We continue the 7 Lakes Road from Villa la Agostura to Villa Traful.
Part 1: Travel Diary Part
2: Practical Tips
Part 1: Travel Diary
The first part of the road to Villa Traful is paved, with many viewpoints (mirador) on the different lakes crossed. We visit them at the same time as the tourist buses, which enables us to locate the miradores and visit them just after their departure.
A sign clearly indicates where we are and the distance to go before the next watchtower. A lot of people take pictures of these signs (including me) to better organize their pictures after… because… uh… how can I say… the 7 lakes all look alike !
There’s a campsite right next door! JALOUSIE mode activated! Campsites here are really better located than in New Zealand, you can be very close to the water, or sometimes have a better view than the watchtowers. I didn’t really inquire about the prices, but it seems to me that wild camping is well tolerated and the campsites are cheap.
Here is a very famous wooden bridge, but there is no watchtower for it. So I give you the ugly picture taken quickly from the car.
The road is extremely pleasant. Despite the lack of shade, purple flowers (which look a lot like lavender) adorn both sides of the road.
The second part of the road to Villa Traful is less good: unpaved and very dusty. We do not dare to go fast and drag at 20km/h. The first 10 minutes are superb: we have the impression to drive in the middle of a dense and mysterious forest. We cross small bridges, so small that there is place just for a small car. On the other hand, the remaining 1h10 are dusty and without interest.
We arrive finally at Villa Traful, a small town on the edge of the lake Traful. Everybody tells us that it is a charming village. To be honest, it is much less charming than Villa la Agostura… but I still like as much the wooden piers, it has a crazy charm!
Fortunately, the great lunch with lake view justifies 100% the long drive to get here. The owner of the restaurant explains to us that it is the beginning of the tourist season, hence 4 dishes available out of the 30 written on the menu. That’s okay, I take the opportunity to taste for the first time the Patagonian trout (better than salmon) while JB tests a local dish with a lot of cheese.
Very tired from the long road, we drive non-stop to San Martin de los Andes.
Part 2: Practical Tips
- To get to Villa Traful, take Ruta 40 from Villa la Agostura and then Ruta 65 (like us). Avoid taking the 63 which is horrible (and the phone doesn’t work, according to our car rental agency). To go to San Martin de los Andes, turn back (route 63, always), then take the 40.
- You can come here by bus (I saw a bus in Via Bariloche)
- We went there in mid-December and the tourist season is just beginning. However, from January, there will be many more people.
- There are some dream campsites on the way to Villa Traful. They are super well located with a beautiful ohlala sand beach! If you have a tent, go for it!