'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'

What makes this trip special?

The Argentine Lake District

The Argentine Lake District


On the shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi, San Carlos de Bariloche is the centre of Argentina's lake district and capital of domestic tourism in Argentine Patagonia. The town has an Alpine feel, with timber and local stone buildings making up the historic centre. The town has grown enormously in recent years and now stretches all the way around the lake, but remains an excellent base for exploring this part of the region.

'Seven Lakes' route

'Seven Lakes' route

Villa La Angostura to San Martin de los Andes

This iconic journey through some of the countries most famous lakes is a panoramic overview of the region. The first stop takes you around the largest lake on the route, the Nahuel Huapi, but you will also pass smaller hidden gems in forested valleys along the way. En route you have the option to stretch your legs and walk some trails or even swim in some of the quieter lakeside bays.

Lakeside town and Lanín National Park

Lakeside town and Lanín National Park

San Martin de los Andes

San Martin de Los Andes is the last stop on the famous 'seven lakes route' and is also the entrance to the Lanín National Park. Low rise Alpine architecture synonymous with the region makes the town a pleasant place to visit in its own right, but the main draw is undoubtedly the range of flora, fauna and hiking just next door inside the park boundaries.

Itinerary map for Argentina 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Bariloche
  • 2 Villa La Angostura
  • 3 San Martin de los Andes
  • 4 San Martin de los Andes
  • 5 Bariloche
  • 6 Bariloche
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'


Arrive in Bariloche and drive to Villa La Angostura

On arrival in Bariloche collect your hire car and drive yourselves around the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi to your first stop in the lake district, and Villa La Angostura. This drive is around 80km and takes approximately 1 hour. Villa La Angostura means 'narrow village' and this pretty town takes its name from the thin isthmus that connects the town to the Quetrihué Peninsula. The town was founded in 1932 and was historically where the Argentine elite built their summer homes. The town offers the only land access to Parque Nacional Los Arranyes which is named after the unusual arrayán tree, a species of myrtle. This handsome cinnamon-coloured tree can grow to be a hundred years old and is either found standing alone or in groves with its trunks contorted and twisted and its roots skimming the ground. The park is also home to the Magellenic woodpecker, the largest species of woodpecker in the world and the symbol of Patagonia.


Full day free in Villa La Angostura

Today you are free to explore the Arrayanes National Park. There are lots of walks in the park that you can take independently, but if you would like to pre-book guides then this can be arranged for you.


To San Martin de Los Andes, via Seven Lakes road

Today you leave Villa Angostura and set out onto the ‘Road of the Seven Lakes’ to San Martin de Los Andes on the shores of Lácar Lake. The road winds its way past the 7 lakes of Correntoso, Espejo, Villarino, Falkner, Hermoso, Machónico & Meliquina. The route is truly "road movie" worthy and you are able stop as many times as it takes to capture the perfect image of the stunning scenery as it unfolds in front of you. The total travelling time is 167 km, but the necessity for photo stops makes this a journey of approximately 4 hours. You then have the rest of the day free to venture into the Lanín National Park around San Martin de Los Andes, and you can either organise excursions on the lake or just relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.


Lake Huechulafquen in Lanin National Park

This full day excursion takes you via Junin de los Andes to Lake Huechulafquen in the Lanin National Park, where the snow-capped Lanin Volcano completes the vista. This region has strong Mapuche community links and this is evident on the way to the park, as you pass through villages and see community churches. Huechulafquen is a glacial lake, and with Lanín Volcano in the background is one of the most photogenic places in the area.


to Bariloche via Villa Traful

Today you have a scenic drive back to Bariloche and along the way you might like to take a detour via Lake Traful, yet another scenic and photogenic area. At first an unpaved road takes you through a delightful forest of bamboo and coihue trees and on sunny days the lake's waters gleam a beautiful jade green. Continue through Villa Traful, a tiny hamlet and up to Mirador de Traful lookout point from where you can look out across the length of the lake, impressive snow capped mountain with jagged pinnacles and if you're very lucky, spot Condor soaring through the sky. You then pass through the strangely erroded rock formations in the Enchanted Valley at Confluencia where the Traful and Limay rivers meet, before driving back into Bariloche and to your hotel where you stay for the next two nights. The total travelling distance is 260km on paved roads for around 3 1/2 hours.


Full day free in and around Bariloche

Today you have a full free day around Bariloche. We recommend the chair lift up Cerro Campanario hill for a stunning panoramic view of the Lake District, and the town of Bariloche itself as the capital of tourism for the region has a great variety of restaurants and shops, as well as some excellent chocolate producers for those with a sweet tooth.


Drop off hire car

This morning drive to the airport in plenty of time to drop off your hire car and check in to your onward flight.

Guide prices for 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
mid-range hotels 2 people sharing £1,380
upper range hotels 2 people sharing £2,145
Prices are per person and include:
  • hire car for one named driver with unlimited mileage
  • all accommodation
  • all meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • all excursions as described
Prices do not include:
  • transatlantic flights
  • domestic flights
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • airport and departure taxes
  • car-hire: petrol
  • car-hire: refundable deposit

Customer reviews for 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm
2 Villa La Angostura 21°C rainfall 43mm
3 San Martin de los Andes 22°C rainfall 24mm
4 San Martin de los Andes 22°C rainfall 24mm
5 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm
6 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Selfdrive the Argentine Lake District'

Days 1 - 2

Hosteria La Posada

Hosteria la Posada is is a lakeside hotel and spa with 20 rooms, that have either views of the lake or the gardens.

There is an outdoor pool and a spa with sauna, and wi-fi throughout the hotel.

On site there is a restaurant serving typical dishes of the region, and from time to time in the summer the hotel puts on a traditional 'parilla', or Argentine barbecue around the pool area for its guests.

Hosteria La Posada
Pool area
Day 3

La Casa de Eugenia Hosteria

San Martín de los Andes

Located just one block from Lake Lacar, at the edge of town, the Hostería La Casa de Eugenia was built in 1997 and for a long time was the National Park's administrative house. In 1997 it was converted into a small hotel. It features 9 rooms (Standard, Superior Suite and Triple Suite) all with hair-dryer, safe deposit and Wi-Fi, independent heating and telephone. Superior Suites also have TV and DVD.


There is a Breakfast room, 2 living and reading rooms, a swimming pool with Jacuzzi and a private park.

La Casa de Eugenia Hosteria
Hotel Exterior
Days 5 - 6

Villa Huinid

Located a few kilometres outside Bariloche Villa Huinid is a good base to explore the lakeside area, and the centre of town.

Rooms either have lake or garden views, and come with climate control, internet access, safe and mini bar with fridge.

The hotel has a heated indoor swimming pool, a parking area that is exclusive for guests, and a restaurant on site should you not wish to head into town.

Villa Huinid
Hotel exterior