Bariloche and the Lake District are part of a destination with a myriad of attractions; its exquisite chocolates, the magnificence of its mountains and the warmth of its people make this place well worth visiting. And that´s not all: combine this with the diverse sceneries offered by each season and one single visit will almost certainly not be enough.

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Argentina on the go

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Sept 17th, 2021

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O ne of the highlights in this area is the well-known “Seven Lakes Route”, an absolutely stunning itinerary that covers some 200 km between Bariloche and San Martín de los Andes. One stretch of this tour features a visit to two picturesque villages: Villa La Angostura and San Martín de los Andes. Along with the lakes, these two locations offer travelers much more than an “energy-recharging point”; and even when the tour may be taken on an “intensive” day, we do recommend that you take your time and do it at your own pace. You won’t regret it.

The journey – by car – will start from Bariloche, all by yourself and at your own pace. Remember that in AOTG we will guide you and advise you on the best logistics for this adventure, according to the characteristics and recommendations for each season.

Villa La Angostura

The Seven Lakes

Lake Correntoso, Lake Espejo, Lake Escondido, Lake Villarino, Lake Falkner, Lake Machónico and Lake Lácar are the seven protagonists in this article today. And while there are 7 of these lakes along the route, you may get to see many more on this tour and feel amazed at the sight of other wonders in this charming corner of Patagonia.

Lake Correntoso

With the extraordinary mountain range in this area, the vastness of the lake and the great number of bays and beaches around Lake Correntoso we set off on the tour of the Seven Lakes. Not without warning you that this starting point is based in one of the most enchanting cities in Patagonia: Villa La Angostura.

Lake Correntoso

Lake Escondido

Both its turquoise color and the “effort” you may need to make to be able to see its beauty explain its name. The charm of this place doesn´t go unnoticed, and it will surely remind you how diverse each lake is.

Lake Escondido

Lake Espejo

This Lake has the warmest water of all the lakes in the area, which makes it one of the most popular with visitors in summertime. Its name is closely related to the phenomenon in this location. This body of water reflects, in an exceptional way, the surrounding mountains, which naturally explains why this is one of the most appealing and most photographed spots. The sun doesn´t set until late, which enables travelers to appreciate the most fascinating “postcard” sceneries.

Lake Espejo

Lake Villarino and Lake Falkner

In this site you will find yourself face to face with two completely different versions. One of the things you will become aware of as you move on in this journey is that each lake has its own “frame”, landscapes and characteristics. Diverse and magnificent per se. On one side of the road lies Lake Villarino, on the other, Lake Falkner. The former is ideal for those who love fishing or would rather spend a more peaceful time.

The latter does not lack peacefulness. Yet, you are bound to find a quite different landscape: the Patagonian woods will simply take your breath away. The qualities of the environment offer travelers protection from the wind, thus making its beaches the most visited in the area.

Lake Villarino was named after the Spanish explorer and sailor Basilio Villarino, while Lake Falkner´s name pays tribute to the Jesuit priest Tomás Falkner.

Lake Falkner

Lake Machónico

Like most of the lakes in Patagonia Lake Machónico is of glacial origin. The surrounding mountains and woods give the landscape a special charm. Located 30 km away from San Martín de los Andes, this body of water may be taken in from one of the viewpoints and/or on the way to its beach. The name of its tributary- River Hermoso – pretty much says it all.

The name of the lake derives from the Mapuche language and it means “Lake of Shrimps”, or “The Crab´s Place”

Lake Machónico

Lake Lácar

Lake Lácar welcomes both visitors and the locals from San Martín de los Andes. This is one fabulous scene to complete our tour of the Seven Lakes. The contrast between the city and the vastness of the lake- which sits within Lanín National Park- will definitely leave you speechless. It can be accessed throughout the year and it features several bays, beaches and cliffs, along with many resorts such as Quila Quina, Yuco or Catritre.

Its name comes from the traditional Mapudungun language and it might mean “Dead Shaman or Sorcerer” or “Crumbled Cliffs”.

Lake Lácar

WHERE TO STAY

Llao Llao Resort

Bariloche is home to one of the most exclusive and majestic hotels in Patagonia. This establishment lies on Cerro Tronador and Cerro López, from where guests have access to fascinating views of Lake Moreno and Lake Nahuel Huapi. A 5-star resort which has become a landmark of the city and the dream accommodation for many travelers that visit this part of the country.

Llao Llao Resort

El Faro Boutique Hotel & Spa by DON

Here is one memorable experience: after enjoying a tour of some of the most beautiful lakes in the region you may actually sleep right beside one of them. This prestigious and stylish hotel offers panoramic views of Lake Nahuel Huapi.

El Faro Boutique Hotel & Spa by DON

Correntoso Lake & River Hotel

One of the main attractions here is indeed the unique views of Patagonia´s Lakes. “Wake up and see the lake and go to sleep to the sound of the river”, a motto that summarizes this exceptional connection between nature and the comfort of its facilities.

Correntoso Lake & River Hotel

Loi Suites Chapelco Hotel

This colossal 226-hectare resort is located in San Martín de los Andes, within the Chapelco Golf & Resort complex and surrounded by the natural frame of the Andes Mountains range.

Loi Suites Chapelco Hotel

Local Knowledge for Independent Travelers

• Keep within reach the map with the different points well marked, especially the viewpoints and places to park your car during your stops.
• Carry some snacks to help you renew your energy on the road before you reach your final destination.
• Make sure you don´t leave trash or your personal belongings behind whenever you stop for some pictures or for a brief rest.
• Find out the road conditions before you choose your vehicle, particularly in winter time.
• Put your personal belongings in the trunk when you get out of the car to appreciate the landscape.
• Drinking water throughout the journey is vital, and so is the use of sunblock and sunglasses.
• Spend reasonable time on each stop. It´s worthwhile.
• Carry some cash with you. Many sites do not take credit or debit cards.
• Gas! To avoid setbacks, stop and refuel in the two main cities on the road.

Pearl on the Road

This pearl on the road is the icing on the cake, the grand finale of this exceptional adventure. After completing the Seven Lakes Route tour, and on the way back to Bariloche, we suggest you do so along Route 65, so you may enjoy a special visit to Villa Traful, which is hardly ever visited by travelers, most of whom restrict the tour to the lakes recommended on the list in this article.
However, this town is a real paradise worth visiting and spending time in. Villa Traful is home not only to one of the most amazing viewpoints in the area, but also to a submerged forest and a lake surrounded by a stunning natural scenery where visitors may engage in a number of nautical activities and tours. Further ahead on routes 65 and 237 you will come across River Limay and its Valle Encantado: Patagonian treasures that are well worth your stopping to appreciate. Indulge in the contemplation of this breathtaking landscape to close an extraordinary nature-laden adventure.

Villa Traful y Valle Encantado

¿Where to eat

Ñancu lahuen Restaurant

If you decide to stop by Villa Traful, this is the place. Its menu features traditional dishes from the region, as well as cakes and other traditional Argentine dishes. The sorrentinos is one big favorite among visitors.

El Esquiador Restaurant

In spite of the wide range of eateries in Villa La Angostura, this is one of the most frequently chosen. Even more surprising is the fact that many of those who have been to this place before still prefer to stop by this restaurant again rather than any other where they might taste new dishes. Trout, chicken, pasta and barbecue are the most prized options on the menu in this establishment, where visitors will be offered an outstanding service along with mouth-watering and hearty dishes.

Ulises

The best eatery in San Martin de los Andes if you wish to savor seafood or paella. Indeed, the local flavors in combination with these foods make of Ulises one big favorite among locals and tourists.