Before the 16-century arrival of the Spanish in Patagonia, the area was inhabited by native Mapuche. While most of the land the Mapuche lived on sits within Chile’s modern day Lakes District, some descendents still inhabit the rolling hills outside San Martin de los Andes. Here’s how to experience a taste of Mapuche culture.
- Wander through the markets of the lakeshore village of Quila Quina to shop for Mapuche artisan goods.
- Dive deeper into Mapuche history at the Mankewe Cultural Center just south of San Martin de los Andes.
- Explore one of several Mapuche communities, such as Puente Blanco, Junín de los Andes, and Cañicul.
- Learn about modern day Mapuche culture from a guide of Mapuche descent.
- Drink in the views from Pil Pil, a viewpoint belonging to a local Mapuche community.
- Sample Mapuche specialities, like grilled meats, homemade cheese, or fried cakes.