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From Santa Rosa to Monte Hermoso

Parque Luro, Epecuén, Guaminí and Sierra de la Ventana. Distance: 821 kilometres

The circuit starts in Santa Rosa, capital city of La Pampa. It crosses the Parque Luro Provincial Reserve, which protects one of the few forests of calden trees in the county. The road continues to Carhué and the Epecuén Lake, which hides a tourist village that was flooded in 1985, and now offers bizarre landscapes for photography lovers. After passing by several towns with lakes and natural areas, you will reach Villa Ventana and Sierra de la Ventana, where you can climb the Tres Picos Mountain, also known as the roof of the province of Buenos Aires. The journey ends by the sea at Monte Hermoso, a place of an unusual natural beauty: the sun rises and sets at the same place.


Route Sheet

  • Distance: 802 kilometres
  • Road type: 80% asphalt. There are 66 km of gravel road in the stretch to Abra del Hinojo. If you want to avoid it, you can take National Route 33, joining Pigüé with Tornquist.
  • Recommended months: all the year round
  • Suggested duration: 6 to 8 days


KM 0

Santa Rosa

It is the capital city of the province of La Pampa. There are two large green areas where you can spend the day: La Malvina Natural Urban Reserve and the Los Caldenes Reserve (check open times and days at the information centre). A good place to complement the journey is the Museum of Natural History of La Pampa, offering 10 exhibition halls to learn about the rich biodiversity of this province and the importance of its archaeological and paleontological heritage.

KM 36

Parque Luro Provincial Reserve

This 7600-hectare protected area preserves one of the few calden tree forests in the country, a tree considered a symbol of Pampas plains. Its 5 low-difficulty trails take you deep into landscapes of sand dunes, lakes, valleys and saltpetre, where you will see guanacos, lesser rheas and foxes. Birdwatchers should know that over 160 species were registered here, including the Chaco eagle, the yellow cardinal and the cinnamon warbling finch. One of the province's biggest draws takes place in March and April: during the red deer rut, males bellow loudly and scuffle among themselves for their female harems. The red deer is a species introduced from Europe, which has become part of La Pampa's cultural heritage.

KM 119


Macachín is a town that offers accommodation, camping sites, cuisine and all the services. The highlight of the area are the salt flats Salinas Grandes de Hidalgo, located 14 km south, along Provincial Route 1. These depressions on a plain accumulate water during the rainy season and, in the summer, the water evaporates leaving huge open-air salt deposits. To see the salt flat, you need to coordinate your visit beforehand (More information in Section "Things to consider").

KM 217

Carhué and Epecuén Lake

The city of Carhué can be used as a base to visit the Epecuén Lake, famous for having healing properties and for hiding under its waters the former Lago Epecuén Tourist Village. Villa Epecuén became flooded in 1985 after the dike protecting the town broke, letting rain water flow in without control. It is a great place to watch migratory birds and it also offers a bizarre landscape for photography lovers. On the shore of this lake, you will find an ecologically sustainable beach fitted with solar energy and made of recycled material: this is a nice place to relax and watch sunsets. The hot springs are another excellent option to keep enjoying Carhué. It has accommodation options, camping sites, cuisine and all the services.

KM 274


Guaminí truly honours its name: inside the island. It has 2 main natural areas: The Monte Lake and the Cochicó Tourist Village. This area has tourism infrastructure which allows you to enjoy nature through activities such as horseback riding, birdwatching and hiking all year round. You can also enjoy the Alsina Lake beach, which offers nautical activities and has a camping site with all the services.

KM 341


With its cobbled and winding streets, Pigüé invites you to discover its cultural and architectural heritage. Some must-see green areas are the Cruz Mountain and Calvary, the self-guided circuits and Fortunato Chiappara Municipal Park. Its cuisine includes dishes with truffles harvested from the fields of Espartillar. In its surrounding area, you can visit beekeeping farms (apiculture) and cheese production facilities. Every year, on December 4, Pigüé celebrates the Giant Omelette Festival, which in 2018 broke the record for using more than 20,000 eggs for the Omelette.

KM 373


About 35 km away from Pigüé, along Provincial Route 67, you will reach Puán and its 700-hectare lake, only 10 blocks from the city centre. Another attraction of the city is the temple and viewpoint Millenium, on La Paz Mountain. It has a municipal beach, accommodation options and all the services.

KM 466

Abra del Hinojo

This road follows along the Curamalal mountain range, where you can watch birds and admire the flora of the area. There are also tours to rural facilities offering accommodation and activities in the mountains, like trekking, horseback riding and mountain biking. During this trip, you can also visit the monolith of the First Military Service, and the vineyard and winery Ita Malal.

