas through here are fenced, but this spot on the street in the little town was fine. (11/08)

Rio Blanco        Camping        Free        S32 54.391 W70 17.430

On Route 60, just east of the Copec station on the east end of town is a section of old highway off toward the river.  Lots of turnoffs right on the highway along here, including a large area right at the Copec station, but this spot is below the road and river sounds cover most highway noise.  (11/08)

  Crossed from Chile to Argentina and later returned  ⇔

Osorno        Camping        Free        S40 28.645 W73 02.121

Copec Pronto 10.  North of city, along Ruta 5.  Plenty of parking; wifi near building; showers, water, electricity available.  (12/08)

Osorno      Propane      S40 35.890 W73 05.843 

To the south of town, along Ruta 5, take the Puerto Octay exit, go east over freeway (if going south); Gasco plant will be on south side of road.  There is also a Lipigas plant in the same area.  It is at the main exit off Ruta 5 into town.  Going west, after the freeway exit there is a frontage road going north that will lead you to the plant. (12/08)

Osorno      Shopping

Take same Puerto Octay exit, go west (this becomes René Soriano), and you will shortly come to both Sodimac and Hiper Lider.   Continue on Soriano, and after several blocks you will see an Easy just after a left turn; next to it will be a Santa Isabel supermarket (sorry, didn’t write down the street) (12/08)

Gol Gol Bridge #1     Camping (did not use)      Free     S40 39.656 W72 15.266 

On highway 215 about 10 miles from the Argentine border.  At about Km 84; large river bank area quite suitable, except for the humungous bugs that drove us away in late December.  (12/08)

Marquina area      Camping      Free      S39 32.699 W72 52.829

Along Ruta 5, going north, Copec station at about Km 785; near Ciruelos.  Free wifi.  Altitude: 111 feet (1/09)

San Francisco de Mostazal       Camping      Free     S34 00.993 W70 42.147

Along Ruta 5, Copec station; going north, at Km 67.  Free wifi.  Altitude: 1647 feet. (1/09)

Curicó       Camping      Free     S34 52.549 W71 08.695

Shell station with huge parking area behind; very quiet as you can get further from the highway.  On Ruta 5, a bit north of town, going south.  Wifi available.  Altitude: 985 feet. (1/09)

Chillán      Camping      Free     S36 38.003  W72 11.673

Copec station along Ruta 5, going south.  Free wifi.  Altitude:  409 feet. (1/09)

Temuco      Camping      Free     S38 37.516 W72 27.250 

Going north on Panamericana, just north of town is a Carabineri station; made a great, very quiet overnight.  They like you to ask.  Altitude:  545 feet (1/09)

Temuco      Propane     

Lipigas plant is on the east side of the street as you enter Temuco.

Temuco      Shopping      S38 43.747  W72 36.080

Hiper Lider in town on Avenida Prieto Norte on the west side of the cemetery.  Go into town on Calipolican, west on Balmacida, then north on Prieto Norte.

Talca      Propane      S35 24.510 W71 37.695

GasCo plant heading south on Panamericana, jut after the main Talca exit; easy to reach off the highway.

NP Conguillio     Camping      Free     S38 34.437  W71 46.957

On S11R, off R89, east of Curacautín, shortly before turn to Refugio Llaima.  There are many places to free camp in this park, but we found a lovely little glade near a brook, and spent two full days there.  Very quiet.  Altitude:  2346 feet.  (1/09)

  Crossed from Chile to Argentina and later returned  ⇔

Southern Patagonia:

Lago Blanco      Camping       Free       S54 04.005  W68 57.438

(Note: This is not Laguna Blanca).  Near the Argentine border.  After crossing into Chile at the Paso Bellavista crossing, on the Rio Rasmussen, shortly you will see signs for Lago Blanco; well signed.  When you arrive at lake, go left; there is a large area for camping right beside the lake.  Altitude: 494 feet (2/09)

Punta Arenas      Camping      Free      S53 07.190  W 70 52.030

After crossing from Porvenir, we spent the night in the ferry parking area.  Quiet.  (2/09)

Punta Arenas      Camping      Free      S53 08.230  W70 52.385

Near the Zona Franca.  Just west of the ZF fencing (which surrounds the entire area), you enter a residential area off Ave. Costanera (the road that goes along the water), on a dead-end street (Chanarcillo); near the end there is an unbuilt lot to park on.  Quiet.   (2/09)

Punta Arenas area      Camping      Free      S53 36.786  W70 55.984

Both Pointe Hambres and Fuerte Bulnes, which are about 60 kms south of Punta Arenas, have lots of bush camping along and off the roads out to their sites.  (2/09)

Punta Arenas area      Camping      Free       S52 59.195  W70 48.804

About 20 kms north of town, along the Straits of Magellan.  It is north of the airport turnoff, and directly opposite a small road (Y530) that is marked “Punta Prat and To Pinguinera.”  There is a small undeveloped picnic/camping area next to the water.  We spent a quiet, if windy night.  (2/09)

Punta Arenas      Parking/Shopping/WiFi      Various kinds

We found a great place to park, on the street near the corner of Menendez and O’Higgins.  The Record Lavanderia is there, on O’Higgins.  The Naval Museum is one block away, on Pedro Montt, and directly across the street from the museum is Café Montt, which has excellent wi-fi access.  This area is about 2-3 blocks east of the Plaza.  This is pay parking, with an attendant at hand at all times, same as everywhere downtown.  (2/09)

Just before leaving town we finally found “the shopping center”, which is a new mall.  It is on Frei, and from the center of town can be reached by driving inland (north) on Enrique Abello.  If coming into town from the north, Frei is a major right turn off the highway.  There are the following:  Hiper Lider, Sodimac, Falabella, and others.  S53 07.789 W70 54.399 (2/09)

Puerto Natales      Camping      Free      S51 46.204  W72 28.358

About 3 miles south of town along the shore of Seno Última Esperanza.  (2/09)

Puerto Natales      Propane      S51 43.726  W72 29.871

Gas Co distributor at 857 O’Higgins was able to jumper-fill our fixed propane tank.  Quite an experience.  (2/09)

Torres del Paine      Camping      Free      S50 58.435  W72 43.799

Along Lago Amarga.  Altitude: 252 feet  (2/09)

Torres del Paine      Camping      Free      S51 10.716  W73 02.205

Lago Grey area.  Sort of creek bed, on right as heading towards Grey Hosteria; 1.3 miles beyond the bridge that leads to this area; 6 miles before the hotel.  Large open but protected area, down out of the wind.  Quiet.  Altitude:  160 feet  (2/09)

