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Towards the Little Island

 Estimated reading time: 1 min. Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Jorge González
Hiking to the Little Island, San Martín de los Andes

A small islet emerging in Lake Lácar very near the shore is the destination of this hiking tour around Bandurrias hill.

Hiking to La Islita (the Little Island) is already a classical tour. This nook in Lake Lácar is one of the most beautiful and closest to the city. Approximately 5 kilometers across the fantastic forest of Bandurrias hill are to be covered in order to reach the shore known as Trompul Beach, opposite a small islet. It is best to get organized in order to leave early in the morning or in the afternoon and to pack supplies to improvise a picnic. The place is totally worth it.

If the starting point is the main street in town (San Martín Street), walk up to Juez del Valle (one block before reaching the waterfront), cross the bridge over Pocahullo Creek and border the creek towards the left following a dirt road up the Bandurrias hill.
Hiking to the Little Island, San Martín de los Andes
Very close ahead, there lies a gate that represents the entrance to Mapuche territory, more specifically to the property of the Curruhuinca family, right where a clear panoramic view of the Lácar beach, as well as the pier with all its boats, may be appreciated. Several trails start at this spot, but all of them lead to the same place.

The Bandurrias Forest

The trail goes up into the forest, a magical site tinged in green by the cypresses and the oaks and sprinkled with orange by the amancay and other native flowers.

After walking across Bandurrias hill for a while, a steep 20-meter-long trail appears before us. The reward to this challenge is a natural vantage point featuring a breathtaking view. The Bandurrias viewpoint stands farther ahead, on the other side of the Paraje Trompul gate (signaled by posts) to the left. It is worth making a stop either on the way to or from the island in order to behold the vastness of the lake, the mountains and the entire scenery.
Hiking to the Little Island, San Martín de los Andes
Our destination is not far, but we still have to keep on walking. Inside the Curruhuinca family estate, the grocery shop sells tortas fritas and other delicacies. Besides, visitors may spend some time with the local dwellers. As the trail begins to go down across some small creeks and meltdown water threads, we are already very near the shore.

We find a short sandy beach and the famous Little Island beyond a 10-meter-strait of cold waters. Small, tall and craggy, this portion of land provides an impressive view of the wall featured by Mount Abanico and of the entire Chapelco Mountain Range.
In the summer, visitors should dare and swim to the island in order to enjoy its paradisiacal charm to the full.
Hiking to the Little Island, San Martín de los Andes
Useful Data
The return is done through the same trail leading to La Islita. Even if this is a light hiking tour, do not forget to carry some food and drink in order to recover energy after the physical effort.
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Level of Difficulty
4 hours
Useful Data Useful Data


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