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The Lake District Travel Guide

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  • Photo: sunsinger / Shutterstock

Plan Your Lake District Vacation

The northern Lake District has become Patagonia’s most popular tourist region. Spread over three states and encompassing more than a million hectares (2½ million acres) of nature preserves, it offers more than natural beauty. The hundreds of sapphire lakes here allow visitors to experience an array of outdoor activities. Lakes such as Lago Nahuel Huapi and Lago Puelo are the focal points

of eponymous national parks; at both you can choose between fishing, boating (whether in a kayak, raft, or motor launch), and swimming from a pretty playa.

Back on dry land other recreational opportunities await. In the warmer months, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking are popular pastimes; climbing Volcán Lanín for a wraparound view of the sublime landscape is another memorable option. In winter, conversely, snow-sport enthusiasts head for the hills. Cerro Catedral (the continent’s oldest ski area) is notable for its size, terrain, and superb setting, while smaller areas like Chapelco attract mostly vacationing Argentineans and Brazilians.

A broad range of accommodations—ranging from rustic refugios and classic ranches to luxe destination hotels—cater to these travelers year-round. Yet despite growing popularity and heightened accessibility from developed towns like San Martín de los Andes and Bariloche, first-time visitors are constantly amazed at how easy it is to lose yourself in a silent forest, on a rugged mountaintop, or by one of the district’s beautiful namesake lakes.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. The Great Outdoors Hikers following well-marked trails in the national parks will encounter atmospheric forests, camera-ready cascades, and magnificent vistas. Waterways can carry rafters and kayakers all the way to Chile.
  2. Water, Water Everywhere 40 different lakes, seven major rivers flowing into two oceans, and you can spend days just staring at Nahuel Huapi Lake with its shoreline disappearing under distant peaks and volcanoes.
  3. Summer Skiing In the northern Lake District of Patagonia, June through September is ski season on the slopes of Cerro Catedral, near Bariloche, and Cerro Chapelco, near San Martín de los Andes.
  4. Savage Beauty One day a lake is silent, a mirror of the surrounding mountains. Another day waves are crashing on its shores, with wind tearing limbs from trees.

When To Go

When to Go

June through September the weather is typical of any ski region—blowing snowstorms, rain, and fog punctuated by days of brilliant sunshine.

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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