  Crossed from Chile to Argentina and later returned  ⇔

Chile Chico area      Camping      Free       S72 21.170  W46 37.425

It is hard to find a good spot for O/N along Rt 265, the road from Chile Chico to the west end of  Lago General Carrera.  This spot was rather exposed and windy, but it was a large pulloff high above the lake with an incredible view.   Altitude: 1412 feet (2/09)

Cochrane       Camping      Free      S47 17.724  W72 35.620

We wanted to stay outside of town, where it would be quieter, and hopefully far enough off the road to be out of the ever-present dust.  We found this spot south of town but before you reached Lago Esmeralda, maybe 4-5 miles south of Cochrane, on the road to Villa O’Higgins, and were able to get off the road.  Huge mosquitoes, unfortunately, but a very quiet and pleasant night. Altitude: 1010 feet  (2/09)

Puerto Bertrand area      Camping      Free      S47 07.855  S72 43.741  DID NOT USE

We passed early in the day, so only stopped for lunch.  Between Cochrane and Puerto Bertrand, for our money the prettiest place to stop we saw anywhere; great views of the mountains and the Río Baker canyon; superb, and can get quite a way off the road.  (2/09)

Puerto Río Tranquilo      Camping      Free      S46 37.412  W72 40398

As enter town from the south, there is a wide spot directly opposite the community telephone.  Quiet overnight except for a couple of dogs.  Right next to the water; very pretty.  This is a very nice little town; mechanic available if needed.  Altitude: 694 feet  (2/09)

Coyhaique      Automotive Repair Shop

Automotora Unversal, owned by Lautaro Adriazola Orellana, 949 Las Maitanes at Los Califates; (67) 232913.  They are a big, well known shop and do good work.  They were very helpful to us.   (3/09)

Coyhaique      Propane      No GPS

There are both Lipigas and Abastible gas plants on the southern edge of town. (3/09)

Puerto Chacabuco      Camping      Free      S45 27.842  W72 49.174

Almost to the ferry terminal, you will see a children’s playground on the uphill side of the road. We spent the night along the edge; quiet at night; nice view.  (3/09)

Puerto Montt        Camping        Free        S41 29.337  W72 52.104

From town, follow the waterfront road east around the bay for approximately 10 kms. You will go up a long hill and then down the other side.  At the bottom you will very quickly see a right turn toward the bay.  You drive a short distance through a village in order the reach the water.  Be careful if you arrive at low tide: park a distance back from the water line on a grassy area.  Very quiet and pleasant; several other options near by. (3/09) 

Puerto Montt      Propane      S41 27.396  W72 57.307

GasCo was able to fill our fixed tank; they were unable to help friends with portable containers.  As you approach town from the north on the highway, you will come to a large roundabout and will pass GasCo on the right, on the frontage road.  Take the right exit, toward Ancud/Pargua, and then take the immediate right onto the frontage road, which is a two-way street passing in front of the Chevrolet dealer.   Past the roundabout, continuing on into town, on the west side of the highway is a Lipigas facility. (3/09)

Puerto Montt      Other Services 

Laundry:  Not inexpensive, but she does an extremely nice job; Limpiasola Lavanderia; Quillota 191, in the center and not far from the mall.  (3/09)  Shopping:  There is a Hiper Lider to the left of the large roundabout at the top of the hill coming into town (see propane listing, above).  Circle around and take the exit off to the east.  There is a Full Fresh Market in the shopping mall along the downtown waterfront.  Internet:  The Hiper Lider has an excellent internet on the premises where they let us plug in our laptops; there is also good wifi at the Esso Station which will be on the east side of the road if you go directly through the roundabout mentioned here; also at the Copec station next door to the Esso station.  Showers:  Available at the Esso Station.  (3/09)

Chacao      Camping      Free      S41 49.675  W73 31.537

As you cross onto Chiloé from the mainland, the road off the ferry goes right, then left.  If you continue straight into the village instead of turning left, there is a nice small town square; we spent a quiet night here, in front of the municipal building.  (3/09)

Quemchi      Camping      Free       S42 08.606  W73 28.266

Small fishing village; follow main street along the waterfront, past the municipal building, all the way to the end.  Road widens a bit and there is room to park for the night.  Busses turn around here, so park at one end or the other.  Quiet overnight; free wi-fi in the municipal building during the week.  Others were told they could park at the dock, but it is very busy during the night, at high tide.  (3/09)

Castro      Other Services        S42 26.994  W73 46.416

There is a very nice Terpel station at the north end of town, probably the nicest fuel station in the area.  We were able to take on water there, which can be difficult to find in this area.  (3/09)

Dalcahue area      Camping      Free      S42 28.059  W73 42.672

Between Castro and Dalcahue, there is a road (W-65) that goes to Rilan.  Take that road for 3.5 miles; on the right there will be a large area well set back from the road.  Very quiet overnight.  (3/09)

Llaquepe area      Camping      Free      S41 44.972  W72 34.173

We took the ferry across Estero Reloncaví  and then took the road along the southern side of the estuary; we stayed in a big open area to the east of the road, about 5.2 miles north of the ferry.  Very quiet.   (4/09)

Puerto Montt area      Camping      Free       S41 21.458  S71 58.699

About 6 miles north of town, along Route 5, on the east side of the highway is a Carabineri station and rest area.  Ask permission; very quiet O/N.  Altitude: 376 feet (4/09)

Valdivia       Other Services

Supermarket (Unico) on the road out of town toward Máfil.  (4/09)

Marquinea area      Camping      Free      S39 32.694  W72 52.825

Copec station  on Route 5, with wifi.  Altitude: 172 feet (4/09)

Pangiopulli area      Other Services       S39 26.051  W72 44.890

Going north, at Km 768 on Route 5, there is a Terpel station with excellent wifi and a large parking area.  Did not spend the night, but undoubtedly could.  (4/09)

Villarica      Camping      Free      S39 16.559  W72 13.643

Down by the water at the north end of town, at the west end of OHiggins (or straight north from the plaza); very quiet O/N  (4/09).  Altitude: 692 feet

Chillán area      Camping      Free       S36 37.927  W72 11.048

Going north on Route 5, south of town, there are 3 Copec facilities all in a row; we stayed in the northernmost one O/N.  there were lots of logging trucks, but it wasn’t an active facility and very quiet.  There is another facility, a big new one, about 18 miles further north.  (4/09)

Talca area      Camping      Free      S35 19.037  W71 32.089

Caribineri stop/rest area just north of the Copec station south of town (going north on Route 5).  Noisy O/N but quite safe; they let us fill with water. (4/09)

El Manzano area      Camping      Free       S35 05.313  W71 22.273

Along Route 66, north of the El Manzano corridor we turned off onto the road to Reserva Cobre de Loncha; shortly we spotted a soccer field and we parked near it.  Lots of people walking by during the evening, but quiet after dark.  We cannot recommend this road, it is a truck route between San Antonio and Route 5 to the south; very busy and noisy.  (4/09)

