Argentina, like other Latin American countries during 2010 will hold its bicentennial as a nation. Among the scheduled events, you may enjoy of a travel adventure competition in one of the most emblematic of the country roads: Route 40.
The adventure on Route 40 will run for 14 days between 9 and 22 April 2010 and shall be complementary to the Dakar Rally (which opened the celebrations of the year and took off on the first day of 2010 running until January 17th in the territory of Argentina and Chile). The Challenge Route 40 will cross the territory of western Argentina from north to south by a series of landscapes that are among the most spectacular of South America: from the Altiplano, and the Quebrada de Humahuaca, to the region of Cuyo and the mythic Patagonia. The route links many of the major national parks,
totaling some 20 protected areas of the country.
You will find yourself facing the opportunity to discover the secrets of a journey hiding great mysteries and a thousand surprises along nearly 5000 kilometers. You can be a participant of this great event or you can take on the role of observer and travel along this overwhelming route, visiting many of the most attractive and emblematic places of Argentina with the comfort you need and we can provide you.
The Route 40 Challenge is organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Automobile Club of Argentina and will be held between 9 and 22 April 2010. The competition will be open to both professional and amateur participants in categories ranging from 4 × 4 vehicles, cautious, motorcycles and quads.
As for the mythic Route 40, has an area of no less than 5224 miles in stretches of asphalt and gravel interspersed across 11 provinces. The route is certainly impressive, across a variety of climates and landscapes ranging from pristine areas of Patagonia, southern glaciers, valleys, plains and salt lakes in the north, always under the Andes and almost constant sensation of feeling in the middle of nowhere.
A challenge that not only mixes adventure with competition, but also proposes to bring together, from one end to the other, a whole country throughout one of the most fantastic routes in the world.
As a way of commemorating the Bicentenary of Argentina, this challenge intends to strengthen the bonds that join the different regions of its territory and to become an annual appointment to the fans of adventure. It will be also a great opportunity to those discerning travelers –as you- who will take this event as an attractive excuse to begging an unforgettable trip and to live an amazing experience.
From the immensity of the Patagonia, driving across the beautiful landscapes of Cuyo, to the majestic geography of the Puna, Ruta 40 goes across a unique variety of landscapes and leads to an infinity of interesting places, many of which take us back to remote times and allow us to discover a major part of the history of this territory.
This is why this mystic journey, Ruta 40, has become one of the most important worldwide, and as time goes by there are more and more adventurers arriving from all different parts of the world to cover it.
Each participant will live a unique human experience, as well as you, dear traveler. They will drive across eleven provinces finding mysteries hidden all around Argentina. Mile through mile you will discover amazing stories and will live unforgettable anecdotes.
Each passing day, you will be closer to becoming a part of this myth called “Ruta 40”.
This route goes across Argentina from north to south, through more tan 5000 kilometers next to the Andes. It starts in Cabo Vírgenes, on the edge of the Strait of Magellan in the province of Santa Cruz, and it extends up to La Quiaca in Jujuy, on the border with Bolivia.
Along its long extension it goes up above sea level to reaching 5000 meters of altitude. It crosses 236 bridges and 18 important rivers. It goes around 13 major lakes and salt pans, and leads to 20 nature reserves and national parks. It also connects with 27 Andean passes and goes across 5 “World Heritage” declares places. It was created in 1935 and as time went by it underwent a number of modifications. At the moment it drives through eleven provinces across three regions of Argentina.
SANTA CRUZ (1325km de recorrido):
Ruta 40 departs from Cabo Vírgenes, on the Strait of Magellan. Reaching Lago Argentino it passes near El Calafate and Glaciar Perito Moreno. On the north, it goes around Lago Viedma and Lago Cardiel. It also leads to the route that takes to Cueva de las Manos (archaeological place with cave inscriptions of great antiquity).
CHUBUT (Extension of Ruta 40: 582km):
It covers the region near the touristic city of Esquel, main train station La Trochita and the entrance to National Park Los Alerces. It also covers the proximities of Lago Puelo.
RÍO NEGRO (Extension of Ruta 40: 145km):
With The Andes as a permanent company throughout the whole challenge, it goes across the cities of El Bolsón, San Carlos de Bariloche, and goes around Lake Nahuel Huapi. In Villa Mascardi (town on the shore of Lake Macardi) we can access the renowned mountain: Cerro Tronador.
NEUQUÉN (Extension of Ruta 40: 684km):
After crossing Limay River, Ruta 40 goes across Valle Encantado, Alicurá Reservoir, and passes very close to Junín de los Andes. Further towards the north, it goes across de cities of Zapala, Las Lajas, and Chos Malal up to Colorado River.
MENDOZA (Extension of Ruta 40: 638km):
Close to Las Bardas there is the Petrified Forest Llano Blanco, and Caverna de Las Brujas (natural cavitywhere the stalactites and stalagmites obtain all different kinds of shapes and colors) until reaching the city of Malargüe and the entrance of the ski resort Las Leñas. Further down the road, the route passes near Atuel Canyon, Tunuyán, Luján de Cuyo and Mendoza, where the former Km”0″ can be found.
SAN JUAN (Extension of Ruta 40: 333km):
Ruta 40 circulates on the east side of San Juan’s foothill, a prechambrian mountain range, driving at a few kilometers away from relics of “San Antonio de Padua”. Before arriving to San Juan it incorporates to “Route of the Wine”, and further towards the north, it goes into Valle del Jáchal until reaching the locality of Huaco where the historic flour mills of the XIX Century can be appreciated.
LA RIOJA (Extension of Ruta 40: 293km):
After circulating through the “encajonado” between Sierra de Maíz y los Cerros Colorados, Ruta 40 arrives to the entrance of National Park Talampaya to continue across Miranda Hill, Sañogasta Mountains and between Famatina Mountains and Velasco Mountains.
CATAMARCA (Extension of Ruta 40: 275km):
Just a few kilometers into the territory of Catamarca there is the city of Londres, founded in 1558. Then, in the proximities of Haulfin, there is the entrance to Antofagasta de la Sierra, starting point for the crossing through the salt pans of Catamarca. In Punta de Balastro begin the Calchaquíes Valleys.
TUCUMÁN (Extension of Ruta 40: 37km):
It goes across the northwestern side of the province across the Calchaquíes Valleys. Very close to the route we can find Amaicha del Valle, from where we can access Tafí del Valle Town. Towards the north there are Ruinas de Quilmes and then it goes across Colalao del Valle.
SALTA (Extension of Ruta 40: 356km):
Continuing through Valles Calchaquíes until Cafayate, strange shapes in the mountain can be appreciated from the road, such as The Castles, The Obelisk, The Monk, and The Frog. From the town of Cachi onwards, the route begins to win height until reaching Abra del Acay at slightly over 4900 meters above sea level. After going down to Puna de Atacama we can access San Antonio de los Cobres, train station of the famous “Tren de las Nubes” (one of the highest trains in the world. It reaches a height of 4200 meters and travels 434 km).
JUJUY (Extension of Ruta 40: 352km):
Ruta 40’s last kilometers begin in the Puna Jujeña, an arid region of great height above sea level. From Susques there is access to Salinas Grandes (one of the biggest salt pans of the province with more tan opencast 12000 hectares). Towards the north it converges with Ruta 9 near Abra Pampa, from where there is access to “Corredor Minero”. Further towards the north, the route reaches its final point in the bordering city of La Quiaca.