Accommodations & Camping in Argentina

Camping in Argentina - Rough Camp at Lago Roca, (©photocoen)

Camping at Lago Roca

We loved traveling and camping in Argentina. It’s the 8th largest country in the world but has only 40 million inhabitants. There’s lots of space for camping, but we also enjoyed staying with local people and a couple of times we were guests of posadas (guesthouses; here’s more on the subject). Below you’ll find GPS waypoints of many of those places.

We spent about 1,5 years in Argentina, spread out of more than a dozen stays. Because of its geography we crossed the border with Chile regularly, so we would see the best parts of the Andes Mountains on both sides of the border.

Fortunately, there are numerous border crossings between the two countries and crossing them is generally easy (Chile can be a complicated because you’re not allowed to bring in any fruits, vegetables and other fresh products, but that’s a story for another blog).

Camping in Argentina – Rough Camp at Estancia Haberton, Tierra del Fuego (©photocoen)

Rough Camp at Estancia Haberton, Tierra del Fuego

Camping at Estancia Helsingfors, Andes Mountains Argentina (©photocoen)

Camping at Estancia Helsingfors, Andes Mountains

Camping in Monte Leon National Park, Atlantic Coast Argentina (©photocoen)

Camping in Monte Leon National Park, Atlantic Coast

Rough Camping and Campsites

Since Argentina is a country with lots of space there are abundant opportunities for rough camping. Not only that, Argentineans are campers themselves so there are many campsites, either paid or free of charge. Here’s more on types of campsites in Argentina.

Camping Municipal in Resistencia, Argentina (©photocoen)

I get company of a young camper at the Camping Municipal in Resistencia

Campsites we great places to meet other overlanders. Among our favorites were:

  • The Camping Municipal in Salta (although we have been told it’s too busy and noisy in Jan/Feb; the summer holiday for Argentineans, but we were there in Aug/Sep/Oct when it was cold but quiet).
  • Punta Pardelas along Golfo, the only place in Península Valdés where you are allowed to camp (and can watch whales).
  • Ushuaia, where we stayed for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and had a ball with friends we had made along the way.
Camping Municipal in Salta, Argentina (©photocoen)

Exchanging travel information in Salta

Camping at Punto Pardelas, Península Valdés, Argentina (©photocoen)

Sharing a meal at Punto Pardelas, Península Valdés

Celebrating Christmas in Ushuaia, Argentina (©photocoen)

Everybody chimed in and we bought a pork and lamb for the BBQ. But uhm, how do you prepare those? Fortunately, there was an Argentinean to help us out

Backcountry Camping in Argentina

Besides camping in our Land Cruiser, we spent quite a few nights in our tent. Some of Argentina’s National Parks are great for multiple day hikes, like at El Chaitén. Thanks Marty, Yann & Geraldine for sharing this adventure with us.

Camping during a trekking around El Chalten, Argentina (©photocoen)

Cooking in a backcountry camp around El Chalten

Hiking around El Chalten, Argentina (©photocoen)

Hospitality – Staying with Locals

We love staying with local people. Sometimes we are invited via our website, sometimes we are introduced by other people, sometimes we are literally picked up from the street (“Come to my house, share dinner and stay with me; I love to hear your stories; I want to show you the beautiful places of Argentina”…). In Argentina we were lucky to have quite a few home stays.

Thanks Patricia and Fernando, for having us for so many weeks while we were waiting for our container to arrive from Malaysia. It was a great introduction to the Argentinean way of life, especially where it came to food.

Welcome to Argentina (©photocoen)

First day in Argentina: dive in Patricia and Fernando’s swimming pool

Thanks also to Agustine, Rama, Máximo and Chin to have us at your estancia in Ascochinga. We loved spending so much time with you, like watching the first Dakar in South America and the WRC together, and are grateful for the places you showed us in the surroundings. Without that we would have missed an incredibly beautiful part of Argentina.

