San Martín and Volcano Achen Ñiyeu

San Martín de los Andes sits on the banks of the ginormous Lake Lacar and resembles a Swiss ski town, with its characteristic, chalet style shops and houses. Here it’s a bustling town year round: a busy ski resort in the winter and a place to enjoy the lake and the outdoors in the summer.

It wasn’t long before we retreated to the outskirts around Lake Lolog, after half an hour of dirt road to get there. Bar the odd kitesurfer, making the most of the Patagonian winds, it’s more isolated. As the tide moves with the breeze and the sun begins to sink, its magic is ignited. 

The river Quilquihue which drains the Lake Lolog, near San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina.
San Martin de los Andes

Patagonia is extremely bio diverse: many birds, incredible flora/fauna, lots of cool waters with many fish to swim in. Trout is a local delicacy. 

San Martin sits in an area of many volcanoes – some of which are still active. This made it the perfect place to organise our first hike here.

Hike to Volcano Achen Ñiyeu

Maxine hiking the Volcan Achen Ñiyeu trail with Volcán Lanín in the background. Parque Nacional Lanín, Argentina.
Lanín National Parque with view of Volcán Lanin

We travelled 80km north by dirt road to a place called Laguna Verde. Apart from the incredible lake and ashy beach, peppered with ancient drift wood that lay before us, this was the starting point for the trail to Volcano Achén Ñyeu.

The trail was hot, tiring and slippy – our feet kept sinking! But at the top, the 360 view was breathtaking with sights of Villa Rica and Lanín (two other volcanoes in the region.)

Our tired feet look over the landscape of Lanin National Park from the summit of Volcan Achen Ñiyeu. Looks ashy and grey like the moon. Northern Patagonia, Argentina.
Volcano Achen Niyeu

Inspired by a family we crossed on our way up and their way down, we did our descent running. Our socks full of volcanic stones, our faces and clothes caked in ash. It was a lot of fun indeed! We definitely plan to include more volcano trails in this trip and enjoy the adventures that come with it.

We ran down, socks full of debris, bodies covered too, skiing through the ash as if gliding through the moon...