We began the month of November 2019 in Junín de Los Andes, a town in the north of Argentina’s Patagonia region. From there, we began our ongoing exploration of this gorgeous, animal-filled, and wind-whipped region. We drove south along the Andes, then cut across the Patagonian steppe to Puerto Madryn on the Atlantic coast to catch the last few days of whale watching season. In total, we drove 1,759 miles (2,831 km) during the month and our South American road trip driving route for November 2019 included National Parks, snow-covered Andean peaks, blue lakes, ancient trees, dead outlaws, a famous old steam train, seemingly endless steppe, and wildlife everywhere. Let’s go.

gravel roads are dangerous Valdes Penninsula

A warning sign on a road through animal-filled Valdez Peninsula National Park in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

November 2019 South American road trip driving route in Argentina’s Patagonia

We spent the first few days of November in Junín de Los Andes before heading south. Our first stop was Villa La Angostura where we visited the unusual trees in Arrayanes National Park. Next, we revisited the resort town of Bariloche (which was crowded and busy and did not impress) before visiting the much more charming town of El Bolson and the nearby Lago Puelo National Park.

Viejo Expeso Patagonica La Trochita steam train

La Trochita, aka The Old Patagonian Express.

Further south, we stopped at a ranch and cabin near the town of Cholila which was once owned by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We then visited one of the most southerly wineries in the world in the town of Trevelin. In nearby Esquel, we got onboard the La Trochita steam train, made famous in the English-speaking world due to Paul Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express. After riding this iconic train, we pointed the truck east and headed across wind-swept Patagonia passing Piedra Parada on our way to Puerto Madryn.

orcas hunting sea lions valdes penninsula

We spent hours watching this small pod of orcas hunting in the Caleta Valdes in the Valdes Peninsula National Park.

Our time in and around Puerto Madryn was all about the wildlife, primarily on the Valdes Peninsula Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We went whale watching out of Puerto Piramides, saw thousands of Magellanic penguins at colonies located at Estancia El Padral and Estancia San Lorenzo, watched orcas hunting at Caleta Valdez, and saw several sea lion and elephant seal colonies. Even when we weren’t seeing those amazing creatures, we were driving past herds of guanaco, groups of choike (an ostrich-like bird), maras (a rabbit-like rodent), owls, sea birds, and so much more.

penguins Estancia El Pedral

Just a few of the thousands of Magellanic penguins we’ve seen in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

We ended the month back in Puerto Madryn resting our eyes before heading further south for even more amazing animal encounters.

Our complete November 2019 road trip driving route in Argentina can be seen in our map, below:

You can see what we saw out there on the road in Argentina in November of 2019 in our dashcam drive-lapse video, below. It was, as always, shot by our Brinno camera which is attached to our dashboard at all times.

 

Here’s more about travel in Argentina