The Bariloche region is a majestic area of lakes surrounded by the forest-covered Andes. The Nahuel Huapi Lake extends its blue waters to the high mountains that have to be crossed to reach the Todos los Santos and the Llanquihue lakes on the Chilean side. Tronador Mountain, an ancient volcano 3,554 m (11,660 ft) high, dominates the scene while Osorno Volcano raises its silhouette in Chile, some islands and peninsulas draw a coast where the pines are reflected in the water and the coves design charming nooks and crannies. In Villa La Angostura, the bays are a hidden secret and the Las Balsas inn tempts its guests to experience unforgettable moments.
Bariloche, a vast mountain town of Alpine style, dominates the lake that lies at the foot of the best ski runs, such as Cerro Catedral (2,388 m/7,834 ft) and Piedras Blancas, and Frutillar, in Chile, conserves the charm of a German town at the edge of the Llanquihue Lake and is a good starting point for visiting the region and the Chiloe Island.
A superb highway takes you to the different lakes: Espejo, Traful, Melinquina and Lacar to the north and Gutiérrez, Mascardi and Steffan to the south. In these Andean Patagonian mountains we found huemeles (Andean deer) and pudús (dwarf deer), a great variety of birds and enjoyed several kinds of activities such as hiking, sailing, rafting, skiing and others.
The Argentinean and Chilean lakes region presents images of a perfect nature conquered and preserved by people. Here, visitors can comfortably enjoy the beauty of the Andes. The grilled meats are renowned and can be savored in very cozy restaurants that resemble mountain cabins.
Text: Patrick Monney ± Photo: Patrick Monney.