Defined by its alpine forests, high mountains, and temperate climate surrounding a web of giant lakes, Argentina’s Lake District is often romanticized as ‘the Apls of South America’. Considered to have one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in Patagonia, it is one of TLA’s favorite southern South American destinations — and it’s soon to be one of yours too. This upscale all-season Patagonian region has it all from thrilling hiking and skiing trails and exciting watersports to relaxing beaches and indulgent retreats that promise top-notch wellness, golf, and cuisine.
For these reasons and so many more, Argentina’s Lake District is one of the top destinations for South America 2024. Find out more about why in this article which covers everything from the best things to do and places to stay in Argentina’s Lake District to when to visit and which ages it will most appeal to. Is it going on your travel bucket list?
What is the Lake District of Argentina?
The Argentinian Lake District is a system of sapphire lakes amongst mountains and temperate alpine forests dubbing it ‘the Alps of South America’. It sits within Nahuel Huapi National Park in the northern reaches of Patagonia close to the Chilean border. The richness of nature in the lakes is unlike any other region in Patagonia which is generally renowned for its barren steppes and icy-gray mountain peaks. Its idyllic mix of lakes, forests, and mountains optimizes it for adventurous and explorative outdoor pursuits for any age from fishing and sailing to skiing and kayaking. Meanwhile, its hidden resorts, hotels, and estancias, each with its own expanse of land, supply that escape into nature we all crave now and again. Argentinians have been vacationing in this special spot for decades, and now the secret is being spilled with only the most discerning of travelers.
Argentina’s Lake District is a Year-Round Destination
Most destinations in Patagonia hibernate for the winter as the hiking trails become buried under snow and tour operators close shop for the season. The Argentina Lake District, however, remains open for business. In fact, it’s just as much a winter destination as a summer one. In the summer, the region is all about hiking, cycling/mountain biking amongst the forests, and boating and swimming in the refreshing lakes. With fresh powder carpeting the mountains in winter, you can get your skiing or snowboarding fix too. Alternatively, you can appreciate the crisp winter air from an outdoor jacuzzi and stay cozy in the local Bariloche cafes.
Argentina’s Lake District is the Perfect Patagonia Family Destination
Out of all Patagonia’s destinations, the Argentina Lake District is possibly the most family-friendly. Unlike El Calafate and Torres del Paine, it’s not all about hiking and glaciers. There are dozens of activities for all ages to choose from, many of which are team activities like kayaking, fly fishing and sledding that encourage the family to bond and make lasting memories. For families that do love to hike together, there are plenty of mind-blowingly beautiful trails to follow too. Whether your kids are seven or seventeen, the Argentina Lake District is sure to impress and entertain
Discover Your Favorite Sports in the Argentina Lake District
As a year-round outdoor destination, there’s a full rota of sports to get stuck into whatever the weather. And where better to partake in your favorite sports than the Argentina Lake District with natural beauty abound? While visitors can enjoy the beaches, lakes, and verdant hiking trails that are bursting with life during the summer, the winter is reserved for skiing, snowboarding, and other thrilling winter sports. As it happens, the Argentinian Lake District offers some of the best slopes in the southern hemisphere.
Find Outdoor Adventure in the Argentina Lake District
As well as all the traditional sports you can do in the Lake District of Argentina, there is a variety of alternative yet equally exciting outdoor adventures to get stuck into between the lakes, forests and mountains. There is plenty of opportunity on the lakes and rivers for some fly fishing, kayaking, and even white water rafting! Meanwhile, the forests and mountains await to show you some of nature’s greatest designs on wildlife spotting and horseback riding tours. From giant ancient trees to the cute huemul deer, these forests are filled with wonder.
