The 10 Best Things to Do in San Martin de los Andes, Argentina

September 30, 2017 Roseanne Arnett

Perched on the banks of the dreamy Lácar Lake, San Martin de los Andes is a Patagonian paradise. Birdwatchers flock and flutter to the annual South American Bird Fair, while thrill seekers love to kayak, ski, or mountain bike along the gorgeous landscape. Arts and crafts shops and artisan food producers will delight visitors that love a sensory sampling of local cultures.
Restaurants in San Martin de los Andes

1. Route of the Seven Lakes

Ruta Nacional 40, San Martin de los Andes, Argentina +54 2972 41-1300
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Route of the Seven Lakes

Reviewed By Gege N

We couldn't stop at all the viewpoints because it was drizzling and really cold, but the ones we could stop at had the most beautiful views, everyone (ages 10 to 80) enjoyed the ride from San Martin De Los Andes to Bariloche, beginning and end to the Route of the Seven Lakes..

Lanin National Park, San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 309 reviews

Escorial

Reviewed By boguslaw_krauss - Adrogué

1) Siete Lagos ( seven lakes ). From SM to Villa la Angostura. 60 miles on the way out, on a good, paved road ( a couple of miles unfinished ). 60 miles return, on the same road. Very good. Beautiful views.
2) Meliquina Lake, Filo Hua Hum Lake, Paso Córdoba and Lacar Lake. Spectacular views of lakes and Mountains, strange rock shapes. 25 miles paved road and 110 miles on good gravel road. Not to be missed.
3)Junin de los Andes. 22 miles from SM, on a paved road. Very interesting church ( on asking a nun explains the history and the aboriginal scenes ). A very small
museum. Not much more. Half a day, if you have nothing better to do.
4) Quila Quina. About half an hour by boat from SM
( the road is narrow and bad ). Good beach, nice waterfall, Mapuches selling handikraft. Very good.
5) Huechulafquen Lake. 130 miles in all pn a good paved road. Beautiful lake, good view of the Lanin volcano. You board a catamarán at Puerto Canoas, which takes you to the Escorial : 400 years ago a volcano errupted, 10 miles away, and the lava river almost cut off the lake in two before solidifying, and forming the small Verde lake and the Epulafquen Lake. Awesome. Not to be missed.
6)Lolog Lake, small and big Curruhue lakes, the Escorial ( from the south, you walk on it ) and the
Epulafquen Springs. Good gravel road up to small Curruhue lake, poor to the Escorial and bad to the Springs. Very interesting.
7) Hua Hum, Chachin waterfall, Yuco península, Bandurrias viewpoint, Tromen rock and Mapuche settlement. 60 miles ( in all ) on good gravel road.
interesting.
Best time to go : November - April ( in January and
February too many tourists )
Other activities in SM :
Boar and deer hunting.
Trout fishing
Skiing and winter sports ( June - August )
How to get there : from Buenos Aires to Chapelco ( six miles away ), a two hour flight ( by Aerolíneas Argentinas : unreliable and costly ) or to Bariloche and
a three hour bus ride, through the seven lakes road. Fly
to Bariloche by Lan : much better and punctual service tan A,A,

3. Playa La Islita

Lago Lacar, San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 144 reviews

Playa La Islita

Reviewed By Gen S - Perth, Australia

We walked for 6kms or so up and through the Parque Nacional Lanin and around Lago Lacar to arrive at the island. The wind was up and wippng the water so we didn't try to cross over to it, but it looked very lovely and quite an oasis. It was pleasant and relaxing sitting on the beach opposite.