Isla de Maipó      Camping Don Yayo      4,500 pesos ($8)      S33 42.876  W70 54.340

Southwest of Santiago, off Highway 78.  Lovely campground with excellent facilities; we were told there was wifi in the office, but did not use it.  Take the Talagante exit and go due south out of town about 4-5 miles; go east on Las Parcelas, following signs. (4/09)

EXCELLENT INTERNET in Talagante: instead of going south at the exit, go into Talagante; go to the roundabout and come off at 9:00; make the first left turn, onto Republica 829, the Ciber Internet.  Table for laptops with power connection and good wifi connection.  (4/09)

Santiago area      Camping       Free      S33 26.427  W70 50.529

West of the city, at Km 20 on Highway 68, we spent several nights at a lovely Shell station with wifi in the McDonalds on site.  They were friendly, let us fill with water, and treated us well.  The highway has good retornos close at hand in both directions.  This would make a good spot to stay at while visiting Santiago.  If you head into the city on Highway 68, it becomes O’Higgins and will take you right downtown.  Closer to the city, on the same highway at Km 8, there is a lovely Copec.  Much noisier, but better wifi. (4/09)

Santiago      Camping possibilities from others

Vega Hotel, reasonable rates; downtown; can walk to central area sites.  Londres 49; www.hotelvega.net.  We were also told there is a secure carpark in the Vitacura area (which is lovely), at S33 23.059  W70 35.425.  Cannot confirm. (4/09)

Los Andes      Camping      Free       S32 50.451  W70 34.828

University sports complex.  At the east end of town, heading up Highway 60 towards the pass into Argentina, at Km 47 there is a traffic light and then a right turn up a dirt road (this is just before you reach the military complex; you are still in town); shortly after you turn onto the road, there is a sign saying Estadio and pointing left.  Turn left here; the track field will be on your right.  This is a lovely wooded area with an entry gate.  We were given permission to spend the night; it was beautiful, quiet, and cool.  They arranged for hot showers, water to fill, and a very nice night.  Altitude: 2780 feet (4/09)

Los Andes      Propane      S32 49.991  W70 35.777

We had chased all over Santiago looking for propane, unsuccessfully.  We have found that in this part of Chile you don’t go to a plant to fill, but ask for the taxi fueling place.  We found one here, at Esmeralda 231, a block off the central plaza.  Street is one-way; approach from the east.  Height limitation: 3 meters; we barely made it. (4/09)



Currency: Pesos, about 3.5 per US dollar during our visit.

Fuel prices: (December ‘08 - May ‘09):  Prices vary. Diesel - 2.25 to 2.75 pesos per liter ($2.50 to $3.15 US per gallon) ; regular gasoline about 10 cents per gallon more.  In Patagonia, prices drop about 10%.  For the first time, we note the availability of Gasoil, at around 10 cents per gallon less than the Pura Diesel prices quoted above.  We were told that Gasoil is higher sulphur diesel fuel, 1500 ppm as opposed to the normal ‘low sulphur’ fuel at 500 ppm (or the 15 ppm of the newer ‘ultra low sulphur’ fuel introduced in the states in 2007.  In less developed areas, it may be the only diesel available.

Propane is readily available, but you must locate a filling plant facility.  If you have a fixed tank they will need to coordinate your meeting up with a fill truck as the plant itself will not be able to fill you.

Border Crossing:  On first entering Argentina, we were again attacked by the customs people; they took all the fruits and vegetables, and were also looking for uncooked meat.  Beware!  We think this is going to apply at all crossings that enter Mendoza Province.  We have since crossed into Argentina from Chile at four other crossings with no discussion of food items.  Otherwise, our border crossing, over Paso Los Liberatadores, east of Los Andes, was simple enough.  Coming from Chile, when you first reach the border you are immediately asked to produce evidence of third-person vehicle insurance.  If you don’t have it, there is a spot right there where it can be purchased (though perhaps at a premium, we didn’t check the price).  Also, be aware that there is no ATM at this border; the first bank you will reach is in Uspallata (and the ATM doesn’t work when the bank isn’t open).  (12/08)

Agricultural Inspections, other than at borders.  It appears, through information we have received directly or from others, that ag inspections may happen other than at international borders, usually when entering an agricultural area.  The following list is certainly not inclusive.  Inspections reportedly have occurred: on Rte 3 south of Bahia Blanca; on Rte 40 north of San Blas de Sacas and southwest of San Blas de Sauces, in the La Rioja area; on Rte 40 west of Cuesta de Miranda; on Rte 26 north of NP Talampaya; on Rte 141 east of Vallecito and on Rte 40 south of San Juan, both of these southeast of San Juan.  We have not personally been stopped at an internal ag point, but we have not yet travelled in the areas where most of the reported stops have occurred.

Note that travelers inevitably cross back and forth between Chile and Argentina several times.  This makes it more difficult to follow anyone’s camping listings.  Our listings are shown chronologically and we have indicated when we crossed a border.  We traveled the Santiago to Osorno corridor twice.  Listings for this region will be found in two places.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

Uspallata        Camping        Free        S32 35.070 W69 20.712

We parked on the edge of town, on Route 52 heading toward Mendoza.  Busy all night, but not bad; would recommend getting off onto a side street; very quiet and friendly town. (12/08)

Uspallata      Other Services 

There is decent wi-fi in town, on the main street in the newish brown-colored hotel (name?) on the east side of the street (and their companion store next door has excellent ice cream).  Also, there is a nice laundry in the small complex of shops on the southeast corner of the crossroads as you enter town (hard to find, keep poking around).  (4/09)

Mendoza        Camping        Free        S32 50.662 W68 52.159

We parked in an undeveloped area in the northwest area of town, but the police came and said we weren’t safe here.  They led us to the police sub-station, where we spent the night.  Not overly quiet, but certainly safe.  From the Wal-Mart (see below) go north to the circle, then left on Rio Diamante for a few blocks; turn right on Bariloche to the station, which is across from a neighborhood park.  (12/08)

Mendoza        Other services        Shopping        S32 51.099 W68 51.496

Wal-Mart.  In the northwest quadrant of the city, in the Las Heras area.  Go north on the extension of Boulogne Sur Mer.  Not great, but a familiar face.  There is also one at Moldes and Accesso Sur.  Several Carrefour locations, including on Rte 7 heading east out of town; also at Las Heras and Belgrano.  Super Vea heading south out of town on Av. San Martin there is a large one at the Palmares Open Mall (and McDonalds too).  (12/08)

Mendoza       Other services        Parking downtown

This can be difficult if you have any height to your rig.  We were able to park (daytime only) in a parqueadero on Garibaldi 1-1/2 blocks east of San Martin.  (12/08)

