Towards the Little Island across the Woods

Reaching La Islita has the charm of crossing the woods, finding authentic houses of the Mapuche community and getting to the famous beach on Lake Lácar.
La Islita is one of the most pleasant spots lying close to the center of San Martín de los Andes. Getting to Trompul Beach on foot, spending the entire day in the sunshine and even camping is already a classic among the young.

The starting point for this tour is usually the corner of San Martín Avenue and Juez del Valle Street. The bridge over Pocahullo Creek leads to the other side, where a path borders the stream towards the left and leads to the right trail.

Bearing that information, we set out early in the morning carrying our swim suits and some supplies in our backpacks, as this is a special site to enjoy a picnic. We started to climb up the first stretch of Mount Bandurrias, which requires a certain degree of effort. Our enthusiasm helped us sort this task. Several paths made us feel confused, but then we realized that all of them led to the same place.
  • La Islita

    La Islita

  • The charm of crossing the woods

    The charm of crossing the woods

  • The entire day in the sunshine

    The entire day in the sunshine

  • Even camping

    Even camping

  • A small adventure that will remain forever in their spirit

    A small adventure that will remain forever in their spirit

We soon found a gate that shows the access to the Mapuche territory of the Curruhuinca Community. The paths go across the attractive woodlands on Mount Bandurrias. Shortly afterwards, we made a stop in the shade in order to rest.

To the left of the path, we walked for a few meters along a steep trail in order to reach the natural vantage point standing on top of Mount Bandurrias. It features a panoramic view of the city and the coastline of Lake Lácar with its pier and its sandy beach, as well as the watercrafts moored near the shore. Towards the other side, we beheld the vastness of a lake that seems to have no end and the mountain scenery in its entire splendor.

Step by Step across the Bandurrias

As the trail went up and down and we got deep into the woods, we gradually discovered the magic of a place where the green cypresses and roble pellín mingles with the orange amancays and other summer flowers.

We were feeling hot but it was necessary to walk a little farther. We crossed the access gate where the Mapuche residents charged us an access fee. It was at this very spot where we learned that we could buy some tortas fritas and sodas from the locals.

We started to go downhill and crossed several melt water threads. We knew the shore was close: La Islita lies 5 kilometers away from the downtown.

As we reached the small sandy beach in Trompul, our first impulse was to drop our backpacks, get barefoot, take off our sweatshirts and get into the water, which welcomed us with its usual cold temperature. We were there and the best was yet to come. A good dive every time we felt hot was awaiting and we still had to cover the 10 meters that separate La Islita from the continent as many times as we wished.

The famous little island is small and steep, with a higher area that features a good view of Mount Abanico (Spanish word for ’fan’) on the opposite shore of the lake and the entire Chapelco Mountain Range.

In the summer, swimmers must dare to cross towards La Islita and enjoy a small adventure that will remain forever in their spirit. This is a space for youth also visited by grown-ups.
Read complete Outing... Mónica Pons / Eduardo Epifanio

Useful Data

Difficulty: Low

Duration: Half a day or all day, depending on how long you wish to stay on the beach. Return to town following the same trail.

Bear in mind: Even if this is not a difficult hiking circuit, it is necessary to carry food and drinks in order to recover from the physical effort. It is also important to pack warm clothes and insect repellent.

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