San martin de los Andes
Surrounded by mountains with thick forests and deep lakes of glacial origin, is one of the most important tourist destinations of Patagonia and the Province of Neuquen and worthy holder of immeasurable beauty, where nature shows all its splendor. In this scenery San Martín de los Andes offers a wide range of options for all tastes throughout the year.
It integrates the Corridor of the Lakes next to other localities of the west and south of the Province and tourist destinations of Chubut and Black River. It also forms the Corridor of Route 40 that unites from north to south the whole country through the magnificent Cordillera de los Andes.
A town with history
San Martín de los Andes was founded on February 4, 1898 with the purpose of strategically establishing a town near the border with Chile due to the territorial conflicts that existed in those times. The first settlement develops on a territory belonging, at that time, to the Mapuche Curruhuinca community.
Today, with over a hundred years of life, the locality continues to preserve some aspects of its traditional mountain village, where its inhabitants have collaborated to achieve a balance in their urban development, using for their architecture characteristic materials such as stone and wood that have Granted that image of mountain village that continues maintaining.
Today this beautiful village is an important tourist center of almost 25,000 inhabitants (Projection Census 2001) that live mainly from the tourist activity.
San Martin de los Andes is considered the gateway to the Lanín National Park: created to protect the natural landscapes of the region made up of hills, native forests, rivers, waterfalls and transparent water lakes that provide a unique space to enjoy A wide variety of activities and walks.
Located at one end of the famous Seven Lakes Road, which links this town with Villa La Angostura, it is the beginning of one of the most fascinating routes of Patagonia given the natural beauty along its route. The lakes: Machónico, Hermoso, Falkner, Villarino, Espejo, Escondido and Nahuel Huapi as well as the rivers like the Beautiful and Pichi Traful, are enjoyed along this way.
All year, all options
Its hills and forests change colors throughout the year: green, yellow, orange, red and white. In all the seasons of the year the locality offers different alternatives.
In spring and summer the possibilities are more varied and allow a more intense contact with nature: horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, etc. Trekking and hiking are options for all ages. In the surroundings of the locality there are numerous circuits and paths that traverse unique landscapes and that allow the interpretation of the nature; Such as the Huella Andina Trail.
In summer the rivers and lakes of the region invite to be traveled through lake excursions and the practice of water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, rafting, sailing. These environments are also chosen by lovers of sport fishing in all its modalities (fly casting, trolling and spinning). Some rivers such as Caleufú, Hermoso, Collón Curá, Meliquina, Aluminé or Quilquihue are visited in search of rainbow trout, brown and fontinalis.
The winter season covers the hills of a white blanket and welcomes the ski season on Mount Chapelco: one of the most important ski resorts in South America that has 120 hectares of ski area and 20 slopes where it is possible to practice alpine skiing, Background, crossing and snowboard. To complement the activities in the hill, alternatives and circuits are offered touring the city and its surroundings or enjoy the excellent regional gastronomy.
A city with many cultural options
There are several walks around the city and its surroundings, which include a tour of the Lake Lácar waterfront, the Municipal Primeros Pobladores museum and the La Pastera museum dedicated to Che Guevara. You can also visit historic buildings such as San José Parish and the old Intendance of the Lanín National Park.
Tea, theater and movie houses are some of the options for the visitor at all times of the year. The locality also offers several tourist circuits and walks that cross roads between hills until arriving at the viewpoints Bandurrias and Arrayán; From where you can appreciate the splendor of Lake Lacar, amazing waterfalls and centuries-old forests.
Villa Quila Quina, Lake Lolog, the beaches Catritre and Yuco, as well as the Centennial Reserve and Paso Hua Hum, are places that deserve to be visited.
In the surroundings of San Martin de los Andes some Mapuche communities open their doors to visitors to share their customs and beliefs.
Attention and warmth with cordilleran spirit
The hospitality and warmth of the cordilleran spirit can be enjoyed in all its services: hotels, cabins, inns of various categories that are available to visitors. The town also has travel agencies and a wide range of gastronomic offer: tea houses, grills, restaurants where you can taste exquisite specialties of deer, wild boar, trout, fine fruit or homemade chocolates.
It also has public transport services, fuel supply, ATM and Tourist Information Office.
Only 21 km. From the city, on the way to San Martin de los Andes by the National Route Nº 40, is the Chapelco Airport that regularly receives cabotage flights.
To cross to Chile is the border crossing Hua Hum to 52 km. Crossing a dream landscape.
This magical mountain village undoubtedly has it all: a range of options for all tastes and a natural setting that can be enjoyed in the four seasons of the year.