Located in La Patagonia, in Neuquén Province, southwestern Argentina, the road linking Varvarco and Barrancas (Neuquén) is an extremely challenging adventure.
The road is called Ruta Provincial 54 and Ruta Provincial 53. It’s gravel and drivable only by 4x4 vehicles. It’s 233 km long near the Chilean border. The surface on this gravel road is often loose, especially along the sides of the road. The road runs along several rivers, including Rio La Crianza, Rio de Los Chenques, Rio Neuquen, Rio Barrancas, Río Buta Mallín and Rio Colorado. The road, surrounded by arid territory with little or no forest, crosses several times the rivers and is extremely steep. Its highest point is at 2.825m above the sea level. The road climbs up to a lake called Laguna Cari Lauquen where a catastrophic event occurred in 1914. The natural dam collapsed and its water level lowered about 95 m and the original 21-km-long lake was reduced to a length of about 5.6 km. The disaster caused more than 300 human victims.
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