Argentine Lake District
- Type: Recreation, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: More than Full Day
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Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region's major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you'll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting. During July and August, you'll find idyllic skiing conditions, and, in January, you'll relish prime hiking and river rafting weather. We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.
From Bariloche, it's easy to travel to Cerro Catedral's luxurious ski retreat. It's also worth checking out Villa La Angostura (a lakeside village 50 miles north of Bariloche) and San Martín de los Andes (a scenic town 112 miles north of Bariloche). Both feature local craft markets and panoramic views.
You can reach the Lake District via plane, bus, or car. Aerolíneas Argentinas and LADE airlines offer direct flights to and from Buenos Aires to Bariloche as well as other lakeside cities. A variety of bus services offer rides from Bariloche to Atlantic Patagonia's Puerto Madryn and Trelew (located about 14 hours away) and Southern Patagonia's El Chaltén and El Calafate (located about 21 hours away). For further details, consult our guide to Getting Around Argentine Patagonia.