Whales and lakes district fly and drive takes you to visit the two extremes of the Argentine Patagonia is a unique and worthy experience for those travelers who love culture and landscapes of the destinations they visit, as it is our case. During this trip we venture to cross the Patagonia from Valdés Peninsula up to San Martín de los Andes, in the lake region and we designed this original Self Drive journey.
When we arrived to the City of Trelew we were received by our guide who came with us to the car rental to pick up our car and we started our journey to Peninsula Valdés, one of the most relevant natural destinations of the Patagonian Coast. Our stay there took two nights. From that location we could go whale-watching in a semi-submersible boat to observe these species from a different perspective or to venture on a kayak trip to be closer to the whales. We also visited the town of Gaiman, which stands out for keeping customs and traditions of the Welsh settlers and where it is possible to treat yourself to a tea with delicious cakes.
Our next destination was the city of Esquel in the Andean Patagonia. After leaving very early in the morning we drove approximately 599 km on a paved road through several landscapes. One of the most important attractions of this destination is the “Parque Nacional los Alerces” (National Park of Larch Trees) created for protecting the wood forest of Larches -one of the trees with the longest longevity of the planet- that reached the danger of extinction.
Our journey took us to the north of the province of Río Negro. 286-km paved road heading the city of Bariloche, located by the impressive Nahuel Huapi Lake. We have profited the opportunity in our trip to visit el “Parque Nacional Lago Puelo” (Puelo Lake National Park) and the town of Bolson. These are two must-see attractions that have left their footprint in the culture of the region. It is our suggestion to stay for at least three nights in Bariloche since the destination has many different activities to offer. For example, one of the options is visiting the “Cerro Catedral”, with a trekking for half a day or a whole day to enjoy the impressive regional landscapes or even to go to “Puerto Pañuelo” and embark and visit Victoria Island and the Myrtle wood forest “Arrayanes”. Our next destination: Villa la Angostura.
We continued our trip to the north in order to reach that villa surrounded by wood forests and snowy peaks. We stayed there for two nights. We have profited from the second day to visit the Arrayanes National Park (Myrtle. It is possible to visit this attractive wood forest following a 12-km path from Villa La Angostura or in an excursion by boat.
The Villa La Angostura is the starting point of the Road of the Seven Lakes, which is now part of the 40 Road, which connects the Villa with San Martín de los Andes. We have initiated our journey to this Mountain Villa in the Province of Neuquén not without crossing through Villa Traful and enjoying the impressive views offered.
The Road of the Seven Lakes offers a variety of incredible landscapes. The people who had the chance of visiting it on the different seasons have been amazed by a variety of colors offered by the forests contrasting the intense colors of their lakes.
San Martín de los Andes also hosted us for two nights. From this location we could visit different places. The journey may continue towards the Huilo Huilo natural reserve or visit Villa Pehuenia. On the second day there we visited the Lanín National Park which was created in 1937, where the majestic Lanín Volcano is located. The latter dominates the horizon and attracts the looks of all visitors with its astounding beauty. We have also visited, another must-see of the area, the Huechulafquen lake.
During the whole trip we have counted with the assistance of the Self Drive map and kit with a GPS supplied by Kallpa. This is a journey that undoubtedly fascinates travelers no matter where they are from.