Lujan de Cuyo (south Mendoza)        Propane

The TotalGaz plant is here, we’ve been told.  All we have is a phone number:  (0261) 498-3216.  (12/08)

Pareditas        Camping        Free        S34 14.922 W69 19.386

Near Reserva Natural Laguna del Diamante.  The park was still closed (early December), so we followed a road nearby which led us to a fantastic overlook.  Very quiet.  From Pareditas, go south on Rte 101 on good dirt road until reach turn off for the park.  Go east to park entrance; they will give advice on places to free camp, shortly before the entrance, a dirt road to the right goes about 0.7 miles to the overlook.  Altitude 3500 feet.  (12/08)

Pareditas        Camping, in town        Free        S33 56.535 W69 04.678

In front of police station, on the town square.  Water to fill available at police building.  Very quiet overnight.  (12/08)

San Rafael        Camping        Free        S34 38.235  W68 19.862

In front of the TotalGaz distributor.  On Curie/Los Sauces, just west of Sarsfield.  Altitude: 2260 feet.  (12/08)

San Rafael        Propane        S34 38.235 W68 19.862

We struggled, but ultimately found this very helpful distributor.  Had to wait overnight and until mid-day, but truck showed up and filled us without any problems.    On Curie/Los Sauces, just west of Sarsfield.  (12/08)

San Rafael area        Camping        Free        S34 51.247 W68 30.465

on Route 173, south of town, along the road among the dams and heading toward El Nihuil; past Dique Valle Grande; large secluded mirador beyond Hidroelectrica #4; looking down on the lake.  Altitude 3380 feet.  Many other pulloffs and side roads in this area.  Further along (S34 52.692 W68 33.141) would be a tremendous spot.  A great drive, by the way.  (1208)

San Rafael        Other Services      

There are at least 3 Super Veas in town, on the main streets:  Mitre, Yrigoyen, and Liberator.  Also many fruit/vegetable stands.  Excellent ice cream at Helado Artisanal Bernalu, 1565 Av. H. Yrigoyen.  Good food and excellent wi-fi at Hot Pollo next to the Super Vea on Yrigoyen (they will let you sit for hours).  Car wash (either automatic or manned) at Auto Express at Balloffet 1431.  (12/08)

Los Molles        Camping        Free        S35 09.818 W69 56.643

Somewhat east of town, down near the riverbed.  Altitude 6600 feet.  Many other appropriate spots along this road.  Very quiet overnight.  (12/08)

Malargue        Camping        Observed only       

Shell Station in town has a very large shaded area behind it that would be a good overnight; water to fill.  (12/08)

Bardas Blancas        Camping        Free        S35 51.897 W69 48.759

Rte 145 just after you make the turn off Rte 40; this is the road to the border.  We pulled off down by the water.  Altitude:  4662 ft.  (12/08)

Chos-Malal        Camping        Free        S37 22.503 W70 16.552

on Route 40.  We camped on the edge of the park at the north end of Sarmiento; lots of trees; excellent relief from the heat.  Noisy until late evening, then very quiet.  Felt very secure; good police presence.   Altitude 2721 feet.  (12/08)

Lago Alumine        Camping        13 pesos/person/night        S38 53.516 W71 08.945

Into the mountains on Rte 13 west of Zapala. Camping Don Cirilo, lovely campground; trees quite low.  Water, electric, hot showers.  Very quiet at night.  Altitude: 3800 feet.  (12/08)

Junin de Los Andes       Camping        Free        S39 37.086 W71 20.311

North of town, heading west on Rte 60, we stopped at the end of the paved road, just before the NP Lanin  entrance sign, under the monkey puzzle tree.  It was windy and a dusty, but nice and cool, and has an incredible view of Volcan Lanin. Altitude:  about 3100 feet.  (12/08)

San Martin de Los Andes        Camping        Free        S40 09.417 W71 21.185

Spent the night on the street in town, along one side of San Martin plaza.  Not quiet until very late, then tranquil.  Altitude:  2100 feet.  (12/08)

Lago Villarino        Camping        Free        S40 26.761 W71 32.656

Inside PN Nahuel Huapi, on Rte 234 south of San Martin de los Andes.  There is a pay camping area on the east side of the road (Lago Falkner), but on the west side is an open meadow and the outflow stream.  We stayed two quiet nights in this beautiful place.  Altitude: 3050 feet.  (12/08)

Bariloche area        Camping        Free        S41 05.595 W71 30.663

Colonia La Suiza, one-half hour away from Bariloche.  Take Av. Bustillo to Km18.3; turn south, following signs, then east on gravel road about 3 kms to clearing beside stream, just before the bridge.  Bombaderos Voluntarios materials will be there.  Very quiet overnight.  Altitude:  2625 feet.  (12/08)  Note: there are  many campgrounds in Bariloche, but they are expensive.  A recommended place we asked at wanted 60 pesos (about $18) per night.

Villa La Angostura        Camping        37 pesos ($10.50) for two        S40 50.229 W71 32.173

Camping Estecada, Along Ruta 231 at Km 48, about 14 kms from town; on the lake side of the road; in the national park.  Very quiet, lovely, right on the beach.  Showers and water available.  Altitude: 2560 feet.  (12/08)

Villa La Angostura area       Camping      Free      S40 45.362 W71 35.598

East of town along Rte 234, at about Km 58; turn uphill on gravel road to ski resort.  We parked about a quarter-mile below the resort.  Very quiet.  Altitude: 3400 feet (12/08)

Villa Mascardi area      Camping      Free      S41 22.109  W71 30.81

On a bluff overlooking Lago Guillermo.  South of Villa Mascardi, gravel turnoff to east off the highway; shortly after gravel road going west up towards Pampa Linda and Tronodor.  Altitude:  2900 feet.  Beautiful, quiet location (12/08)

Lago Aluminé       Camping       Free       S38 56.388 W71 02.894

At the south end of the lake, after you make the turn to head south toward the town of Aluminé, there is open beach close to the road.  We parked there overnight and had a very quiet evening.  Windy until dark, and cold at night.  Altitude:  3782 feet.  Further south on this road,  heading towards Aluminé, there are many fishing spots off the road that should make excellent places for overnight.  (1/09) 

El Hoyo       Camping       Free        S42 03.867  W71 31.284

Along a quiet street near the municipal building in this small town on Rte 258 a few miles south of El Bolsón.  Altitude:  750 feet  (1/09)

Paso de Indios       Camping       Free       S43 44.887  W69 39.091

Approximately 60 kms west of this town, at junction of  Rte 62 and Rte 25, there is a service station, at Km 420; we O/N sheltering from the wind beside the buildings.  Altitude:  2022 feet  (1/09)

Trelew      Camping       Free       S43 24.358  W65 18.006

There is a pull-off on Rte 1 about 9 miles south of Trelew; it’s nothing to look at, but it is a deep depression on the east side of the road; plenty large and plenty calm, out of the wind.  Altitude:  621 feet  (1/09)  Note: the turnoff for Route 1, the gravel road leading to Punta Tombo is tricky.  It does not come off of paved Route 3 as shown on both of our paper maps and our Garmin GPS.  It comes directly off the most southern roundabout leaving Trelew and connecting to Playa Unión on the coast.

