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San Martín de los Andes City Beach

 Estimated reading time: 3 min.Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Jorge Gonzalez
Downtown Beach - San Martín de los Andes

Within a splendid mountain environment, the coast of Lake Lácar invites children and adults to go for a walk, sunbathe, set sail or just sit and behold nature.

The new waterfront at Lake Lácar is an attraction year round but it is in the summer, when the high temperatures and moderate wind let visitors enjoy the beach to the fullest. At this season, the place becomes crowded. The surrounding hills -Bandurrias and Comandante Díaz- give shape to a bay where a soft breeze prevails.

The San Martín de los Andes waterfront was remodeled in 2009 and now boasts a new look that has managed a visual continuity all along the coastline. Each area represents a different feature according to the activities available.

We walked along the waterfront on a cobbled floor and a spacious wooden deck with round forms and steps. Down below lies the sandy beach where visitors may sunbathe and even dive in while watched by a team of lifeguards during the daylight.

The main reference of the waterfront is the roofed L-shaped pier, which follows the local architectural style and welcomes several water-crafts to moor at the same time. We took our first photographs at this very spot, with an incredible background.
Downtown Beach - San Martín de los Andes
The modern passenger launches and tours to Quila Quina and Hua Hum set sail at this pier and go on short and long rides. Private motorboats have a special access to the lake. Nautical authorizations are required, as well as mandatory safety items, in order to go sailing.

To one side, in the former Nautical Club area, several sailing boats were swaying in the water waiting for the moment to set sail. Very close, two young couples were renting kayaks. The feeling of floating in the water while wearing life vests is fantastic!

The waterfront promenade is visited from very early in the morning, as early birds like to go for a walk and take advantage of the fresh air and the solitary beach. Later on comes the arrival of those who choose to enjoy quietness to meditate or sit on their deckchairs and feel the sun on their skins.
Downtown Beach - San Martín de los Andes
But it is at noon when the beach truly becomes crowded and slowly invaded by families, young people and couples. Thus, they all start coming and going until the sun sets behind Mount Bandurrias, the temperature begins to decrease and a soft pastel mist hangs over the surface of the water.

The beach and the waterfront are sites of encounter for youths, who give rhythm to the afternoon during their spare time. Visitors like us find an option to spend some time outdoors when no other tour has been organized. Mate and biscuits are a classic to accompany every group.

“This is an emblematic visit for our town and it represents Patagonia”, a lady told us when we approached one of the small squares with wooden benches and admired a sculpture of a deer family on some big rocks.


We could see some kids carrying paddles that were taller than them. They were learning to use a kayak. At the skate park, several young boys showed off their apparel and pirouettes. The fans of the mini ramp celebrate a tournament during February, which they complete with graffiti, beat box, hip hop and rap clinics.

Across the street, the traditional restaurants and coffee-houses in town offer their large windows onto the lake scene to all visitors. Open night and day, they are the perfect excuse to enjoy a delicious treat and see the modern lights on the waterfront at night.
Downtown Beach - San Martín de los Andes
It is not necessary to be a tourist in order to enjoy the city beach. As part of their idiosyncrasy, local denizens usually have a break once a day or once a week at this spot in order to enjoy nature, which in turn only asks that we take care of environmental issues.
Useful Data
If you are planning to stay at the beach to sunbathe or swim, do not forget to wear sun screen and drink enough mineral water.

The street that borders the waterfront is almost completely one way (from General Roca Street towards Brown Street). It is not allowed to park at the central area. At the end of the beach, there is a woodland open for cars to park. It is accessed through Gral. Roca Street.
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