Find Relaxation in the Argentina Lake District
While the unique landscapes of the Argentinian Lake District offer adventure, its hotels and retreats offer a slice of calm and relaxation within it. Find exceptionally luxurious resorts like Llao Llao and Estancia Peuma Hue tucked away in the region’s quietest corners boasting gorgeous lakeside views and the utmost privacy. After mornings spent sailing on the lakes or hiking around mountains, afternoons can be reserved for spa sessions, a spot of golf, and five-star dining. Of course, you don’t have to look to your accommodation for relaxation in the Argentina Lake District, it can also be found in the atmosphere of its quiet mountain towns and less-trodden forest paths.
Luxury Hotels and Resorts in the Argentina Lake District
As one of the most beautiful places in Argentina, it’s no surprise that the Lake District has become populated with upmarket resorts and retreats. Think luxury mountain lodges, scenic golf courses, indoor-outdoor spas, and spacious suites with panoramic windows. Oh, and spectacular lake views, of course. Whether you choose to stay in a Bariloche boutique hotel in town, or somewhere hidden amongst the pines, Argentina’s Lake District hotels aim to immerse you in the Alpine-style surroundings. Yet, they also provide a cozy and relaxing retreat away from the elements of the outdoors when it’s needed. Interested in a luxury Argentina tour, check out our list here.
- One of TLA’s favorites is Llao Llao Golf Resort & Spa, a homey and traditional mountain mansion with 360-degree mountain, forest, and lake views. While it encourages you to take advantage of your adventurous surroundings, Llao Llao is all about leisure in luxury.
- Meanwhile, Design Suites Bariloche contrasts the rustic Lake District views with luxurious modern suites in the beating heart of the town. Their spacious suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows allowing you to enjoy views of the lakes from your private jacuzzi tub.
- TLA also loves the old dependables like Relais & Chateaux’ Las Balsas in the quiet and scenic Villa La Angostura. The iconic blue lodge provides an experiential Lake District stay combining top-notch adventure, wellness, and gastronomy.
Top 5 Things To Do in the Argentina Lake District
Spend Time at the Lakes
The web of lakes in the Lake District creates a giant water park offering leisurely activities of interest for all ages. Boating, paddle boarding, and jet skiing are the perfect ways to get out in the water. Meanwhile, the beaches and cliffs lining the shores are great places to set up camp for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and fishing.
Go Skiing on Cerro Catedral
Between late June and early September, Argentina’s Lake District becomes blanketed in thick powdery snow creating optimal conditions for skiing, boarding, and apres-ski. Cerro Catedral is the premier skiing destination in the region and arguably in all of Argentina. Expect luxury accommodation, excellent facilities, and most importantly, a buzzing atmosphere all season.
Go Hiking in Nahuel Huapi
A culmination of Andean forests, lakes, steppes, and mountains, Nahuel Huapi National Park is one of the most diverse parks in Patagonia. For hikers of all abilities, the variety and grandiosity of each different landscape make every step cinematic. Some of the top hikes in Nahuel Huapi include Mirador Lago Moreno, Refugio Frey, and Sendero Cerro Lopez.
Go on a Seven Lakes Road Trip
The Lake District is a large region boasting numerous must-see lakeside and mountainside towns and villages that are best visited on a road trip around the lakes. From the region’s central hub of Bariloche, head to the upscale Villa La Angostura, popular hippie hangout El Bolson, and Cholila the Wild West of Argentina and home to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with unfathomable views of the region.
Go Horse Riding Around the Steppes
No trip to Patagonia is complete without roaming on horseback around the Patagonian steppes. As one of the local’s favorite pastimes, it has become an activity ingrained in Patagonian culture. Therefore, anyone who is lucky enough to experience it will get a glimpse into life in Patagonia that no other activity can offer.
Create a Bespoke Argentina Lake District Itinerary
Whether you like the sound of a Seven Lakes Road Trip or a relaxed spa and golf retreat, TLA can plan your perfect stay in the Argentina Lake district in 2024. Let our valuable insight into the best locations, accommodations, and activities create an itinerary that gives you assurance that you’ll have the very best experience. Call us toll-free on +1 855 217 9045 or send us a message to enquire today.