Towards La Islita

La Islita is reached after hiking along sandy trails and demanding slopes across the forest and the territory dwelled by the Mapuche community.

When allowed by the weather, an amusing tour is accessed from downtown San Martín de los Andes: hiking across Bandurrias Hill towards the site known as La Islita in the area of Trompul. Visitors may spend the day there or else, camp.

Starting at the lakeshore, hikers cross the bridge on Juez del Valle Street over Pocahullo Creek. A few meters away, several trails converge at the same point. We chose one of the lower ones which offered plenty of shade. Carrying our backpacks, we could feel the effort but we moved on in the knowledge that it was worth it.

After a stop under the trees, we resumed our pace up to the barrier where the members of the Curruhuinca community charged us the access. From that point onwards, we had the option to continue up to La Islita or to go to the Bandurrias Viewpoint, an incredible panoramic balcony with two different views: one towards the city and the coast of Lake Lácar with its pier, boats and beach and the other one towards the vastness of the mountain range and the lake, which seems endless.

  • Across the forest

    Across the forest

  • Lying close to the shores of Lake Lácar

    Lying close to the shores of Lake Lácar

  • A meeting point for young people

    A meeting point for young people

  • It is very common to swim

    It is very common to swim

  • An amusing adventure

    An amusing adventure

  • Camp overnight

    Camp overnight

We chose to keep on walking towards La Islita. The path went up and down and we soon got immersed in a forest of giant tree species. The hike became even more pleasant. Very tall cypresses and typically Patagonian oak trees share their space with the understory that offers colorful yellow and orange hues in the summertime.

The constructions of this area feature different traits as the settlers have started to raise housing units made of cement next to the old ranches fenced with wood sticks. In all the cases, the plots of land are spacious and contain domestic animals responding to their lifestyle. Besides, food, soda and tortas fritas are offered for sale and there are special spaces available for primitive camping.

To reach the shore, we went down a deep humid ravine teeming with ferns. Eventually, the glow of the water amidst the trees showed us the way to the shore that faces the islet. We left our backpacks and supplies on the ground to spread out a blanket on the sand and enjoy sunbathing. The strong summer heat forced us to have a dive in spite of the cold waters. Their transparency on the rocky bed and the kayaks waiting to be used offered color to the two beaches that face the west and the east.

Just ten meters stand between the island and the shore and it is very common to swim towards this natural formation. It is small and it features some huge rocks. It overlooks the imposing Mount Abanico and the Chapelco Mountain Range, on the opposite margin of the lake, where Catritre and Quila Quina Beach are located.

Hiking towards La Islita is an amusing adventure for all ages and it is considered as a classic among teenagers. The continuous sound of the water hitting the shore and the wind in the tree leaves are the best companions for visitors who choose to spend the day or camp overnight.

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Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

Level of DifficultyLevel of Difficulty: Low

DurationDuration: 4 hours

Recommendations The total distance of the hiking tour starting at the downtown is 5 kilometers. This place may be also reached by car. To do so, take the road leading to Hua Hum and turn left towards the Bandurrias Viewpoint. This is a Mapuche route known as paraje Trompul and 7 kilometers need to be covered. Visitors must park their car and descend to the beach on foot.

Access is charged by the community. There are different rates for pedestrians, cars and bicycles.

Pack warm clothes, insect repellent, water and supplies.

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Activities and Tours in San Martín de los Andes

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