Beaches on the Lácar: Catritre and Quila Quina

The long summer days offer the chance to make the most of the lake shores for hours and to stay there until the temperature and the sunlight finally decrease.

In San Martín de los Andes, like in all districts in Patagonia, no summer is like the previous one. However, there is one constant factor: when the weather is hot, the best way out is to put on a swim suit, to arrange a snack in a basket and to set out for the beach. The most traditional destinations, though their distance from the downtown differs, are Catritre and Quila Quina. Catritre is the gathering point for young people and families that get there by car, by bike or on foot. Many people choose to walk the five kilometers to and from this beach just to exercise and behold the magnificent landscape. There is a special area for swimming where children may enjoy the water free of any danger. In the meantime, adults may sunbathe and let their eyes wander around the lake searching for watercrafts and splashes caused by the brave ones who dare to plunge. Behind the beach made of sand and pebbles, there is a shady strip of land and a coffee place where people may buy beer. There are two camping areas run by the Mapuche Curruhuinca community.

  • The shores of the Lácar

    The shores of the Lácar

  • The entire day at Catritre

    The entire day at Catritre

  • Quila Quina

    Quila Quina

  • A great inflow of visitors in the summer

    A great inflow of visitors in the summer

  • A pier and a beach

    A pier and a beach

  • A family beach

    A family beach

The distance to reach Quila Quina Beach is longer. This place may be accessed either by car or by motorboat leaving from the waterfront pier in town. Driving to Quila Quina implies a ride around the mountain hillsides with incredible sights. The first visual contact with the village is made from the heights. Once there, the quietness and the magnificent residences cause a great impact. Visitors usually take a mat or a deck chair and they settle down alongside the lakeshore. There are two areas where the sand is most appreciated. One of them is by the pier, where the catamarans and motorboats are moored. At this spot, there is a coquettish restaurant overlooking the beach and the watercrafts. Another swimming area is known as La Puntilla, whose main feature is its location, as it is sheltered from the prevailing winds. Quila Quina is the favorite beach for local denizens. It is a meeting point for groups of friends and water sports enthusiasts. There are two dedicated campsites in this area. One of them lies on the river bank and features comfortable facilities. The newest one is located on the shores of Lake Lácar. Both of them are an invitation to spend the night at one of the most splendid spots in the surroundings. When temperatures become warmer and the sun shines, warm clothes and heavy footwear are left behind and people start to go outdoors. Then, going back to the beach in the afternoon becomes a classic.

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Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

Level of DifficultyLevel of Difficulty: Low
DurationDuration: all day
Recommendations Getting There:
Catritre is reached through Route 40, also known as the Seven-Lake Road. Five kilometers ahead, a sign on the right indicates a steep detour to access the shore.

Quila Quina is also reached through Route 40, also known as the Seven-Lake Road. After 6 kilometers, a detour on the right leads to a 12-kilometer long mountain road that ends in the village.

Both beaches lie inside Lanín National Park. A parking fee is charged.

There is a bus service to Catritre in the summer season. Likewise, this beach has lifeguards, a coffee-house and a convenience store.

Lácar Nonthué Shipping Line is in charge of the lake trips to Quila Quina.

Location map

Activities and Tours in San Martín de los Andes

Hotels and accommodations in San Martín de los Andes

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