In all of Argentina—or perhaps the world—has a stretch of 114 miles ever looked so good. Patagonia is known for holding some of the world’s most breathtaking alpine landscapes, and the section known as “Road of the Seven Lakes” is the most spectacularly scenic of it all. Beginning in Villa de Angostura to the north of Bariloches, the road travels all the way to San Martin de los Andes on the shores of Lake Lacár. In between, visitors are treated to epic vistas that stretch all the way out towards Chile, and pass by shimmering cobalt lakes such as Correntos, Espejo, and Falkner. The name of the road is actually a misnomer since there are far more than seven lakes, although all combine to create pinchworthy scenery that borders on the surreal. By summer the road is clear of snow and is the most popular time to visit, although unpaved section can occasionally become muddy after exceptionally heavy rains. Though the road only takes about 3.5 hours to drive from end to end, plan on devoting the entire day towards the exceptional alpine beauty. Many of the lakes have short hikes that lead to sweeping overlooks, and the fly fishing in the gurgling streams is Argentina’s best. Or, to truly immerse yourself in Andean beauty, stay at one of the primitive lodges scattered along the route, and find your own little corner of the forest to sit, relax, reflect, and rejoice in how lucky you are to be here.
The Road of the Seven Lakes can be accessed with either a private car or as part of a guided tour. For visitors staying in Bariloches or San Martin de los Andes, it’s common to drive the length of the road and return via larger, paved Route 40 through Junin de los Andes.