Ruta 40
Ruta 40 in the Puna
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Ruta 40 road shield

Ruta 40 sections of the route

Each segment along the highway

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This is the index to the invidual pages for each leg of Route 40 (Ruta Nacional 40) in Argentina: dividing its alignment into sections from its southern starting point at Cabo Virgenes to its northern terminus in La Quiaca.

They will help you plan your Ruta 40 roadtrip. Each section of the road is described in a kilometer by kilometer itinerary, with towns, sights, attractions, type of road, tips and advice on driving conditions and the regions the highway crosses.

Ruta 40 in the forests of Rio Negro
Forests and lake district, Ruta 40, Bariloche, Río Negro

Legs of Ruta 40

Choose the Section and learn all about it

Below are the sections into which we have divided the Ruta 40's alignment, spanning the whole of its course across Argentina.

Each leg or segment of Argentina's legendary highway contains full information on landmarks, historic sites and the partial mileage along the section.

Full details on which parts of Ruta 40 are not paved > >
Paved and Unpaved Sections of Ruta 40

Road Sections in each Region and Province

From South to North, starting in Patagonia

Cattle guard or grid on Ruta 40 near Cabo Vírgenes
Cattle guard or cattle grid on the southernmost part of Ruta 40, Cabo Vírgenes, Santa Cruz
Ruta 40 in Patagonia: paved
Paved Ruta 40 near Río Pinturas, Santa Cruz

Barrancas is a small village on the Colorado River which marks the northern border of Patagonia, across the river, is Mendoza province which is part of the region known as Cuyo.

Potholes on Ruta 40 in the south of  Mendoza
Ruta 40: potholes in southern Mendoza
Concrete Ford on Ruta 40 in Guandacol
Concrete Ford on Ruta 40, Guandacol, La Rioja


Fords are known as "Badenes" and are quite common in the northern part of Cuyo and the Northern Region.

There are many dry river beds that run across the highway's alignment, draining the Andean foothills that lie to the west. They only carry water during the summer rainy season, and building bridges to cross them would be an expense. Furthermore, the summer flash floods wash mud, branches and rocks down from the mountains which would quickly clog the area beneath the bridges, damming the rivers.

After a downpour, the road is quickly cleared with road grader that moves the mud ⁄ rock slides and opens the highway to traffic.

Don't attempt to drive across a flooded ford, wait for the water level to drop.

Flooded ford on Ruta 40 in San Juan
Flooded ford on Ruta 40 during rainy season, San Juan
Diario Movil
Ruta 40 at Fuerte Quemado
Ruta 40 in the village of Fuerte Quemado in Catamarca province.

The shortest segment in any province along Ruta 40.

Here the Ruta 40 climbs up into the Puna crossing Abra del Acay Pass at 4,895 m (16,050 feet) above sea level.

Ruta 40 in the Quebrada de las Flechas
Ruta 40 in the Quebrada de las Flechas, Salta

North of San Carlos, Salta the road surface is gravel, rocks and sand most of the way to its terminus in La Quiaca.

Narrow Ruta 40, gravel, goats and shepherd in Cachi, Salta
Goats and shepherd on Ruta 40 in Cachi Salta

Northernmost segment, in the Puna (altitude above 3.000 m - 9,800ft) all the way to La Quiaca.

Ruta 40 at La Juguetería, Sey, Jujuy
Ruta 40 at ‘La Juguetería’, Sey, Jujuy

More useful Ruta 40 information

Useful Links:

Ruta 40’s Top 10 Attractions

Ruta 40 Maps

Location of the Service Stations along the highway.



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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.12