18/07/2024 08:31
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Seven Lakes Area: 7 Lakes by carOutdoors

7 Lakes by car

The stretch of National Road Nº 234 that joins the towns of San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura, includes in only 110 km the best of the geography and nature of Patagonia, becoming the most well-known regional tourist circuit of the area

Duration: One day

Distance: 110 kms

Recommendations: Ask for information in advance and check the road conditions.
On the way there are several camping areas and gastronomy services

Description tour: 7 Lakes by car

Just after leaving the city behind, the Lácar Lake dominates the scene while the mountains are deployed and the forest of Cypress trees opens its way among the rocks. You are now going along the National Road Nº 40 (234 before), at the starting point of the way known as "The Seven Lakes", which joins the towns of San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura.

Five kilometres further you will reach the entry to Catritre beach, and if you go on one more kilometre you will find the access to the Provincial Road Nª 108 that leads to Villa Quila Quina.

The forest of Pellín oak trees frames the continuous ascent, and the first houses of rural people and the sheep grazing begin to appear, all sorrounded by the Chapelco mountains.

The Pil Pil viewpoint is the perfect excuse to appreciate from the top all the beauty of the Lácar Lake, Vizcacha, Savannah and Colorado hills, and part of the valley's stream that gives the name to the place.

In less than a thousand metres, in kilometre 15, you will find on the left the detour that leads to Chapelco Ski Center.

The Arroyo Partido (Divided Stream)


Five kilometres ahead on the right, there is a huge mallín (a low easily flooded area) and the viewpoint of the Arroyo Partido.


This is a natural oddity, since the small stream that carries thawing water from the summit of Chapelco mountain runs across a bed of stones, and from there on, it opens into two different arms. The left one is called Arroyo Culebra (Snake Stream), because it seems to creep as a snake, looking for the waters of Hermoso River and continuing its way to the Atlantic Ocean. The right one is called Pil Pil and thanks to the waters of the Lácar Lake, it drains into the Pacific Ocean.


Going on the circuit, a spectacular view of Falkner hill will be displayed, which will continue in an abrupt descent to Hermoso River. There you'll find a growing urbanization, with gastronomy and lodging services.

Two roads are opened, on the right the paved National Road Nº 234 which leads to Villa La Angostura (85 km) and Bariloche (166 km). On the left, the Provincial Road Nº 63 which is not paved, will lead to Paso Córdoba (48 km), Confluencia Traful (69 km) and Bariloche.

In search of the Seven Lakes


Going along the paved way, you will see Laguna Fría (Cold Lagoon), an interesting  observation point of aquatic birds, and near this the Machónico viewpoint, a wonderful postcard of the trip.

The next point of interest is the access to Hermoso Lake, five kilometres further. The service area that has grown in recent years, varies from a bar and pub to bed & breakfast lodging, guided horseback riding, mountain shelters, a campsite with hot water and the Park Ranger's House. You have to take a two-kilometre detour on the right to reach the mirror of water, visiting the Pudú Pudú Lagoon.


Nahuel Huapi National Park


Leaving behind Lanín National Park, you will reach Nahuel Huapi National Park, where you can admire the impressive Vulignanco Cascade emerging from the forest. It is divided in two, becoming a unique temptation to take pictures of it.


Inmediately, the imposing Falkner Lake appears together with sandy beaches and the small river that joins it with Villarino Lake.


The pavement finishes abruptly. Pavement work is being carried out for the stretch leading to the detour to Villa Traful. Besides being good news, you should be extremely coutious as there are road machines working and sometimes the traffic is reduced to half road.

It is the turn of the Patagonian gravel, where you should drive slowly, enjoying the magnificence of the landscape. Escondido Lake appears, with its green colours hiding among the forest of Coihues. The road begins to descend until Pichi Traful Lake, which is the Northern arm of Escondido Lake. There are a picnic area by the riverside, the Park Ranger's House and a two-kilometre detour on the left that leads to the lake and campsite.

The next detour that you will find, on the left and with plenty of informative signs, is the Provincial Road Nº 65 that leads to Villa Traful and its lake.

Going along the National Road Nº 234, you will find Correntoso Lake, one of the largest in the circuit, with a lot of bays and beaches.

A few metres before reaching a bridge and an abandoned Hotel (Ruca Malen) you will see on the right the detour which leads to Espejo Chico Lake, located two kilometres from the main road, with a beautiful beach and a wild campsite.


The next lake is called Espejo. You will find a natural viewpoint and a picnic and camping area near the Park Ranger's House.


Villa La Angostura


A few kilometres further you will find new crossroads, where the National Road Nº 234 joins with the National Road Nº 231 that leads to Cardenal Antonio Samore International Pass (Ex Puyehue).

Again on the pavement you should turn left, to finally reach Villa La Angostura. Nahuel Huapi Lake appears in all its splendor, and there are bays, beaches and a careful architecture that highlights the many lodging options you will find before reaching the town.

Villa La Angostura, as well as San Martín de los Andes, has experienced an important population and urbanization growth in recent years. Strategically located on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, between Inacayal, Bayo and Belvedere hills, offers ski activities in winter and a wide variety of options in summer, such as fishing, non conventional tourism and adventure tourism.


This town has become the gateway to Arrayanes National Park, entering to this impressive forest of Arrayán trees along a terrestrial access. This circuit can be finished returning by ship, enjoying a guided tour.

Travel agencies offering the ride

Siete Lagos Turismo (E.V. y T.)

Av. Gral. San Martin 386 (Centric) (02972) 427877 | 427698 int.124

RG Turismo (E.V. y T)

San Martín 1255 U.F. 1 (Centric) (02972) 410652

Destino Andino (E.V yT)

San Martín 555 Local 2 (Centric) (02972) 411300

El Refugio (E.V.y T.)

Villegas 698 Loc. 5 y 10 (Centric) (02972) 425140 | 429570

Pireco (E.V. y T.)

Av. Gral. San Martin 436 "2" (Centric) (02972) 422758

Jauque ( E.V. y T.)

Gral. Roca 1355 1º 6 (Centric) (02972) 495229

Andestrack Expediciones (E.V.y T.)

Cnel. Rohde 782 Oficina 5 (Centric) (02972) 420588

Nelquihue viajes ( E.V. y T.)

Av. Gral. San Martin 946 Local 3 (Centric) (02972) 411571

Lanín turismo ( E.V. y T)

San Martín 437 - Loc. 3 (Centric) (02972) 425808 | (02944) 15618875

El Claro Turismo (E.V.y T.)

Cnel. Díaz 751 (Centric) (02972) 428876

Chapelco Turismo (E.V. y T.)

San Martín 836 2A (Centric) (02972) 427550

Nieves del Chapelco ( E.V. y T.)

Mariano Moreno 859 P.B. Loc. B y C (Centric) ( 02972) 429845

Caro Schick Viajes ( A.T.)

Calderon Jose F. 850 " 2" (Centric) (02972) 427405

First Patagonia Travel Adventure (E.V.yT.)

Av. Gral. San Martin 836 2º "2" (Centric) (02972) 425453

Content manager: Secretaría de Turismo
Office: Secretaría de Turismo - Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas
Opening hours: 7:00hs a 14:00hs
Phone: 02972-425500

Municipality of San Martín de los Andes

Teléfono +54 (2972) 427 315 | +54 (2972) 428 795

Gral. Roca y Juan Manuel de Rosas

Ministry of Tourism

Phone 0800 345 1975 int 307 y 308 - +54 (2972) 427315 int 307 y 308

Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas

(8370) - San Martín de los Andes - Provincia del Neuquén - Patagonia - Argentina