Quina Quina is the traditional summer beach in San Martín de los Andes, chosen by locals and visitors alike. Besides, this spot boasts residences and quietness.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Lácar, Quila Quina Village has the perfect components to seduce both local denizens and visitors to San Martín de los Andes. It boasts beaches, nautical sports, hiking trails, campsites, cuisine and everything each one dares to discover.
The pleasure began at the very moment we left the pavement in order to enter the winding mountain road that gets deep into thick forests. First it climbs uphill and then goes down along a green hillside. Half through the way, we had a broad view of the entire coastline. Drivers should be careful not to stop the car at certain spots. In order to take a memorable picture, we had to wait for the right occasion, park off the road and put the brakes on.
The road goes past the houses of the Mapuche Curruhuinca community. The families that live there devote their time to raising animals, taking care of the orchard and making handicrafts. These houses stand out for their classic fences made of sticks.
A place worth visiting
The “icing on the cake”
A family beach
Nestled on the shores of Lake Lácar
The necessary shade
The colors are changing
As we entered the village, we took the main path, which led us to the pier where the catamarans moor. A very pleasant coffee-shop and a popular beach were the first attractions that caught our eye. This is a colorful and cheerful place where visitors may rent kayaks and be delighted by the blue waters of Lake Lácar in the background, which certainly shows off its best suit.
We resolved to spend the day there, so we parked our car at this location and set out on a stroll around the area. The village lies inside the national park and shelters grand houses built as early as the 1940s. They remain open in the summer.
We followed the trail along the coastline. The lake is located in a vast valley and an imposing mountain range appeared on the other side of the water body before our eyes.
As we got to the beach known as El Cipresal (The Cypress Grove), we remained there for a while in order to appreciate its man feature: its strategic location shelters it from the prevailing western winds. Huge cypresses with twisted roots make a strong contrast with the softness of the beach.
The inner paths of the village led us back to the port and we sat at a table on the coffee-shop deck to have a drink as we contemplated the lake. We learned that there are several options to go hiking around the area. One of them leads to the cascade and a mineral water spring. There is also a longer circuit that gets to a ravine where cave paintings and the Lion's Cave may be admired.
All through the day the colors of the scenery and the forests slowly changed and set ourselves into the mood to discover the various nooks where visitors usually sunbathe or dive in until quite late in the afternoon, as the sun sets after 8 pm in the summer.
Mónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
Contact of the excursion or tour
Ruta Nacional 108 Km. 12 - Villa Quila Quina (8370) San Martín de los Andes, NeuquénTel: +54 2972-411919 Cel: +54 2972-505229
Accommodation in Lago Meliquina (30 Km. from San Martín de los Andes)
Cabins at Mount Chapelco
Lodging in the National Park
Fully-equipped Camping Sites
3-star Apart Hotels
San Martín de los Andes