Paso Pichachen links two countries in the Andes mountains: Chile and Argentina. If you are looking for a challenging yet rewarding way to traverse the Andes mountains, this road offers a challenging yet rewarding journey. The route passes through picturesque towns and villages, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Where is Paso Pichachen road located?
Paso Pichachen is situated in the Biobío region in Chile side and the Neuquén region in Argentina. The road links these two countries in the mountains.
Locals also refer to the pass as Boquete de Antuco or Cajon del Pichachen.
You can situate the road on the map below:
Enlarge the map
General information about the Paso Pichachen road:
The road crosses the border at the Pichachén Pass, which is located at 2,060 meters (6,750 feet) above sea level.
You will have an amazing view of the mountains around and especially on the Sierra Velluda.
This gravel road has a lot of twists and turns on both sides of the border. It is very sandy and there is often bad weather here.
Be sure to stop at the Laguna de la Laja while traveling on the Chilean side of the Antuco Pass. It is a lake located at the base of the Antuco volcano, known for its crystal-clear waters and the spectacular reflection of the volcano on its surface. It is a fantastic location for bird watching, hiking, and fishing. The nearby hot springs, which are thought to have therapeutic qualities, are also available to visitors. Additionally, there are a number of campgrounds nearby if you need to stop for the night.
The Antuco Pass is also a quite popular destination among bikers, who enjoy its winding roads and stunning views as they traverse the Andes.
How to get to the Paso Pichachen?
In order to come here, if you are driving from Chile, you have to go take the Q45 road from Los Angeles to Antuco and then go in the direction of the National Park of the Laguna del Lajayou.
If you are approaching from Argentina’s side, drive until you reach the village of El Cholar, then take road number 6 and drive toward the border direction:
Here, is a map with the itinerary:
A preview of the drive:
You can discover the road by watching this YouTube video:
Is the Pichachen Pass open?
The road is generally closed in the winter because of the weather conditions.
Because of the elevation and as it is kind of a desert, the temperatures reach very high levels during the day. But as soon as the sun goes down, it becomes extremely cold.
Also, the road is known to be dangerous because of snowstorms and fog that can occur at any time.
We advise you to check with local authorities if the road is open before getting there.
As every mountain road, especially a graveled one without barriers, we strongly recommend not driving on the road at nighttime. It is better to stop in a hotel on the road.
Don’t pass up the chance to cross the Pichachen Pass if you’re considering taking a road trip through the Andes mountains. The route promises to be a life-changing journey full of breathtaking scenery and touching moments. Anyone interested in discovering the Andes’ natural splendor must visit this place.
Pictures credit: Fotos The Best Duck on flickr.com / Lotty werner fuster , CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80071889
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