ChileRoadsSouth America

Paso Pichachen, a road through two countries

paso pichachen
Paso Pichachen

Paso Pichachen is an international road. Indeed, it links two countries in the Andes mountains: Chile with Argentina.

Where is Paso Pichachen road located?

Paso Pichachen is situated in the Biobío Region region in Chile side and the Neuquén region in Argentina. The road links these two countries in the mountains.

The pass is also called Boquete de Antuco or Cajon del Pichachen by locals.

You can situate the road on the map below:

Enlarge the map

Some pieces of information about the Paso Pichachen road:

The road crosses the border at the Pichachén Pass which is located at 2060 meters (6750 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.

While you drive on the Chile side’s you definitely should stop at the Laguna de la Laja, it is an incredible place:

Laguna de la Laja

The road is especially beloved by bikers for a road trip in the Ands.

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 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 Pass open?

The road is generally closed in the winter because of the weather conditions.

Actually, because of the elevation and the 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.

If you are planning a road trip in the Andes mountains, the crossing of the Paso Pichachen should be on your list. Indeed, the road will offer you amazing landscapes and emotions.

Pictures credit: Fotos The Best Duck on / Lotty werner fuster , CC BY-SA 4.0,

Discover other roads around the world: click here or see our road trip map!