Ruta 40
Ruta 40 in the Puna highlands
Home > Places to Visit
Ruta 40 road shield

Ruta 40's Attractions

Places to visit and enjoy

Things to see: Landmarks & Sights

Last Updated: By

Learn about the natural and historic attractions that you will find on Ruta 40: Natural Monuments, National Parks, scenic sights, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Historic places, and the wonderful beauties of Patagonia, the mighty Andes, the Puna Highlands, the culture and history, the wines and vineyards... Ruta 40 is "The Road Trip" to get to know Argentina better.

Volcán Maipo volcano and Laguna del Diamante lake, Mendoza
Maipo volcano and Laguna del Diamante lake in Mendoza.

Attractions along la Ruta 40

Ruta 40 an incredible Road Trip

Ruta 40 is not only an amazing Road Trip, it is a highway that links sites with amazing natural beauty with historic places, blending culture, ancient traditions Native American heritage with the work of pioneers and European settlers.

Here we detail all you can do, see and experience along the mythical Ruta 40.

Two horses and behind them, the snowcapped - cloud shrouded peak of Mount San Lorenzo as seen from the Estancia Menelik ranch,  Perito Moreno National Park, Patagonia, Argentina
Mount San Lorenzo from estancia Menelik ranch in the Perito Moreno National Park, Santa Cruz.

Visit our Webpages that have all the details:

Our webpages with complete information on:

Or read on below to learn about the National Parks, Towns and cities and Unesco World Heritage Sites

View of the red, ochre and white rocks of the Valley of the Moon in Cusi-Cusi
Valle de la Luna (Valle of the Moon) in Cusi Cusi on Ruta 40 in Jujuy.

Ruta 40's Top 10 Attractions

Top 10 Attractions on Ruta 40.

Choosing the top ten sights and attractions was very difficult, there are many more than ten wonderful places on Ruta 40! This was our pick, plus a few bonus sights too!

Read a summary of these Top 10 Attractions , or just click below for full details:

Listed from North to South:

jagged snow capped Andes, horses and lake Viedma at Estancia Helsingfors ranch in Patagonia
Lake Viedma and the Andes, Patagonia.
  1. Cusi Cusi
  2. Salinas Grandes Salt flats
  3. Abra del Acay Pass
  4. Quebrada de las Flechas
  5. Shinkal Ruins
  6. Cuesta de Miranda
  7. Talampaya Ischigualasto
  8. El Payén - La Payunia
  9. Ruta de los Siete Lagos
  10. Perito Moreno Glacier
colorful altar at the church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Hualfín Ruta 40
Colorful altar of Nuestra Señora del Rosario's church in Hualfín, Catamarca,

Bonus Track: Another Top Five Attractions

These are the five runners-up to our top ten list of Route 40 amazing landmarks:

Mendoza: Andes and wine

Vineyards and the Andes.

Mendoza, Andes & Wines

The "Valle de Uco", Tunuyán, Tupungato, Luján de Cuyo, Maipú are terroirs where the great Mendoza wine estates are located. This is the land of the Argentine Malbec. And Route 40 links them all.

forest, mountains crystal clear blue lake

Verde Lake and Arrayanes River (Sec. Turismo Esquel).

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Los Alerces National Park protects more than 15,000 acres of Alerce forests. This tree, the Fitzroya cupressoides is related to the North American redwood. Some trees are over 2,600 years old.

ruta 40 and the Inca Trail

Inca Trail

Camino del Inca: Inca Trail

UNESCO World Heritage Site the "Qhapaq Ñan is the Inca Empire's vast road network.

Expreso Patagonico, La Trochita steam engine railroad

Steam engine, La Trochita. Juan Macri

Expreso Patagónico Railroad

Narrow gauge in Patagonia is a National Historic Monument, you can still ride in in Esquel.

Cueva de las Manos

Rock art painted by paleoindians thousands of years ago.

Some of the painted hands are 9,300 years old. The "Cave of Hands" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Cueva de las Manos

Hands painted on the rocks at Cueva de las Manos. A. Whittall

Some Tourist Atractions and Destinations

From our Spanish language webpages, these are some other Ruta 40 attractions:

More Attractions

Volcano in la Payunia, Ruta 40, Mendoza
Volcano in la Payunia, Mendoza.

National Parks along Ruta 40

National Parks

Natural Monuments and National Parks (north to south)

Laguna de los Pozuelos Nat. Mon
Los Cardones Nat. Park
Campo de los Alisos Nat. Park
Talampaya Nat. Park
Parque Nacional San Guillermo Nat. Park
El Leoncito Nat. Park
Laguna Blanca Nat. Park
Lanín Nat. Park
Nahuel Huapí Nat. Park
Los Arrayanes Nat. Park
Lago Puelo Nat. Park
Los Alerces Nat. Park
Patagonia Nat. Park
Perito Moreno Nat. Park
Los Glaciares Nat. Park
Monte León Nat. Park
Taruca Nat. Mon.
Huemul Nat. Mon.
Ballena Franca Austral Nat. Mon

Interactive Map

Map with Ruta 40 National Parks Laguna de los Pozuelos  Los Cardones  Campo de los Alisos  Talampaya Parque  Nacional San Guillermo  El Leoncito  Laguna Blanca  Lanín  Nahuel Huapí  Los Arrayanes  Lago Puelo Los Alerces  Patagonia  Perito Moreno  Los Glaciares  Monte León Taruca Huemul Ballena Franca Austral

Except Talampaya and Los Alerces National Parks, whose webpages are in English, the other webpages are in Spanish.

Correntoso lake, Nauel Huapi National Park, surrounded by forested mountains
Lago Correntoso, Ruta de los Siete Lagos, Nahuel Huapi National Park,

UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Ruta 40

The UNESCO designates certain places as World Heritage Sites. These places or "sites" can have a very particular natural beauty, or be constructions, monuments or even food and musical or dance expressions (such as the Tango, also a World Heritage asset).

Map showing where the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located along Ruta 40

There are six World Heritage sites located on, or very close to Ruta 40.

The map shows where they are located. And you can read more about them following the links below:

>> Quebrada de Humahuaca

>> Camino del Inca

>> Talampaya Nat. Park and Ischigualasto Prov. Park

>> Los Alerces Nat. Park

>> Cueva de las Manos

>> Los Glaciares Nat. Park

The "Mushroom" Landform "El Hongo" and behind it, the "Barrancas Coloradas" (Red Cliffs)

Mushroom landform: "El Hongo" and Barrancas Coloradas at Ischigualasto San Juan
The landform "El Hongo" (Mushroom) and the "Red Cliffs" (Barrancas Coloradas), Ischigualasto San Juan.

Some Great Itineraries along Ruta 40

What parts should I drive?

Ruta 40 is very long, over 3,220 miles or 5.100 km of highway, so which are "The best" short trips that I can drive to get a taste of Ruta 40 without having to drive it all?

You can take our suggestions and drive shorter legs to see the best of Ruta 40. Read about Some Great Itineraries along Ruta 40 to learn more.

Penguins at the Provincial  Reserve at Cabo Vírgenes
Penguins near Ruta 40, at the Provincial Natural Reserve of Cabo Vírgenes, Santa Cruz. Photo:
Ruta 40 logo

Road Trip Journeys
Liniers 440, B1602 Florida Buenos Aires, Argentina


Copyright © 2009 - 2020

Ruta 40 (Argentina) Online Travel Guide: Information on accommodation, sights, attractions and destinations. Itineraries, tours and resources for planning your Route 40 Road Trip.

Updated on V.14