Home > Argentina > 15th April – The 7 stunning lakes of the Rio Negro region

15th April – The 7 stunning lakes of the Rio Negro region

What a day today it has been, very tiring even though we had not been doing any exercise. Northern Patagonia in Argentina including Bariloche is known as The Lake District, it has pristine rivers, glacial lakes amongst alpine forests and we are going to attempt to drive and see them.

Ruben & Loes (friends from Holland), Julie and myself hired a car for the whole day to do a tour of the 7 lakes of Rio Negro. Cost of car between us was $290 ARS and normally if you did a tour with an agency that would cost $250 ARS per person. Definitely saving money here.

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Our designated drivers for the 400km round trip journey were Ruben and Julie. We didn’t have a good start as Ruben the first driver drove the wrong way on the city streets and the look we got from this man who couldn’t believe his eyes was very funny. We laughed so much and got even more scared. Felt like a proper road trip.

We missed a turning 2km outside town and had to turn around again to go the right the direction.

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We chatted all the way, stopping at some of the most beautiful lakes we have ever witnessed. The water were clear as crystal and inviting for a dip but it would be very cold. There were signs for Miradors (view points) and we stopped at each one and took photos.

65km of part of the circuit was unpaved so made the trip a little bit longer but was ok. Had lunch at a really nice spot but had to be careful of the eagles perched on trees trying to poop on our heads.

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Parque Nacional Lanin is the northern most national park in the Patagonia region sitting on the Chilean border. Driving through this mountain clad park was delightful with autumn changing the colours of majority of the trees. The word colourful does not do it justice.

We went through pretty villages like Villa La Angostura and made a stop at San Martin de los Andes for a coffee break.

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Once we left San Martin de Los Andes heading towards sleepy town of Junin de los Andes (self proclaimed trout capital of Argentina), the landscape changed from alpine trees to more or less a desert scenery. The sun was out, blue skies and the yellow poplar trees standing out against the blue skies. Sensational.

Stopped a few times to take photos and finally got back to Bariloche around 8pm, just in time to hand over keys to car company. Julie did well parking the car as the steering was not power steering.

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All four of us went back to El Boliche de Alberto for dinner again as a treat and really enjoyed the meat again. Julie and I said goodbye to Ruben and Loes as we leave for Mendoza tomorrow and they will do Circuito Chico bike tour tomorrow.

En français:

On est réveillés assez tôt à cause du ronfleur dans notre dortoir donc on est plus que prêt quand il est l’heure de partir rejoindre Ruben et Loes pour notre road trip.

On se rend chez Correntos, un leur de voiture et on nous donne une horrible Chevrolet, genre Renault 19, avec kilomètres et conducteurs illimités pour 290 pesos (37,30€), bien moins cher que de réserver un tour en minibus avec des inconnus!

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C’est Ruben qui commence à conduire pour sortir de Bariloche.

On rejoint la RN 231 en direction de Villa Angostura puis on bifurque sur la RN 234 jusqu’à San Martin de los Andes. Et enfin on va jusqu’à Junin de los Andes et de la on attrape la Ruta 40, décidément cette route nous poursuit.

Plusieurs fois sur la route on s’arrête pour profiter des points de vue. Les couleurs sont magnifiques à cette époque de l’année, les feuilles des arbres sont rouges, vertes, jaunes, oranges…

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Quand c’est à mon tour de conduire, je me tape les seuls kilomètres de route qui ne sont pas en bitume, pendant 65 kilomètres, génial! Ça fait un bien fou quand on revient sur le goudron.

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On fait une pause pique-nique au bord d’un des lacs mais il fait plutôt froid dans le coin à lors on ne tarde pas. On échange encore de conducteur. Ruben conduit jusqu’à San Martin de los Andes, on y fait une pause café, capuccino, panqueque avant de reprendre la route.

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C’est moi qui finit la route jusqu’à Bariloche et quand on arrive j’ai la chance de devoir un créneau serré avec une voiture dans direction assistée, le bonheur. On arrive pile à l’heure pour rendre la voiture. Au total, on aura fait 407 kilomètres.

Après ça, rien de tel qu’un bon repas et quel meilleur endroit que El Boliche de Alberto, eh oui, on y sera allé trois soirs de suite mais quand on aime on ne compte. On commande exactement la même chose, pas très original on sait.

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À la fin on dit au revoir au hollandais qui restent un jour de plus ici mais on se retrouvera à Mendoza.

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