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Have the freedom of driving around the Argentina southern lakes region. Stop at a variety of National Parks, virgin forests and innumerable lakes and all of this with the remarkable backdrop of the Southern Andean Patagonia Range.
Hotels quoted are superior and deluxe class categories (similar to 4* and 5* categories). The hotels we use are clean, safe, with private facilities and are centrally located.
Arrive at Bariloche airport & private transfer (with guide) to the car rental office to pick up your car. Rest of day to explore the area. Visit Cerro Cathedral area, the most famous of Bariloche. Its name comes from its summit’s resemblance to the towers of gothic cathedrals. Mt Cathedral is a great ski and winter sports resort. When you reach Playa Bonita, you turn left and continue until you reach the statue of Our Lady of the Snow, where you turn right. After passing a salmon farm you will be at the foothill of the ski resort. From the base there are various lifts that take the visitor to the different ski runs.
NOTE: According to your flight time the transfer can go to Rental Car office in order to pick up car. If the flight arrives after 8PM the car will be delivered at hotel on the following day around 9 AM. Rental Car drop off must be at rental Car Company.
Day to explore the area. A good choice is to do the catamarán trip along Lake Nahuel Huapi which starts at Puerto Pañuelo and goes to Blest Port, to the western coast at the feet of the Andes. One of the attractions along the way is Centinela Islet, where Francisco P. Moreno is buried. Once at Puerto Blest, you can visit the area or continue for another 3 km bus ride to Frías Lake, where you can sail for 20 minutes on the vivid green water and enjoy a magnificent view of Mount Tronador (3.490m). Alternatively you can walk some steps up to Los Cántaros waterfall. Upon returning to Blest Port, you board the catamaran for a sail back to Pañuelo Port and drive back to your hotel for your 2nd night of accommodation in Bariloche .
A good option we suggest is: driving boardering the Neuquen River and visiting Junin de Los Andes 273 kms / 4 ½ hours driving.
This alternate route is spectacular but in a very different way to that of the Siete Lagos Route. It is generally more arid and the road passes alongside flood plains, rivers, brightly coloured deciduous trees, and volcanic plugs. You may even spot some llama or flamingos! Accommodation in San Martin de los Andes for the next two nights.
Day to explore the area. You can take the chance to visit Cerro Chapelco. The drive between San Martín and Chapelco ski resort takes about 20 minutes. The access road is off Ruta 234 (the Siete Lagos Ruta to Villa la Angostura), 15km south of the town. The access road (RN19) is not paved but it's an easy drive, even for a 2WD, because it's not steep and reasonably wide. Return to San Martin de Los Andes for your 2nd night of accommodation.
The Ruta de los Siete Lagos (7 Lakes Road) runs south from San Martin de los Andes (RN234) down to Villa la Angostura on RN231. As the name suggests, the road travels past seven main lakes that look spectacular amidst snow capped mountains and forests. Running through both the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi National Parks, this route is a very well trodden tourist path. Whilst there are lots of deviations off the main path, the direct route is 108km in length and it can take as little as 1.5 hours to travel. Multiple photo stops will increase the travel time significantly, as will snow or ice on the road. The middle section of the route is unpaved for 40km, and it may be muddy, dusty, and/or corrugated. Hopefully the views will distract you from the potential bumpiness of the ride!
On reaching Villa La Angostura, check in to your hotel for your next 2 night’s accommodation.
Today, you can stay in the area to explore this nice village and its surroundings. Not too far from your hotel is the National Park Los Arrayanes. It was created in 1971 to protect 1753 hectares of arrayanes forest. On Quetrihué peninsula of Lake Nahuel Huapi, it presents a rich diversity of native plants from the southern Andean forest: Coihue southern beeches, Andean cypresses,radals, pataguas, arrayanes, and palo santos. These species constitute the evergreen canopy along the coast, and grow in regions up to 900 metres above sea level. To see these unique trees in this park, you can sail on the Nahuel Huapi Lake or walk a 12 km trail from Villa La Angostura.
Return to your hotel for your 2nd night of accommodation in Villa La Angostura.
Drive back to Bariloche on the paved road around the Nahuel Huapi Lake to Bariloche and to the Car Rental Office to drop off your hired car.