Horseback Riding in Córdoba, Argentina (©photocoen)

Horseback riding is one of the activities at El Puesto

Sharing time with locals in Argentina (©photocoen)

BBQ and spending a good time with our friends in Ascochinga

Unexpectedly we saw quite a bit of wildlife in north Argentina. While staying with Vodo, near Resistencia, we saw hurling monkeys, and in the Chaco we saw snakes when staying with  Catrien, a nurse who for the past 40 years has lived in one of Argentina’s remotest and poorest areas to help indigenous people.

Hurling Monkey, North Argentina (©photocoen)

Howler monkey

Snake in North Argentina (©photocoen)

Snake knocking on Catrien’s front door

We met Pablo and Alejandra through the Hospitality Club and were their guests for a weekend in Neuquen – a weekend giving us an opportunity to share a fantastic BBQ, of course.

Also a great thanks to Octavio, who not only let us camp on his estancia but who also organized a professional exposition with Coen’s photos in Córdoba.

Photo Exposition Landcruising in Córdoba, Argentina (©photocoen)

GPS Waypoints of Campgrounds and Rough Camps in Argentina

Let there be no misunderstanding: no, you don’t have to go to these places. No, these are not by definition the best spots. After having traveled in South America for so long we realize that it’s no problem here to find your own beautiful spots for camping. We decided to continue the page anyway, for travelers who would like some tips about camping spots which we enjoyed or found practical – please note that this is always our personal experience.

Do you have information we should add to this page? Please share it with us in the comments below so other travelers may benefit from it. Thanks.

