Introducing San Martín de Los Andes
Like a mellower version of Bariloche, San Martín has two peak periods: winter for skiing at Cerro Chapelco and summer for trekking, climbing etc in nearby Parque Nacional Lanín. Brave souls also swim in the chilly waters of Lago Lácar on the western edge of town. Between these times it’s a quiet little town with a spectacular setting that retains much of the charm and architectural unity that once attracted people to Bariloche. A boat ride on the lake is pretty much a must if you’re passing through, and if the snow’s cleared (anytime from November onwards) and you’re heading south, you should seriously think about leaving town via the scenically neck-straining Ruta de los Siete Lagos (RN234), which runs south to Villa la Angostura, Lago Nahuel Huapi and Bariloche.