Explore Bariloche and the Lake District
Spread along the northern lakeshore of Nahuel Huapi, VILLA LA ANGOSTURA has grown enormously in the past decade, capitalizing on the Lake District’s surging popularity. The settlement originally swelled owing to its proximity to the trout-fishing at Río Correntoso, one of the world’s shortest rivers, but today caters mostly to upper-end tourists, with whole new areas of wooded hills giving way to luxury hotels, cabins and spas. The almost ubiquitous and somewhat forced log-cabin architecture gives the town a clichéd feel, rather like a mountain village theme park, and may not be to everyone’s taste. There is some top-notch accommodation, however, and even some budget options, though these are in a minority; this is a place to show off designer outdoor wear rather than trudge around with a rucksack.
For those not into fly-fishing or luxury lodges, the main reason for visiting Villa La Angostura is that it provides the only land access to Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes plus a couple of useful boat trips that save you time if not money. The park is reached by crossing the isthmus at La Villa, a 3km-long peninsula west of the centre – the old harbour. In winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of Cerro Bayo, 10km east from the centre, while in summer you can get good views from the summit; you can hike up but you’ll need a guide – ask at the tourist office. Another good local hike (or short drive) is to Mirador Belvedere and Cascada Inacayal, a delightful waterfall, both along the southeast shore of Lago Correntoso.