Our Home Town
San Martín de los Andes offers everything visitors are looking for.
A privileged natural scenery, protected by the Lanín National Park, amazing tourist circuits, and the warmth of its people, come together under a complete service network, designed to satisfy even the most demanding visitors.
The quality of its hotels, the flavors of its regional food and the finesse of details in its handicrafts are an invitation to awaken the senses of all those that choose San Martín de los Andes as their holiday destination.
The town history
San Martin de los Andes was officially declared a town on February 4th 1898 by General Rudecindo Roca Commander in Chief of the Andes Division of the Argentine Army during the Campaña al Desierto. This Campaign was a massive ventured organized by the Argentine Government to officially declare sovereignty over the land towards the south of the country.
There were, at that time, two criteria to establish the boarder line, which separates Argentine from Chile: The line of highest peaks or the line where water part. It became thus very important to declare San Martin de los Andes a part of Argentina because the water of lake Lacar run towards the west and it would have been lost if the second criteria had been chosen.
So, on February 4th 1898, members of regiment "3 de Caballeria" and settlers met at the center of San Martin Square to bury the Foundation Act, set the Foundation Stone and fly the Argentine flag for the first time.
Lumbering and Agriculture became the main activities. There were sawing mills particularly on the Hua-Hum area and the agricultural activities were carried out by settlers on the rich valley on the Vega Maip.
Many were settlers of European origin who arrived at the beginning of the century fleeing from the First World War. They arrived to till a land they had acquired without having seen it beforehand.
The commercial activities were carried out by from Syria and Lebanon, who was generally, erroneously but friendly called "the Turks".
The Town grew and had to organize itself. Soon it has it own school, post office, church, bank, general stores and a hotel. Hotel Lacar soon became the center of the town´s social life.
In 1937 the Lanin National Park was created and this brought forth great changes. Old roads were better maintain, new road were built. A first aids hall was created. The National Park had its headquarters built in front of San Martin Square and Lake Lacar had a better pier.
The National Park was created to protect the forest. These mean that lumbering as a main activity had to gradually disappear.
Better roads and new buildings gave way to the development of tourism as a main activity and it was thus that the small mountain village turned into a city.