Trelew      Shopping 

There is a Carrefour on Ave. 9 de Julio about 3 blocks south of the Paleontology Museum  (1/09)

Camarones      Camping      Free     S44 50.216  W65 43.305

South of town about 3.2 miles, along the road to Cabo Dos Bahias,  the road branches toward the water and Playa Elola (no sign) at S44 50.050 W65 43.806; head out on the bluff overlooking the bay; many places to park; great views.  Others have told us the municipal campground in Camarones is also very nice.  Altitude:  sea level  (1/09)

Comodoro Rivadavia      Shopping 

There are both a Carrefour and a La Anonima close to Rte 3 as it passes through town.  La Anonima is on the east side of Rte 3 shortly north of where the road bends sharply at the turn at the ocean.  The Carrefour is 3-4 blocks from that same spot, on the north side of Ave. Rivadavia.  (1/09)

Comodoro Rivadavia      Wi-fi

The food court at the La Anomina has good wi-fi access.

Rada Tilly      Camping      35 pesos ($10) for two

There are two campgrounds in town: (1) the Municipal (ACA) Campground.  It is reached by coming down the main street as far as Ave. Capitán Moyano; turn north and follow it almost to the end, turning west on Argentina to the entrance; we paid 35 pesos/night; somewhat windy & dusty.  (2) There is a second campground, Camping DASU, at Ave. Piedrabuena 2550; Piedrabuena is the next street over toward the beach; it appeared deserted and unused when we investigated.  (1/09)

Caleta Olivia      Shopping

We found a La Anonima supermercado on the corner of Ave Trabajo and Bernardino El Hoyo.

Puerto Deseado      Camping      Free      S47 45.009  W65 56.129

Many free camping opportunities in the reserve (tourist office said it was okay to park overnight) ; we stopped about 1 Km along the road up the Ría Deseado.  Try and arrive early enough in the afternoon to enjoy wandering the road, so you can investigate possibilities and find something with a nice view and hopefully out of the wind a bit.  There are several turnoffs down from the bluffs to the various bays.  (1/09)

Puerto San Julián       Camping      Free     S49 09.372  W67 38.050

North of town there is a very nice Circuito Costero that goes along the bluffs, near the water.  The north end of the road begins at about Km 2231 off Rte 3, and is well marked.  There are several roads that go down to the bays; we stayed O/N where this dirt road meets the coast, about 25 Kms north of town, at Playa La Mina; very protected and quiet; no wind. Others have stayed in the town, which is quite nice. (1/09)

Rio Gallegos area      Camping      Free      S51 37.687  W69 37.108

West of town, near but east of the junction of Rtes 3 and 5, the highway crosses the river.  We stayed overnight on the west side of the river.  To reach the spot, which is part of the parking lot for a set of stairs up to a religious shrine (?): take the bridge over the river (heading toward town); you will come to a roundabout, go around and follow the sign for Pescazaike; you will cross back over the river on the red bridge, then turn to the right to go down to the water.  Quiet and peaceful, with lots of birds. (1/09)

Rio Gallegos      Propane      S51 36.613  W69 14.019

In front of the YPF terminal, accessed off Bavera, near the river, is the Sur Gas terminal.  Open 8-4 weekdays, 8-12 on Saturday.

Rio Gallegos      Other Services

Excellent café for wi-fi was the Neo Ciber Center at the corner of Zapiola and Fagnana.  Large facility with a separate room for smokers.  There was a La Anonima on De La Torre at about La Valle.

Laguna Azul     Camping      Free     S52 04.45  W69 34.595

We stayed overnight in the quiet parking lot just before you get to the lake; the Reserva Laguna Azul is about 8 kms from the Chilean border.  (1/09)

Tierra del Fuego:

Rio Grande      Camping      Free      S53 45.479  W67 43.412

At the northern end of town, along the beach, right on Rte 3, near the large religious statue; this is before Rte 3 bends to the south to go on through town.  Noisy until late, then quiet; we were undisturbed.  (1/09)

Rio Grande     Shopping

Coming from the north, Rte 3 turns south to travel through town, becoming Santa Fe.  Shortly after the turn, San Martin goes off to the west; along this road are both La Anónima and, further, a new, large Carrefour. (1/09)

Tolhuin      Shopping

Bakery in town is incredible; can’t miss it; Panaderia La Unión.  (1/09)

Ushuaia      Camping      Free      S54 48.289  W68 13.093

As you enter town on Rte 3, the road splits; the right-hand street circles above town; the left-hand side goes down to the industrial area and port.  Take the left road, which drops downhill; just before reaching the water, you will come to a dirt road that goes off to the left, following the shore to the east; follow it out of town.  It is the road to the lighthouse.  We stopped at a mirador (actually the parking lot for Playa Larga) about 3/4 of a mile out this road, and spent several nights here.  There is a lovely view of town and the Beagle Channel.  It is quite busy until after dark, then there is no one.  (1/09)

Ushuaia      Camping      36 pesos ($10.35)        S54 48.777 W68 21.105

Pista del Andino campground.  Good view and facilities, very nice folks, the place to meet other overlanders.  Above town to the west.  Take Magallanes to Alem, short distance west on Alem.

Ushuaia      Propane     S54 47.446  W68 13.741

As you enter town, where the road splits as noted above, Sartini Gas is a plant with a truck; we made arrangements to meet the truck. Very helpful and friendly folks.  (1/09)

Ushuaia      Shopping 

There is a large La Anónima on the industrial road that skirts the waterfront as you enter town on the lower road; plenty of parking.  There is another store northwest of town center, but small and difficult.  (1/09)

Ushuaia       Parking

Beyond the La Anónima, follow the port road, Maipu, beyond the main pier.  You will come to a YPF station, and beyond that, at the corner of Juan M. Rojas, is a large municipal parking lot (paved & free).  There is no posted time limit for parking and it is a short walk to the main drag, visitor center, etc.

