Desk to Dirtbag Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
March 3rd, 2018 Shinycars Rio Gallegos - Windshield Repair

Got a really bad chip on the Ruta 40 unpaved section which immediately cracked. There is nowhere to repair windshields in Chalten or Calafate. This place came recommended. Had to leave the truck their for four hours but he filled the crack and stopped it from spreading. It is much less intrusive now. Cost 1,500 pesos for a foot long crack.

February 22nd, 2018 San Expedito

Great free place, decent wind protection with the small walls. We had a quiet night here with one other overlander. Worried it might be a party spot on a Friday night, but it was totally tranquilo.

February 21st, 2018 Hotel Viejomiramar

Nice place for a night. 900 for a couple, nice room, private parking, breakfast included (which is just bread and jam and coffee).

February 18th, 2018 Camping Pescazaike

Decent place outside of Rio Gallegos, but the guy working the desk didn't know the WiFi password (part of why we went to a paid campground, rather than free). And the little tienda never opened during our stay. Each site has a little sink but the water smelled terrible, so we avoided using it.

February 14th, 2018 YPF Station

Fine place for the night, we asked if it was okay when we filled up and they assured that it was. Quiet night, despite the fact that there was a massive music festival in town and everywhere was crazy. There were at least three vehicles camped out here.

February 13th, 2018 El Laboratoria Servicio Mechanico

Yeah, agree that Pablo is a great, the truck was running rough and he helped me diagnose the problem and get back on the road quickly, and he didn't even charge me for it, but I gave him a tip.

February 12th, 2018 Parking Lot across from Visitor Center

Great place for a few nights, You've got an even better view of the mountains than those in town.

February 1st, 2018 Landslide

Road still closed, operating with a ferry bypass. 20 minute wait for us.

February 1st, 2018 Cabanas Dona Cristina

Nice place in Puerto Varas for 25.000 for a couple in a small house with a shared bathroom and access to the kitchen (although with some reluctance). Good location near town, fast WiFi, she also rents private cabanas, beside the main house, where I was able to park my truck, but if those guests have a vehicle there may not be space to park.

January 30th, 2018 Queulat Campground, Ventisquero Colgante

Run by a private concessionaire, the sites are nice but they are shared which means they will cram each site full of people, if possible. The limit is 1 vehicle, 3 tents, and 8 people per site. The shelters are small and not really suitable for sharing among two or three different groups.

January 23rd, 2018 Hospedajde/Cabanas OLY

Perfectly fine place to stay the night when waiting for the ferry. Shared bathrooms, WiFi worked fine, use of the kitchen allowed, secure parking in the back for vehicles.

January 11th, 2018 Hostal Klein

okay hostel if you need a break from camping or want reliable internet. the girl who works there is a total nightmare though, the least friendly person we've seen in a long time. 25,000 for a couple for the night in a room with private bath.

January 10th, 2018 Las Tranqueras

nice place, super friendly, and cheap. sites are not defined so you may get someone camping right on top of you, but cheap and nice, for sure.

December 29th, 2017 Leon Tires

Great tire place -- had BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires in-stock, two for $528. Includes balance and alignment--with some fancy sensors and computer, sure different from the alignment by string we got in Peru...

December 29th, 2017 Gerardo Mechanic

Mechanic who works out of his garage, but came highly recommended. Had problems with my speedometer and odometer no longer working and he diagnosed it when other mechanics in Argentina had failed to do so... Unfortunately I couldn't find the replacement parts, even ordering from Santiago. But he seemed to be very knowledgeable and resourceful, so I would have worked with him if I found the parts. He charges around 30,000 per hour, and is cheaper than a normal garage, but he didn't charge me anything for the diagnosis, and seemed honest. You can contact him by WhatsApp at +56994125560.

November 18th, 2017 Bosch

Seems to be a very honest and knowledgeable shop. Daniel helped my diagnose a problem, cleaned the contacts on a sensor, and refused payment since it was a quick little thing. would definitely go back if I had other work for them.

