Travelling through Ruta 27 (CH-27) in the Andes
Ruta 27 is a high mountain road located in the northern portion of Chile, on an arid high plateau in the Andes mountains. This 156km (97mi) long road connects San Pedro de Atacama and Paso de Jama on the Argentinian border.
Exploring the Unusual Challenges: Are You Ready for Ruta 27?
Driving along Ruta 27 is not your average road trip. While it's paved, it features some steep sections and presents unique challenges. The region is known for strong, dusty, and dry winds, so be prepared. The intense sunlight can be dangerous, making sunglasses a necessity. Ensure you carry an ample supply of water and have at least two full-sized spare tires, as the road's harsh conditions can take a toll on them.
High Altitudes and Remote Landscapes: What Awaits on Ruta 27?
This journey takes you through a remote area in the Andes, characterized by semi-desert landscapes with few inhabitants. You'll be traveling at an average height of 3,000 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Ruta 27 opened on December 6, 1991, and has been fully paved since 2005.
Is Ruta 27 the Ultimate High-Altitude Adventure?
The road reaches its highest point at Portezuelo Paranal, a mountain pass perched at an impressive elevation of 4,832 meters (15,853 feet) above sea level. It's one of the highest asphalted roads in South America. Despite being paved with two traffic lanes, drivers should exercise caution due to the extreme altitude, low population density, intense sun exposure, relentless winds, limited cellphone connectivity, and distances of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) to the next petrol station on the Chilean part of the road.
Embarking on a journey along Ruta 27 promises a unique adventure in a high-altitude landscape that seems almost otherworldly, reminiscent of the Martian terrain. However, it's not a road for the faint of heart, demanding careful preparation and respect for the challenging conditions it offers.
Road suggested by: Jorg Beyer