After visiting Buenos Aires you will probably head South to Patagonia. But you are wondering how to get from Buenos Aires to Patagonia. This can be the Argentine or Chilean part of Patagonia such as El Calafate, Bariloche, or Puerto Natales, …
In this article, I explain all the options for getting from Buenos Aires to Patagonia Argentina, and Chile by bus, car, or flight.
Buenos Aires to Patagonia
The Patagonia region is located in the South of Argentina and Chile. In Argentina, Patagonia starts just above Nuequén and between Bahía Blanca and Viedma. In Chile, Patagonia starts just below Puerto Montt. On the map below you will see where Patagonia starts.
Nuequén is the largest city in Patagonia’s geographical area.
Distance from Buenos Aires to Patagonia
I will take San Carlos de Bariloche as a starting point for your Patagonia trip and Puerto Montt for the Chilean side.
The distance by air from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche is 1300 km (807 Miles). Puerto Montt is just 120 km ( 74 miles further).
However, by road, it is 1645 km (1022 miles) to Bariloche and 2054 km (1270 miles) to Puerto Montt.
So far, the technical part of this article. Let’s head to how to get from Buenos Aires to Patagonia by car, bus, or flight.
Buenos Aires to Patagonia by car
Driving from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche is possible. I drove once that route and it was an adventure on its own.
You can rent a car from Buenos Aires to Patagonia San Carlos de Bariloche. But of course, you probably continue driving South. Let’s say you drive all the way up to El Calafate and this takes you around 10 days. That will cost you around 2100 USD for a standard sedan car.
Dropping off a car in Chile is not common to do, as it not is almost impossible due to regulations. But be sure to mention that you need to have a border crossing permit from the car rental company.
The roads in Patagonia Argentina and Chile are paved. At some border crossings, it can be muddy or a road made of small rocks. Also, a part of Route 40 is in bad condition. That is the part between San Carlos de Bariloche and El Calafate.
Distances between gas stations in Patagonia can be long. Fill the tank always full and check the maps to calculate the distances between gas stations. YPF is the most known gas station company in Argentina.
Take a long-distance bus to Patagonia
Traveling by bus to Patagonia is comfortable and easy to organize. However, there are not always direct connections between Buenos Aires and cities in the Patagonia region.
Long-distance buses from Buenos Aires are departing from Retiro Bus Terminal. You have a direct connection with San Carlos de Bariloche, Neuquén, Puerto Madryn, and Comodoro Rivadavia. If you want to travel to El Calafate, then you have probably 2 layovers. One in Comodoro Rivadavia and in Rio Gallegos. It can take up to 23 hours or more to reach your destination in Patagonia.
There are also busses from Buenos Aires to Santiago de Chile and from there you continue your journey to the Chile Patagonia.
In the map below I tried to show what connections are available.
Where to book and the price of your long-distance bus ticket?
Booking your tickets is easy on Plataforma10 and Omnilineas. The price may vary on the distance and connections. Often you need to book multiple tickets separately if there is no direct connection. Prices are around 100 USD one-way per person to San Carlos de Bariloche.
Sure to read the article, Long-distance buses in Argentina. I explain which companies to take, and what kind of seats are available such as a full flat bed or semi-flat bed.
Flights to Patagonia from Buenos Aires
The most convenient way to get from Buenos Aires to Patagonia is by airplane. There are many direct flight connections available from the capital city. Even more than one flight per day.
In Buenos Aires, there are two airports. Ezeiza Airport (EZE) which is 50 min away from Buenos Aires or Jorge Newbery (AEP) is located 20 min on the river banks of the city.
Most domestic flights depart from Jorge Newberry but be sure to check the departure and return airport because that can be different.
Airlines and times
Almost all airlines that operate in Argentina are flying to Patagonia. El Calafate, Ushuaia, San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Gallegos, Bahia Blanca, etc. do have a direct connection.
I wrote an article about the domestic flights in Argentina. Interesting to get some tips about the tourist connections and schedule during the high season.
A direct flight to El Calafate takes around 3h15 from Buenos Aires. San Carlos de Bariloche is a little shorter and takes 2h20. Without a doubt, the fastest way to get from Buenos Aires to Patagonia is by airplane.