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Border Crossing towards Argentina

   
 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Marcia Albornoz
Mamuil Malal International Pass

The road climbs to the heights in the area of the international border amidst a thick unspoiled forest of Andean Patagonian species and plentiful creeks.

The road to Mamuil Malal International Pass may be taken both at the City of Villarrica and Pucón. It is an amusing circuit in which nature displays splendid forests containing native species.

Upon leaving Pucón, the crossing leading to the hot spring resorts and Lake Caburga swim holes on the left must be surpassed. The presence of thermal waters in the area has given origin to excellent outdoor and indoor pool services at various specialized centers.

The waters with properties and temperatures that ensure relax and rest for the human body get to these centers through natural springs. San Luis, Menetúe and Huife hot spring resorts are the best known, where visitors may have a bath, spend the night and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or zip-lining in the surrounding forests.

From that spot onwards, the way zigzags amidst the thick wild vegetation sometimes bordering the Trancura River.
Mamuil Malal International Pass
We continued our journey towards the next population on the road: Catripulli. Made up by a sequence of wooden houses on excellent green grass, it suggests a quiet rural lifestyle, quite unusual for those of us who reside in big cities. Afterwards, at Curarrehue we stopped at a gas station to fill the tank and have lunch at a diner on the road where homemade food was served. Then we went around the adjoining streets and got some tourist information at a local office.

We learned that the next 30 kilometers to the border had to be covered along a gravel road, so we left and gradually got deep into an area where the vegetation was thicker. As we came to Lake Quillalhue, we got out of the car and devoted a few minutes of our tour to taking some pictures.

A little farther ahead, we carried out the necessary proceedings at the Chilean border station and, having all our documents in order, we drove onto the international milestone. We crossed that imaginary line that runs between both nations and is marked by signposts in both countries. We entered Argentina and completed the same ritual at the Argentinian Migrations Office.

The Lanín Volcano was present by the road with all its grandeur. As we got out of the car, we felt we had never stood next to such a huge mountain and that we could reach its frozen top dwelled by eternal glaciers with our sight.
Mamuil Malal International Pass
Lanín National Park welcomed us with its ancient monkey-puzzle tree forest: an unusual and magical site. Once again, the pavement led us to a wild arid area with a special charm, much different from the previous stretch.

A few kilometers ahead along the paved road, we reached Junín and San Martín de los Andes, two cities worth visiting due to their attractive tourist offer year round. We had completed an excellent tour that took us through the border in a few hours along delightful roads.
Useful Data
Timetables
The Argentinian-Chilean is located at a height of 1,210 meters and the migratory offices are open from 8am to 8pm in coordination with both authorities year round. Before traveling, it is advisable to check that both countries are using the same time zone at the corresponding tourist offices, as Chile usually changes it during certain seasons.

Occasionally, the pass is closed as a precautionary measure due to the accumulation of snow in the winter. During the winter months, snow chains are compulsory.
 
Recommendations
Remember fresh vegetables or foods are not allowed through the border.

San Martín de los Andes Customs Office
San Martín de los Andes - Argentina
Te: + 54 2972 427273
 
Contact
Aduana
(4920000) Pucón - IX Región - Chile
Tel: +56 45 44-1265  

 
 
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