Villa la Angostura
On Lago Nahuel Huapi’s north shore, Villa la Angostura lies within Bariloche’s economic orbit. Its proximity to less developed parts of the lake, to Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes, and to the Cerro Bayo winter-sports center, though, have helped establish its own identity—with an air of exclusivity—for both Argentines and foreigners. It has excellent accommodations and restaurants with prices on the high side because it gets hordes of Chilean visitors thanks to the paved international highway.
Villa la Angostura (pop. 7,311) is 80 kilometers northwest of Bariloche via RN 237 and RN 231 (the highway to Osorno, Chile) and 109 kilometers south of San Martín de los Andes via RN 234, the scenic Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes) route that’s now being paved. It’s 870 meters above sea level, but the mountains rise sharply from the lakeshore.
Many services line both sides of RN 231 (Avenida Los Arrayanes and its westward extension Avenida Los Lagos) as it passes directly through El Cruce. Three kilometers south, residential La Villa also has a cluster of hotels and restaurants; Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes occupies all of Península Quetrihué, the southward-jutting peninsula linked to La Villa by the isthmus that gives Villa la Angostura its name (The Narrows).
Getting to Villa la Angostura
El Cruce’s convenient Terminal de Ómnibus (Avenida Siete Lagos and Avenida Arrayanes, tel. 02944/49-4961) has frequent connections to Bariloche, several buses daily to San Martín de los Andes via the scenic Siete Lagos route, and long-distance services to Neuquén. Chile-bound buses from Bariloche stop here, but reservations are advisable because they often run full.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition