San Martín De Los Andes in 4 Days: The Patagonian Paradise

By viajaleaks | Jun 20, 2023
South America > Argentina > San Martín de los Andes

Located in the province of Neuquén and next to Lake Lácar, San Martín de los Andes is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Argentina.

Its natural environment, surrounded by lakes and mountains, make it an ideal destination for any time of the year. Moreover, its strategic location allows you to combine your trip with other essential places in the region, such as Bariloche or Villa La Angostura. Discover everything you can do in San Martín de los Andes in 4 days and immerse yourself in the Patagonian nature.

How to Get to San Martín de los Andes


To reach San Martín de los Andes, you can take a direct flight from Buenos Aires to Aviador Carlos Campos Airport, located just 20 kilometers from the city. From there, you can take a taxi or transfer to your accommodation.

Where to Stay in San Martín de los Andes


One of the most popular areas to stay in is the city center, as it offers a convenient location close to shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
If you're looking for beautiful views, you can choose to stay near Lake Lácar, for example.
And if you're seeking a quieter atmosphere away from the city center, you can also consider staying in the outskirts of San Martín de los Andes, where you'll find cabins surrounded by forests and mountains.

What to Do in San Martín de los Andes in 4 Days


There are plenty of activities you can enjoy in San Martín de los Andes in 4 days, depending on your interests and the time of year you're visiting.

If you're interested in exploring nature, you can go trekking in Lanín National Park, where you'll find trails with waterfalls, lakes, and panoramic viewpoints.
You can also engage in water sports on Lake Lácar or, if you're visiting in winter, go skiing and snowboarding at Cerro Chapelco.

You can also take advantage of your stay in San Martín de los Andes to explore some nearby places.

Here are some ideas for visiting San Martín de los Andes in 4 days.

Day 1 - Downtown San Martín de los Andes

If your first day in San Martín de los Andes coincides with your arrival, it's best to spend it walking around downtown and save full days for excursions.

You can start by exploring the downtown area of San Martín de los Andes along Avenida San Martín, the main street of the city. Here, you will find a wide variety of shops, restaurants, cafés, and boutiques. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the alpine architecture as you stroll through its picturesque streets.

Take the opportunity to visit chocolate shops like Mamuschka, Del Turista, or Mamusia, which is the city's first chocolate shop, run by a Polish family. It is located in a typical San Martín de los Andes building with a façade decorated with flowers and birds in the traditional Polish art style known as Wycinanki.

Afterward, you can make your way to Mirador Bandurrias. From here, you'll have a beautiful panoramic view of the city and Lake Lácar.

As you head back towards the lakeshore, you'll come across the iconic San Martín de los Andes sign, located in front of the beach. It's an ideal spot for taking photos and enjoying the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

While you're here, you can also indulge in a snack or meal at Vieja Deli, a charming café located in a cabin with lake views. If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss out on their delicious flambéed apple crepes!
For dinner, a must-visit place is La Casona, known for its trout or deer pasta dishes. It's a delightful dining option you won't want to miss.

Day 2 - 7 Lakes Tour to Bariloche

On the second day of your 4-day visit to San Martín de los Andes, you can dedicate your time to a tour.

We highly recommend taking the 7 Lakes Tour from San Martín de los Andes to Bariloche. It's an impressive journey that traverses one of the most picturesque routes in the Argentinean Patagonia. You have the option to stop at Villa La Angostura or continue all the way to Bariloche.

You can arrange the tour directly in San Martín de los Andes at one of the local agencies or purchase it in advance. Typically, for these excursions, they provide hotel pick-up services. You can inquire about the details and arrangements when booking the tour.

The tour starts in San Martín de los Andes and heads south, following the shores of Lake Lácar. It passes by the lakes Machónico, Falkner, Villarino, Escondido, Correntoso, and Espejo until reaching Lake Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche, located in the province of Río Negro.

The bus stops at each lake and also at Villa La Angostura. At each location, you have some time to get off, take photos, and explore a bit.

Once in Bariloche, you have time to explore the city, grab a bite to eat, and then return to the bus that takes you back to San Martín de los Andes.

Day 3 - Cerro Chapelco

If you visit during winter, one of your days in San Martín de los Andes should be dedicated to visiting Cerro Chapelco in the Andes mountain range. It's best to check the opening date (which depends on the snow conditions), but typically it opens in late June.

Even if you don't plan to ski, it's essential to bring snow gear. There are several shops in downtown San Martín de los Andes where you can rent clothing, footwear, as well as skis or snowboards.

To reach the base of Cerro Chapelco, you can take a taxi or hire a transfer service. Once at the base, you can purchase lift passes for the cable car, either on-site or in advance.

In addition to skiing or snowboarding, there are other activities available, such as Snowshoe Trekking, Snowmobile Tours, or Sled Dog Rides. These activities provide a unique and exciting way to explore the snowy landscape and enjoy the winter wonderland of Cerro Chapelco.

Day 4 - Villa Quila Quina

Villa Quila Quina is located on the southern shore of Lake Lácar, within the Lanín National Park.

It is an excursion that can be done by catamaran, sailing across the lake.
The catamaran departs from the coast, where the San Martín de los Andes sign is located, and you can purchase the excursion directly on site.

It can be done all year round, but if you visit in summer, you can also enjoy the beach and engage in water sports such as water skiing, fishing, and kayaking.

During the journey, you'll enjoy panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings while listening to the history and points of interest of the area.
In addition to the boat ride on Lake Lácar, the excursion includes a tour of the lands of the Churruhuinca Mapuche community, where you can see their traditional houses and constructions.

A walk through the forest will lead you to Arroyo Grande, a waterfall surrounded by rocks.

It's a beautiful excursion to enjoy at any time of the year, and you can also take the opportunity to purchase crafts made by the Mapuche community at the sales stalls.

If you have some extra time, you can't miss having an afternoon tea at Casa de Té Arrayán, located near Mirador Arrayanes. It's an unforgettable place to enjoy the views of the lake and the Andes Mountains.

With this, we conclude the 4-day itinerary in San Martín de los Andes, a versatile tourist destination with plenty of activities to suit every taste.

National Parks Patagonia South America Things to do San Martín de los Andes Argentina Itinerary

Share this tip:

Written by viajaleaks
Hi, we are Viajaleaks, just curious travelers interested in sharing our discoveries in art, stories and food. The unusual places of our country Argentina, and all the places we discovered in the rest of the world We invite you to travel together, join us!"

Thoughts? Questions?

See also

Accommodations

Tours and activities

Art Tour in Buenos Aires! Visit artists studios

Transfer included. An amazing experience to know Argentinian Contemporary Artists, their studio and love the art works!

Retiro & Monserrat Walking Tour

This tour'll get you inside the history of Buenos Aires. I'll be narrating you the developement of our Nation trough stories, architecture, music and my personal experience, as many of the locations of the tour have a special meaning for me as a local. Discover the oldest buildings of the city, some secret stories and locations of downtown with me