What is the Route of the 7 Lakes in Argentina?

Patagonia Travel Argentina Travel Posted on 02/25/2021

What makes the Route of the 7 lakes in Argentina so special? Well, it’s the most scenic route in the country and the first choice for anyone who would like to venture into a 180-kilometer self-drive trip experience. There are many villages and natural highlights to visit along this road. In 6 days you can travel from Bariloche to San Martín de Los Andes. What would you find on the road? Let’s see!

The “Route of the 7 lakes” it’s called a road that passes by some of the most beautiful lakes in the province of Río Negro (where sits Bariloche, the capital of the Argentine lake district) and Neuquén. The road of the famous Route of the 7 lakes is part of the legendary Argentine Route 40, one of the longest in the world.

1. Route of the 7 lakes: The Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Your starting point will be Bariloche and if you are there you can easily drive through another famous scenic circuit called “Circuito Chico” (Small circuit) to discover the Campanario Hill and wander the Llao-Llao Península. This is a 40-minute drive where you’ll appreciate Lake Moreno and Nahuel Huapi too. The advantage on go in your own car is that you can stop as much as you want in the viewpoints.


2. From Bariloche to Villa Traful

This is where the Route of the 7 lakes officially starts for you because you’ll take Route 40 and drive to the southern shore of Lake Traful where this enchanting village sits. In this part of the road, the most important place to visit is the Valle Encantado and if you want, you can make a stop to visit a submerged forest which is in the first “official” lake of the circuit, the Nahuel Huapi. 


3. Reaching San Martín de Los Andes, the Gateway to the Lanin Volcano

You’ll continue the Route of the 7 Lakes by taking a provincial road and getting to San Martín de Los Andes, lesser-visited than Bariloche, but still charming, especially for those who want to visit the Lanin National Park. Enjoy the trip and make a stop at the  Pozones De Caleufú, an off-the-beaten-path spot where you can enjoy trekking and a pleasant bath in nature.


4. From San Martín de Los Andes to Villa la Angostura

This is the last stop in the Route of the 7 lakes. You’ll take again the Route 40 and head through a winding road of Patagonian forest to the Villa la Angostura, best known as the “garden of Patagonia”. On the way, the lakes you’ll see are Lake Villarino, Correntoso, and the famous Espejo.

Once in Villa la Angostura, you can not miss a trip to the Bosque de Arrayanes, a fairytale place, which is actually the only myrtle wood in the world. This is a very special protected area, located at the Puerto de la Villa, where you can enjoy an easy hike through the myrtle forest or a boat ride.


If you feel inspired by this route, have a look at our Self-Drive Trip through the Lake District.

5. When is the best time to visit the Route of the 7 Lakes?

Now that you know what you’ll find on this trip, it’s important to say that you can enjoy it any time of the year. However, the best time to visit the area would be during Summer and Spring (September to March) when the weather is more gentle with travelers.

The colors of the trees, which is one of the main spectacles, are amazing at any season. Though the landscapes don´t bring any misfortune to travelers, other drivers may be a problem during holidays or long weekends, so this is something you need to take into account when planning your adventure through the Route of the 7 Lakes in Argentina.

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