Parque Nacional Lanín

Some of the most beautiful sights in the Lake District are to be found in one of the country's largest national parks, Lanín, which stretches north from Nahuel Huapi National Park all the way to Lago Norquinco, to the west of Aluminé, and along the border with Chile for some 200 km. The park's centrepiece, and its most climbed peak, is the magnificent extinct snow-capped Volcán Lanín. The ascent takes two days, and starts from close to the border at Paso Tromen (also known as Paso Mamuil Malal). Lanín forms a dramatic backdrop to the beautiful landscapes all around the park, and is especially superb seen from two connected lakes, which make the most beautiful places in the park to visit: Lago Huechulafquen and Lago Paimún stretch west from Junín de los Andes, with great
hiking, fishing and camping. Both lakes have shores of volcanic black sand, and there are comfortable
hosterías, and basic campsites, as well as marked paths for several rewarding hikes. A fantastic boat
trip allows you to see the spectacular heart of the park from the water, and access to Lago Epulafquen.
These are the easiest parts of the park to visit, with a good road leading from Junín de los Andes. Southernmost parts of the park can be visited easily from San Martín de los Andes, which sits at the head of picturesque Lago Lacar (well set up for tourism), with boat trips and several beaches where you can bathe and rent canoes. Quiet Lago Lolog further north also offers good fishing, and it's worth the drive to find two more tranquil and very pretty lakes hidden away in mountains: Lago Curruhué Grande and Lago Chico. Further along the same road, there are thermal waters at Lahuen-Co, at the western end of Lago Epulafquen, which you could also reach in a spectacular two-day hike from Lago Paimún. Northernmost areas of the park are harder to access, and infrastructure here is building only slowly. But there are several Mapuche communities living in the park who organize campsites and horse riding, and sell home-made bread and other provisions, making this area interesting to visit. The whole park is definitely more rewarding if you visit in your own transport, as bus services are sporadic at best, and there is a great deal of unspoilt landscape to explore, varying from lowland hills in the east to steep craggy mountains in the west, all heavily clad in native beech trees, coihue, lenga and ñire.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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