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Argentina - Accommodation & Camping (in text): -40.580585, -65.522461
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Yavi
Yavi. Quiet spot in Yavi, behind the Iglesia San Francisco (3463 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -22.13135, -65.46307
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Purmamarca
Purmamarca, Quiet night at a parking lot near the plaza (2320 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -23.74743, -65.49952
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Humahuaca
Humahuaca. Another quiet spot in the parking lot of Hotel de Turismo. Price: 5 pesos, including use of toilet (2956 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -23.20627, -65.34878
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Iruya riverbed
Iruya riverbed. Beautiful place for wild camping, along the river a bit north of Iruya. Starting point for an awesome off-road journey through the riverbed to Las Higueras (2550 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -22.77740, -65.21167
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Iruya Cemetery
Iruya Cemetery. The plaza is noisy until late at night. A more quiet spot is near the cemetery, at the highest point of the village (2785 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -22.79242, -65.21993
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Calilegua National Park
Calilegua National Park. Park with walking trails and campsite.
gps: -23.76220, -64.85125
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Paso Sico, about 40 kms before the border crossing
Paso Sico, about 40 kms before the border crossing. Horrible road in terms of quality with lots of washboard but amazing scenery. Even more spectacular on the Chilean side. On the Chilean side of the border crossing you'll only have the check for vegetables/ fruit/ cheese and all other forbidden goods. Immigration and customs is in San Pedro de Atacama (another 200 kms) (3894 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -24.11065, -66.95318
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San Antonio de los Cobres
San Antonio de los Cobres. At the parking lot of Hostería de las Nubes (3778 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -24.21667, -66.31680
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Valley south of Sey
Valley south of Sey. High, cold and windy but beautiful wild camp. The route between Susques and SA de los Cobres is wonderful to drive. A few kms south of this point you'll see a basic, white 'house' - you can take a warm bath here (4121 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -24.00097, -66.50830
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Salta
Salta/ Camping Municipal, south of the city. Good facilities (electricity, hot showers and in summer a huge swimming pool). Meeting point for overlanders. Price: 6,40 pesos for the car + 3,40 pesos per person (1200 mtrs, Nov '08).
gps: -24.81275, -65.41937
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Tolar Grande
Tolar Grande. Topper in our journey! Not for the village but the spectacular surroundings (3538 mtrs, Nov '08). Read more here.
gps: -24.58952, -67.39587
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Molinos
Molinos. Camped next to the church. Quiet spot  (2042 meters, Sep '07).
gps: -25.43822, -66.29225
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Algarrobal
Algarrobal. Beautiful area northwest of Cachi, we camped in a picnic area next to a small river (2662 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -25.08892, -66.23910
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Cachi
Cachi. Camping municipal. Quiet and clean. Price: 10 pesos (2 persons and car, 2378 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -25.12172, -66.16775
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Quilmes ruins
Quilmes ruins. Camped in the parking lot of the ruins  (1850 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -26.46520, -66.03643
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Cafayate
Cafayate. Camping municipal. Quiet and clean. Price: 12 pesos (1611 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -26.08062, -65.97703
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San Blas de Sauces
San Blas de Sauces. Picnic area, empty in winter (toilets open but swimming pool empty), but I think in summer a place much visited  (994 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -28.39107, -67.08000
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Nillaco
Nillaco, hamlet on a side road of RP 75. Picnic spot, empty in winter (toilets closed, swimming pool empty) but I think in summer a place much visited (1440 mtrs).
gps: -28.80475, -66.95457
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La Rioja
La Rioja. Campsite along the RP 75, about 10 kms west of La Rioja. Small, pleasant campsite with shade, a friendly owner and in summer a swimming pool. Hot shower on request, which has to be heated with wood. Price: 11 pesos (685 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -29.40237, -66.94468
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Quebrada de la Troya
Quebrada de la Troya. This spectacular canyon lies between Vinchina and Jague (on the way to Laguna Brava). Awesome spot for rough camping (1680 mtrs, Nov '08). Read more here.
gps: -28.70875, -68.30343
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Between Huaco and San José de Jachal on Ruta 40
Between Huaco and San José de Jachal on Ruta 40. Basic campsite, cold shower, BBQs, friendly caretaker. Price: donation for the caretaker (1069 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -30.15152, -68.58667
