We celebrated 13 years on the road by crossing a border, of course! We are happy to report that the 79th border crossing of our road trip (so far) went very smoothly as we crossed from Chile to Argentina via the Paso Futaleufú border. Honestly, the hardest thing about this border crossing in Patagonia is learning how to pronounce the name correctly…
From: Futaleufú, Chile
To: Trevelin, Argentina
Date: March 3, 2020
Elapsed time: 35 minutes
Lay of the land: The border facilities at Paso Futaleufú are not integrated. From the town of Futaleufú, it’s a 6 mile (10 km) drive on a paved road through a lovely wide valley to the Chile border facilities. From there it’s a 3-minute drive to the Argentina facilities where the road turns to gravel. It took about five minutes to complete the exit formalities out of Chile. It took about 20 minutes to complete entry formalities, including getting a new Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) for our truck, at the Argentina facilities. There was an x-ray machine for luggage, but the customs official just looked in our truck for a few minutes and did not require us to put anything through the machine. We saw a few other travelers in personal vehicles at this border, but there were no buses or cargo vehicles mucking things up.
Number of days given: 90 for us and 90 for our truck
Vehicle insurance needed: You must have third party insurance for your vehicle in order to drive legally in all countries in Latin America. We purchased a plan from Integrity Seguros, an insurance company in Argentina, which covers us in all MERCOSUR countries which includes Argentina, Chile, Perú, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
Where to fill up: Fuel is available in Futaleufú, Chile (6 miles/10 km from the border) and in Trevelin, Argentina (25 miles/40 km from the border). The website for Copec, the main chain of Chilean gas stations, lists all current prices so we were able to determine that fuel was cheaper on the Chile side, so we filled up there.
Need to know: There are no money changers, food options, or vehicle insurance sellers at the Chile facilities or at the Argentina facilities and this border is only open from 8 am to 8 pm. Check the status of border crossings in Chile here. And check the status of border crossings on the Argentina side here. And remember that you lose an hour in the South American winter when entering Argentina from Chile because Argentina does not observe daylight savings time but Chile does, so check the time.
Overall border rating: Lovely and laid back, just the way we like ’em
Here’s more about travel in Argentina
Here’s more about travel in Chile