A new tourist route beginning in Pucón and ending at San Martín de los Andes in Western Argentina will take travelers by bus and ferry through the spectacular landscapes of the Chilean-Argentine border. The route will last approximately eleven hours, passing through small towns, nature reserves and the glacial waters of alpine lakes. The trans-Andean route will be the second of its kind, after the route run by Cruce Andino between Puerto Montt and Bariloche farther to the south.
Pucón and San Martín de los Andes in Argentina, with their unparalleled access to high mountains, volcanoes, lush temperate rainforests and fierce mountain rivers, are major tourist destinations for adventure seekers in the Lakes Districts of their respective countries. With this new and easy route now connecting them, both cities are poised to become major international destinations. This, according to a report in La Tercera, is the hope of Pucón’s mayor, Edita Mansilla.
The route, run by tour company In Out Patagonia, will begin with the bus ride along the southern shore of Lake Villarrica then turn south toward the town of Lican Ray on Lake Calafquen. After a stop in Lican Rey, buses will stop at Lake Panguipuilli and again at the magnificent waterfalls in the exclusive, private nature reserve Huilo Huilo.
The first lake crossing begins at long and narrow Lake Pirihueco, which brings travelers almost to the Argentine border. From the end of the Lake, guests travel by mountain roads to Hua Hum Pass into Argentina where the final leg of the journey passes by water along Lake Lacar in Argentina.
The resort town of San Martín de los Andes sits at the far end of the lake, nestled amongst the mountains is the end of the route. Visitors wanting to return to Chile will spend the night in San Martín de los Andes and return the following day by land along a more direct northern route skirting the base of 3,800 m Lanín Volcano.
A minimum of two people travelling only one way will pay US$295 each. The price includes one night’s stay in Pucón and a second night in San Martín. A return trip will cost an additional US$150 per person.