Ushuaia      Camping      Free      S54 45.252  W68 11.841

About 3 miles north of town, with the satellite dish tower as a landmark, you will see a turn down the hill towards the river.  Plenty of camping areas, with fire pits; very pleasant.  No other facilities.  Altitude:  427 feet (2/09)

Tolhuin    Camping    Free    S54 31.993  W67 13.719

Lots of room on a side road running along the shore of Lago Fagnano just south of town. Access either from in town or directly from the highway just south of town. Altitude: 92 feet 2/09

Rio Grande      Propane      Camuzzi Gas del Sur        S53 48.125  W67 44.791

Plant is on Rte 3 at the south end of town. Observed only.  (2/09)

  Crossed from Argentina to Chile and later returned  ⇔

Ruta 40:

El Calafate area      Camping      Free      S50 16.166 W71 53.212

Rt 40, north of turn west to El Calafate, large bridge over Rio Santa Cruz.  On either end of bridge there are large open areas down at the river for secluded camping.  Altitude: 577 feet. (2/09)

El Calafate      Camping      Free      S50 19.309  W72 15.722

In town, wend your way north through town to a bridge to the Laguna Reserva.  Follow the road to the right around the lagoon and into the dunes area.  Some passersby, but this is a good camping spot for overlanders.  Lots of birding.  (2/09)

Los Glaciares NP      Camping      Free      S50 33.252  W72 50.997

From El Calafate, take Rt 15 past the park camping areas at Lago Roca. You will cross into Estancia Nibepo Aike, but you are still on park property.  Very shortly you will turn right down a lane marked “to Angosturas”; park at the end.  Great views; very quiet.  There is a no camping sign, but assume that means tents/campfires.  Altitude: 618 feet  (2/09)

El Calafate      Shopping 

There is a La Anómina on the main street in town, but a larger, newer one up on the hill, next to the large yellow hardware store (Hiper Tehuelche); take Argentino to the top, then angle left up the hill.  (2/09)

El Chaltén       Camping       Free

Along Route 23 on the way to Laguna del Desierto there are a few places to stop and get a little ways off the road, but no really good locations.  We did not go all the way to the lake as the road gets rougher and others had told us it is not that great. (2/09)

Lago Cardiel      Camping     Free      S48 51.805  W71 02.983

Beside the road, just before reaching the lake; we simply stopped, perhaps 5 miles from Rt 40.  There is a fisherman’s cabin nearby, which probably would have provided some shelter.  Windy but quiet; uninteresting area, but off the highway.  Altitude:  1019 feet  (2/09)

Rio Olnie      Camping      Free     S47 37.596  W70 48.647

South of Bajo Caracoles.  We stopped along the road, just north of Rio Olnie, on Rt 40, at a road cut resulting from the current construction.  We were able to get down out of the wind, and had a quiet night.  Altitude:  2270 feet   (2/09)

Paso Roballes border crossing area      Camping     Free      S47 09.698  W71 50.165

Pretty area close to the border with Chile.  On Rt 41, west of Rt 40; we stopped at the junction.  The border to Chile is a turn to the west; Rt 41 continues north to Los Antiguos.  We tucked back against a hill for protection from the wind.  There are wetlands here, and sheep, and a deserted adobe structure.  Altitude:  2048 feet   (2/09) Note: this is a difficult route and not suitable for larger or  non 4x4 vehicles, the scenery is wonderful, however.

Los Antiguos area       Camping      Free      S46 53.056  W71 53.069  DID NOT USE

Great looking spot for overnight.  On Rt 41, about halfway between turn for border crossing to Chile (see above listing), and town of Los Antiguos.  Grassy area near creek; trash cans.  Did not stay, as was midday.  (2/09)

Los Antiguos      Camping      Free      S46 32.969  W71 37.482

We stayed the night towards the east end of town, parked between the Plaza (really just a park) and the rec center.  Quiet overnight; not windy.  Altitude: 719 feet  (2/09)

Los Antiguos      Shopping     

Strongly recommend you do whatever food shopping you are comfortable with, before you cross the border into Chile.  Much better shopping here than in Chile Chico.  (2/09)

  Crossed from Argentina to Chile and later returned  ⇔

North of Mendoza:

Uspallata      Camping      Free      S32 35.070 W69 20.712 

We parked on the edge of town, on Route 52 heading toward Mendoza.  Busy all night; would recommend getting off onto a side street; very quiet and friendly town.  We also stayed here in December  (4/09)

Uspallata  Other Services 

There is decent wi-fi in town, on the main street in the newish brown-colored hotel (name?) on the east side of the street (and their companion store next door has excellent ice cream).  Also, there is a nice laundry in the small complex of shops on the southeast corner of the crossroads as you enter town (hard to find, keep poking around).  (4/09)

Barreal      Camping      Free       S31 38.703  W69 28.298

You can park overnight along the edge of the town park; probably noisy.  This is where we took our GPS sighting.  Decided it would not do, and wandered until we found the town church, which was quiet overnight (but forgot the GPS).  There is also a municipal campground, but it seemed very tight and closed in.   delightful small country village on Rt. 412.  (4/09)

Calingaste      Camping      Free     S31 18.836  W69 24.770

North of town, on the east side of Rt. 412, we found a large group of trees with plenty of open area, not far from an abandoned gas station, which had water and a small café.  There are fire pits there; maybe an abandoned park?  very quiet; altitude: 4458 feet. (4/09)

San Juan      Parking/Camping       30 pesos ($10)       S31 32.449  W68 31.568 

This was secure parking downtown, near plaza and other sights.  Only open until 9 pm, but we convinced him to let us stay overnight; cost: about $10 for an entire 24-hour period.  Tight for a rig our size; other parking in vicinity (just drive until you find something) might be larger.  Manuel took very good care of us; his wife sells really yummy desserts, but her bread is very sturdy!  Location: on Cordoba between Entre Rios and Mendoza.  (4/09)

NP Talampaya      Camping      7 pesos ($2.50) per person      S29 47.000  W67 59.954 

Stayed overnight in the parking lot.  No shade; but it was quiet.  (4/09)

Vinchiña area      Camping       Free

There are plenty of places to pull off for an O/N in this area, both between Vinchiña and Villa Castelli, and further up into the canyon, toward Jagüe.  They were working in the canyon, and the road was torn up; we found a pull-off, but it may no longer exist!  Also, each of the little towns in this area has a quiet park, and you could undoubtedly stay O/N along one of them.  Each town also has a small market, for essentials.  (4/09)

Chilecito       Camping      Free      S29 11.371  W67 21.395

We stayed at the police checkpoint at the south end of town.  The plaza looked way too busy. We took on water at the YPF at the south end of town.  The best fruit and vegetable tiendas are on the road as you come into town from the north. Altitude:  3500 feet. (4/09)

Belén area      Camping      Free      S27 45.951  W66 46.976

About halfway between Belén and Andalgalá, along Rt. 46, which is under construction, we found a pull-off into a dry riverbed.  Quiet overnight.  Altitude: 3365 feet. (4/09)

