Two of the best viewpoints of San Martín de los Andes are Bandurrias and Arrayanes, one at the top of the shore of Lake Lácar, and the other in the upper part of the city. Both offer breathtaking panoramic views.
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Map to visit the viewpoints of San Martín de los Andes
In this map you will find, marked in red, the two viewpoints of San Martín de los Andes. In addition, in blue are the routes to access by car, and in yellow, the sculpture of El Ciervo and La Islita Beach.
Visit the Mirador Bandurrias
Mirador Bandurrias is one of the best viewpoints in San Martín de los Andes to contemplate the splendor of Lake Lácar. It is located in the upper part of a hill on the shores of the lake.
Getting to Bandurrias viewpoint
The Bandurrias viewpoint can be reached both by car and by foot.
If you go by car, head out of town by the gravel road towards Hua Hum pass and take a detour to the left after a few kilometers. Keep in mind that it’s a narrow mountain road in poor condition, so drive slowly and cautiously. In half an hour you will arrive at the entrance, where you leave your car and take a short 10-minute hike up to the viewpoint.
Check here if you want to rent a car in San Martín de los Andes.
In case of walking, the route is about 2 km from the center of the city of San Martín de los Andes and begins near «Los Ciervos», the sculpture of these animals on Lake Lácar.
There are signs especially at the beginning of the trek, but then the path to follow can be somewhat confusing. If you have any doubts, choose the path on the right at the forks. The path is uphill. It is recommended to wear comfortable footwear and drink to hydrate.
The trek to the Bandurrias viewpoint is usually completed about 3 km more until you reach La Islita Beach, a rest area on Lake Lácar overlooking a small islet.
Take into account that due to the poor conditions of the road there are no tours to this viewpoint.
Admission fee to the Bandurrias viewpoint
The Bandurrias viewpoint is located within the territory of a Mapuche community, so you have to pay them to access it. The price is AR$ 50 (March 2019).
Visit the Arrayanes Viewpoint
Arrayanes viewpoint is located on one of the hills surrounding the city, which allows you to have views to the city as well as part of Lake Lácar and the mountains. It’s another of the viewpoints of San Martín de los Andes that you have to visit.
Getting to Arrayanes viewpoint
Arrayanes viewpoint can also be reached by car, by foot or in a tour.
If you go by car, take the secondary gravel road number 19 that goes towards Cerro Chapelco, and shortly after starting the ascent, take the detour to the left. The gravel road is uphill, but wide and well preserved. In a few minutes from the city center you can directly access the viewpoint. If you continue along this gravel road, you will directly access RN 40.
If you go walking, take the same gravel road. It’s about 3 km from the city center. As there are cars on the gravel road, there is usually a lot of dust in suspension. Anyway, it’s of low physical difficulty hike.
If you want to visit Arrayanes viewpoint in a tour, it is usually included in longer tours.
Admission fee to the Arrayanes viewpoint
The access to the Arrayanes viewpoint is totally free.