Argentina // The Lake District //

Villa La Angostura

Spread along the northern lake-shore 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 log-cabin architecture can feel a bit forced, rather like a mountain-village theme park, and the constant flow of traffic rather ruins the peace. However, it is smaller than Bariloche, has some top-notch accommodation (though not many budget options), and provides the only land access to Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes.

The town sprawls along the lakeside, with the centre known as El Cruce. Avenida Arrayanes transects the town; everything you are likely to need during your stay is concentrated in a 200m stretch between Boulevard Nahuel Huapi and Cerro Bayo. The park is reached by crossing the isthmus at La Villa, a 3km-long peninsula west of the centre – the old harbour.

Other than visiting the park or going on fishing trips, you can get good views from the summit of Cerro Bayo, 10km east from the centre of Villa Angostura; you can hike up in summer 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.