Concepción      Camping      Free      S27 20.884  W65 36.259

We parked on a side street not far from the YPF on Rt. 365 where it enters town; not overly quiet, but we certainly were not disturbed.  Altitude: 1232 feet (4/09)

Salta   Camping   12.6 pesos ($3.50) /night for 2 persons w/vehicle   S24 48.806  W65 25.110

Municipal Campground Xamena, at Rep del Libano on the south side of town.  We came in from the east: stay on the autopista towards Centro; take Yrigoyen towards the south, then veer to the right onto Tavella to go across the river; then right onto Republic del Libano.  Full services, but spotty.  Good location, as there are small stores within walking distance and easy bus to downtown.  They will give you a good city map.  Campground gets very busy on weekends with parties.  We left each weekend to explore the region and returned during the week.  (5/09)

Salta      Propane

SuGas will come to the campground and fill your tank (jumper fill), if they have a supply; we went to their storefront downtown (LaMadrid 327) to make arrangements, but the office at the campground would call them for you (431-0883 or 431-3463).  We tried going to various locations in town where there were plants; this didn’t work for us with our fixed tank as all the plants get their propane by truck from Tucumán, and can only fill if the truck happens to be here. Others with removable tanks have gotten filled in Salta.  We ended up driving to Tucumán; see listing below.  (5/09)

Salta      Other Services

Shopping:  Go back to the south on Libano to Tavella; go west to the roundabout and you will see the Libertad.  The overpass goes above the roundabout; don’t get fooled!  There is also a Carrefour in the city, but it is small and not as nice; it is located in the shopping mall on the east side of town, on Toledo.  This is also where you will find (the only) McDonalds and the cinema along with an upscale food court.  There is a huge central produce market in the middle of town; you can access it off San Martín at Florida. There is a Super Vea on Mendoza east of Cordoba.  Internet:  There is internet down the street from the campground (turn right out the gate).  But better:  there is also wifi; go right out of the gate, to the end of the street; turn left and go to the major intersection two blocks away; cross over (not as difficult as it sounds, the lights cooperate) to the Refinor gas station; there is excellent wifi there; you can even pick it up while parked outside. (5/09)

San Antonio de los Cobres      Camping      Free      S24 12.435  W66 24.792

From the town, follow Rt 51 to the west for 3 miles to a sign turning right to the Viaducto Polvorilla; follow the signs out to the railroad trestle; awesome; total of approximately 8 miles; at the end is a parking lot for O/N.  Good dirt road.  Cold, but very quiet.  Altitude:  13,500 feet  (5/09)

Purmamarca      Camping      Free      S23 44.337  W65 30.382

Coming south on Rt 52 (entering town from the northwest), as you take the turnoff into town, there is a gravel road to the east just before you cross the bridge.  Turn down to the river; we parked in the riverbed (dry season), but there are other areas on the grassy shore.  Very quiet O/N; lovely setting.  Altitude:  7786 feet. (5/09)

Yala area      Camping      Free      S24 06.494  W65 20.772

On Rt 9, north of town, there is a turnoff to the west (it is Rt 4) to Parque Provincial Potrero de Yala.  Beautiful green area, with great views; really out in the woods.  Total of 7 miles to top, gravel after first 2 miles.  Road is tight and windy, with some clearance issues; two small water crossings.  At the top there is a hostería, trails, fishing and a lake.  We simply parked off the road.  Didn’t ask, but suspect you could arrange for water and electric at the hostería.  Map says this is a circle road (with termales about 11 miles ahead), but we were told the road was closed.  Awesome.  Altitude: 6850 feet (5/09)

Tucumán      Camping      Free      S26 49.372  W65 10.239

We stayed overnight at a Refinor station off the Aeroporto exit; it was extremely busy during the evening but quiet overnight; excellent wifi.  Altitude: 1326 feet (5/09)

Tucumán       Propane        S26 51.587 W65 09.952 (Microgas)

There are two plants in town; either one has a truck that can fill fixed tanks.  We first tried the Propannorte site at Jujuy 1870, at the south end of town.  Their truck was away for the next two days.  They directed us to the Microgas plant, which is actually in La Banda del Rió Salí, east of the city.  We had to convince the operator, and show him that it would work, but we finally got propane.  Microgas directions: take the freeway exit for La Banda, cross the bridge into town; shortly you will come to a roundabout and you go off at 1:00; you continue on this road for a total of about 4 Kms; you will pass a large new Shell station on the right and the plant is on the left about l Km further. (5/09)

Tafí del Valle area      Camping      Free      S27 05.004  W65 39.924

Between Santa Lucia and Tafí del Valle we found a picnic spot right off the road and spent the night; hard to get level and plenty of traffic.  Recommend a different place:  a few curves above El Indio is a nice, level wide spot further back from the road; we think it would be a better choice. 2430 feet (5/09)

Cafayate      Camping      Free       S26 08.245  W65 58.015 

About a mile south of town we found a nice, large gravel quarry on the west side of the road where we could get back off the road; very quiet overnight. (5/09)

Dique Cabra Corral       Camping       Free       S25 16.623  W65 22.507

Turn east on Rt 47 at Cnel. Moldes, off Highway 68.  After crossing the dam, approximately at the 14 Km marker, we found a pull-off for a quiet night.  There are many such pulloffs; it’s best if you go past the bridge at the 12km marker as this is the destination for much of the traffic on the road.  Altitude: 3475 feet (5/09)

Jujuy      Camping      Free      S24 13.069  W65 16.725

Refinor station on Rt.66 in southern outskirts of town with large back lot; no wifi.  Altitude: 4000 feet (5/09)

Gral Güemes      Camping      Free      S25 21.293  W64 54.007

About 2 miles east of town onto Hwy 16, off Rt. 9/34 we found a quarry on the north side of the road.  It was just fine for the night, but about 15 miles further east there is a huge Refinor station on the south side of the road that should be perfect; in the vicinity of El Galpon.  Altitude: 2307 feet (5/09)

Pampas de los Guanacos      Camping      Free      S26 14.029  W61 50.442

There was a BP gas station in town; we spent the night there.  This is pretty rough country and we don’t recommend this spot; pretty yucky.  Altitude: 541 feet (5/09)

Sumampa      Camping      Free      S29 33.996  W63 28.332

Charming town, neat and tidy, on Rt. 1 northeast of Villa Ojo de Agua; we spent a quiet night along the square.  Altitude:  822 feet. (5/09)

Jesús Maria      Camping      Free      S30 58.707  W64 07.301

Camping Los Nogales (the only campground in town ) was closed, unfortunately; we spent four nights parked in front of the Vivero Los Nogales, not far away and across from the military base; this is on the road out of town going west toward Ascochinga (Av. 28 de Julio).  We tried to find someone in order to get permission, but were unsuccessful; over the several days workers came and went, but no one even was curious.  Altitude: 1821 feet. (5/09)