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West of Nonogasta
Campsite west of Nonogasta. Nice spot to camp, lots of shade, sparkling river. No facilities. Price: A$ 8 per night for 2 persons and car (1608 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -29.34743, -67.70358
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Ischigualasto National Park (Valle de la Luna)
Ischigualasto National Park (Valle de la Luna). No shade but there are clean toilets and a hot shower. Price campsite: A$ 3 per person. Once every one or two hours, depending on the number of visitors, you can join a 3-hour excursion, driving your own car in convoy (1389 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -30.16333, -67.84282
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Talampaya National Park
Talampaya National Park. Shade, new toilets and hot shower. price campsite  A$ 3 per person. Entrance fee park  A$ 20 per person. You are not allowed to drive into the park with your own vehicle. The excursions are by bus (1182 mtrs, Sep 07).
gps: -29.78480, -67.99357
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Ischilin
Ischilin. Tiny, picturesque village with a large central park to spend the night (Apr '09).
gps: -30.58018, -64.36473
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San Marcos Sierros
San Marcos Sierros. A friendly hippy town north of La Cumbre. There is a campsite but rough camping along the creek was just as quiet (Apr '09).
gps: -30.78053, -64.63262
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Jésus María
Jésus María/ Camping Los Nogales is run by the hospitable Virginia and Carlos. It's a huge campsite, with swimmingpool, BBQs, and is very clean. Only open during the summer (Sep-April) (Jul '08). Read more here.
gps: -30.97723, -64.11400
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Quebracha de los Condoritos
Quebracha de los Condoritos. Fantastic spot for rough camping at guardaparque San Miguel (Jul '08).
gps: -31.88970, -64.73103
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Villa General Belgrano
Villa General Belgrano. You'll receive a warm welcome from the German owners of camping 'La Florida', Rolf and Bettina. Their campsite is clean, has warm showers and a bbq area. Price: A$ 15 per person. Many overlanders like to park their car here for a longer period of time (f.e. when they return home for a few months). Costs: A$ 5 per day. From Villa Belgrano there is a daily night-sleepbus to Buenos Aires (Jul '08).
gps: -31.97303, -64.54457
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Alta Gracia
Alta Gracia. We spent the night in a park. The park also has a campsite but we didn't use it (Jul '08). Read more here.
gps: -31.64863, -64.45008
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Vallecito, Difunta Correa shrine
Vallecito, Difunta Correa shrine. Enough place to camp. Toilets and asados. Not very clean (782 mtrs, Jan '09).
gps: -31.73598, -67.98147
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NP Leoncito
NP Leoncito/ Basic campsite, no facilities (toilet and hot shower at the entrance of the park). Shady and nice spot to camp. No entrance fee (2285 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -31.79493, -69.33218
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Calingasta
Calingasta, Campsite Municipal. Basic, shady and hot showers. price  donation for the caretaker (1376 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -31.33487, -69.42525
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Campsite Bella Vista, Ruta 436
Campsite Bella Vista, Ruta 436 . Nice campsite, lots of shade and clean and good facilities. price  A$ 10 pp (1930 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -30.43492, -69.25200
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Las Flores
Las Flores. ACA petrol station. Good place to spend the night. No showers. A bit further down the road is the Argentinean customs and immigration for the border into Chile (Paso Agua Negra)  (1867 mtrs, Dec '08).
gps: -30.32148, -69.21055
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Rodeo, Cuesta del Viento
Rodeo, Cuesta del Viento. Beach belonging to the windsurfers. Ask them for permission to camp, the gate is locked at night. Fantastic spot  (1544 meters, Jan '09). Read more here.
gps: -30.17643, -69.09863
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Camping Parque de Churrascaria
Camping Parque de Churrascaria. West of Parque General San Martin (south of El Challao) lies a huge picnic area-cum-campsite. They are constructing new showers and toilets. But we found the price quite high and on October 10, 2007 prices will rise even more (A$ 35 mobil home, A$ 5 per person, A$ 20 car and/or tent) (Sep '07).
gps: -32.89072, -68.88390
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Mendoza
Mendoza. Street in Parque General San Martin. Beautiful park, worth a visit. But the fact that from Thursday to Saturday the local vendors of French fries and ice cream are open until five in the morning says enough about the nightly activities. Not really a quiet place although the police don't mind people camping here (800 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -32.89050, -68.86555
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Parque Provincial Aconcagua
Parque Provincial Aconcagua. This park is situated a few kms before the Chilean border, with a view of the highest mountain of South America, the Aconcagua.
Good spot for camping, but there are no facilities, and hiking (2952 mtrs, Sep '07).
gps: -32.81187, -69.94303
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Lago Norquinco
