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Seven Lakes Area: San Martín de los Andes - Villa Trafull along 7 LakesOutdoors

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San Martín de los Andes - Villa Trafull along 7 Lakes

A pectacular full day circuit where you will be able to visit part of the Road of the Seven Lakes, Villa Traful, Villa Meliquina, and Lanín and Nahuel Huapi National Parks.

Duration: One day

Distance: 110 kms

Enabled: Summer, Autumn, Spring

Description tour: San Martín de los Andes - Villa Trafull along 7 Lakes

Everything starts when the city is left behind. The Lácar Lake dominates the scene, the mountain becomes a delight to the eye and the forest of Cypress trees appears among the rocks.

You will go along the National Road Nº 40 (234 before), at the beginning of the strecht known as "of the Seven Lakes", which joins the towns of San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura.

Remember to turn on the low lights of the vehicle (Law 25,456) and fasten your seat belts.

The destination in this case is Villa Traful, a small town of just 700 inhabitants, providing all kind of services and a marvellous landscape.

The circuit has plenty of attractions. Just after five kilometres the entrance to Catritre Beach appears, and one kilometre further you will find the access to the Provincial Road Nº 108 that leads to Villa Quila Quina.

Always going up, you will see a forest of Roble Pellín surrounding the road and the first houses of rural people and the sheep grazing begin to appear, all sorrounded by the Chapelco mountains.

The Pil Pil viewpoint is the perfect excuse to appreciate from the top the beauty of the Lácar Lake, Vizcacha, Savannah and Colorado Hills, and part of the valley's stream that gives the name to the place.

In less than a thousand metres, in kilometre 15, you will see on the left the road that leads to Chapelco Winter Center.

The Arroyo Partido (Divided Stream)

You will find a huge Mallín (a low easily flooded area) on the right, where you can stop at the Arroyo Partido viewpoint.

You will be able to appreciate a nature oddity, a small stream carrying thawing water from Chapelco summit runs across a bed of stones from where it opens in two diferent arms.

The left one is called Arroyo Culebra (Snake Stream) because it seems to creep as a snake, searching for the waters of Hermoso River, which finally continues its way toward the Atlantic Ocean. The right one is called Pil Pil, which drains into the Pacific Ocean through the Lácar Lake waters.

While being able to enjoy a spectacular view of Falkner Hill, it is the turn to go down a steep slope to Hermoso River. There you will find a  growing urbanization which offers a wide variety of gastronomy and lodging services.

Two roads are opened, on the right the paved National Road Nº 234 leads to Villa La Angostura (85 km) and Bariloche (166 km). On the left, the Provincial Road Nº 63, not paved, leads to Paso Cordoba (48 km), Confluencia Traful (69 km) and Bariloche.

Going along Seven Lakes

Going straight on the paved road, you will see Laguna Fría (an interesting point to observe aquatic birds) and near this the Machónico Lake viewpoint, a wonderful postcard of the trip.

The next point of interest is the access to Hermoso Lake, five kilometres ahead. The service area has grown in recent years, including a bar and pub, bed & breakfast lodging, guided horseback riding, mountain shelters, campsites with hot water and the Park Ranger's House. To get to the lake you should take a 2 kilometre detour visiting Laguna Pudú Pudú.

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Leaving behind Lanín National Park, you will reach Nahuel Huapi National Park. You can then stop again to admire Vulignanco waterfall, an impressive fall emerging from the forest, that is divided in two, making it worth taking pictures of it.

The astonishment continues, since after going past the waterfall the magnificence of Falkner Lake appears, with sandy beaches and a small river that joins Falkner and Villarino Lakes.

The pavement finishes abruptly. Pavement work is being carried out for the stretch leading to the detour to Villa Traful. Besides being good news, you should be extremely coutious as there are road machines working and sometimes the traffic is reduced to half road.

It is Escondido Lake's turn now, with its green colours hiding among the forest of Coihues. The road begins to descend until Pichi Traful Lake, which is the Northern arm of Escondido Lake. There are a picnic area by the riverside, the Park Ranger's House and a two-kilometre detour on the left that leads to the lake and campsite.

The detour to Villa Traful

Going back to the National Road Nº 234, you have to go on twenty more kilometres along the way sorrounded by a forest of Coihues. You will go along the riverside and finally you will reach the detour to Villa Traful (27 km) on the left.

Then a steep ascent of one kilometre -El Portezuelo- will lead up to 930 metres above sea level, different kind of trees appear, Radales, Cypress and Retamos. Then the lake can be seen on the left, with a fantastic bay (Puerto Arrayán) and many bridges that go over the streams coming down from the mountains.

The intense blue colour of the water of Traful Lake, the brightness of the environment together with the gardens, the Cypress trees and the calm atmosphere of the Village, ideal for fishermen and lovers of silence, has become one of the best tourist attractions of the region.

Content manager: Secretaría de Turismo
Office: Secretaría de Turismo - Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas
Opening hours: 7:00hs a 14:00hs
Phone: 02972-425500
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Municipality of San Martín de los Andes

Teléfono +54 (2972) 427 315 | +54 (2972) 428 795

Gral. Roca y Juan Manuel de Rosas

Ministry of Tourism

Telephone +54 (2972) 427347 | Fax +54 (2972) 427695

Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas

(8370) - San Martín de los Andes - Provincia del Neuquén - Patagonia - Argentina