CH-21 is a high mountain road located in northern Chile, in Antofagasta Region. The road is mostly unpaved and runs entirely over the 2.300m above the sea level.
The road includes asphalt (just at the beginning) and gravel sections (till the end). Ruta CH-21 starts in Calama a city in the Atacama Desert at an elevation of 2.300m above the sea level. It’s one of the driest cities in the world with average annual precipitation of just 5 mm. After 199km the road ends in Ollagüe, a Chilean frontier village El Loa Province, at 3.700m above the sea level.
The road is 199km long and its highest point is at 3.830m (12,565ft) above the sea level. It’s usually open all year long. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. This is a maintained road where a high clearance 2WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds on long dry straight-of-ways, without losing control due to wash boarding, ruts, or dips.