In May of 2022, we explored northern Patagonia primarily on the Chile side. We also took a rare flight so we could briefly return to Torres del Paine National Park in the very south to further research a story we are working on about the plentiful puma population found there (stay tuned). We started the month on the Argentina side of the Andes in the town of Bariloche but we quickly crossed into Chile to explore the Lake District. By the end of May, we were traveling north toward Santiago, ending the month in the coastal town of Curañipe. In total, we drove 1,518 miles (2,443 km) during our South American road trip around Argentina and Chile in May of 2022. Here are some road trip highlights including a map, drive-lapse video, and a few of those pumas.

Osorno Volcano Llanquihue lake road trip in Chile and Argentina 2022

Osorno Volcano over Llanquihue Lake in southern Chile.

South American Road Trip in Argentina & Chile in May of 2022

We began the month of May 2022 in the resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina but the following day we crossed into Chile over the Andes via the Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass border crossing. That marked the 82nd land border crossing of our journey and the 10th time we’ve entered Chile (so far). Get details in our complete post about crossing the Antonio Samoré Pass border.

Cardinal Antonio Samore pass Argentina Chile border

Sings of winter were all around as we entered Chile from Argentina via the Cardenal Antonio Samore border crossing–the 82nd land border crossing of our road trip (so far).

Chile’s famed Lake District is gorgeous but a more appropriate name might be the Lake and Volcano District since most of the lakes have a picture-perfect volcano accompanying them.

pumas torres del paine Ambar and cubs

Three of the 22 different individual pumas we’ve seen in the Torres del Paine area of southern Chile.

Once in Chile, we took a rare flight from Puerto Montt down to Punta Arenas for a few days of additional reporting about the puma boom in and around Torres del Paine National Park. We spent most of March and April in this area, but we returned in May to experience Quasar Expedetions’ Patagonia Untamed Puma Tracking Adventure.

villarrica volcano from Huerquehue National Park road trip in chile and argentina in may 2022

Villarrica Volcano as seen from Huerquehue National Park in the Lake District of Chile.

Upon returning to Puerto Montt, we reunited with our truck and explored the southern reaches of Chile’s Lake District. The area is filled with national parks and even though the weather was getting cold and the snow line was dropping we did some wonderful hiking in Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Puyhue National Park, Llanquihue National Reserve, Huerquehue National Park, and along the coast at Hotel Mari Mari Natural Reserve.

We spent the remainder of May 2022 slowly winding our way north past more lakes, volcanoes, national parks, and hot springs in southern Chile. We’d planned to visit Conguillio National Park as well, but we arrived to find the access road was closed for the season due to snow. At this point, we could no longer avoid the fact that traveling around the Andes in the winter was becoming too difficult so we headed to Curañipe on the coast for a few days of gazing at the Pacific Ocean at Hotel Punta Sirena.

tire change Eric

Unfortuantley, THIS is part of any road trip…

We capped off the month with a tire that began to deform. We pulled over just before it delaminated entirely and managed to avoid a blowout, but there was no avoiding changing the tire in a cold, cold rain. South American winter is certainly here.

Our complete road trip driving route in Chile in May of 2022 can be seen in our map, below:

See what we saw out there on the road in Chile and Argentina in May of 2022 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

Here’s more about travel in Chile

Here’s more about Patagonia Travel


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