San Martín de los Andes has a couple different miradors overlooking the city and Lago Lácar. Yesterday’s weather was spectacular, with a high of 75 and only a gentle wind. So we shed our jackets and made our way up the hill to Mirador Arrayán, where the photo above was taken.
Arrayán is a Mapuche word, which apparently means “place where we see the last rays of sun.”
The first time we tried to go, we kept looking for a trail to climb the mountain, but the easiest way to get there is to walk up the road. At the coast of the lake, go south (left when facing the lake) and walk towards the highway 234 entrance. At the fork, go left — don’t go on the highway. It’s about a 4km gradual climb, with views of the city along the way.
Since it was Saturday, we saw a few other people at the top and along the way, including a nice couple from Córdoba who took our picture. (Holly had to stay home for this trip. We were not about to carry her all the way up!)
The second part of the road was a bit dusty though, so we were pretty parched. Casa de Te Arrayán — a tea house on the grounds of a hotel and historical site — is only a few more minutes up the hill, so we spent quite a bit of time there drinking some tea and enjoying the view.
On our way down, we met a few other parched walkers who were so, so happy to hear that the tea house was close by and open! Definitely a worth the climb to the mirador and the tea house, and a great way to spend the afternoon on a warm day.
On a totally unrelated note, a funny story we forgot to share from the other day:
We were standing on the edge of the lake after kayaking when a young-ish couple approached us with a basket selling baked goods. Now you know I love baked goods, but our immediate reaction was to say thanks but no thanks.
As they were walking away, I was thinking about why my immediate reaction was no, when I remembered — and laughingly explained to our guide — that in San Francisco, when young people offer to sell you baked goods, it’s because they baked pot into them. And who wants to get pinched for buying pot cookies by accident when abroad? He got a good laugh out of that and assured us that they were indeed just selling bread. Guess old habits (or internal warnings?) die hard!