Getting to Villa la Angostura

Getting to Villa la Angostura

Where is Villa la Angostura?

Villa la Angostura is in the Lakes District of Patagonia in Argentina. The town is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi, about 70km/43 miles north of San Carlos de Bariloche, and 108km/67 miles south of San Martin de los Andes. The drive between Villa la Angostura and San Martin is known as the Ruta de los Siete Lagos (the 7 Lakes Road – see below).

Villa la Angostura is 42km by road from the Chile border via the Cardenal Antonio Samore Pass that links the town with Osorno in Chile. Just on the Chile side of the border lies the infamous Volcan Puyehue that erupted in 2011 (or the Cordon Caulle fissure to be more accurate) and covered Villa la Angostura in tonnes of ash.

Flying into Bariloche Airport

Bariloche (BRC) is the gateway airport for Villa la Angostura. Use one of our flight search engines to find the best rates for flights to Bariloche.

Driving to Villa la Angostura

From the airport many travellers choose to rent a car and drive to Villa la Angostura. The drive between Bariloche and la Angostura is very easy now that the road is paved and it's very scenic. Renting a car in Bariloche provides the convenience of easy transport once in Villa la Angostura because the town is rather spread out and most of the lodging is not located downtown (location of the restaurants, bars and shops). Also getting to Cerro Bayo is easiest with a car. See the Bariloche travel page for tips on car rental from Bariloche town or airport.

Buses to Villa la Angostura

Buses are a very cheap alternative to get from the Bariloche airport to Villa la Angostura. Get the 72 bus from the airport terminal to the Bariloche bus terminal (about 8 services per day) and then another bus to Villa la Angostura with Algarrobal Buses or Albus (each company has about 4 to 5 services per day).

Flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche airport can be rather expensive (especially considering it’s only a 2 hour flight), so a cheaper option is to catch a bus from the Buenos Aires Retiro terminal to Bariloche, and then another bus to Villa la Angostura. The bus to Bariloche takes about 20 to 25 hours, and with semi-reclined or fully reclined seats it can be a pretty comfortable trip.

The Villa la Angostura bus terminal is in the centre of town near the tourist information centre on the corner of Av Arrayanes and Av Siete Lagos.

It’s also possible to get a remise from the Bariloche airport (unmetered taxi). The 83km trip (about 50 minutes) isn’t as expensive as you’d think.

Getting Between Villa la Angostura and Cerro Bayo

The drive between town and the Cerro Bayo ski resort is only 9km. The turn off to Cerro Bayo is on the Bariloche side of Villa la Angostura, 3km from the centre of town (El Cruce). The access road is only 6km long and not particularly steep because the ski resort is just 260 metres higher than the town. Whilst the road is not paved and is somewhat corrugated, it’s an easy drive and snow chains would only rarely be required (even for 2WDs). Some big brand Bariloche car rental companies may be able to provide snow chains with the car, but chains are not available to rent in Villa la Angostura.

If you don’t have a rental car there are a few bus schedules between downtown and the ski hill during peak holiday times, but your best bet is to get a taxi or remise.

Los 7 Lagos - 7 Lakes Route

Ruta de los Siete Lagos (aka Camino de los Siete Lagos or Route of the Seven Lakes), runs between the towns of Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes. Most of the road is RN234 but also includes part of RN231 closer to la Angostura. The Seven Lakes road is an incredibly scenic route that travels through the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi National Parks and past lakes (seven main ones), forests, snow-capped mountains, and streams.

The trip is 108km in length and you can also take a few deviations off the main route. The drive may take as little as 1.5 hours and can take much longer depending on the number of stops required to ogle the views or take photographs! Road and weather conditions will also vary the trip time.

A significant part of the road (40km) is unpaved, and at times it’s narrow and full of pot holes. In summer it’s usually a dust bowl, whilst in winter after a heavy snowfall the unpaved component of the road may be closed to 2WD vehicles or only cars with snow chains. However it’s not possible to hire chains in either San Martin de los Andes or Villa la Angostura. Contact the tourist office for up-to-date road conditions.

If you don’t have a car there are lots of tour operators in Villa la Angostura and San Martin that conduct tours of Los 7 Lagos. Alternatively there are plenty of remise drivers that will take you on a tour.

Alternate Route between Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes

If the seven lakes road is closed, the alternative way to get from Villa la Angostura to San Martin de los Andes is to head towards Bariloche and then north via Ruta 40 to Junin de los Andes, which is a little northeast of San Martin. The trip is 303km in length and it takes about 3.5 hours.

This alternate route is spectacular but in a very different way to that of the Siete Lagos Camino. It is generally more arid and the road passes alongside flood plains, rivers, brightly coloured deciduous trees, and volcanic plugs. You may even spot some vicuna or flamingos!

Orientation to Villa la Angostura

The town’s centre is known as El Cruce (the crossroads) where RN 231 (Paso International Cardenal Samore) turns into the main street (Av Arrayanes) and then intersects with Av Siete Lagos (still RN231). El Cruce is the commercial centre and has many shops and restaurants.

La Villa is the port area 3km south of town near the isthmus of the Quetrihué Peninsula, from which the town name is derived. Either side of the isthmus are Bahia Brava and Bahia Mansa, the little ports from which the cruise boats depart to see the Arrayanes forest.

Villa Correntoso (aka Caprara) is an area 3.5km north of town, near where the Nahuel Huapi and Correntoso lakes join via the Correntoso River. The two bridges that cross the river are commonly featured in photographs of this incredibly picturesque area.

On the Bariloche side of town is the turn-off to Cerro Bayo (3km from the town centre) and the neighbourhood of Las Balsas. A further 4km along is the turn off to Puerto Manzano and Bahia Manzano, a particularly upmarket area with lots of beautiful hotels and hosterias that overlook the lake and the inlet.

There are a whole series of other small neighbourhoods (barrios) within Villa la Angostura. You may need to get a map of Villa la Angostura from the tourist office on the corner of Arrayanes and Av Siete Lagos, because you won’t find many of the streets on google maps or on most GPS navigation systems.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

In addition to being home to Cerro Bayo, Villa la Angostura is also close to a couple of other Lakes District ski resorts.

Cerro Catedral is located near Bariloche and 102km from Villa la Angostura. Cerro Catedral is a very popular ski resort and for good reason. It has huge terrain and well developed infrastructure.

Cerro Chapelco is also close to Villa la Angostura, and is located near the town of San Martin de los Andes. Cerro Chapelco is also very popular. It provides much more groomed terrain than Cerro Bayo, but advanced to expert riders will generally find the Cerro Bayo terrain more challenging. It takes about 1:45 hours to get to Cerro Chapelco if you head along the seven lakes road (depending on road conditions).

It’s also possible to visit Antillanca in Chile as a day trip. The Paso Cardenal Samoré ex Puyehue is generally open all year round unless a nasty storm has just come through. Antillanca has very basic lifts but it offers very good off-piste skiing and boarding.