Stretching some 400km along the spine of the mountains from San Martin de los Andes though Bariloche and on to Esquel, the Lake District is one of the most captivatingly beautiful areas of Argentina. To the north, monkey puzzle trees (the famous Araucaria araucana) straddle the flanks of the snow-capped Lanin Volcano amidst a chain of picturesque lakes and densely forested lagoons. Further south, following the shadow the towering Andes, the national parks abound with 3000 year old Alerce trees as the scenery becomes ever more rugged.
Cherished by the locals, the Lake District is a mecca for outdoor activities and visitors come from far and wide to raft, bike and hike in the national parks. Rivers teem with trout and salmon while the rolling foothills of the Andes offer some of the finest riding in all of South America. Traditional estancias offer an authentic experience of gaucho life while others have opened their doors to fly-fishing.
Regular flights link Buenos Aires and the outside world with the pretty town of Bariloche, at the heart of the Lake District, an excellent starting point with good facilities. There are also sporadic connections with both Esquel and San Martin de los Andes.
The Chilean border is never far away, a fact best highlighted by the classic “Cruce Andino” Lake Crossing, a spectacular series of bus and boat trips that cuts through the very heart of the Andes to link the two countries.