4. Peninsula de Yuco

San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 229 reviews

Peninsula de Yuco

Reviewed By Juan Miguel C - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Pasamos por Playa Yuco en camino para Hua Hum y Nonthué. Está a 27 km partiendo desde San Martín de los Andes, yendo por la RP48, toda de ripio.
Lamentablemente, el día se presentó nublado y así se mantuvo en las horas restantes. Nos quedamos un buen rato, descansando, admirando esa suerte de bahía que le da a la playa un toque diferente a otras. Pensamos en los colores que se podrán observar en dicha playa en un día con sol a pleno; el azul profundo del Lago Lacar, con el verde de las coníferas y coihues en el promontorio cercano, el azul del cielo, el verde esmeralda del agua por la menor profundidad a medida que se acerca a la costa, etc. etc.
El camino, en bajada desde el estacionamiento donde dejamos el vehículo, atraviesa un hermoso bosque patagónico y es una atracción en sí mismo, aunque no muy largo.
Al subir para volver al estacionamiento, vimos que hay otros senderos y lugares, tampoco demasiado grandes, preparados para dejar los vehículos.
Es de imaginar que en un día con un muy lindo clima, se debe llenar de gente que va a pasar el día. En tal caso, habría que ver si no hay problemas para poder dejar el auto estacionado. Hay que llevar comida y todo lo necesario porque no hay forma de adquirir nada en muchos km. a la redonda. En todo caso, antes de llegar a Yuco, en las inmediaciones de la Piedra del Trompul -área habitada por residentes de origen Mapuche-, se ven carteles ofreciendo pan, tortas fritas y algunas otras vituallas.
Finalmente, hay que destacar que, al igual que la RP61 que bordea el Huechulaufquen por su costa Norte, la RP48 que bordea el lago Lacar hasta Hua Hum y la Cascada Chachín, es de ripio, pero bien malo, con muchos kilómetros de "serrucho". Es increíble que la RP48 esté en esas condiciones cuando tiene un alto nivel de tránsito en razón del Paso Internacional Hua-Hum a Chile. Cada vez hay más vehículos chilenos y argentinos que utilizan esa vía para cruzar hacia uno o el otro país. Cada tanto se observa alguna motoniveladora mejorando la superficie de ripio, y en otras oportunidades (pocas) algún camión hidrante arrojando agua para aplacar el polvo, permanentemente en el aire dada la cantidad de vehículos que pasan. Pero es evidente que no basta lo poco que hacen Parques Nacionales y/o Vialidad Provincial de Neuquén. Creo que es absolutamente necesario pavimentar, con mayor prioridad la RP48, cuanto antes.
No pudimos volver a Yuco en un día brillante, pero sin dudas procuraremos hacerlo en la próxima oportunidad.

5. Cerro Chapelco

San Martin de los Andes Q8370DXQ, Argentina
Excellent
57%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cerro Chapelco

Reviewed By Heidi N - Carol Stream, Illinois

Outstanding skiing! If you need to rent your gear, rent it up at the mountain. Higher quality gear and you don't need to lug it around everywhere. Worth extra 200 pesos rather than renting from in town or even the tents in the parking lot. TRUST ME! There is also a bus, koko, that goes from the center to the cerro multiple times a day and is 35 pesos\person\way. Ask anyone for the schedule and how to buy the tickets. SUPER easy to take-- no need to pay for a shuttle service to the cerro and back. Skiing here was the highlight of our time in San Martin.

6. Cascada Chachin - Hua Hum

Ruta provincial 48, San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
54%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 674 reviews

Cascada Chachin - Hua Hum

Reviewed By Andrea D - Buenos Aires, Argentina

This was truly an amazing visit, the area of Yuco was beautiful. The path to go to the Cha Chin cascade was very peaceful and the view itself of the cascade, impressive. In our way back to San Martin, a wonderful snowfall surprised us! Thanks God our driver was extremely good and brought us back sound and safe. In regards to this last point I want just to mention that if you decide to drive by yourself, you must be trained in driving under winter / bad weather conditions, in a rough road. Otherwise, visit the place with one of the local tourist agencies, that have appropriate vehicles and trained drivers. The visit is truly worthy!

7. Playa Quila Quina

Lago Lacar, San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
51%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Playa Quila Quina

Reviewed By Bert W - Doetinchem, The Netherlands

A 40 minute ferry brings us to playa Quila Quina. The ferry does not sail every hour, you have to inquire at the office in the harbour of San Martin de los Andes. The boattrip itself is the best part of our visit, the beach is not very interesting. If you want to walk a kilometre to see the waterfall, mind that there is an entrance fee to see it....

8. Sendero al Mirador Bandurrias

San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
46%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 800 reviews

Sendero al Mirador Bandurrias

Reviewed By agerrela - Louisville, Kentucky

We got directions from the park service in the main plaza (next to the Feria de Artesanias), drove our rent-a-car along what seemed like a never-ending dirt road to the "parking lot" (paid 30 pesos to park). Keep going even if you feel like the road is taking you nowhere! It will take about 30 minutes from downtown San Martin. Then we walked up the 15-minute "hike" to the overlook. It was absolutely breathtaking! You could stay there for hours if you wanted to, it is so peaceful and beautiful. Could also be a nice place for a picnic. Definitely recommend!

9. Lago Lolog

San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Excellent
47%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 462 reviews

Lago Lolog

Reviewed By TripMember071320151 - Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile

Went on a family excursion on a Sunday. 1/2 of San Martin was there.
The lake is up a dirt road 12 kilometers from town.
Lower section of lake not much shade at the Beaches. Drove 8 kilometers around lake to the national forest. Paid 140 pesos to enter camp ground (day pass). Lots of shade and beautiful trees. Accessed the lake and enjoyed rocky Beaches. Very quiet and peaceful. Our boys loved the water. Small kiosk at campsite serving food and beer.
Highly recommended for a day trip from San Martin

10. Iglesia San Jose

Calle Gral. Roca, 820, San Martin de los Andes 8370, Argentina +54 2972 42-9286
Excellent
37%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 150 reviews

Iglesia San Jose

Reviewed By Eddie O - Wollongong, Australia

An interesting imposing building with its spire dominant from the main street. The interior has walls and a curved ceiling made of timber and is quite unique. Pews are simple wooden seats for up to four prople.

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