The province of Neuquén in northern Patagonia boasts a wild and rugged landscape of diaphanous lakes and luxuriant forests and meadows dotted with picture-perfect alpine villages, framed by snow-capped Andean peaks.
While there are plenty of opportunities for eating well and lazing over a book, the focus in Patagonia is on outdoor pursuits. Every mountain, stretch of grassland, river and lake appears to have been created to fulfill the dreams of riders, fishermen and walkers.
We have selected a handful of boutique hotels and gloriously remote lakeside lodges. Those who like getting their hands dirty can stay on a working estancia, setting out each morning with the gauchos to herd cattle, stopping for asado (barbecue) lunches of prime beef or fresh trout before enjoying a doze in the shade or a dip in the river.
Patagonia’s fly-fishing for rainbow and brown trout is among the finest and most picturesque in the world. The region also boasts two of the continent’s best golf courses and offers wonderful opportunities for bird-watchers. Come winter, Bariloche and San Martin de Los Andes come into their own as South America’s most scenic ski resorts.