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Sitting at the foot of the Andes in the Rio Negro province, at the heart of the Argentinian Lake District, lies the pretty town of San Carlos de Bariloche, surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

As the name suggests, the Lake District in Northern Patagonia - which stretches across the mountains into the mirror image in Chile - is a land of sparkling bodies of blue water, with a backdrop of snow-dusted volcanoes and, dependent on the season, carpets of wildflowers completing the picture. This is a gentle entrée into Northern Patagonia; sunny, picturesque and ideal for gentle walks and taking photographs from the many panoramic viewpoints atop hills and volcanoes. In winter, this is good skiing territory, with Cerro Catedral one of the country's top resorts.

Bariloche is the best holiday base for exploration of the national parks and stunning scenery of this region, and as such is one of the more tourist-orientated centres in Argentina, but accept that and you'll enjoy it nonetheless.

Further north, in Neuquén province, the landscape around the town of San Martin de los Andes is more rugged and this is home to gauchos, estancias, and superb riding and fly fishing.

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Northern Patagonia
Northern Patagonia
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A Note on Price

Like many of its neighbours, Argentina is a large country and so much of the expense in travelling here lies in flying domestically. Hotels, lodges and estancias range from rustic to super-luxe, so it’s possible to arrange holidays catering for all budgets. A two-week trip would start from roughly £3,500 per person including international flights.