Discover both peacefulness and outdoor adventures at this lakeside town, marking the northern end of the magnificent Seven Lakes Road.
Dabble in abundant active pursuits amid the exquisite natural scenery of Argentina’s Lake District at San Martín de los Andes. It sits on the shores of a glacial lake in the shadow of two mountain peaks. Go biking, boating, hiking or skiing in or near the town. Appreciate the cozy alpine charm of the town’s architecture, artisan shops, bars and restaurants.
A major attraction is Lago Lácar (Lake Lacar), stretching from the town’s western point toward the Argentina-Chile border. Enjoy views from the town beach and relax at Catritre Beach and Quila Quina Beach. Join a boat cruise to indigenous settlements, remote islands, waterfalls and Hua Hum, where the water begins its journey into Chile. Explore the icy waters via rented kayak or rowboat. Hike to Bandurrias Lookout for impressive views.
Looming over the town’s south side is Lanin National Park, characterized by its swaths of dense Patagonian forests. Follow biking and walking trails, such as one to the Arrayanes Lookout. Camp overnight amid picturesque woodland. Enjoy Nordic walking, skiing and snowboarding from mid June through October at Chapelco Ski Resort, atop Chapelco Hill.
Wander the town center streets to find alpine-style buildings, historic landmarks and lively squares, including Plaza San Martín and Plaza Sarmiento. Browse displays of archaeological and ethnographic objects at the First Settlers Museum. Watch performing arts shows at Cotesma Cultural Center and visit the San Jose Parish Church. The life of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara is reviewed at La Pastera Museum of Che.
Shop for ceramics, handcrafted jewelry, knitted shawls and textiles at the Paseo de los Artesanos. Indulge in the artisanal goods of the town’s chocolatiers. Sample Patagonian lamb and trout, among other traditional Andean dishes, at both casual and fine-dining restaurants.
Reach San Martín de los Andes by flying to San Carlos de Bariloche and then renting a car or taking a bus. Continue your adventure by visiting the lakes and villages strung out along the Seven Lakes Road to Villa la Angostura.