Holiday Greetings from Argentina’s Lake District!
The indigenous Mapuche people are found in the Andean region of both Argentina and Chile
More blooming evidence of Spring as seen in Nahuel Huapi National Park of the Lake District
Following is a brief excerpt from an email we sent to family and friends many years ago when we first arrived in San Martin. I find it interesting to now read these forgotten, but not lost, emails since joining the world of blogging. Little did I know that blogging would be created in the not-so-distant future and little did I know what fun it would be t share the many places we had visited, explored, and lived in during our expat “nomadic” life.
“We are currently in the beautiful Lake District which is south of Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. We are living the outdoor life and enjoying the incredible lakes with the Andes in the background. Our base is San Martin de los Andes which is a lake town of approximately 30,000 inhabitants. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the country and for a very good reason – its beauty, its casual lifestyle, its outdoor activities, and its friendly population.”
The magic of San Martin de los Andes at night
From San Martin de los Andes we could visit the nearby towns and the many recreational areas. It was a perfect base for our needs! When we felt like “hitting the road” we had two options. One option was getting on local bus for the excursion on the Road of the Seven Lakes. The other option was to get on a long distance bus to cross over the Andes and visit Chile. I will save those excursions, however, for another posting.
There are non-stop spectacular views as seen in the Lake District of Argentina
Villa la Angostura is one of the most picturesque towns in the Lake District and is well suited for relaxation when a visitor is not enjoying the many outdoor activities in the area. The architecture of the town is of Alpine-style wooden motif similar to that of Bariloche's city center. There are lovely shops and restaurants of artisanal products such as chocolate, beer and trout. “Villa” is categorized as a mountain village even though it has approximately 11,000 inhabitants.
Scenic cruise boats ply the waters from Villa la Angostura
A "local" has decided we offer the best available Thanksgiving meal and we are happy to share!
Just outside Villa la Angostura is Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes which offers several hikes through the unique arrayán forest - arrayáns are evergreens with gnarled brown trunks). Here you can hike mountain trails and enjoy hidden vistas of Lake Nahuel Huapi without the crowds. Afterwards, retire to your lodge, or cabin, or hut, or whatever which is often tucked away in the surrounding forest. Villa a great retreat for a few days of fun and relaxation. Above all, it is a place to enjoy nature and the peaceful life. Now for a total change of pace, let’s visit the bustling city of Bariloche!
Striking Arrayan trees are native to the Andes and are found in and around Villa de Angostura
Meet the magnificent poster boy of San Carlos de Bariloche!
After development of extensive public works and Alpine-styled architecture, the city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism center with skiing, trekking, and mountaineering facilities. San Carlos de Bariloche is surrounded by pristine wilderness and is picturesquely located on the edge of the sparkling Nahuel Huapi Lake and offers plenty of adventure sports and skiing opportunities. The town itself is memorable for its alpine village style architecture, buzzing nightlife, and its amazing quantity and variety of chocolate.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate everywhere in Bariloche!
Some visitors may be put off with the tall apartment buildings, nightclubs, and the urban sprawl. If you feel this way, head out to Nahuel Huapi Lake or the surrounding mountains and enjoy their peace and quiet. It is also easy to avoid staying in the city center by finding accommodations on the road leading to Llao Llao outside of Bariloche. There are many options available in and around Bariloche to satisfy every personality and Bariloche is certainly a worthwhile destination while visiting Argentina’s Lake District.
I remember hearing many, many years ago that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I am a believer so following is the link to my WEB ALBUM which has additional photos for this posting. And if that is not enough, I have also included below the SLIDE SHOW of the web album for your immediate enjoyment.