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Getting There

By Plane -- Aeropuerto Internacional Chapelco (tel. 02972/428388) sits halfway between San Martín and Junín de los Andes and, therefore, serves both destinations. Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral, Capitán Drury 876 (tel. 02972/427871; www.aerolineas.com.ar), flies from Buenos Aires. A new airline, SUR Líneas Aéreas (tel. 11/5278-6367 in Buenos Aires; www.surla.com.ar), began twice-weekly service in 2009. The hope is that recent improvements in the airport's infrastructure will keep the number of flights canceled due to bad weather to a minimum. A taxi to San Martín costs about $22 (£15); transfer services are also available at the airport for $18 (£12) per person. A taxi to Junín de los Andes costs $20 (£14); transfer services are $12 (£8.20) per person. By Mich Rent a Car and Avis both have auto rental kiosks at the airport.

By Bus -- The Terminal de Omnibus is at Villegas and Juez del Valle (tel. 02972/427044). Via Bariloche (tel. 02972/422800) runs daily bus service to San Martín de los Andes from Buenos Aires (a 19-hr. trip). Ko-Ko Chevalier (tel. 02972/411295) also offers service to and from Buenos Aires, and serves Villa La Angostura and Bariloche by the paved or by the scenic Siete Lagos route. Centenario (tel. 02972/427294) has service to Chile and also offers daily service to Buenos Aires; Villarrica- and Pucón-bound buses leave Monday through Saturday, and those for Puerto Montt depart Tuesday through Thursday. Albus (tel. 02972/423808 or 02944/423552) has trips to Bariloche via the Siete Lagos route (about 3 hr.). Bus service can vary due to season, and it's best to evaluate a coach's condition and services before buying a ticket, especially for trips to and from Buenos Aires.

By Car -- As outlined above in "Driving Bariloche to San Martín," San Martín de los Andes can be reached from San Carlos de Bariloche following one of four routes. The popular 200km (124-mile) Siete Lagos route takes rutas 234, 231, and 237, and sometimes closes during the winter . The 160km (99-mile) Paso Córdoba route takes rutas 234, 63, and 237; the longest, yet entirely paved 260km (161-mile) Collón Curá route follows rutas 234, 40, and 237. If driving at night, take the paved route. To get to Neuquén (420km/260 miles), take rutas 234, 40, and 22. From Chile, take the Tromen Pass (132km/82 miles from Pucón) to Ruta 62, taking you to Ruta 234 and through Junín de los Andes; note that a large portion of this route is on unpaved roads.

Getting Around

San Martín is compact enough to explore by foot. For outlying excursions, tour companies can arrange transportation. El Sol Rent a Car, Av. San Martín 461 (tel. 02944/421870), will drop a car off in Junín de los Andes. Hertz Rent a Car is at Av. San Martín 831 (tel. 02972/430280), and Nieves Rent-A-Car is at Villegas 668 (tel. 02972/428684).

Note that two main streets have similar names and can be confusing: Perito Moreno and Mariano Moreno.

Visitor Information

San Martín's excellent Oficina de Turismo (tel./fax 02972/427347 or 02972/427695) offers comprehensive accommodations listings with prices and other tourism-related information, and the staff is friendly and eager to make your stay pleasurable. The office is open daily 8am to 8pm, at Rosas and Avenida San Martín, on the main plaza. The Asociación Hotelero y Gastronomía, San Martín 1234 (tel. 02972/427166), also offers lodging information, including photographs of each establishment, though service is not as efficient as it is at the Oficina de Turismo. During the off season, it's open daily from 9am to 1pm and 3 to 7pm; during high season, it's open daily from 9am to 10pm.

For information on Parque Nacional Lanín, drop by the park's information center, open daily 9am to noon only, or visit www.parquenacionallanin.gov.ar.

A website chock-full of valuable information is www.smandes.gov.ar.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.