Trek around a vast lake and marvel at the inspiring natural scenery in the first national park set up in Argentina.
Nahuel Huapi National Park is based around imposing Andean mountains and a scenic lake of the same name. It is the oldest national park in Argentina, having been established in 1934. The park is also the largest in the region, with an area of 2,720 square miles (7,050 square kilometers). Take part in many outdoor activities, from rafting and kayaking to paragliding and mountain biking.
Take your family or friends on a scenic trek through the forests and valleys of the park. The quickest trails include the Cerro Llao Llao, which should take only 2 or 3 hours to reach the summit. It offers splendid views of Nahuel Huapi Lake. For shorter walks, climb Cerro Campanario or visit Los Duendes Waterfall. Experienced hikers may prefer a route that covers the entire park from Pampa Linda to Colonia Suiza, which takes around 5 days.
Admire the region’s intriguing vegetation in the rainforests of the western section. Note the lenga and coihue trees that are typical of the region, along with xerophyte Patagonian bushes that dominate the eastern part of the park. As for animals, spot the foxes, cougars and many other species that live here. Look for the legendary lake monster called Nahuelito.
The park has several activity hubs, such as Cerro Catedral with skiing and rafting. In Pura Vida enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking and golf. Camp at one of the sites with basic amenities, such as Refugio Frey or Refugio Italia.
The site has an entrance fee, payable at several points. Access to the camping refuges is free. Use the walking trails between December and March. They are closed at other times, as snow blocks the way during the rest of the year.
The Nahuel Huapi Nation Park is just north of the charming city of San Carlos de Bariloche in western Argentina. Use one of the regular buses from the city to parts of the park. The vast site, which borders Chile, stretches across the provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro.