Cottage Country South

Sometimes we all need a vacation from our trip. That sounds confusing, but bear with me. There are two types of travel: a trip, and a vacation. A trip is busy. There are places to go, things to see, perhaps some mountains to climb. A vacation, on the other hand, involves sitting beside a body of water. Hopefully in a lounge chair. Every good trip should have a little vacation built in, just to make sure you don’t burn out on the sightseeing.

For many Canadians, cottage country is the essence of vacation. It means long weekends, cold beer, and lazy days on the dock. The problem with cottage country is that the lake may be tricky to swim in come February. Enter San Martin de los Andes, Argentina’s answer to the Muskokas.

Clear, still lake, surrounded by mountains and dotted with kayaks? Check. Quaint alpine-style cabins for rent by the dozen? Check. Big enough for a few good restaurants, but small enough to justify being lazy? Check and check.

In the Seven Lakes Region, this little escape is what Bariloche probably looked like before it was completely overrun by tourist chocolate shops. There’s plenty for your outdoorsy wife/husband/kids to do in the area, but there’s also very little to do if that’s what you prefer. Close your eyes. Feel the triple scoop of gelato in one hand and a paperback book in the other. And you thought the cottage was closed until summer.

Amy, our long-time former Sounder editor, is a few months into a year-long sojourn through South America (and wherever the wind takes her). Looking at these photos it’s pretty easy to understand why she traded her desk for a backpack. 

Close your eyes. Feel the triple scoop of gelato in one hand and a paperback book in the other. And you though the cottage was closed until summer.

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