Located in the north-western part of Argentina in San Juan Province, Camino Minero Veladero is the name of a stunning drive through the Andes. It tops out at 4.878 m (16,003ft) asl.
Tucked away in the Andes mountain range, the road is totally unpaved. It’s a well maintained mine road, running from Rodeo, the head town of the Iglesia Department, in the northwest of the San Juan Province, to Veladero mine, a gold and silver mine near the Chilean border. The property is located at elevations of 4,000 to 4,850 meters above sea level in the highly prospective Frontera District. The road was built in 2003.
The road is 181 km (112 miles) long and features 624 turns. It’s pretty steep, and hits a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Ideal time to travel is daylight. Not advised night drive. The permanent challenge is the low temperatures, which are usually -20°C during the day and drop even lower, to -50°C at winter nights. The wind is not far behind: it can reach speeds of 120 km/h.
The road climbs up to Portezuelo de los Despoblados, at 4.392m (14,409ft) above the sea level, and tops out by Portezuelo de Conconta, a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.878 m (16,003ft) asl. The road is closed to private vehicles in winters. It’s one of the highest roads of Argentina.
Road suggested by: jorge manuel gómez sánchez
Pic: Minera Andina del Sol - San Juan