KM 522


Tornquist is the oldest city in the Ventana Region, an area which also includes the cities of San Andrés de la Sierra, Villa Serrana La Gruta, Villa Ventana, Sierra de la Ventana and Saldungaray. One of its main attractions is the Ernesto Tornquist Square, designed by the famous architect Francisco Salamone, who left his mark on lamp posts, benches and bridges. Close to the city, you will find the Parque Norte camping site and beach on the shores of the Sauce Chico River. It has accommodation options and all the services.

KM 532

Entrance to Tres Picos Mountain

The Tres Picos Mountain is the highest point of Buenos Aires, and one of the main destinations chosen by those who want to go trekking in the province. With an elevation of 1139 metres, you can climb and return on the same day or you can spend the night in the camping area in Cueva de Los Guanacos, 1000 metres above sea level. Estancia Funke serves as a base for trekking, offering a mountain lodge, rooms, camping site and guide services (must be hired in advance).

KM 533

Start of the Sierras de Ventania Scenic Route (RP 76)

Here begins the Sierras de Ventania Scenic Route that crosses fields, mountain ranges and meandering streams in the southwest of the province for about 23 kilometers. Its elevations and ravines allow you to find plants, trees and animals that are typical of this region, such as the copper iguana or the silver pine. Along its route, the Pampas grassland generates characteristic colors of this geography, with pure green paths and undulating hills over a thousand meters high.

KM 541

Ernesto Tornquist Provincial Park

​​You can explore this provincial park through trails of different levels of difficulty. This park protects the flora and fauna of the southeastern area of Buenos Aires, and it safeguards cave paintings of more than 1500 years old, that were painted by hunter-gatherers who inhabited the region. This stretch of Provincial Route 76 is considered a scenic route due to the mountains, curves and streams that make up the landscape.

KM 550

Villa Ventana

Located in a valley surrounded by the Belisario and las Piedras streams, Villa Ventana is a quiet mountain town. In the surrounding area, you can hike along the riverbank of Belisario River up to the Fuente del Bautismo, a natural pool formed by a waterfall. There are accommodation options, cottages, a municipal camping site, restaurants and all the services.

KM 556

End of Scenic Route Sierras de Ventania (RP 76)

A few kilometers from Villa Ventana, and at the crossing of Provincial Routes 76 and 72, the Sierras de Ventania Scenic Route ends.

KM 568

Sierra de la Ventana

Crossing San Bernardo stream, you will arrive at Sierra de la Ventana, the most important town in the region with the greatest amount and diversity of touristic services. One of its characteristics is that it is surrounded by streams: San Bernardo, Negro and Sauce Grande, this last one also has beaches. 9 km to the west, you will find the Sierras Grandes Private Natural Reserve, which protects the Pampa mountain's grassland. Here you can enjoy ecotourism, go hiking, climbing and horse riding. You can only access this area accompanied by local guides hired in advance.

KM 577


Small town on the eastern slopes of the mountains. At the entrance, there is an impressive Art Deco cemetery designed by the outstanding architect Francisco Salamone. Around the town, you can do wine and food-related activities, such as visiting the Saldungaray Winery or the Campo Udi Farm to see how they make their 8 types of cheese.

KM 605

Paso de Las Piedras Dam

A beautiful reservoir of fresh water surrounded by a wooded dirt road, ideal to spend the afternoon or camp out.

KM 755


A seaside town where the Pehuen-Có - Monte Hermoso Natural Reserve starts. About 1 km to the east of the beach, you will find a rocky platform belonging to the paleo-ichnological deposit, where you will see footprints of extinguished megafauna; the most incredible one is the footprint of the megatherium, a giant sloth that could measure up to 6 metres high (you can visit this area on your own or with a guide).

KM 814

Sauce Grande Lake

In this fresh water lake, you will encounter a wide variety of aquatic flora. In addition to fishing, you can practise water sports, enjoy the quiet waters on the beach and go birdwatching.

KM 821

Monte Hermoso

Monte Hermoso has an unusual natural beauty: given its geographic location where the sun rises and sets in the sea, and therefore its warm-water beaches are known as the "Dawn to Dusk Beach." The hike up to the Recalada Lighthouse is the final part of an amazing visit to this incredible beach in Buenos Aires.

Useful information

- If you are starting the circuit from the north, there is an airport in Santa Rosa. If you are starting from the south, the closest city to go by plane is Bahía Blanca.


- Every city and town offers different types of accommodation, ranging from luxury hotels and rural lodgings to camping sites, cottages and aparthotels.


- Remember to camp only in areas where camping is allowed. Put your trash in bags and take them with you. Only start campfires in areas where this is allowed, and put them out with plenty of water.


- The Hidalgo salt flats are within private property. To coordinate your visit, you need to contact the Dos Anclas factory. Find out more information on the tourism web page or in the tourist information centres. It is important to take and drink plenty of water, because the reflection of the sun on the white ground, and the salty air radiate a great deal of heat and dry out the respiratory tract.


- Find out information on opening times and days of all the reserves on the web or in the information offices.