Lake District Tours
Bariloche - Argentina

Lake District: tourist-oriented info about tours, points of interest and activities in Bariloche, Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes . All documented by tons of pictures.

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Lake District: Villa la Angostura
       It is a small town located at the isthmus of the Quetrihué Peninsula bordering Nahuel Huapi and Correntoso lakes. BTW – that is where from comes its name as in Spanish “angostura” means “narrowness”. And if this is not enough – Villa la Angosturs is at the foothills of Cerro Bayo.

Thanks to being a bit isolated from the larger tourist center of Bariloche, it stands out as the place where you can get both – feeling of being in the center of an “undisturbed” paradise on earth and possibility for adrenaline-loaded excursions.

In other words – this is the place where you can relax in the comfort of nature and at the same time feed your need for adventures (from trekking, climbing, kayaking, horse-riding, fishing, canopy walking… to winter time skiing).

Despite this richness of nature the city is mostly know as the starting point for the trail leading to the Arrayanes forest.

Free patagonia maps

Map of the Villa la Angostura and surrounding area
Courtesy of Municipalidad de Villa la Angostura (Secretaria de Turismo).

Note This map cannot be reproduced without permission from the Municipalidad de Villa la Angostura. It can be only used for personal information.

But you should add to this indisputably unique forest many other areas of interest like:

  • picturesque Bahia de Manzano with beautiful beaches offering also great restaurants and lodging services,
  • “La Laguna Verde (The Green Lagoon) with the touching “Arrayan del Amor” (Myrtle of Love) formed by intertwined myrtle and cypress trees in a hug of everlasting love,
  • Cerro Bayo hill offering splendid views on the lakes from its 1782m (5,850 ft) peak. Not far from the summit you will find Rio Bonito Waterfall – a 35m (100ft) high cascade of water plunging over basaltic rocks.
  • Cerro Belveder Viewpoint – 1992m (6,535ft) with views on Correntoso and Nahuel Huapi lakes and Andes peaks on the backdrop,
  • Quetrihue Viewpoint – next to the peninsula isthmus offers panoramic views on Lake Nahuel Huapi, its branches Machete, El Rincon and Ultima Esperanza, Bahia Brava as well as Menendez Island.
  • Correntoso River – a 200 m (600ft) stretch of water linking the Correntoso and Nahuel Huapi lakes is probably the shortest river in the world. Favorite place for fishing although only “fly fishing” is permitted in this protected area.
  • Inacayal waterfall forming Las Piedritas stream,
  • Almost 100 meter high Santa Anna Waterfall and smaller Dora Falls surrounded by caves. To see this area you have to cross the Chilean border passing El Rincon Custom Office. The papers and the company of tour guide is necessary for this trip.
  • numerous pristine beaches along the lakes.

Most of these areas are served by city busses, however given the beauty of surrounding nature hiking and trekking seems to be the best choice.

     Thanks to the clever idea of local municipality, for more than 15 years inhabitants of Villa la Angostura take part in the contest for the most beautiful garden. A winner of this contest is exempted from paying local taxes for that year, but the real winners are all inhabitants and visitors. The city is literally “flooded” with beautiful gardens and front-yards.

Lake District: San Martin de Los Andes

    This picturesque city founded in 1898 is an entryway to the Lanin National Park.

Free San MArtin de los Andes pictures

It is located at the edge of the large post-glacial valley filled by waters of Lago Lacar.
Since the administration of the city (similarly as in Villa la Angostura) introduced yearly competition for the most beautiful garden, San Martine de los Andes became a city of flowers beautifully adding to its charm.

City - San Martin de los Andes

Map of San Martin de los Andes

Map showing the area of San Martin de los Andes - Lake Lacar, trekking paths, points of interest, attractions....

Lake District Pictures: Lanin National Park.
       Younger brother of the oldest Argentinean national park- Nahuel Huapi, the Lanin park was created in 1937. It takes its name from the majestic Lanin Volcano dominating the area with is snow-capped 3776 meters (12 390 ft) peak.

    The northern area of the park occupies the centenary Araucaria Forest where you can find thousand years old giants. Araucaria tree is endemic to this part of the world (Argentinean and Chilean central Andes). It is interesting to note that araucaria contrary to most known plants produces male and female cones on separate trees. During its lifetime it may occasionally switch the sex as it is growing older. The female cones, usually on the top of the tree have form of large balls containing few hundreds edible seeds. The male cones are much smaller and cylindrical in form. Araucaria is under protection in both Argentina and Chile.

Free Araucaria Pictures

Free Araucaria Pictures

Free Araucaria Pictures

full size: 3.38MB 2.51MB 3.33MB

Araucaria - on the left: female cones; center picture: male cones; Right: Female cones usually grow on the top of the tree.

Lake District: Nahuel Huapi National Park

This is the first national park created in Argentina thanks to the pioneering work and dedication of Mr. Perito Moreno. His generous donation of land made in 1903 was the starting point of the long legislative effort that ended with the creation of the Nahuel Huapi National Park in 1934.

Free Nahuel Huapi National Park Pictures

Crystal-clear lake waters in Nahuel Huapi National PArk

     It extends over two provinces – southern Neuquén and north-western Rio Negro covering on 7,100 square km (2,702 square miles) the “transitional zone” from the Patagonian steppes through postglacial lakes and forest covered valleys to the chain of Andes including imposing Cerro Tronador and stunning shapes of Cerro Cathedral. Due to its diverse ecosystems (steppes, lakes and valleys and high mountains) it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Its name in the local Mapuche language means “Park of the Jaguar Island”. While these days you will not find here jaguars, the park has reach wildlife starting from Andean condors effortlessly circling the sky through Patagonian foxes, pumas, pudus (smallest specie from the deer family), countless species of birds and abundant fish.

The Nahuel Huapi lake with its islands makes the big part of the park and its history. Legend has it that its deep waters are home to “Nahuelito” – a creature with similar roots as the widely known Loch Ness one.

Thanks to the diversity and beauty of landscape it is certainly one of the places not to miss. Although the park graciously opens for visitors, please note that it also include few Restricted and Critical Areas with no public access or with limited access to protect the unique and vulnerable nature.

To continue exploring the Patagonian Lake Discrict please select one of the following links:
Lake District Maps - previous (page 2) 

However if you are falling in love with Argentina (I wouldn't be surprised, it happened to me), then you are invited to the following pages to find the large selection of tourist destinations and attractions in Argentina, as well as travel tips for those heading there for the first time....
Tourist Destinations in Argentina 
Argentina Travel Tips

Buenos Aires walking tours

To see all Buenos Aires tours please select the link:
Buenos Aires Walking Tours

Puente del Inca Mendoza Argentina

You may also like to jump to Mendoza in High Andes to see a Natural Marvel - Puente del Inca, a site on the way from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile by selecting the link:
Puente del Inca

If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)

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