A mountain cabin lodge created in an impeccable rustic style
Activity adventure | Fishing | Mountains | Natural world | Off the beaten track
Location is everything at this charming lodge, perched on the shores of Lago del Desierto, 37 km from the El Chalten trekking paradise. On a calm day you can spot trout in the waters from its windows, and, getting there is half the fun. A 15-minute boat ride – departing from the lake’s southernmost point – follows the east shore round past vast glaciers, delicate waterfalls and condor nests to arrive at your accommodation. For the more adventurous, a 3-hour hike is equally pretty. The lodge itself is set inside a 700-hectare nature reserve of mountains, forests and lakes, bordering the famed Los Glaciares National Park.
The stilted lodge enjoys an envious setting. In total, there are six rooms; two Fitz-Roy rooms enjoy views onto the mountain’s sheer spires; three first floor Glacier rooms look out past Lago del Desierto and onto the Vespignani Glacier and one Forest room looks north onto the nothofagus trees. The latter is especially well set up for families with rooms joined by an interior door. Each room has a particularly delightful timber construction with hardwood floors and blonde walls made entirely from recycled logs, sourced from a burn forest in northern Patagonia. Large windows take advantage of the excellent scenery while all have a private bathroom and a maid service is included in the rate.
Given its remote location, much of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced locally. And it’s all the better for it. You can visit the vegetable gardens and even learn how to make some of the homemade recipes yourself. Dine inside by the fire or under the Patagonian skyscape on the deck, accompanied by those gorgeous views. Thanks to its intimate size, the chef will be able to talk to you about your preferences but expect such mainstays as hearty soups, homemade bread and perfectly grilled Argentine steak.
While after a day’s exploration you’ll be happy to return to the roaring fire of the lounge and the plush couches of the library, Aguas Arriba is all about the outdoors. This being Patagonia, trekking is the order of the day with several options for each fitness level. You’ll explore glaciers, small valleys, waterfalls perhaps going as far as the Chilean border where you can spend the night camping. The area’s second favourite activity – fishing – is also extremely popular with the season running from November to May. After it all, come back to deck views and homemade pastries.
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