Lago Norquinco. Along the river, west of this lake. Beautiful spot (Apr '08).
gps: -39.12950, -71.32642
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Lago Quillén
Lago Quillén. Camping libre, nicely situated (Apr '08).
gps: -39.38970, -71.25630
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Lago Queni
Lago Queni. Right before Hua Hum (Chilean border), west of San Martín. Amazing spot, although maybe not accessible for everybody. You need a high clearance vehicle and we think that trucks may have a problem on the narrow tracks in the woods because of trees growing over the path at a slant (Apr '08).
gps: -40.16090, -71.72757
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San Martín de los Andes
San Martín de los Andes. Nothing special but a quiet spot to spend the night in this town (Apr '08).
gps: -40.15825, -71.35980
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Quila Quina
Quila Quina. About 18 kms southwest of San Martin, situated along a beautiful lake. During the day busy with many tourists but in the evening and early morning solitude and splendid sunrises and sunsets (Apr '08).
gps: -40.17492, -71.43403
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Villa Traful
Villa Traful. Along the waterfront at a picnic spot (Apr '08).
gps: -40.65988, -71.38552
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Between Villa La Angostura and Chilean border
Between Villa La Angostura and Chilean border, Along the waterfront at a picnic spot (Apr '08).
gps: -40.72124, -71.79725
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Bariloche
Bariloche. 10 kms north of town, at km-sign 2052, you'll find a good spot for rough camping along the lake (Apr '08).
gps: -41.08710, -71.18752
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Bariloche
Bariloche. 14 kms towards Llao Llao is campsite Petunia. Expensive but lots of shade and good facilities (hot shower, WIFI, washing machine (A$ 5 per load). Price: A$ 15 per person per day and A$ 5 for electricity (Apr '08).
gps: -41.09583, -71.44702
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El Bolsón
El Bolsón. Camping El Bolsón, at the southern end of town. Wifi, washing machine, electricity are included in the price. Price: A$ 15 per person per day and once A$ 10 for the car (Mar '08).
gps: -41.94255, -71.53678
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El Maitén
El Maitén. Camping Municipal. Hot showers and electricity available (Mar '08).
gps: -42.05930, -71.16398
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Los Alerces National Park - Camping Playa El Francés
Los Alerces National Park - Camping Playa El Francés (free of charge). Further north than Las Rocas but along the same lake with a camping spot in the middle of a forest. Entrance fee for the park: A$ 20 per person (Mar '08). Read more here.
gps: -42.79067, -71.72837
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Los Alerces National Park - Camping Las Rocas
Los Alerces National Park - Camping Las Rocas (free of charge. Nice, protected spot with bbq and picnic table just a few meters from Lago Futalaufquen. Entrance fee for the park: A$ 20 per person (Mar '08). Read more here.
gps: -42.88647, -71.60773
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Ruta 25, 60 kms west of Paso de Indios
Ruta 25, 60 kms west of Paso de Indios. Petrol station with toilets. Spent a quiet night.
gps: -43.74830, -69.65152
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Ruta 41, about 20 kms south of Los Antiguos
Ruta 41, about 20 kms south of Los Antiguos. This beautiful road leads through the low mountains of the Andes and offers plenty of opportunities for rough camping. This spot is along a river (720 mtrs, Feb '08).
gps: -46.83217, -71.85670
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Perito Moreno National Park
Perito Moreno National Park. There are two areas where free camping is allowed. Lago Burmeister is by far the best with the forest providing good protection from the fierce winds. Facilities only a latrine (Feb '08). Read more here.
gps: -47.95308, -72.12123
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El Chalten
El Chalten. Nice free campsite, Campamento Confluencia but there are no facilities. You'll find it across from the Ranger station, at the entrance of the village. Excellent place to watch the sunrise on Fitz Roy (Nov '07).
gps: -49.33622, -72.87963
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Laco Roca
Laco Roca. 30 kms south of glacier Perito Moreno. Here you will find a paid and free campsite almost next to each other. The free campsite is beautifully situated along the lake but has no facilities. In the weekends it's a popular place for local people to make an asado [bbq]. If you prefer peace and quiet, it's advisable to come during the week and have the place more or less to yourself (Jan '08).
gps: -50.52830, -72.78987
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Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier/ Officially camping is not allowed but in general they will let you spend the night in your car in the parking lot. This is highly recommended because this way you can enjoy the amazing spectacle of the glacier at night and early in the morning, without all the busloads of tourists (Jan '08).
gps: -50.46887, -73.02172
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Estancia Haberton
Estancia Haberton. Amazing suuroundings and the estancia has three campsites free of charge. Ours is the gps waypoint of Camping Rio Cambaceres (Jan '08). Read more here.
gps: -54.88311, -67.23700
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El Calafate
El Calafate. Camping Niriguao is a nice campsite with friendly owner. Price: A$ 13 per person (Jan '08).
