Take National Route 40 to the north and then, after leaving Dina Huapi, cross the bridge over the Limay river. The route begins in the north of the Nahuel Huapi National Park and continues along the shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake, the largest in the region. You'll reach Villa La Angostura, a small and beautiful town with a nice downtown area with a wide range of restaurants.
A few kilometers down National Route 40 you'll reach a fork in the road. If you go west (left), National Route 231 leads to the Cardenal Samoré crossing and the Republic of Chile. If you go north (staying on the same road) you'll continue on Route 40 which at this point onwards is known as the Siete Lagos road. This route goes along the shores of the Espejo, Correntoso, Villarino and Falkner lakes until the Vullignanco waterfall. Then you'll enter Lanín National Park, going along the shores of Escondido, Machónico, and Lácar lakes to finally reach San Martín de los Andes.
185 kilometers (115 miles) from Bariloche to San Martín de los Andes. If you book a tour it takes all day.
There are lots of options for the return trip to Bariloche:
Follow the Siete Lagos road:
Follow the same route all the way back to Bariloche.
Return through Paso Córdoba:
Stay on Route 40 for about 35 kilometers (22 miles). At this point the section of Provincial Route 63 that leads to Villa Lago Meliquina and Paso Córdoba begins. Along the way you’ll find incredible rock formations eroded by water and wind. You'll then reach Valle Encantado, where the Limay and Traful rivers meet and continue along National Route 237 to Bariloche. You can stop at Villa Llanquin or the Amphitheatre of Limay river and then reach the Nahuel Huapi lake and, finally, Bariloche.
Return through Junín de los Andes and La Rinconada:
Leave San Martín de los Andes on National Route 40 to the north, across Junín de los Andes - a small town in the province of Neuquén. Then you follow the road and cross the Aluminé river bridge, following Collón Curá river. Next, you take National Route 237 and once you've passed through Valle Encantado, where the Limay and Traful rivers meet, as well as Villa Llanquin and the Amphitheater of Limay river, you will have reached Bariloche.
Round trip on the Siete Lagos road: 370 kilometers (230 miles) of paved road.
You can take the Siete Lagos road to get there and come back through Paso Córdoba: 350 kilometers (217 miles) in total - 70 kilometers (44 miles) of unpaved road.
You can take the Siete Lagos road to get there and come back through Junín de los Andes and La Rinconada: about 440 kilometers (273 miles) of paved road.
Tour with an authorized travel agency: 10 to 11 hours.
If you're driving your own car it may take a few more hours or you can take an entire day.
We recommend you to take snow chains in winter for your vehicle because there can be heavy snow or ice on the road.