Ascochinga-La Cumbre road      Camping      Free      S30 57.388 W64 25.380

West of Jesús Maria.  This is a terrific gravel road that crosses over and then along the spine of a ridge; great views in all directions; most potential overnight spots were unfortunately quite filled with trash.  We found a relatively clear area along about Km 42, and had a lovely quiet spot for ourselves; very little traffic.  Altitude: 5293 feet (5/09)

Pampa de Achala      Camping      Free      S31 36.824  W64 49.683

This area is on Rt. 34 between Villa Carlos Paz and Mina Clavero.  We found what we ultimately decided was the turnoff to NP Quebrada del Condorito (unmarked) and followed it aways, looking for a scenic place to spend the night; this was it!  Cold, but very quiet.  Altitude:  7366 feet (5/09)

Córdoba      Propane      S31 22.118  W64 07.009

Along the northeast corridor of the ring road, take Exit 5 (Arturo Capdavila) east for a couple of miles.  It curves around, but ultimately you will see Special Gas on the north side of the road.  Had to coordinate with the truck; when it arrived we were handled slick as a whistle; wish it could always be this easy! (5/09)

Despeñaderos      Camping      Free       S31 48.715  W64 17.743

Along Rt. 36 south of Córdoba.  We turned off the highway towards town (east) and found there was a very nice greenbelt/walking path on the north side of the road, with several opportunities to pull off into the trees.  Quiet night.  Altitude: 1483 feet (5/09)

Alma Fuerte      Camping      Free       S32 10.352  W64 14.612

Just north of town, along Rt. 36, there is a huge Petrobras station which would make a good overnight stop; good wifi, small restaurant.  (5/09)

Huinca Renancó      Camping      Free      S34 48.290  W64 22.309

At the north end of town, along Rt. 35, there is a very large YPF station with a big grassy area off to one side; we spent an amazingly quiet night.  No wifi.  Altitude: 593 feet  (5/09)

General Villegas      Propane

As you approach town from the west, on Rt. 188, there is a Liquigas plant on the north side of the road.  Did not use.  (5/09)

Olavarría      Camping      Free

Along Rt. 226, there is a huge Esso station for a possible overnight on the eastern edge of town, just before you turn onto the autopista to Azul (if you are going east).  (5/09)

Balcarce      Propane

There is a propane plant along Rt. 226 as you approach town from the west; did not use.  (5/09)

Balcarce      Camping      Free

Stayed at a very noisy but nice YPF station on the main street downtown about three blocks east of the square.  Good wifi. (5/09)

UdaquiolaCampingFreeS36 33.771 W58 32.012

Just off Route 29 south of Gral. Belgrano.  This is a long stretch of road with no open fuel stations, just some that are long shut down.  We turned off to this nice little community and asked at the Bomberos, who directed us to a small open field near the school.  Very quiet. Altitude: 122 feet. (5/09)

Buenos Aires   Camping   50 pesos/24 hrs ($13.50 US)   S34 35.230 W58 33.060

Parking lot along the water front adjacent to the new Buquebus ferry terminal at the corner of Cordoba and Antartida Argentina.  Signage also designates it as parking for Hospital Argerich.  Guarded, not too noisy, good wifi in the terminal.  Great views of the harbor and the BA skyline; walking distance or easy taxi to downtown.  (5/09)

Buenos Aires      Hotel Goya in Microcentre area, at Suipacha 748, Tel. 54-11-4322-9269

This is a great small hotel to use while waiting to pick up your rig, or after you have deposited it at the dock for shipping.  Suipacha is parallel to 9 de Julio and one block east (toward the river); the hotel is in the block between Cordoba and Viamonte. (6/09)

Zarate      Camping      Free      S34 07354  W59 00.893

YPF station with excellent open grassy area far away from the trucks.  We spent two nights there.  Coming from Buenos Aires, on Rt 12, the station is just beyond the roundabout turnoff into Zarate, and before you get to the bridge.  (6/09)



Currency:  Pesos Uruguayos, about 23 per US dollar during our visit

Fuel prices: (June 2009):  Prices vary some, and stations do not post their prices.  Diesel - 24.8 to 26.8 pesos per liter ($4.00 to $4.35 per gallon); regular gasoline 15 to 20 cents per gallon more. 

Border Crossings: We crossed from Buenos Aires to Colonia on the Buquebus Ferry.  On leaving the ferry, the aduana agents took all of our meat, cheese and dairy products; even sealed packages of pasteurized cheese and cooked hamburger were taken, which had never happened to us before - so watch out.

Location, Type, Cost and Description

Colonia       Camping      Free      S34 27.940  W57 50.693

We found a sport field parking lot down by the water, off the south end of Av. Costanera.  Despite the fact that tour buses park there as well, it was very quiet.  (6/09)

Colonia      Other Services

Wifi in town was pretty sparce; we were able to get good reception at the Hotel Beltran at Flores 311, one block up from the square.  They were very helpful and happy to have us there either in their restaurant or in the lobby.  (6/09)

Montevideo      Camping      Free      S34 55.906  W56 09.602

For a big city, very maneuverable.  We followed the shore road until we could see the lighthouse along the water, and turned into a large open parking area with some shade; not difficult to get level.  Quiet at night with a great view of the sunset over the city skyline.  Altitude:  24 feet (6/09)

Montevideo      Shopping      S34 51.982  W56 01.413

Can be hard to find places to shop in this city; we found on Rt 1 heading east out of town that Parque Roosevelt has a very large Geant as well as other stores and great parking with easy access.  (6/09)

El Pinar      Camping      Free      (did not take coordinates)

We got stuck in the dunes along the water; be careful.  But this is a nice area for camping if you stay on solid ground.  Multiple access points. (6/09)

Santa Teresa NP    Camping    100 pesos, $4.33 US  S33 58.596 W53 32.166

We stayed in campground “A”, in the playa La Moza area in a eucalyptus grove.  Fairly primitive, but this camping area does have electric and water available at the sites.  Altitude 132 feet (6/09)

Aigüa area      Camping      Free      S34 17.445  W54 39.623

Between Aigüa and Rocha, along Rt 109, we pulled off the side of the road and had a quiet overnight.  Very interesting countryside.  Altitude:  1150 feet  (6/09)

San Ramon      Camping      Free      S34 16.729  W55 57.254

Along Rt 5, at the north end of town, north of the bridge, is a small park where we spent the night; very quiet.  Closer in to town there is more park south of the bridge; suspect this would be much noisier.  Altitude: 146 feet.  (6/09)


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