One of the main tourist destinations in the Argentine Patagonia is the Ruta de los Siete Lagos, the «Seven Lakes Route», which runs for about 100 km from San Martín de los Andes to Villa La Angostura, through Lanín National Park and Nahuel Huapi National Park.
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How to travel the Ruta de los Siete Lagos?
The Seven Lakes Route runs along RN 40. It is completely paved, with many curves and it’s in good condition, ideal to travel it by rental car or by excursion. Although there is public transportation from San Martín de los Andes to Villa la Angostura or Bariloche, it’s not recommended to do it using this type of transportation, since there are many viewpoints to the lakes to stop and take pictures.
Check here if you want to rent a car in San Martín de los Andes.
What to see on the Seven Lakes route?
The route precisely crosses the shores of seven lakes, which are Lácar, Machónico, Falkner, Villarino, Escondido, Correntoso and Espejo. In each of the lakes, there is a parking area with viewpoints. Also, there are some places by the lake ideal for a picnic at noon.
Check here Seven Lakes and Villa La Angostura Tour from San Martín de los Andes. Included: Hotel pick up and drop off, Spanish speaking guide. Not included: Food and drinks.
If you are staying in Bariloche, check here the San Martín de los Andes tour that includes the Seven Lake Route. Included: Transport by bus and English speaking guide. Not included: Lunch.
The lakes have clear water, although they are very cold for bathing even in the summer season, since they are of glacial origin. They are all surrounded by high mountains, which gives it a fantastic natural scenery. Along the way, you can learn about the flora and fauna of the region, as there are many informative panels on the viewpoints.
Aside from the route itself, there are also several detours by gravel roads, such as going to Quila Quina beach on the shore of Lake Lácar, or taking the detour along Route 65 to the town of Villa Traful.
Best time of year to do the Seven Lakes Route
Although the route can be done at all times of the year, the best time it’s during summer, early fall or late spring, when the route is not snowy or suffers frost.
If you do it in winter in your own car or rental, it is advisable to take chains for the tires and pay attention to the weather forecast.
Sleeping on the Seven Lakes Route
There are many campsites to sleep on the shores of the lakes, although they are only open during high season (November to March). Otherwise, it’s ideal to stay at a hotel or lodge in San Martín de los Andes or Villa La Angostura.
Check here where to sleep in San Martín de los Andes.
Check here where to sleep in Villa La Angostura.