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SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES Tourism - Patagonia - Argentina

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Excursions: Lagos Lolog (Lolog Lakes), Curruhué, Chico y Grande (Small and Big Curruhé) , Termas de Epulafquen (Epulafquen Hot springs) | Lagos Huechulafquen - Paimún-Volcán Lanín (Lakes and Volcan)| | Circuito Siete Lagos - V. La Angostura (Seven Lakes circuit-V. La Angostura)


Lagos Lolog, Curruhué, Chico y Grande, Termas de Epulafquen


APPROACH ROAD: 234 National Route up to diversion 3 km away from San Martín de los Andes, then you take the second diversion by 62 Provincial pebble route, where you have access to Lolog Lake, 32 km ahead, you will find Curruhué Chico y Grande Lakes, Laguna Verde (Green Small Lake), Escorial and then, you arrive at the hot springs after you have ridden 46 km.

ATTRACTIONS: Lago Lolog, Lago Curruhué Chico y Grande, Laguna Verde, Escorial, Lago Epulafquen, Termas de Epulafquen (hot springs), walks, sailing activities, mountain bike.

ACTIVITIES: beach, walks, nature interpretation, horseback riding, trekking, mountain bike, fishing, camping activities, 4x4 excursions, swimming, 'termalismo' (thermal springs activities)

SERVICES: Lolog Lake: 'Camping agreste' (country camping), restaurant (bufé)

Big Curruhué Lake: 'Camping agreste', 'proveeduría' (place where food and basic products for camping are sold)

SEASON: Summer, Spring, Autumn



When you take 62 route, after you go past 'el Regimiento 4 de Caballería de Montaña' (Mountain knight Regiment 4) you can see 'la Vega Maipú' and Cordón Chapelco, once at the lake, you cross the Quilquihue River Bridge, excellent place for sports fishing, where there is a 'Camping Agreste' area, going along the lake, towards the left you can see picnic sectors, ideal for spending the day. 9 km away from the bridge on the left the path that reaches Puerto Arturo (port) opens, where there is another 'Camping Agreste' area and 'Guardaparque Seccional Lolog' (Lolog park Ranger Station). Resuming the route, 21 km ahead, you find 'la Seccional Curruhué de Guardaparque' (Curruhé Park Ranger Station). As you go along this route westwards, the wood, the water mirrors and the mountains gradually display the 'andino' landscape. The first exponent is Curruhué Chico Lake (Black Place), then you will find Curruhué Grande with its viewpoint, it lets the walker tour a small place full of 'pehuenes' that testify, with their contribution, the passage of time. From the viewpoint the visitor has a view of the lake and of the glacial valleys

The volcanic past shows its splendour from Verde, Escorial and Del Toro Small Lakes. 6 km away from Curruhué Grande Lake you find a fantastic petrified lava stream, this is the product of Achén Ñiyeu volcan eruption that crosses the route to dive into the Epulafquen Lake's waters. As regards the lava, it is of a black colour and this porous stone opens during the vegetable colonization. When finishing the tour, with lush vegetation, you will arrive at the area of the Epulafquen Thermal, one of the most interesting places. There you will see 19 thermo mineral water pools. There is a 'camping organizado' with 'proveeduría' and hot water in the area. You can also develop different activities like walks, fishing, camping, bird and flora watching.

Lagos Huechulafquen - Paimún-Volcán Lanín

APPROACH ROAD: 234 National Route, 42 km tarmacked up to Junín de los Andes. At 3 km intersection with 61 prov. Route, 22km pebble route Huechulafquen Lake, then 34 km Canoa Port and 5 km up to "La Unión".

ATTRACTIONS Huechulafquen. Paimún. Epulafquen. Volcán Lanín. Comunidad mapuche (Community)

ACTIVITIES: beach, walks, nature interpretation, horseback riding, fishing, camping activities.

SERVICES: Restaurant, campsites ('organizado' and 'agreste'), boat excursion.

SEASON: all year (winter: subject to weather conditions)



Departing from San Martín de los Andes 234 route and after touring 42 km, you reach Junín de los Andes, head of the Huiliches Department, because of its geographical situation it becomes the first service centre of the various hunting and fishing places around the surrounding lakes and rivers. It also has a booming agricultural and livestock activity.

Leaving Junín de los Andes behind, 3 km further away, just before crossing the Chimeuin River's bridge, you take 61 Provincial pebble route towards Huechulafquen, 5km further ahead you will find, on the right, the slope to C.E.A. N ('Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Neuquén'. Neuquén Applied Ecology Centre), it is an applied investigation state centre that studies the terrestrial and aquatic fauna (salmon, llamas, 'coipos', foxes, 'guanacos', etc), this place can be visited from Monday to Friday as from 1:00 pm.

Going on along 61 route, Chimehuin River will follow you on the right bank, the way crosses a considerable part of the Patagonian steppe and vegetation becomes denser as you reach the mountainous area.

17 km away from C.E.A.N. you will enjoy the Chimehuin River's magnificent source, which takes the waters from Huechulafquen River towards the Atlantic. This is a real paradise for fishermen: it is internationally known as one of the best places for sports fishing. A few metres ahead, the lake shows itself as a real sea, in the background, you will also be able to gaze at Lanín Volcan, with its glaciers and its 3, 776 m magnificence.

The main attraction is made up of the changing landscape. It is Patagonian steppe in Junín de los Andes and, as you advance westwards, you tour a transition steppe-wood area and as from that point, vegetation becomes mainly of trees to get into the wood proper, full of 'coihues, colihue cane, 'araucarias', cypresses, 'radales' and 'maitenes'.

Between December and January, the mountain slopes become red in colour due to the 'notros', a native bush.

Then we reach 'la Seccional del Guardaparque Las Coloradas' ('Las Coloradas' Ranger Station)

As from that point there are 12 km of free campsite, and the 'Camping Organizado Bahía Cañicul (organized camp) and two 'campings agrestes' (country camps): Raquithue and Piedra Mala. In this area you will find native community settlements.

34 Km further ahead you arrive at Puerto Canoa (Port), where you will find 'Seccional de Guardaparques' (Ranger Station) and taking the diversion on the left you will find the quay and restaurant. "El Bosque" (The Wood) is an interpretation path made up by 'Parques Nacionales' (National Parks). It is enclosed to prevent cattle from going into the path so that the environment remains unchanged. It is a 450m - tour that will allow you to know the wood's dynamics better by paying attention to what you can see and perceive.

José Julián catamaran departs from the quay and sails around the Huechulafquen and Epulafquen Lakes, you must see the amazing view of Lanín Volcan.

After having sailed 2 km from Canoa Port, you arrive at a place called "La Unión" (The Union), it is a narrow passage of calm waters all year round that links Huechulafquen to Paimún (flows calmly) Lake. This is an ideal place to rest on its green grass in the sun. 1 km ahead you will arrive at Bahía Piedra Mala (Bad Stone Bay). It has flat coasts and black sand that testifies that volcanic activity has built the place.

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