Buenos Aires to Patagonia: How to Travel


Located between South Chile and Argentina, divided by the Andes Mountains, Patagonia spans around 400,000 square miles, offering breathtaking views and a wealth of activities. With villagers settled on snow-capped mountain peaks in Argentina's Lake District, exploring the melting glaciers and deserts that stretch into cattle pastures in Southern Patagonia, and watching the whales glide across Peninsula Valdés' marine wildlife refuge in Atlantic Patagonia, there is no end to adventure in Patagonia.

Ways to Get There

There are many ways to get from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, but the three most common transportation modes are bus, car, and plane.

By bus

Bus service from Buenos Aires to Patagonia.
You can take a bus when you travel from Buenos Aires to Patagonia.

Bariloche, the northernmost city in Patagonia, Argentina, is located 1,600 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires, which is indeed a lengthy trip. So, for those who cannot afford to go to Patagonia by plane or find car rentals too expensive, traveling by bus is an excellent option. This is the slowest mode of transport, but the cheapest one. Taking a bus from Buenos Aires to Patagonia is a 26.5-hour ride and will typically cost you around USD102 to USD190. Bus tickets can be bought online or at the bus terminal.

Pro Tips:

  • The best way to catch a bus is to go to the Retiro in Buenos Aires, where you can easily find buses leaving for Bariloche. However, Retiro is also known for being risky, especially during the night and in the mornings. So be sure to keep an eye on your possessions while you are there.
  • For cheap rates, book your tickets from Omnilineas and Plataforma10. These sites do not require commissions.
  • Traveling with reputable bus companies such as Andesmar, Condor Estrella, Tramat, Viatac, and Don Otto, will guarantee comfort on your journey.
  • You can browse bus schedules and make online reservations on the websites of many bus companies. However, a lot of companies do not provide bus schedules for trips that are more than a month in advance.
  •  Between the major locations, there are not many daily bus services, and because of their low frequency, they are sometimes filled. Hence, it is advisable to book your ticket at least one month in advance, particularly during the peak season.

By car

Driving in Buenos Aires road to Patagonia.
One of the greatest ways to experience the area is to drive to Patagonia from Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires to Patagonia are separated by a distance of 1,620 km, a journey of approximately 20 hours by car. Taking a car to Patagonia from Buenos Aires is the most expensive mode of transport, which could cost you more than USD450. To find better rates, you can compare the prices on rental company websites. The good news, however, is that traveling by car to Patagonia from Buenos Aires is one of the best ways to explore the region, and you will have more freedom and flexibility during your journey. You can incorporate hikes and day excursions into areas not usually served by bus routes.

Pro Tips:

  • Pump full tank when driving, as the gas stations are few and far between on the road from Buenos Aires to Patagonia. 
  • Instead of renting a car and driving it yourself, you might find your journey far more comfortable and enjoyable if you hire a driver. You will have to produce a national ID/passport, a driving license in Spanish or English, and car insurance to rent a car.
  • You may find well-known car rental firms like Alamo, Budget, Avis, and Hertz in almost every major city or village you travel to in Patagonia. Auto Europe might come in handy if you are looking for a rental car with flexible pickup and drop-off times.
  • The wind from November to January runs at an intense 74 miles per hour, potentially damaging your vehicle. So, you should be careful even when opening your door.
  • If you are using Google Maps, think twice before turning onto roads that say they are a shorter route. Always take the main road to stay clear of bumps and an uncomfortable ride.
  • Driving is done on the right side in Argentina.

By Flight

A plane flying in Argentine sky during sunset.
Flight is the quickest and most convenient mode of transportation from Buenos Aires to Patagonia.

Traveling from Buenos Aires to Patagonia by flight is the fastest and most comfortable way. For this, you have to first take a connecting flight to a city nearest to Patagonia and then fly from there. We recommend that you travel to Bariloche and board your flight to Patagonia. Located southwest of Buenos Aires, Bariloche is the main gateway to Argentine Patagonia. It takes roughly two hours and costs around USD70 to fly to Bariloche from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) in Buenos Aires. The average airfare to Patagonia costs USD260.

 Pro Tips:

  • The earlier you book your ticket, the higher the chance you have of getting a good deal on your airfare. Last-minute bookings could sometimes cost you nearly three times more than the normal fare. So, we advise you to book your flight ticket well in advance.
  • The months of January, February, and March are regarded as the high season when airline tickets are the most expensive. Flying from Buenos Aires to Patagonia is most affordable in May.
  • On average, morning flights cost about eight percent more than in the evening. 
  • Based on historical data, the most reliable airline is Aerolineas Argentinas, which conducts multiple flights daily to and from Jorge Newbery Airport.
  • Use Skyscanner to compare flights and buy your tickets. This site is great for planning a cost-effective trip as it includes all airlines, even low-cost ones.

Patagonia Tours

Sometimes it can be hectic to arrange your tour from Buenos Aires to Patagonia. You will not only need to think through your travel itinerary but also organize transportation and accommodation.Sometimes it can be hectic to arrange your tour from Buenos Aires to Patagonia. You will not only need to think through your travel itinerary but also organize transportation and accommodation.

If you do not wish to go through the hassles of planning a trip, you can book all-inclusive tours to Patagonia leaving Buenos Aires. Here are two Patagonia tour packages worth checking out: 

  • The adventure in Patagonia tour is a 14-day outdoor excursion that passes through El Calafate, Buenos Aires, and El Chalten, in Argentina. The tour includes a mix of activities, from boat trips and ferry rides to trekking in several national parks, including Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine, and Glaciares National Park.
  • The 13-day Patagonia Adventure starts from Buenos Aires, where you can sample some outstanding cuisine, visit Peninsula Valdes to see whales, penguins, and magnificent marine life, and. explore the world's most southernmost city, Ushuaia. Also included in the tour are the visits to Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia.

There are many ways to get to Patagonia, be it by bus, car, plane, or by joining an organized tour. If you are on a trip to Argentina, make time to see Patagonia, one of South America’s biggest attractions.

If you are looking to explore more, there are other destinations in Argentina with abundant opportunities to venture out. You can check out the guide on things to do in Argentina to find our activities that best suit you. For a seasonal overview of the country, you can read our guide on the best time to visit Argentina. Browse through our collection of packaged tours to Argentina or contact our travel experts for customized trips to Argentina.

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  • Ezequiel Fernandez Estelrich
    Ezequiel Fernandez Estelrich
    Travel Expert in Argentina & Chile
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    Maria Barciela
    Travel Expert in Argentina & Chile
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    Oxana Protchenko
    Travel Expert in Argentina & Chile
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