gps: -50.33317, -72.25835
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30 kms west of Rio Gallegos
30 kms west of Rio Gallegos. Camping Club Nautico is not a nice campsite but has excellent indoor facilities - a hot shower, a gas stove and bbq, and very friendly custodians. Price A$ 20 per person (Jan '08).
gps: -51.62523, -69.61187
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Ushuaia
Ushuaia. Camping La Pista del Andino. Beautifully situated north of Ushuaia, with a view over the city and the Beagle Channel. The surrounding woods protect the campsite from the fierce winds. Facilities are meagre (hot water òr cold water òr no water).Price: A$ 15 per person (Jan '08). Read more here.
gps: -54.81295, -68.35175
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Monte Leon National Park
Monte Leon National Park. Beautiful park. Facilities are under construction (Nov '07). Read more here.
gps: -50.33588, -68.88350
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Puerto Julian
Puerto Julian. Beautiful spot for rough camping in the bay of Playa Minas, which lies about 25 kms north of Puerto Julian. (Nov '07).
gps: -49.15670, -67.63357
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Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado. Campsite La Costanera has hot showers. Price: A$ 10 (2 persons and car, Nov '07).
gps: -47.75453, -65.88773
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Camping 'Rada Tilly'
Camping 'Rada Tilly'. Nice campsite, protected from the fierce Patagonian winds, with hot showers. (15 kms south of town). Price: A$ 5 per person (Nov '07).
gps: -45.91800, -67.55052
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Cabo dos Bahias
Cabo dos Bahias. Beautiful spot for rough camping along a bay (Nov '07).
gps: -44.90170, -65.59125
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Punto Tombo
Punto Tombo. Ask permission at the Rangers station to park in the parking lot just in front of the Penguin Reserve (Nov '07).
gps: -44.04537, -65.23745
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Gaiman
Gaiman. Uninteresting campsite but with good showers. Price: A$ 5 per person (Nov '07).
gps: -43.29098, -65.48793
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Puerto Madryn – ACA Camping
Puerto Madryn – ACA Camping. Good campsite with hot showers. Price:  A$ 25 (2 persons and car, (Oct '07).
gps: -42.78152, -64.99788
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Península Valdés
Península Valdés. The only spot for rough camping is Punta Pardelas, about 12 kms after Puerto Piramides. Beautiful place for whale watching. There are no facilities whatsoever so bring enough water and food . There are small grocery stores in Puerto Piramides for the basic necessities (Oct '07). Read more here.
gps: -42.61817, -64.26037
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Puerto Madryn
Puerto Madryn – rough camp. According to the signs rough camping is not allowed but the police told us that it is okay to spend the night in your car here. Quiet spot along the sea, on Boulevard Brown (Oct '07).
gps: -42.78430, -65.00358
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La Lobería
La Lobería. Quiet camping spot in the parking lot of the Lobería, where the toilets of the museum may be used (May '08).
gps: -41.15645, -63.15685
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Viedma
Viedma. Not beautiful but practical. A quiet night at the YPF petrol station (Dec '07).
gps: -40.82505, -62.97313
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Mar Azul
Mar Azul, This is a tiny village along the coast, about 80 kms north of Mar del Plata. We stayed at Camping Mar Azul, from where you can drive on the beach endlessly. Price around 6 euros (2 persons and car, Feb '07).
gps: -37.35268, -57.03847
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Province of Santa Fe, Ruta 1
Province of Santa Fe, Ruta 1. San Janvier has a clean petrol station with WIFI (Jul '09).
gps: -30.58170, -59.93598
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Entre Rios, Route 12
Entre Rios, Route 12. There are several campgrounds along the road, some of which about 90 kilometers south of  Gualeguachu. Price around 3 euros (2 persons and car, Feb '07). Read more here.
gps: -33.73768, -58.86032
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Resistencia
Resistencia. Camping Municipal in Parque de 2 Febreros. Warm showers and on walking distance from down town. Price:  A$ 7 (2 persons and car, Jun '09).
gps: -27.43713, -58.98425
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Formosa
Formosa. Quiet night at YPF Petrol Station / ACA (Oct '08).
gps: -26.19198, -58.19798
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Rio Pilcomayo National Park
Rio Pilcomayo National Park. Small but beautiful park near a lake (Oct '08).
gps: -25.17487, -58.12925
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Puerto Iguazú
Puerto Iguazú. Hostel Inn lies between the town Puerto Iguazú and the waterfalls. We could camp in the parking lot free of charge and use the hot showers and toilet. It's a big youth hostel with a good atmosphere (Jul '07).
gps: -25.62252, -54.54988
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San Ignacio
San Ignacio. Spent the night in the parking lot of Hotel San Ignacio, free of charge. Quiet place (Jul '07).
gps: -27.25535, -55.53697
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La Puna, rough camp
Awesome route from SA de los Cobres to Tolar Grande. This point lies between SA de los Cobres and Salar de Pocitos (3901 meters, Nov '08).
gps: -24.51175, -66.77670

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