Shores of the Nahuel Huapi
Although I just stayed in this town for almost an hour, definately the thing to see is the wonderful shores that the Nahuel Huapi lake has to offer in this side. Beautiful white beaches and amazing forests make the scenery just right. Like taken from a children's tale.
Next to the pier there is a tourist information centre and some tour guides that will take you through the lake.
In this part of the lake, in Villa La Angostura, the water seems even more clear than in Bariloche. Maybe because it's more clear. Or maybe it's just that "eco-feeling" you get when you get here. Or maybe both. Or maybe neither. Who knows...
The Nahuel Huapi
Definately one of the most beautiful lakes I saw in Argentina. It's strange shape, with all the bays, fjords and islands, make this lake quite remarkable. One of the must sees when you're around this part of the Earth.
Neuquen - Villa La Angostura
This beautiful mountain village is located in the South of the province of Neuquén, right in the heart of the lakes of the Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Here is the entrance to the Arrayanes National Park (Myrtles), the only place in the world where you will find a pure myrtles wood- in its arboreal form.
This village has a very nice architecture, of a highland style, with buildings generally located over the beaches bathed by the Nahuel Huapi waters- some of them quite sumptuous and with a spectacular sight.
It is a place of captivating beauty, with plenty of places barely touched by men, that let you enjoy the tranquility and silence.
This city has a perfect location for the lovers of sporting fishing, skiing in Mount Bayo, and adventure tourism: with the possibility of taking part in activities such as trekking, mountaineering, mountain byke, kayac, etc.
The climate of this region, though cold, is quite balmy, for it is cushioned by the climatic effect produced by the surrounding mountains and the lacustrine courses.
Its imposing landscape offers the possibility of carrying out varied terrestrial and lacustrine excursions, where you can meet the famous myrtle woods, visit the wonderful Bahía Manzano, reach the streams and nearby falls surrounded by beautiful flowers and varied vegetation, among other options.
The strategic location of this village and its refined tourist infrastructure as regards lodging and gastronomy turns La Angostura, into a dreamy place.
This small lake or laguna is located 1200 meters away from Puerto Angostura. It is placed in the middle of a thick forest of local trees such as cypress, coihues, arrayanes and radales.
On its surface there is a prolific insect and bird life while in its waters dwell two protected types of fish: puyén and pejerrey (atherine). All along the trek there are signs that indicate directions and describe to what species some trees belong. You go in and out by the same path.
On the lake there is a small pier. Beside it is the "Arrayán del Amor". This is a curious combination of a Cypress tree and an Arrayán that have interwoven themselves as they grew.
As you enter the Arrayanes National Park the road opens into two options. The one to the right, with steps, will take you to Mirador Arrayán.
On the way there will be enough to see, observe and take with you in your mind's eye. Vegetation is dominated by the huge "coihue" trees, "lauras", "maquis" and parasites such as wild orchids and creepers like the "mutisia reina" with its orange daisy like flowers and the "mutisia virreina" with its dark pink daisy like flowers.
You will be able to hear birds such as the "chucao", "ratoneras", "rayaditos" or the southern parrot.
Form the look out points you will have a panoramic view of the Nahuel Huapi arms Machete, Rincón and Ultima Esperanza. You will also see Bahía Brava, the island of Fray Menéndez and the Andes.
The Local Guide you have chosen will help you identify the different peaks, the villages on the other side, the best fishing spots and the local sagas and legends.
The next look out posts are Messidor I and Messidor II from which you can see Bahía Mansa and the Puerto Angostura pier, the building of Parques Nacionales, the Hotel Angostura and other buildings and the Messidor Castle.
Arrayanes Forest II
The walk continues on the external side of the fence that divides the National Park from the Estancia's land. At this point you will be near the Patagua Lake. The Patagua is a native tree, which grows in marshy land. The barks turned into powder are an excellent blood stopper or cicatrizer. On this lake you are sure to find a variety of wild game, especially ducks such as the "biguá", "vapor", European coot, and other birds that fill the forest with their characteristic alarm sounds. Among these birds are woodpeckers, chucaos and rayaditos.
Don't give up! You are now very near the Arrayán Forest. As you will see, there are already some specimens on your way. This is an anticipation of what Mother Nature planned to offer you further on.
At the entrance of the forest you will find the ranger's lodge, a barn and another building.
As you enter , there is a timber-laden path, with wooden railings, which you must follow for almost 600 meters.
This forest together with the one found at the Victoria Island is unique. It is one of its kind due to the height of its trees. They can be 18 to 25 meters high (which is very high for an Arrayán) and some of them are 300 years old.
The trunk of the Arrayán tree is very twisted. Its bark is cinnamon brown, very cold to the touch and it loosens in layers. Its flower is small and white and its fruit is a violet berry. It is said that the natives brewed wine and made jam out of it. As a medicine, a tea is prepared with its leaves and it is said to cure muscular ailments as well as intestinal problems.
This forest is located at the southeastern tip of the Quetrihué Peninsula. Quetrihué means in Mapuche "place where Arrayanes grow". The path that leads you to the forest leaves from the pier in Bahía Brava, within the village. The forest will appear after hiking or biking for 12 kilometers. It can also be reached by boat as part of a lake tour. Inform yourself about timetables at the Tourism Office. The best option is to take your bike on a boat and return by bike. This way it is downhill. If you were to go both ways by bike it will take 3 to 4 hours the difficulty grade being III.
It also takes from 3 to 4 hours if you wish to go walking. The first 800 meters are the hardest. Then follows a light trek in the forest among "coihues", "ñires", "radales" and red flowered "notros".
After more or less one hour's walk you will come across a stream coming from Lake Hua-Huan. If you want to visit this small lake, do it only if a tour guide accompanies you. Do not go by yourselves because it is very difficult to find your way back.
Along the way, there are resting stops from which you can also enjoy the surroundings. More or less at kilometer 9, there is a sign indicating the old entrance to the Quetrihué Estancia owned by the Lynch family.
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