On the south shore of Lake Lacár in San Martin de los Andes, Quila Quina exists as a fusion of holiday homes and culture. Here on this string of sandy beaches looking out at Lanin National Park, modern lakefront vacation homes combine with the Mapuche village of Curruhuinca for an Andean village like no other. On a sunny day, take the ferry from San Martin de los Andes to the happening Quila Quina port, where shops sell wooden, handmade crafts from native Mapuche residents. Hire a kayak or windsurf board and brave the chilly lake temps, or bask on one of the sandy beaches that dot the winding lakeshore. A number of short walks lead out from the village towards secluded beaches and coves, and you can even access some mineral springs just a short hike from the village. Before catching the ferry back to San Martin de los Andes, sit on the dock with some coffee or chocolate and watch as the sun fades gently behind the snow-capped Andean peaks.
Most visitors travel to Quila Quina by ferry, but should you choose to drive or bike, the 12-mile road to Quila Quina is winding, narrow, and steep. The lake temperatures are cold year round, although the summer months of December-February have warm temperatures for soaking up the sun on a Quila Quina beach.