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  Argentina : Destinations : San Martin de los Andes

San Martin de Los Andes

San Martin de los Andes

The city of San Martin de los Andes is the main tourist center of the Neuquén Province. Its origin dates back to 1883, when a fort was established in Vega Maipú (Maipu lowland). Today it is an active community of 18,000 people. The city, situated between the eastern border of Lake Lácar and the fertile Vega Maipu Valley, is picturesque in its alpine appearance with buildings made abundantly of wood and wide, neatly-paved streets.  

Its the most significant locale near the Lanin National Park and possesses an excellent tourism infrastructure. Because of this, San Martin has become the base for touring the region. The summer season extends until the month of April and once again in June the tourists and skiers arrive to visit or ski the slopes of the Chapelco Hill ski center. 

The heart of the city is its Civic Center, located around the Plaza San Martin. Here you will find the headquarters of the Lanin National Park, the Municipality, the post office, and a few banks. The most interesting places to visit in the city are the First Settlers Municipal Museum and the Private Museum of Natural Sciences. 

Lake Lácar has a surface area of 50 sq. km (31 sq. mi.), is 25 km (16 mi) in length, and has a depth of 58 km (36.25 mi). It is surrounded by abundant native forests, that are being commercially exploited. 

Close to the city, it is worth visiting the Mirador Bandurrias (Bandurrias Overlook), along the path towards Hua Hum International Pass. It is located at the highest part of the hill with the same name and from there you have a beautiful view of most of the lake and the city. 

From the road that goes to Junín de los Andes, you can get to the Lolog Lakes, Curruhué Chico (Small Curruhué), Curruhué Grande and Paimún. The Lahuen-Co Hot Springs, also known as the Epulafquen Baths, are found 6 km (3.75 mi) from Pesquero Port, which is on the coast of the Epulafquen Lake.


About 1,607 km (1,004.3 mi) from Buenos Aires and 443 km (276.8 mi) from Neuquén.
When to go
Open season year-round..
It is the ideal location to go camping, strolling and trekking in the mountains and forests. Rafting and canoeing in the rivers, horseback riding, walking or mountain biking on the trails, navigating the Lácar and Nonthué Lakes.  Tea and coffee tasting with homemade cake, red deer and wild boar hunting. You can fish for salmon and trout up to 11 kg   (24 lbs). 
How to get there
By plane: From Buenos Aires to Carlos Campos de Chapelco Airport.
By bus: From Capital Federal to Neuquén, Zapala, Junín de los Andes and San Martín de los Andes by way of El Petroleo, La Unión del Sur, La Puntual, La Estrella, Chevallier and TAN.
Sport fishing for salmon, trekking, rafting, mountain climbing, photographic safaris and excursions in 4 x 4 vehicles.
San Martin boasts a significant amount of hotels and a variety of restaurants, with several recommended tourist services. It offers a great infrastructure of accommodations and services throughout the entire year, with more than 4,000 qualified plazas, distributed into hotels between three and five stars. You can choose from hotels, hostels, and cabanas, accompanied by excellent food and night life.
At the Kadugodi Spa Center, become reborn in the mountains and lakes of the south, harmonize the body and soul, eat good, healthy food, where there is no pollution, located among real natural beauty. 
Lanin National Park, Lanin Volcano. Las Bandurrias Overlook, Villa Quila Quina,  Chapelco Hill, Lake Lácar, Lake Lolog, Curruhue, Verde, Epulafquen, Lahuén Co Hot Springs, Villa La Angostura and
Junín de los Andes.



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