November 16th, 2017 El Kactus Hotel

prices have gone up, 550 for a couple in a room with two single beds, 650 for a matrimonial. Secure parking. not many othe options here though, other hotels were shut and didn't answer or were way overpriced.

November 14th, 2017 El Tatio Geysers

spent a quiet night here, just a few tips: it is a decent drove to the actual geysers and you must go by car (I was under the impression that we would go by foot from this parking lot, so I hadn't packed up the car that morning before buying tickets), also the biggest geysers are at the far end of the drive, not the first geyser field you come to... thanks to those errors we weren't the first ones there, but we were beaten by the tourist busses.

November 12th, 2017 Hostel Liliana

Nice hostal. Some rooms are nicer than the others though -- #17 on the third floor was great. 180bob for a couple in a room with private bath, included the breakfast buffet which is pretty good, scrambled eggs, breads, yogurt, cereal, juice, coffee, fruits. Daniel is friendly and helpful with whatever we needed.

November 12th, 2017 DG Gas

Went here a few times, always willing to cooperate in some form or another. Paid 7 to fill directly in the tank. Another time they couldn't fill in the tank, but into a bidon for local price (but always left a tip -- 100bob for 20 liters). Another time filled up two bidones for the lagunas route.

November 12th, 2017 Police Checkpoint

This place is permanently closed.

November 12th, 2017 Hotel del Desierto Tayka / Campsite

Slept in the back of the truck in their parking lot with no problem... They could offer dinner for $18/pp but we just ate in the truck. Pretty relaxed here and a beautiful sunset view.

November 12th, 2017 Bolivian Customs for Vehicles

Everyone told us that the aduana at the border was open as we passed through from the north so we did NOT stop at this aduana. We got to the southern exit of the park and they told us the aduana post was not open, that they "left three days ago". No way I was going back so I just left my TIP paper with Migracion and he said he'll see what can be done (probably just throw it away).

November 12th, 2017 Border crossing Chile-Bolivia

Did not ask for any money, everything smooth and super quick. I left my TIP with him when they aduana was unexpectedly not open despite everyone telling me it was since they "left three days ago"

November 12th, 2017 Hostal Las Kanas

Pretty ridiculous price, but wanted some comfort after the Lagunas Route -- paid 30,000 for a couple if we stayed two nights. Kitchen access is nice, they are friendly, the rooms are "okay" albeit about 3x more expensive than they should be.

November 12th, 2017 River crossing

River crossing was not wide when we passed, but was deep at about 2 feet... I stupidly decided to take a shallower track on the north side (to the right when coming from Uyuni / San Cristobal) and got stuck up to the bumper in thick, sticky mud... We were traveling solo and spent about 30 minutes trying to get unstuck before a tour group came through and helped me out of a jam. Don't repeat my mistake, hah. Stick to the main track which is deep but heavily compacted from traffic.

November 11th, 2017 Which Aduana is OPEN???

Everyone told us that the aduana at the border was open as we passed through from the north so we did NOT stop at this aduana. We got to the southern exit of the park and they told us the aduana post was not open, that they "left three days ago". No way I was going back so I just left my TIP paper with Migracion and he said he'll see what can be done (probably just throw it away).

November 11th, 2017 Hito Cajón Border crossing Chile-Bolivia

Was not open when we passed through, drove to San Pedro

November 11th, 2017 Chilean Immigration and Customs for Hito Cajón

Quick and easy process for immigration and customs. Quick vehicle inspection, did not have any fresh products except hard boiled eggs, which weren't a problem. Friendly-ish folks.

November 10th, 2017 Hot Springs Camp beside Laguna Chalviri

Tried to camp in the big flat area across the road from the hotel, but they told us that parking there was not allowed, we had to camp up between the hotels/restaurants, which was fine, I guess.