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How to Spend 3 Days in San Martin de los Andes

How to Spend 3 Days in San Martin de los Andes

Even though it’s a fraction of the size of neighboring Bariloches, the amount of activities around San Martin de los Andes can make it seem overwhelming.  After all, when a pristine wilderness flecked with lakes stretches out for thousands of square miles, and hundreds of hiking trails climb their way across dormant, snowcapped volcanoes, it’s only natural to feel an urge to get out and see it all. Exploring every corner of the surroundings, however, could take an entire lifetime, and the majority of visitors only have a couple of days to explore the entire area. In order to better help organize time to maximize the area’s highlights, the following is a suggested three-day itinerary for visiting San Martin de los Andes.

Day 1: Spend a day cruising Lake Lacár

Even though there are dozens of lakes between the area’s two national parks, Lake Lacár is the cobalt darling of San Martin de los Andes. The shoreline stretches to the outskirts of town, and no trip to the town is complete without a day spent out on the lake. To experience the beauty of Lake Lacár, book a cruise from the dock in town to the dock at Hua Hum. The cruise across the length of the lake is nearly three hours long, and passes by islands and hidden beaches you’d never find on your own. Take a break at Chachin dock and hike to Chachin waterfall—stretching your legs on the 30-minute hike through pristine Patagonian forest. Grab a bite in Hua Hum near the border with neighboring Chile, and compare how the waters of Lake Nonthué differ from Lake Lacár. 

Day 2: Hit the beach and town

For as much as the surrounding natural beauty seems to capture all the attention, the town of San Martin de los Andes is an attraction unto itself. Far more relaxed than Bariloches but more lively than Villa Angostura, it’s a medium sized village that’s perfectly suited for relaxation and fun. Start the day with some coffee or maté at a charming streetside café, and then grab your towel for a relaxing day at one of the nearby beaches. Catritre Beach is a local favorite on the lake’s southern shore, and Quila Quina is where Mapuche culture combines with summertime watersports. Rent a kayak and paddle the shoreline in search of hidden coves, or shop for traditional, wooden crafts as memories of Patagonia. In the late afternoon, make your way back into towards town and stroll the shop-lined streets, stopping in Plaza San Martin where musicians, performers, and entertainers all gather in the central square. History buffs can duck their head into the fascinating Settler’s Museum, or travelers with a sweet tooth can sample the town’s legendary chocolate.

Day 3: Day trip to Lake Huechulafquen

For as scenic as the downtown area can be, one of the benefits of San Martin is its proximity to Lanin National Park. Embark on an all-day wilderness journey to the northern section of the park, where the snowcapped cone of Lanin Volcano is reflected in Lake Huechulafquen. Spend the day hiking and exploring the shoreline at the base of the towering volcano, and on the way back to San Martin, explore the town of Junin de los Andes and its laidback, small town charm.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Road of the Seven Lakes to Villa La Angostura from San Martin de los Andes

Road of the Seven Lakes to Villa La Angostura from San Martin de los Andes

star-4.5
21
Hit the road for a dramatic full-day tour of the famous Road of the Seven Lakes, journeying from San Martin de los Andes to Villa La Angostura. Admire an endless panorama of azure-blue lakes, rambling forests, and snow-dusted mountains as you travel through the heart of Argentina’s Lake District. Keep your camera handy as you pass lakes and waterfalls; stop by Mapuche villages to learn about the region’s indigenous heritage; and enjoy lunch (own expense) in Villa La Angostura. This small-group tour is limited to 12 for an intimate experience.
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$58,88
From
US$58,88

Hua Hum Day Trip from San Martin de los Andes including Lanin National Park

Hua Hum Day Trip from San Martin de los Andes including Lanin National Park

star-4.5
9
Marvel over the majestic landscapes of Argentina’s Lake District and get off-the-beaten-track on this half-day small-group minivan tour from San Martin de los Andes. Learn about the indigenous Mapuche people of the Lanín National Park, as you pass striking landscapes like the Pampa de Trompul and the looming peak of Cerro Colorado. Wind your way along the Peninsula de Yuco and Lake Lácar; stop for refreshments (own expense) by the Hua Hum River; and enjoy a short hike to see the thundering Chachin Waterfall.
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  • 5 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$46,66
From
US$46,66

Lake Huechulafquen and Lanin Volcano Day Trip

Lake Huechulafquen and Lanin Volcano Day Trip

star-4.5
12
Escape the tourist trail and experience the natural beauty of Argentina’s Lake District on this full-day adventure from San Martin de los Andes. Enjoy prime views of the glacial lake of Huechulafquen; walk along black volcanic sand beaches; and snap photos of the snow-capped Lanín Volcano. Finally, discover the unique culture of the indigenous Mapuche as you stop at local villages and visit historic churches. This small-group tour is limited to 12 people and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.
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  • 10 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$58,88
From
US$58,88

Chapelco Hill Tour Including Pil Pil and Arrayanes Circuit

Chapelco Hill Tour Including Pil Pil and Arrayanes Circuit

Experience the awe-inspiring vistas of Argentine Patagonia on this 4-hour minivan tour from San Martin de los Andes. Keep your camera handy as you drive around the glittering Lácar Lake, follow the forested Arraynes Circuit and climb the foothills of Mount Chapelco. Enjoy free time at the Chapelco resort to explore the artisan shops or ride the cable car to the summit (own expense) for an unforgettable aerial view. This small-group tour has a maximum of 12 people for a personalised experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$31,55
From
US$31,55

San Martin de los Andes Mountain Bike Adventure

San Martin de los Andes Mountain Bike Adventure

Pedal your way around Patagonia on this fun half-day mountain bike adventure from San Martin de Los Andes. Take the Arrayanes Circuit (Cerro Chapelco route), with views of the mighty Mount Chapelco, Lanín Volcano, and the blue Lake Lácar. This small-group tour has a maximum of 12 people and is suitable for all abilities.
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  • 5 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$55,56
From
US$55,56


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