The Lakes District of northern Patagonia is renowned for its beautiful scenic lakes set against the backdrop of the Andes and bordering Chile. There are some twenty lakes on the Argentine side of the Andes, the largest being Lake Nahuel Huapi on the shores of which sits the pretty town of Bariloche, which has an almost alpine flavour with Swiss chalet style wooden buildings. The town and the surrounding lake shore region make an ideal base for trekking, skiing, rafting, kayaking, climbing, fishing and cycling. The nearby village of Villa La Angostura, on the northern shore of Nahuel Huapi is a region of serene tranquility with deep cold lakes, soaring mountains, vast forests and sprawling estancias. This region is also noted for its fishing, skiing and hiking opportunities.
San Martín de los Andes
A few hours drive north of Bariloche along the Seven Lakes road lies the picturesque town of San Martín de los Andes. With its chalet style buildings it has a spectacular setting to the east of Lake Lacar. A holiday in San Martin de los Andes is ideal as it is also the gateway to the stunning Lanin National Park and is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors with activities such as mountain biking, horse-riding, walking, kayaking and fishing all very popular.
There are several working ranches or estancias in this beautiful region of San Martin de los Andes offering comfortable accommodation and a real insight into the gaucho cowboy way of life on the wild northern Patagonian steppe. The ranches offer horse riding for all abilities as well as plenty of other activities for non-riders such as walking or fishing. For the adventurous rider, there are twice yearly cattle round-ups where you can help the gauchos bring in the herds while sleeping under the stars and enjoying that quintessential Argentine barbeque tradition - the asado.
Lake crossing to Chile
A popular combination is a stay in Bariloche with a few days at a Patagonian estancia near San Martin de los Andes. Alternatively take the beautiful lakes crossing trip across the Andes and a series of picture perfect lakes into Chile, arriving at Puerto Varas on the shores of scenic Lake Llanquihue.
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