30.07.2018 – The lake crossing from Chile to Argentina
One of the most popular car rental trips in Chile is the lake crossing from Chile to Argentina. This is a beautiful ride that you can enjoy with your own rental car. The trip starts in Puerto Varas in Chile and ends in Bariloche in Argentina. You move your rental car on land, water, through fjords and mountains. The fantastic travel highlights are the lakes Llanquihue, Todos los Santos, Frías and Nahuel Huapi (Lake and National Park), Correntoso and Traful in Argentina.
Recharge your car before leaving Puerto Varas and pack some food. To get to the first destination, Petrohué, take Route 225 along the scenic Llanquihue Lake. In the small village Ensenada is the turnoff that leads to the lake. The junction is signposted and shows “Petrohué.” You can also enjoy the imposing views of Osorno Volcano and Calbuco Volcano on this route, with different road conditions, some paved, some with gravel roads.
With your rental car, you are flexible and not dependent on other people. Make a stop at the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, which is right on your way. There you can admire the Petrohué waterfalls, which are made of volcanic rock and surrounded by emerald green waterfalls. If the weather permits, you have one breathtaking view of the volcano Osorno, the Cerro Puntiagudo and the Cerro Tronador.
After your visit to the national park, drive on the same road with your hired car until you reach the end of the street. A small harbor lies idyllically at the end of a beautiful fjord from where the boat trips to Peulla start. Peulla is a small settlement in the midst of Patagonian nature and a paradise for nature lovers. Here you have the possibility to make a trip to the Cantaros waterfall or to the lagoon El Encanto. You can also go horseback riding, fishing, hiking and spend a night in Puella.
After a well-deserved break, you start your rental car in the direction of Puerto Frías, where you have to pass the customs between Chile and Argentina (important note: to travel to Argentina with your rented car, you need a special permit, which must be obtained when booking your car hire at Car Rental Chile).
The road to Argentina leads over a winding road to Puerto Frías and then across the Frías Lake to Puerto Alegre. From Puerto Alegre, take your rented vehicle by land to Puerto Blest. From this port, take the last crossing towards Puerto Pañuelo over Nahuel Huapi Lake. And finally, coming from Puerto Pañuelo, you travel by land to Bariloche, the destination of your rental car trip. Bariloche, a very popular place in both winter and summer, fascinates visitors with its ski centers, shops, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, lakes, beaches and forests as well as lots of nature and outdoor sports.
You can start your return to Osorno on Chilean territory at Nahuel Huapi Lake. You drive through the sleepy town called Dina Huapi to the junction of Route 231 with Route 237. A very nice option is to continue along the Route 237 through evergreen landscape and forests to the village of La Angostura (Argentinean Patagonia), where you will find yourself in a breathtaking forest and mountain scenery. You can also find cabins, campgrounds and accommodations. If you want to continue on the way to Chile, drive between the lakes Correntoso and Nahuel Huapi along the route 234/231 and cross the Cardenal Samore Pass to Osorno.
In this area is also the National Park Puyehue, another must-see. This region is known for its spectacular natural landscapes, volcanoes, lakes and lagoons.
Contact us at Car Rental Chile and we will be happy to advise you on the itinerary and the right car for your Chile trip.