Belen to Tinogasta

Belen – Londres – Cuesta de Zapata – Tinogasta


This is a nice day-ride on the deserted old Ruta 40 from Belen to Tinogasta. The road is often not in very good condition and is intransitable to normal cars, but it is just about all rideable on two wheels. Though we’ve cycled the road in both directions we took better notes when cycling from Belen to Tinogasta, so describe the road travelling in that direction. Going this way is ever so slightly easier as you have the worst sections of surface whilst descending. There is nowhere to get food or water between Londres and Tinogasta, so take all you need with you.

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A bad section on the climb to the Cuesta de Zapata
On the way to the Cuesta de Zapata
Descending from the Cuesta de Zapata
Descending from the Cuesta de Zapata
The Tinogasta side of the Cuesta de Zapata
Sign in Tinogasta

Total dist. Stage dist. Description
0km Belen (1,250m). Town with an ok bike shop, ATM, accommodation, shops, restaurants.
19.5km Paved main road to Londres (14.4kms to main square). Go through town and 5.1kms from the main square turn off the paving at an unmarked junction.
19.5km Junction (GPS01). This is just after a long bridge and ‘Artesanias Adan’. The main road goes L on a bend, but carry on straight onto a ripio road.
31.2km After 4kms, go straight at a junction. Main track goes R. In another 4.1kms go straight at another junction. The last house (may be possible to get water) is just after this junction. In 9.8kms you get to the first high point on the road (1,710m). To here the road is mostly ok, From the high point the road descends to a low point at about 1,640m, before climbing to the Cuesta de Zapata.
50.7km Cuesta de Zapata (1,880m – GPS02).
31.6km Descend quite steeply for 5.5kms. Surface often bad. Then descent becomes more gentle for the rest of the road to Tinogasta. 29kms from the Cuesta de Zapata a road joins from the right (so if heading in the opposite direction to Londres/Belen go R here). This junction is in the middle of the filthy unofficial town rubbish dump. 2.6kms from the junction, get to the ‘Ruta 3 Intransitable’ sign where the tarmac begins near Tinogasta.
82.3km ’Ruta 3 Intransitable’ sign (GPS03) near Tinogasta.
Details
Time taken and amount climbed 7 hours: Belen – Tinogasta (980m climb).
Traffic Ripio section: 2 vehicles the first time we cycled this, none the second.
When we cycled Mid May 2010, and late December 2010.
Difficulty 2
How much we had to push on this route Less than 0.2kms going Belen to Tinogasta. Slightly more going the other direction.

GPS Point Description Lat/Long/Altitude
GPS01 Junction 5kms after Londres 27.7368 S, 67.1720 W, 1,230m.
GPS02 Cuesta de Zapata 27.8879 S, 67.3535 W, 1,880m.
GPS03 Ruta 3 Intransitable sign 28.0485 S, 67.5685 W, 1,220m.



View Belen – Tinogasta in a larger map
Nearby routes:        Antofagasta de la Sierra                 Pasos San Francisco and Pircas Negras

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